In today’s online-centric automotive marketplace, using CRM systems (customer relationship management) and email marketing software is obligatory, due to the tremendous sales and revenue potential you gain from maintaining a database full of your customer and prospect data. Being able to follow your leads as they move through your sales funnel, to focus on the hottest prospects, and to send them to the right sales reps — at the right time — is essential to closing deals.
But as marketers, you already know that. You’re collecting leads through your website and assigning them to your sales team. Your sales reps follow up on those leads, and then drive engagement by sending a nice intro email and asking for a response or a call back. It’s a simple and effective way to learn more the prospect’s buying needs, and then move them further through your sales cycle.
But your CRM platform is more powerful than that. You can use it to follow leads from any channel or source — phones, showrooms, display campaigns, service calls, or even direct mailers and print ads — and with that information, create targeted email marketing campaigns.
Personalization and tailored messaging is key with email marketing campaigns, so your follow-up messaging should be aimed at ensuring your dealership stays top of mind. By sending potential customers from your email list targeted messaging based on their expressed goals (which you’ve measured directly or indirectly, according to their activity on your website), you can keep your leads warm and continue the sales conversation.
What kind of emails can you send?
We recommend bucketing your emails into different scenarios, based on prospect activities, buying stage and interests.
You can send pre-purchase emails that are designed to increase or renew interest in certain vehicles. Your pre-transactional emails might include content that features benefits (like MPG, anti-lock brakes, safety statistics), financing options, and any special pricing deals you have.
Of course, don’t forget Post-Purchase emails. One of the most easily ignored, but important, parts of the customer buying journey happens after they have purchased your vehicle.
Your post-purchase emails are a real opportunity to turn a buyer into a repeat customer and keep them engaged with your dealership. With the customer data collected, you should send them a personalized thank you email, and then follow up with helpful information about their vehicle’s features and scheduled maintenance dates.
And as they are preparing to re-enter the market for a new vehicle as their payoff or lease completion date nears, you can market to them with new car specs, current finance rates, and any incentives you have running.