Are Your Promotional Emails Achieving The Goals Your Dealership Sets?
Promotional emails remain one of the most reliable ways to engage with prospects, convert them into customers, and retain them as loyal repeat buyers. Are the promotional emails you’re sending helping you reach your dealership’s marketing goals? That’s not so easy these days. Like everyone else, your targets get a lot of email messages. A lot. Many get trashed with barely a glance.
Somehow, your promotional emails have to stand out and inspire action.
You do have goals for your emails, don’t you? Are they clear and achievable? Are they measurable, so you can figure out whether they’re working – and how well? If you hesitated answering any of these questions, perhaps it’s time to refocus your strategy and/or the execution of your promotional emails.
3 critical responses
You don’t send promotional emails merely to stay in touch with prospects and customers. The overarching goal of every email is to trigger a response. That breaks down into three actions we might call sub-goals. You want your recipient to:
- Open your email
- Engage with you via the content
- Convert – to travel further along their buying journey and, ultimately to become a customer
Let’s look more closely at ways you can sharpen your efforts to drive greater response in each of these three areas.
Goal #1: They open your email
This is like getting to first base in baseball – if you can’t achieve that, scoring a home run will be impossible. It would be nice if all your email recipients were so loyal they’d open any message from you, no matter what. Your dealership’s strong brand makes it more likely they’ll notice your email, but only one thing will cause them to click on it: an irresistible subject line.
This isn’t easy. You have just a few words to entice by telling them what your message is about and what’s in it for them if they open it. What works best?
- Use humor, or whatever type of language fits your dealership’s personality, so it feels familiar
- Personalize – use their first name, or mention their most recent purchase or question if you’re following up on that. “Frank, is this the excavator of your dreams?”
- Tantalize – “Surprise Inside!” or “Our birthday gift for you”
- Keep it short. It’s a teaser – a taste, not the whole enchilada. Stick to 50-60 characters or less, so the whole subject line is visible on virtually anyone’s screen. Otherwise, the impact fizzles.
Goal #2: They engage with your content
Now that they’ve opened your email, you must reward them by making it worth their while. When it comes to content, less is more. If it looks easy to read, it’s more likely to get read. Plus, brevity subtly reinforces your dealership’s reputation for concern and caring – you know your recipient is busy, and you respect that by not wasting their time.
To make sure you hit that mark:
- Keep it simple. Get to the point, using straight-forward, conversational language. (The point, by the way, is what’s in it for them.)
- Use bulleted or numbered lists, sub-headlines and short paragraphs, so your email doesn’t look like a ponderous sea of text. White space, as designers call it, helps your presentation look upbeat and inviting, not like an academic exercise. So does strategic use of color. These things also make it easier for your reader to zoom in what matters – your key point(s).
- Show it, don’t just say it. Video and other visuals far outstrip the printed word when it comes to capturing attention and conveying your message. People love photos, graphics, links to YouTube videos and infographics. Link to a related blog article or your e-book on the same subject, if that’s relevant. Giving them multiple options to engage increases the chances they’ll do something.
- Tell them how to keep the engagement going. That might be clicking on any of the links mentioned above, or it could be an invitation to register for your dealership’s next how-to webinar or stop by your upcoming trade show booth. You have something worth their attention, and you’re making it easy for them to get it. It’s a “call to action,” or CTA – an intermediary step that takes them further on their buyer’s journey. And brings them closer to deciding to buy from you.
Goal #3: They convert . . . yippee!
Once again, tell them what to do next. This is the call to action where you invite your reader to convert, and it’s so important you cannot afford to leave their response to chance. That’s why you have to spell it out. “Submit” is bland and boring. Yawn. But “click to start saving today on preventive maintenance” or “download this checklist now” or “check out the video tour of this loader’s all-new cab” make the point and tell readers what’s in it for them if they do what you want.
Keep your CTA above the fold, visually speaking. This is an old newspaper term, which refers to material visible on the top half of the page, even when the paper is folded. Your promotional email doesn’t have a fold, per se, but your recipients are using a variety of device types and sizes. Position that CTA button where everyone can see it without scrolling.
And create a sense of urgency, so they respond right away. Offers limited to a specific number of people or with a short expiration deadline generate more immediate response. No one wants to miss out!
Analyze your results
You want to know which promotional emails work best, and that requires studying the results. Analyze and compare every detail:
- Subject lines
- Calls to action
When you compare results to your dealership’s marketing goals, you’ll easily see which email elements combine to drive more leads, engagement and conversions for you.