With technology developing and marketing methods evolving, it’s totally understandable if we’ve all become a little guilty of prioritizing techniques like Facebook Live, social media, and Google ads when it comes to engaging with customers. And, while we absolutely should be weaving modern marketing into our strategy, we should by no means, be forgetting the more contemporary communication methods, like email. In fact, with four billion daily email users, there’s no denying that contacting current and potential shoppers via email, continues to be one of the most powerful and effective methods of marketing around. Simply put, email marketing in the automotive industry isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to take things up a gear at your dealership. Check out the latest trends in email marketing to give you a head start this holiday season and as we prepare to kick off 2022, bought to you by the team at SnapCell.
Keep Things Private
Before we go any further, we must highlight the need to make sure your marketing emails comply with any privacy laws and requirements – especially if you’re going to start using emails more regularly to engage with customers.
The CAN-SPAM Act, a law passed in 2003, establishes requirements surrounding commercial messages sent from businesses and organisation across America. It also gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, with tough penalties for violations. It’s worth pointing out that this includes all email sent by businesses, regardless of whether they are marketing their products or a service, as well as simply advertising content on their website. Furthermore, the law applies to business-to-business emails too, not just business-to-consumer. It’s not difficult to make sure you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act but it is absolutely essential and could be costly if you fail to keep within the rules.
Over the past few decades, rules surrounding people’s rights to privacy have really heated up and your dealership could get in serious trouble if you don’t comply. So, it’s definitely worth you keeping on top of any changes in legislation that might impact your business.
Video Is The Future
OK, we know we’re biased but one of the best ways to up your email marketing game is to include videos. We’ve mentioned this before but honestly, the numbers say it all, with 69 percent of customers wanting to learn about a product via video, and 90 percent of users admitting that product videos help them with their decision-making process. And here’s the big one – the reason you will want to get recording today – including a video in your email can boost your click-through rate by 200 – 300 percent.
Let’s be honest, in this day and age, the opportunities that come with videoing are limitless. In fact, the only limit is likely to be your imagination, so if you’re struggling with ideas of how you could effectively include videoing in your marketing emails, then here are our top three ideas to get you started:
Exclusive 360 Tour
A great way to engage with loyal customers – or those who subscribe to your emails – is by giving them an exclusive tour of cars. These could be the latest model to arrive at your dealership or a first-look 360-degree walk-around of a car that’s on offer. Giving them priority access to deals, or new vehicles – and better still, via video – will show them just how much you value their loyalty.
Showcase Every Service
We’ve mentioned sharing videos to promote your latest car deals, but what about offers from your service team too. That’s right, SnapCell isn’t limited to just your sales team. In fact, thanks to its easy-to-use technology, the SnapCell app, can be used by any member of staff at your dealership. So, why not get your service team involved too? Nothing beats a face-to-camera video, so how about a short clip of one of your technicians promoting a current service offer? Ultimately, people like seeing people, and better still, everyone likes to get their hands on a discount, so get your team on screen, to get customers engaged and responding to your emails.
If there’s one way to showcase emotion via emails, it’s by using videos. Like we’ve said, it’s a well-known fact that people like seeing people – so why not give the customers what they want?
We can’t shy away from the fact that it’s been a pretty turbulent 18 months, which means emails need to show a level of care and empathy, albeit, with the ultimate goal being to generate income. Create a face-to-camera shot of one of your team, simply thanking customers for their continued support and make them feel appreciated. As always, make sure you remember that all-important call to action – not necessarily by the person speaking, but perhaps a link embedded at the end of the video or placed directly under it.
Include Customer Reviews
We all know how important it is to encourage customer reviews and testimonials, but have you considered sharing this positive feedback with fellow shoppers?
Including customer reviews in your email campaigns is one of the most effective forms of engagement, as it boosts your credibility and enhances trust, which in turn will help towards improving your reputation and better still, hopefully, result in that desired sale. If you don’t believe us, then listen to the numbers, they speak for themselves, with a huge 90 percent of shoppers admitting to being influenced in their buying decisions by positive reviews.
If you’re thinking about going ahead with this technique – which you should, by the way – then there are a few things you should consider before clicking that ‘send’ button. First of all, although it might be tempting to stick in the entire review, pick one or two strong sentences, instead. You want these reviews to tempt recipients to engage with you, not be put off due to text overload. In addition to this, hold off sending dozens of reviews in one email, alternatively, include two to three examples per email and consider scheduling in these types of emails on a regular basis, to ensure you are consistently showcasing any positive feedback received.
Secondly, you might want to consider creating a template for your review emails, so they look the same every time you send one. Ensuring even the little things remain consistent, like selecting the same font type and size, along with the alignment of the quote (left, central, or right), makes such a difference. Doing this demonstrates professionalism and also helps strengthen the relationship between customer and dealership.
Finally, make sure you include a call to action in your review emails. Theoretically, you should be including a call to action in every email you sent – in other words, encouraging the recipient to follow up reading your email with some sort of action, for example, visiting your website. When it comes to review emails, there’s never been a better time to include a call to action. Remember, the reader will have just read one of your finest reviews, pumped with positivity and fantastic feedback of your dealership – so take advantage of this and sign off your email with a link to your latest car offer, or a ‘click here’ button for customers wanting to claim their exclusive discount for your service department.
Personalization Is Key
This might sound like an obvious one but making sure your emails are personal is absolutely crucial. And we’re not just talking about simply including somebody’s name in an email, we’re talking real personalization. That means segmenting audience types, so you directly email specific content to certain shoppers, customizing your messages to suit a certain demographic, and recommending products in line with a person’s lifestyle.
Some elements of personalization might be as easy as knowing the location of a person, so you can send them details of a service they could do with ahead of the snowy season. Or perhaps you know that a customer has a family, so why not send them your latest family car offers? The thing is, the value of personalization is growing by the day – after all, nobody wants to feel like just another order number, they want to feel like a customer. They’ve spent money with you, or you’re hoping they will spend money with you, the least you can do is make them feel valued.
There are plenty of readily available tools specifically designed to help businesses in the automotive industry keep track and analyze customer behavior, including a huge range of CRM (customer relationship management software). Better still, the software at SnapCell seamlessly integrates with top industry CRM, which means it’s easier than ever for our customers to work from just one system rather than having to switch between multiple dashboards.
Boost Your Open Rate
While we’ve discussed the latest trends of email marketing, these won’t matter if you can’t get somebody to open the email in the first place. A tip from us is to include the word ‘video’ in your subject line if you are including a video in the body. This way, you’re more likely to attract attention from recipients, rather than the email being ignored and deleted.
And, if you really want to connect with the younger generations, then consider sticking an emoji or two in your subject line too. This is a must for any dealership wanting to get in the driving seat when it comes to engaging with millennial shoppers.
The fact is, email marketing is here to stay, but you need to offer more than just a body full of text, which means making sure you’re doing it effectively by exploring some of the trends we’ve mentioned. Of course, if you really want to keep one step ahead of your competition then get in touch with SnapCell. Weaving video into your marketing strategy is a must as we head into 2022, and one of the most powerful ways to do that is by embedding clips into your emails. The experts at SnapCell will help you and your team seamlessly create professional-looking videos at the simple click of a button. Schedule a free demo today.