Email marketing is a low cost tool that can enable dealerships to build lasting relationships with their customers, far beyond the initial sale of the car. It has become increasingly useful for targeting customers as more time is spent in the digital sphere, especially when they’re researching potential cars or at a predictable stage of the car ownership cycle.
Rather than focusing purely on the short-term sale, it is important to shift the focus back to the long-term relationship with the customer. When will the car need servicing in the future? When are they likely to buy again?
Ensure that you are the first port of call when customers need to address these needs by making sure you concentrate on the points below.
It is important that your sales team and customer support collect useful, relevant and comprehensive data on your customers:
- When closing a sale, ask the customer to fill in a few details whilst they are still in your dealership. You could also include a few categories of interest for recipients to check, which will be helpful when you segment your lists later
- Note down any useful customer preferences - how do they take their tea, what magazines do they read?
- Think forward to any marketing opportunities - what data will you need to collect to help this?
Once you’ve collected the data it’s important to store it neatly and consistently in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system - then you will be able to complete the next two steps.
Consider your customers. What are their interests? What was the vehicle that you sold to them? Where do they live?
Using an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, in conjunction with your website allows you access to important statistics such as the demographics of people who view certain new car model pages, how they found your website and what their interests typically are.
Using your newly gathered data, you can create emails to send to each segment with the relevant information and create a tailored language and content to best suit them.
As mentioned above, having an efficient CRM system will help you with logging customer data and tracking important dates.
Segmentation will have already ensured that your emails are as relevant as possible. The next step is to make it seem personalised. Use email programmes to do the following:
- Insert data like the customer’s name, the car that they drive, etc., into the email copy, headers, buttons and more.
- Hide or reveal sections of content to increase relevance - i.e. you could have a section of copy
You could even try some A/B testing of your emails to find the layout that your customers seem to prefer. This also ensures that you are staying current and, again, using the best design to capture the attention and engagement of your recipients.