Newsletters. Do you use them?

Lauren Moses
I'm looking to start sending out newsletters at the beginning of each month. Just a one page flyer that can be easily emailed and posted to our social and website. If you use them, has there been success with them? Content put in it and any general tips are greatly appreciated.
Dennis Wagner
Lauren.. They do work and help keep your customers in the loop as far as what your dealership has going on. I have seen new car incentives included, used car specials, new products that are coming soon, service specials, your dealerships hours of operation, how to connect on social media, customer birthdays for the month, employees anniversary dates, any employee volunteering or community functions the dealership has going on. I think it's a great retention tool. I recommend putting in a small section asking the customer for suggestions on what they would like to see in the newsletter also. Good Luck!
Robert Karbaum
I may be kicking up dirt here, but I am totally against newsletters. Other than sales & promotions, do customers really care what goes on in your dealership? Do you think they care if Jimmy is having a birthday? Or that you decided to put a plan in the Service waiting area? No, they don't care. They have enough "fluff" content flying at them from their friends, family and colleagues. If you want to advertise, then advertise. Don't insult the customer's intelligence by thinking you had "hide" your adds among a tiny news article. Back in the early 2000's newsletters were a thing, but they aren't anymore. Want to know why? Social Media. Social is the next generation of newsletters. Sharing your newsletter via social, is like faxing your customers a tweet. If you want to be part of the community, then advertise where people go to get their community news. Thinking that sending an email every 4 weeks with something generic about your town/city/hamlet will sway customers to do business with you is misguided. You are a dealership, not a community news organization. People crave efficiency. They are looking for the best, and most efficient solution to their problems. Likely, you aren't better than the news organizations, and your community itself at informing the community about "what's happening". So, instead leverage them and advertise. That's why advertising exists. It IS possible to become the #1 source for community news as a dealership, but that is a pretty tall order. Anyone running digital inside a dealership doesn't have time to eat, let alone overtaking the community news in your area.
Dennis Wagner
Robert, Valid points, but I have seen personally that newsletters still work in some areas based on email response rates. In small-town or mid-town USA - Yes! In large cities such as New York City - No! Location, Location, Location
Bill Simmons
I'm in Robert's camp on this one. At one time we sent out an email newsletter including articles and service coupons. The open rate was no better, and some months, worse, than normal email service marketing. The setup for the newsletter was pretty slick as we could track every item that they clicked on. Did they click and read the articles? No, they clicked on the service coupons because they were of value to them. So, we abandoned the time and effort of the newsletter and continued our email service coupons. The articles that you would be writing for your once a once newsletter could make great content to post throughout the month on your website and social media channels. That way you get the chance to engage with them more than a once a month with an email in their inbox.
Robert Karbaum
Hey Dennis, I'd love to see some evidence of newsletters working. Do you have any analytics/examples you can share? For example an a/b test that shows a dealer having better results with a newsletter, than sending out a tactical advertisment.

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