For many dealerships, email marketing was their first endeavor into the digital marketing sphere. As time went on their databases grew, subsequently creating the automotive industry’s first digital custom audience that was unique with each dealership. Email marketing has stood the test of time over the years and continues to be an integral part of our client’s marketing mix. Two decades after the technology was initially introduced we continue to uncover new approaches that dealerships can use to exploit this tried and true marketing method.

If you are familiar with email marketing then you understand that the status quo of email marketing relies on “battery tender” campaigns. In other words: Campaigns focused on engaging current active leads within your CRM. If I’m behind the sales desk, I rather my sales staff do that job. A properly trained sales staff will always accomplish more with an active lead over any other form of marketing. As a marketing manager, I look to email marketing to help feed that funnel for my sales staff to act upon.

Many dealerships we work with sit on a treasure trove of customer data that is 5, 10, even 15+ years old in some cases. This data is locked away and buried within their CRM sometimes never re-visited after it falls out of a 2 year maintenance rotation. We hear it all the time: “This data is old”, “We need fresh leads – we can’t count on spending money on this old data”. Step into our shoes for a moment and see the success that lies within your CRM. If you have at least 10,000 records, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity that you can cultivate into long term success for you and your staff.

CLEAN 1ST PARTY DATA IS GOLD

If you’re a dealership with an aging CRM database, it can be easy to assume 60% or more of that data is dirty and unusable. If you assigned a staff member to go name-by-name the payoff would probably be worse than that. Making sure you are correctly cleaning your CRM database before taking action is the first step that sets you up for success. That is why we utilize a 3 step data cleaning process to remove potential spam traps, bad email addresses, and invalid email addresses. This cleaning process helps ensure inbox placement and prevents your emails getting placed in spam. When it’s time to launch, we find on average only 20-30% of data from our dealer clients is deemed bad and unusable. On average, our clients see that 70-80% of their dead leads can be re-captured into new sales opportunities in the short term.

With this uncovered, you have the keys to unlock your gold. With emails costing clients only a few cents a piece the ROI potential is there. The average 3rd party for a dealership lead costs $20. If you have a small database with 10,000 dead leads would you spend $200,000 just to achieve an equivalent E-Lead volume? Nobody in their right mind would! This is why it’s so important for dealerships to take advantage of what they have at their fingertips.

HELP YOUR MANAGERS INCREASE CLOSING RATIOS

Today’s market shows us that people visit less than two dealerships before making a purchase decision. That places an increasing significance on e-leads and how they are handled inside the showroom. On average, internet closing ratios range between 5%-15%. Cultivating dead leads provides a rare opportunity to significantly boost your internet department’s closing ratio. Since you are simply re-engaging dead leads not only do you have prior information to help close a sale, but you also increase your closing ratio in the process. What a welcomed opportunity for your sales staff!

BECOME PROACTIVE IN YOUR CUSTOMER’S BUYING CYCLE

A normal customer can experience a purchase funnel that lasts over 6 months. Often times, a lead submission is considered a bottom-funnel action. Consequently, your active leads always receive the larger share of attention. What are you doing today to actively probe for tomorrow’s sale? Our research has shown that re-activated dead leads (often many years old) provides some of the best ROI opportunities. Not only do you uncover those new opportunities, you also have the ability to identify when customers would traditionally be back in the market to re-purchase or inquire for annual service opportunities.

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