There is nothing (I mean nothing) more annoying to a customer than getting multiple - pointless - emails both before and after their services. Not to mention the countless emails sent in between. Emailing still remains a vital marketing source for building the business. However, both CRM & DMS companies are starting to tighten the ropes regarding how and when you can communicate with your customers. That being said, here some best practices to visit before sending out too many email campaigns, which runs you the risk of high opt-outs!
How Many Customers?
When is the last time you checked either your DMS or CRM to see how many emailable customers you had? If you do not know off the top of your head (roughly) the number of emailable customers, then you could be missing out!
The other thing to consider when looking to see how many emailable emails you have is the number of actual *emailable* emails. Where sure, your DMS might say that you have 27k records, BUT only 18k are still opt-ed in emailable emails. For the records that are opted out, there is always the option to send an “opt-in” piece or move on.
OEM vs. Other
For those who sell pre-owned vehicles, which is almost every single dealer - do you send those that purchased a pre-owned non-OEM vehicle an OEM themed service email? Next time work with whichever vendor or marketing company you use, and break down the list sending it to OEM vs. NON-OEM, and create an offer that makes sense for both. While this may cause additional work in the beginning - sending a direct message that makes sense will only increase your chances of getting an ROI.
This is especially true when it comes to sending OEM maintenance interval coupons, which is entirely irrelevant for a non-OEM purchaser.
How do you handle this? Or do you send the same message, and hope for the best?
Your DMS Customers are Most Likely in Your CRM
For those that use a DMS and CRM, your DMS sold customers, or those that have serviced with you are likely in both systems. That said, it is essential to ensure that you are not sending the same customer 8-10 emails a month because you are using two different vendors to send each database an email campaign!
That being said, the best practice is to work with VIN based vendor out of the DMS who will send to only those who have had a transaction with the dealership. And as for the CRM, you can send a sales blast with a service element.
Create a calendar
The best way to make sure there is not any confusion as to what is being sent out when is to have a calendar for both sales and service. Making sure that all marketing (emails) are carefully thought out and executed. This way you lessen the risk of over sending to the same customer, which as mentioned above will increase your opt-out rate. And as we know, once the customer has opted out the chances of getting them back in the game are highly unlikely!!
Know your database! Understanding what you have to work with regarding both the DMS & CRM will better assist you in knowing what tackle first. This also helps you in understanding opt-out rates between new and prospective customers. Do not be stubborn and not speak with the sales managers. Remembering you are all marketing to the SAME people! The customer easily can see the disjointed marketing efforts between sales & service.
How do you handle and plan for marketing campaigns in Service? Do you send the same customer multiple emails from both systems? What are some of your best practices?