In today’s modern world of internet sales and virtual offices, the digital version of an auto dealership can’t be too far away. Whether you are ready for it or not, it is coming and soon. But with so many dealerships struggling to even have a website worth cruising through, it is time for many of them to join the twenty-first century. Part of that big change is understanding how to market, and to include automotive direct mail as part of any smart marketing campaign. If you don’t think email should be part of your campaign, let me explain why.
Email Leads to Leads
While social media may indeed be the darling of the current waves of internet marketing ideas, email remains the most cost effective way to reach a target audience. This is because when it comes to email marketing, when you target it correctly you are reaching an audience that is already interested in what you are selling.
This means utilizing newsletters to keep old customers up to date on new model releases, signing up visitors to the site to updates on what they have shown an interest in on your site and adding signup buttons to all your social media. When potential customers sign up for your monthly update newsletters it is because they have “opted in” and want to read what you have to say. That is, after all, why emails and newsletters have the best return on investment of any kind of online marketing.
Email Supports Purchasing Decisions
While it is true that today’s modern shopper is always on their smartphone checking out the latest bargains, they also use their social media and email inbox to advantage when looking for the best deal. This is particularly true for anyone looking to make their next car purchase. Car shopping is done almost in the opposite way that most shoppers use the internet along with the local brick and mortar shop.
Traditionally, what has been shaping up regarding the intersection of internet shopping and traditional stores is a customer will go to a store, see what they want, and then shop online to order it from an online store. It might even be the same store, but they may offer it cheaper online.
Auto Buyers Look Online First
In contrast, car shoppers will shop online first. Here they will compare features on different models, look at what the various local dealerships offer as a financial package, and decide based on what they see online. On average most car shoppers only visit 1.9 dealerships before purchasing, according to a recent article on purchasing habits in Forbes Magazine. This means that when a potential customer walks into your showroom, they have already decided what they want and how they are going to purchase it.
If they received their first piece of information about this model they want to buy from your monthly newsletter, chances are they will in the end come to your dealership to buy. All else being equal, having that presence in their inbox gives you the edge to get them in your showroom. As we have seen, that is the majority of the work to help them make that purchasing decision. In this sense – email continues to rule as the smartest and most cost-effective marketing tool in your war chest.