Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage with customers of all types, whether they’re loyal, new, or potential leads. Furthermore, one of the most effective forms of email marketing is by sending regular e-newsletters (or in other words, electronic newsletters – you know, just like the traditional types but ones that drop into a customer’s inbox instead). E-newsletters allow dealerships to keep their customers up-to-date on any latest news, as well as any future offers or promotions – and much, much more. Better still, all of that information is sent in the space of one email, in the form of an e-newsletter.
It’s easy to see why more than 50 percent of dealerships in America are already sending newsletters or campaigns electronically each month. But what about those dealerships who aren’t yet sending e-newsletters to their customer database? Or how about those automotive dealerships who are, but feel their current newsletters aren’t having the impact they expect?
Here, we explore why e-newsletters are so important for your car dealership and how you should go about creating one.
Why should you be sending a regular e-newsletter?
There’s no denying that the future of the automotive industry is shaped around the digital customer. Over the past decade – and especially the past two and a half years – the traditional automotive sales and marketing model has undergone a total transformation, and has now become a strategy centered hugely around digitalization. Not only have customer expectations changed but dealerships need to adapt the way they communicate and engage with shoppers too. In fact, by 2025, it’s predicted that a quarter of automotive sales across the globe will be conducted online – so with that figure in mind, there’s never been a better time to ensure you’re speaking to your customers digitally. And creating regular e-newsletters should be fundamental to your dealership’s sales and marketing strategy.
If you’re not already sold, here are a number of reasons why creating e-newsletters is vital to your dealership:
- An easy way to engage and prompt communication with a digital audience.
- Allows you to package up relevant dealership information to send to a wide (if not, global) audience.
- You can almost guarantee engagement with people who are already interested in your dealership or business – as they will all be on your customer database (made up of past, current, and potential shoppers).
- You can increase web traffic, which in turn improves your chances of making a profit.
- You can easily track, analyze and evaluate the success of your e-newsletter content.
- You can actually reach new audiences too. If you include smart content, you might find readers actually forward the newsletter to new, potential leads.
The basic steps to creating an e-newsletter
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or you’re thinking about sprucing up your current e-newsletter, it’s important that you recognize there are two ways you can go about it:
- You can use a newsletter creator online. With so many newsletter creation apps and software options out there, this is definitely the easiest option, especially if you don’t have somebody in-house who is specifically experienced and familiar with generating newsletters.
- If you do have a marketing team, or person, who has the required expertise to create a newsletter from scratch, then this is also an option. Of course, depending on their level of experience, this has the potential to be more time-consuming than using an online template generator.
Our advice? Even if you have the experience and knowledge in-house, then we would definitely recommend using online software. At SnapCell, we appreciate how valuable our time is these days – so anything that can make newsletter creation that little bit more simple, easy and straightforward for your dealership, for us, is a winner.
A top tip from the team at SnapCell: however you decide to go about creating your e-newsletter, we would suggest you pass the responsibility to a team member and ensure that the same person or people creates your e-newsletter each time round. Consider investing in training for that person, if they’re not already qualified.
Whether you’re using e-newsletter software or creating your e-newsletter from scratch, design a template and stick with it. Going forward, it will be easier for your dealership to create consistently professional-looking e-newsletters, if you have a standard template to work with.
Having a template will also ensure your newsletter includes the right image-to-writing ratio while making sure you include the relevant information each month (and cover a good variety of topics).
Remember to make sure your e-newsletter is accessible on mobile devices too. With research showing that 75 percent of Gmail users check their email on their phone, and figures revealing that 69 percent of mobile users will delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile, your newsletter needs to be easily viewable on mobile screens.
E-newsletters should be essential to building relationships with customers, rather than a nuisance, an unwanted distraction, or worst of all – immediately deleted upon arrival. You should aim for customers to ‘want’ to open your e-newsletter and better still, you want them to feel excited by what they read and ultimately take action. For that, you need a good mix of engaging, intriguing, and enticing content. After all, smart, relevant email content can have a huge impact on your profit numbers, with 59 percent of motorists admitting they have visited a dealership because of an email they’ve received from them.
So, what should you include in your e-newsletter? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Shine a light on vehicles you have in stock. The best way to do this is to include either a walk-around video of a car you have available or at the very least, a link to the footage. Why include video in your email? Including a video in emails can actually increase the click-through rate by up to 300 percent. Better still, including video in your email can actually reduce your unsubscribe rate by 75 percent. Create professional-quality videos using SnapCell. The SnapCell app is ideal for producing those walk-around shots or giving newsletter viewers a sneak peek at the stock you have on-site. With a simple click of a button, your staff can easily produce videos, before seamlessly embedding them into your e-newsletter, ready for distribution.
- Recent dealership news, including any awards won by your business.
- Awards won / relevant news about vehicles you have on-site.
- Get to know your team. Showcasing a member of your team will not only make them feel acknowledged but putting a face to your dealership will definitely help build trust with the customer.
- Sales or promotional offers.
- Service specials. Never forget your service department when creating your newsletter. Yes, while a lot of focus is on bringing in sales, it’s important that you highlight any service specials available too.
- A link and teaser to your latest blog article.
- Top tips for customers from your dealership. Use the SnapCell app to create a video of one of your team members giving their top tips to readers. This could be some sort of visual demonstration, for example, how to change a spare wheel, or it could be them listing a number of hints and tips, for instance, how to look after your vehicle in the winter.
- Details on any up-and-coming events.
- Add positive customer testimonials. These will help build the credibility of your dealership.
- Links to your social media channels.
Things to consider
Customize your e-newsletters
Use an updated database or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to ensure you are reaching out to as many customers (whether they’re loyal or potential leads) as possible. And what’s more, you have their most current contact information.
You should also use your CRM to personalize each email so that the e-newsletter is addressed to each customer.
Limit your e-newsletter to two font types to avoid your newsletter looking messy and untidy.
Limit the number of videos and images
Don’t overcrowd your e-newsletter with too many visual elements. While it’s essential to include imagery and video, you don’t want too many that your e-newsletter looks too noisy, or takes a long time to load.
The visual elements and written content should complement one another, so the e-newsletter flows seamlessly, rather than being hard to read.
Tone of voice
Know your dealership’s tone of voice and stick to it. Be true to your brand’s mission, vision, and values – and make sure these are all reflected throughout your e-newsletter.
Always include a call to action
Ultimately, you want those who receive your e-newsletter to take action, whether that’s engaging with a staff member, visiting your website, accepting an event invitation, or booking a visit to your dealership.
Within every single story or feature included in your e-newsletter, there needs to be some sort of call to action.
How often should you send an e-newsletter?
In short, you should be sending your e-newsletter each month. This way, it keeps your dealership regularly in the mind of your customers – without being a nuisance, spammy or overbearing.
Are you ready to create your next e-newsletter?
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or giving your current e-newsletter a refresh, one thing for sure is that you need to be using SnapCell. We’ve established how vitally important it is to include video within your newsletters and by using the SnapCell app, this couldn’t be easier. Schedule your free SnapCell demo today.