Email Marketing for Car Dealers : The Neglected Online Marketing Application?

466477415Email marketing for car dealers today would seem a must. But in a business world characterized by the use of responsive websites, social media, Google and smartphones, a great majority of Canadian car dealerships do not yet leverage (or at least not well) one of the oldest and most adopted online applications – using email marketing for their car dealership!

Email has been in the mainstream of consumer habits since the late 1990s, and who today does not have an active email account?  According to Radicati, there are currently over 4 BILLION email accounts globally, with a projected growth rate of 6% per year! Email marketing for car dealers is a sure way to reach those masses.

From a business perspective, it is also notable and perhaps surprising that for years email marketing for car dealers and other businesses has consistently been found in studies to provide one of the highest ROIs of any marketing method, online or off.  A Google search will provide a wealth of credible supporting stats, and I can also attest to it from my decade of experience in email marketing.  Another benefit of proper email marketing for car dealers is that like most other online marketing tactics, everything – from opens to clicks – is measurable, allowing for precise ROI analysis.

Some representative email stats:

  • Email has an average ROI of 4300% – for every dollar spent on email marketing, $43 are generated (Direct Marketing Association, 2013)
  • 91% of consumers read their email daily (Exact Target, 2013)
  • 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle 2013)
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online due to an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association 2013)

Still, email, like all marketing strategies, excels at some things but is potentially terrible (even illegal!) at others.  It is important to understand email and how to use email marketing for your car dealership to be successful.

Email marketing for car dealers to generate sales leads

I like to think of marketing, especially online, as having two distinct components from a lead-generation and sales perspective.  Acquisition, or attracting new clients, and retention, or keeping contact and communication with existing and previous clients and leads.

^2762B4125D9D7B66DCE29DFDD394B90622EF06AF6B87D6CCB1^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distrOne common misuse of email marketing for car dealers is to attempt to use it for acquisition purposes, to try and get new clients.  Not only is this poor practice and sure to generate abysmal results if you’re using email marketing for your car dealership, it is also likely illegal, since to send email you legally need consent.

Fact is, email marketing for car dealers and other businesses, by its very nature (and now reinforced by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) in effect since January 2014), truly excels as a retention tactic.  Retention is an oft-neglected strategy when implementing email marketing for car dealers, which is perplexing.  After all, first-year business students learn it is much more expensive – common wisdom says somewhere between 5 to 15 times– to acquire a new client than keep an existing one. Email marketing for car dealerships needs to keep this in mind.

Email marketing for car dealers and other enterprises is relatively inexpensive and excels at retention.  In other words, once a client, previous client or potential client is identified and in your list, email marketing can allow your dealership to keep your brand in their consciousness and effectively upsell and cross-sell your products and services to them.

The starting point of using email marketing for your car dealership:  a high-quality – and legal – list

If you decide to leverage email marketing for your car dealership, you will first need a list of email addresses for which you have consent –explicit or implied as per CASL.  Already, here at the start line for email marketing car dealers often fall short!

You need to “organically” build YOUR list – legally – if you do not have one already.  For this you must implement mechanisms across your dealership to collect emails in compliance with CASL with all you do, online and off:  service, sales, events, online and offline lead-generation efforts, etc.

Taking the time to build a large, high-quality list is the first step to leveraging all the benefits of email marketing for your car dealership, including high-ROI incremental sales and revenues!

To learn more about email marketing for car dealerships our dealer website optimization services for Google, contact us online or by phone at 1 866 370-1411.