Why Every Car Dealer Should Be Using Email Marketing

89% check their email at least once a day.  Take a minute to chew on the vastness of that number, then think about your own email habits.  How often are you peeking at your inbox (or inboxes as is often the case these days) on your phone, desktop or tablet?  It’s probably a lot more than once a day.

The figure above is just one of the findings revealed in The Inbox Report.

It’s a reminder of two things: (1) just how ingrained email is in our everyday lives; and (2) how important email is to digital marketing for automotive dealers.

Email is an essential and foundational marketing tool

89% of Americans check email at least once a day; nearly 21% check their email more than 5 times a day.  The sheer number of people who (1) use email and (2) check it on a daily basis reveals the great opportunity email offers.  No other marketing tool enables you to get in front of consumers easily, frequently and at a lower cost.

Here are some interesting findings from the Fluent survey about how Americans use email and view email marketing:

89% of Americans check email at least once a day

27.6% check their email 1-5 times a day

20.9% check their email more than 5 times a day

61.6% of Americans say they mostly check email on their smartphones

27.3% say they mostly check email on their desktops

11.2% say they mostly check email on their tablets

72.9% of 18-24 year olds say they mostly use their smartphones to check email

74.1% of 25-34 year olds say they mostly use their smartphones to check email

37.4% of adults aged 55-64 say they mostly use their smartphones to check email

42.3% of Americans say they sign up for email lists to get discounts and savings

19.8% say they sign up for email lists to learn about new products

11.2% say they sign up for email lists because they like a brand

Let’s put it simply.  Email marketing is a vibrant and powerful way to connect with people.  Think about your own experiences, do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address?  You probably receive HTML emails every week.

Email marketing is also a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Messages from your friends and family are sitting next to emails from your dealership.  That’s why email marketing works at its best when it is personalized.

Still thinking Email Marketing is not something for your dealership?  Let us give you 6 reasons why Email Marketing is a channel you should not be ignoring.

  1. More effective than social media for customer acquisition.

Don’t get us wrong, social media is an extremely important component in any business’ marketing strategy.  Social Media is a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them. And because of that, it is an important first step towards reaching your ultimate goal – the conversion (clicks to the maps and directions page, doing a chat, calling the dealership, completing a form fill, or showing up on the showroom).

When it comes to converting people into customers email marketing is at the top of the list.

study by Custora from 2013 found that customer acquisition via email marketing has quadrupled in the four years preceding 2013.  Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online.


  1. Economic and Cost Effective

It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive.  Email marketing allows dealers to reach a large number of consumers at a rate of nearly nothing per message.

For dealers on a budget, this makes it a better choice than traditional marketing channels like TV, radio, or direct mail.  You don’t have to take our word for it.  A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85% of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.

Even with the explosion of all sorts of new technology and social networks, marketers keep coming back to email.

Compared to traditional marketing efforts where printing, postage etc. can take up a lot of cost for your direct mail campaigns.  With emails, you are still able to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information instantly available with one click to your website.

Perhaps just as importantly, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients.  Together with the higher response rates that email marketing attracts, you, therefore, get more positive responses, more quickly and at a lower unit cost! Win-win situation!

#3 Personal and Customizable

In email marketing, what you’re really doing is segmenting your audience into lists and sending each list a tailored email message that resonates with your reader and can provide them with something of value.

When you write a post for one of your social media channels, you address your audience as a whole (“To all of our fans, we would like to say..”). But by using your email marketing software correctly, it allows you to address people individually by name, split certain topics only for certain members of your list and eventually arrive privately in their personal inbox.

According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened.

Email does not have to be SPAM – and it should never be!  It can be used thoughtfully to build loyalty and trust in your brand.

Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them.

#4 Action Oriented

Whether you realize it or not, everybody is trained to do something with an email -reply, forward, click-through, sign-up, or even straight buying.

Think about this!

Email is transactional by nature and you can use it to direct traffic to your website and ultimately drive sales.

As you develop your marketing strategy, using email will allow you to see results straight away.

This means not just sending out newsletters, but also using conquest and email automation based on triggers of your customers.

Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate 6x more revenue according to Experian.

#5 Measurable

There’s no guesswork in email marketing.  When you use any email marketing software, you can track who opened your email, which links were clicked, and how many people unsubscribed.

You can easily get a picture of how your email campaigns are performing, make adjustments and improve the overall effectiveness of your campaigns.  Email marketing metrics are important to remember as you monitor and measure your internet marketing strategy as a whole.

#6 Mobile devices allow people to check their email constantly

Because mobile devices have become so common, people are checking their emails all the time—in line at Starbucks, during their office commute, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, everywhere.

Some people think that with the growing popularity of social media platforms, email should be forgotten and may be pushed to the side.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Email marketing when done right is the most effective way to reach potential customers with consistent frequency.

The bottom line is that the internet is no longer a novelty.  The web is how we interact with everyone and everything and email has become our primary means of communication both personally and for business.