If you own an independent auto shop it’s important to have a strong email marketing strategy in place. Email marketing offers an unbelievably high ROI, with a median return of 122%.
But like any other form of marketing, there’s a right way and a wrong way to create an auto shop marketing email. To avoid some of the biggest email marketing pitfalls, read on.
1. The Subject Line
Crafting the perfect subject line may be the most crucial element of writing marketing emails for your auto shop. That’s because if your email’s subject doesn’t grab their attention, they’re almost sure to ignore it–or send it to their spam folder.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can follow in order to optimize this pivotal element of your emails. When you’re putting together a subject line, be sure to:
Provide some idea of what the message is about (with mystery) When you’re trying to motivate people to click on an email, a bit of mystery might be just what you need. Try vague lines like, The Sale You Don’t Want to Miss or Doing This Every Month Can Help Maintain Your Tires.
Be Personal- Add details such as location or recent purchases so they know you’re talking to them.
Meanwhile, make an effort not to:
WRITE IN ALL CAPS. Did you feel like you were being shouted at just now? Chances are, your target audience will feel the same way–and it’s one of the quickest ways to turn them off.
Use filler words. When you’re creating a subject line, simplicity is vital. In this context, words such as “hey” or “thanks” only add unnecessary bulk.
Ask your audience “yes” or “no” questions. As an example, let’s say your subject line is “Have you had car trouble lately?”. If a reader hasn’t run into problems with their automobile in the recent past, they’ll have no reason to read more.
Use excessive punctuation or the word “free.” There’s a common-sense reason for taking these precautions. They can reduce the likelihood that your message will trigger spam filters.
2. The Opening Line
After customers decide to open your email, the first thing they’ll see is the opening line. That line might not seem as high-stakes as the subject line, but you’ll still need to get it right if you want to hold a reader’s attention. Make it catchy, bold, and–above all else–short.
Another effective way to keep people interested is to focus on personalization, even if you included a reader’s name or other information in the subject line. Have you ever gotten an envelope in the mail that looked like a personal letter, only to open it and find a boilerplate sales pitch? If you don’t include meaningful personalization early in your message, it might feel like the digital equivalent.
Moreover, four out of ten email users mark messages as spam just for being irrelevant, so your personalization should go beyond rattling off data points. Consider segmenting audiences to deliver relevant content and suppression to prevent readers from getting messages that won’t resonate with them.
With these techniques, you can send people coupons for products and services they’re likely to use or car care tips that apply to the type of vehicle they drive.
3. A Solid CTA
Let’s face it–you wouldn’t be sending marketing emails without a goal in mind. That’s why every one you craft should include a clear call to action, encouraging your readers to “take the next step.” As part of that, be sure to build your emails around a single, clear CTA. Asking people to do multiple things in the same message could overwhelm them before you know it.
When writing CTA-related email copy, try not to go for the hard sell. If your sales pitch is too blatant, it could lower the likelihood that your readers will follow through. With that said, you’ll need to be upfront about what you want from customers. To balance these concerns, pepper your CTA section with friendly phrases like “get your” and “join us.”
Location is Everything
For an email, the location of your CTA is significant. Try placing your CTA button or link “above the fold” - i.e., inserting it early enough that readers won’t need to scroll down to find it. And while you shouldn’t include multiple calls to action in the same email, there’s no reason why you can’t have more than one link reinforcing the same CTA.
4. Contact Information
Marketing email personalization is a two-way street. No matter how hard you work on connecting with customers, they could still feel uneasy if it seems like your message wasn’t created by a real person.
Fortunately, there’s a way to sidestep this problem. Simply include your name and contact information at the end of your email copy. That way, people who feel more comfortable talking to someone over the phone or via text will have a chance to do so. Think of it as an alternative CTA–but not one that could confuse your target audience.
5. Social Links
These days, most people trying to share content online will do so through social media platforms. So, make it easy for them. Provide links to the major platforms–Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat, Instagram. This can essentially lead to referrals and reviews for your shop.
6. An Unsubscribe Button
If someone doesn’t want to be on your mailing list, forcing them to stay there will only lower their opinion of your brand. Instead, make sure to include a functional unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email you send.
As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to allow people to unsubscribe, did you know that not including this option is illegal? Under the CAN-SPAM Act, email marketers need to give recipients the ability to unsubscribe from their mailing lists. The penalties for not following the act are hefty–you could have to pay anywhere up to $16,000 for each separate violation.
Stop The Guessing Game
Email done right is a great way to reach your target audience and get them to convert. But even with the knowledge of writing effective marketing emails, implementing a digital marketing strategy can be challenging for small businesses. Automated marketing software like BayIQ eliminates the guesswork and stress allowing you to focus on running your shop.
Beyond email marketing, BayIQ can also help you create a loyalty program, solicit and manage online reviews, send SMS texts, implement an appointment scheduler, and provide easily integrated reports and dashboards to analyze how your shop is doing.
If you’re ready to uplevel your shop’s marketing efforts and reach audiences like never before, it’s time to meet BayIQ.