Your dealership has the constant challenge of standing out in a crowd of other local, regional, or even national sellers all seeking prospective buyers. But these days, our email inboxes are more crowded than ever, so if you aren’t utilizing the latest best practices in marketing automation, your competition is leaving you in the dust.
Marketing automation sounds like a dream, but how can dealerships avoid sounding robotic in the process?
As a reminder, marketing automation is the process of strategically creating and scheduling emails to send to your prospects based on a website activity that takes place. According to Forrester Research, companies that succeed at marketing automation generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. But the majority of dealerships aren’t actively nurturing their leads!
Your auto-response emails probably go out after your prospect fills out a form to take a test drive, right? These emails are usually generic and don’t discuss what your prospect is interested in. They usually talk about how long your dealership has been in business, list what specials you’re running, or have a long paragraph about the person who will be calling in about 5 minutes. Nothing is personalized or unique, and it’s apparent that a robot sent it.
If a prospect knows that you aren’t actively engaging with these emails, they’re less likely to engage with your dealership. So how do you address this situation?
Provide Relevant Information That Your Prospect Wants
Instead of a robotic automatic response email that doesn’t address their needs, provide educational material in your email to drive the prospect back to your website to help them build trust with your dealership and position yourself as the obvious choice to do business with.
For example, if your prospect downloads a Jeep information guide, send them an automated email that includes Jeep vehicle reviews, new inventory, and other Jeep-specific educational material that could help them choose which vehicle is right for them. The goal is to assist prospects through their buyer journey while staying top of mind.
Customize Your Automated Emails to Create a Personal Touch
Customizing is a simple way for users to know that their case is being itemized and attended to in real time. An automated response can easily fall by the wayside if not deemed important by the customer, yet it’s the first step in fostering a connection to your dealership. Include their first name and mention the website activity that they completed. For example, “Hi, Bill. Since you downloaded the Jeep information guide, I thought you might be interested in this Jeep comparison checklist to help you decide which vehicle is right for you.”
By personally addressing the prospect and his or her needs, they’re more like to open and respond to your automated emails.
Your Marketing Automation Checklist
To ensure that you get the most out of your automated emails, follow these tips:
- Keep them relevant to what your prospect is looking for.
- Use personalization to build trust.
- Provide relevant educational material to help your prospect make the right decision.
- Send emails at the right time and day to increase open rates.
- Make sure that your emails look great on mobile devices as well as on desktops.
- Periodically review how your emails are performing and regularly optimize.
- Avoid talking about your dealership and ignoring your prospect’s needs.
- Follow up your emails with a phone call to assist your prospects with their purchasing decision.
Even though marketing automation can be set up to run on its own, it requires a human touch to truly excel. Providing the right response to a customer in a natural, helpful way can make the difference between a purchase and an automatic deletion.
If you’d like to learn more about how marketing automation can help increase your conversion rates, let’s talk.
—Holly Semanchick is an SEO Content Strategist at FullThrottle.