First Response Emails

Jordan Brooks
What do you find are some of the best things to say or ask in a first response email to a customer in order to get an immediate response? Right now we seem to really be struggling in our BDC response emails. Is it better to remain direct or a little more vague? Is it more effective to leave off the email with a question rather than than the standard "please feel free to contact me at 252...."? How many questions should you ask in a first response email? What seems to be the best subject line to use for a first response email?
Marc McGurren
Jordan, Great questions regarding creating a FQR (First Quality Response). The biggest thing we have found to to Ask, Answer, and Address in the first three lines of the email. Ask questions relevant to the vehicle of interest. You want to take an approach as if you were doing a needs analysis of a showroom up. The biggest thing you can do show the customer you care about what they are trying to buy. You can create templates based on model, so you can already have some questions that are exactly for a particular model in every FQR that goes out. You then must answer any direct questions as well as address any questions you need more information on such as APR, payments, etc. I don't mind closing the email with "please feel free to contact me" but the beginning needs to be all about understanding what the customer is trying to accomplish. Hope that helps sir
Jordan Brooks
Thanks so much for responding. Yes that defiantly helps. Some dealership are afraid to use templates while others literally swear by them. I guess it depends on the situation with the customer. I always tell my BDC agents to create a personal response the first time and if there is no reply from the customer to try the templates.
Lisa Gillen
Over the years I've seen a dramatic decrease in the effectiveness of our DRIP schedule. If we do not capture the customer's attention in the first email, we've had to rely on other forms of communication to engage the customer. I agree with Marc that your first response should include Ask, Answer and Address but it also needs an Action (as in a Call to Action). Leaving a soft ending to let the customer reach you at their convenience or when they want to does not create the sense of urgency that turns shoppers into buyers.
Michael Roemer
Something a lot of our clients have been successful with is customizing their conversations with new leads based on each individual's specific interests. E.g. if the shopper who submitted a lead was spending more time looking at the engine, the sales/internet/BDC rep will open their conversation by mentioning something about the engine. It's been a great way for them to build a strong connection immediately. Hope this helps!
James Altemus
We've been dialing back our templates recently, mainly because we found that the more information the template provided, the less likely the person using the template (salespeople) was to actually read the lead. Whereas our templates were once a couple paragraphs using merge fields, they now include simple instructions reminding the user to read the lead and answer the questions the customer has asked. We used to have countless templates trying to anticipate specific situations or address specific models, but now we are much cleaner and simpler.

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