One of the easiest ways to generate more business is through email marketing. Not only is it easy, but it also provides an amazing return on your investment. But most businesses fail to collect email addresses from their customers.
Why should you be collecting email addresses? Just like having your clients’ names and phone numbers, having their email addresses provides an easy, non-invasive way for you to communicate with them regularly. After all, some customers aren’t ready to buy when you first meet them. They may come into your shop when you don’t have the particular part they’re looking for – but you might have other parts they need for the project car they are working on. Wouldn’t it be good business to remind them about you and the parts you sell?
Get your sales people in the habit of asking for email addresses. Give an incentive for each email address they get. Tell the customer you send out periodic emails with specials, new parts, events and so on. Not all will participate, but many will gladly join your list.
Segmenting and Targeting
Consider setting up individual email lists for specific makes and or models. Most email marketing software (I recommend Constant Contact or MailChimp) will allow you to create as many lists as you want. Segmenting your lists is important. If you attend industry events, make sure any emails you capture at that event are in their own list. Create lists by make and model.
When a customer comes in for parts for his Honda Accord, add him to the Honda Accord list. When you get new Honda Accords in, you can send out an email to all your customers who own Accords. The better you target your offers, the more relevant they will be and the more parts you will sell. Not only does segmenting and targeting help you to sell more, but you can learn which events are drawing buyers of parts and which makes or models generate the most email sales. This valuable market intelligence, can help you in buy better inventory and spend your marketing dollars more efficiently.
Optimizing Your Emails for the Best Results
The goal of any email campaign is to get people to open and read your emails and to act on it by calling you, or walking in, and buying a part. Let’s look at the elements that are important to getting email sales.
Write a must-open subject line. The subject line needs to be good enough to entice a recipient to open your email. Invest the time to write good subject lines. Most of the email marketing programs allow you to personalize email subject lines which can increase the odds of getting your email opened. For example, “Ron, 3 new Honda Accords in this week!” would be more effective than “New parts cars in this week!” – We’ve personalized the email to Ron and targeted him as a buyer of parts for a car we know he owns.
Personalize the email. According to a study, 4 out of 10 email subscribers mark emails as spam simply because they are not personalized. Show those you email that you know who they are and what their needs are. Using their name in the body of the email and take the time to target them intelligently based upon past purchases or your knowledge of the parts they are interested in buying.
Use images. People are visual. Adding a picture of the cars or parts to your email will generally make it convert better.
Include a call to action. Tell the recipient how to act on the offer. Make sure your phone number and web address are prominent in the email. The easier you make it for the recipient to see how to act on your offer, the more likely you are to get orders.
Optimize it for mobile. Make sure that you check to see how your email looks when it is viewed on a mobile phone or iPad. A large percentage of your list will be looking at it on these devices. If your graphics are too large or your phone number is cut off on the smaller screen, you stand to lose some parts orders.
Polish body copy. Keep your offers simple and direct. The words you use in the body and subject line can make a huge difference in the conversion rates you achieve. Be sure to measure your results so you know which subject lines work the best and which offers make the phones light up.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, founder of Mr. Mission Possible small business consulting, combines over 35 years of entrepreneurship with an extensive resume in consulting, speaking, and business writing, with 6 books published. My associate, Josh Davis, collaborated for this article. Josh helps budding entrepreneurs and those wanting to build a business using the web; you can find more about him at www.madeinfortworth.com.
A business owner since age 17, Ron sold his chain of salvage yards to Ford Motor Company in 1999, and his innovations in database-driven direct marketing have been profiled in Inc. Magazine. After the repurchase of Greenleaf Auto Recyclers from Ford and sale to Schnitzer Industries, Ron is now owner of the DFW Elite Auto suite of businesses and a successful real estate investor.
As a consultant and peer benchmarking leader, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plain-spoken style, providing field-proven, high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve.
Ron is a web expert, but he is also an expert in helping all types of small businesses become more successful and more profitable. He has helped owners in industries from restaurants to law firms with a wide variety of business issues, including sales, promotion, production, financial measures, business strategy, and planning for startups. Whatever your unique challenges, Ron can help you.
To inquire about peer benchmarking, consultations, or keynote speaking, contact Ron by calling 817-834-3625, by emailing rons@MrMissionPossible.com, by mailing 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or online at Mr. Mission Possible.