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Do you use an email marketing company?

Jenna Popp

Boss
Jan 27, 2017
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Jenna
I hate the unknown of how many of our emails from the CRM or our email marketing provider just go undeliverable or to spam...

Who do you use for your email marketing and how do you verify the deliverability?

We send email marketing campaigns through Naked Lime, and I can see through analytics and chat conversations on our website that the interactions are generated from the campaigns, which is great. However, I know campaigns go to my spam box.. so I contemplate what the customer doesn't get in their inbox, or what arrives in their spam.

Naked Lime came up with the solution to ensure everything arrives in the inbox being to send an opt in email to every customer that interacts with us moving forward so we have a "double" opt in safety net to improve deliverability and be sure that the customers we interact with want to interact with us.... my concern here is that being a general consumer myself, I highly doubt I'm going to open an email and click to agree to communicate moving forward. If it doesn't seem interesting I unsubscribe or delete the email. The recommended "opt in" process would only allow us to market to those who took the time to opt in, if they don't respond to the email we lose the ability to market to them entirely... even though they just probably deleted the email or it's sitting in their inbox to do in the future.

I value email as a communication method, however I'm wondering how else you are communicating if you aren't using email marketing?
 

Marc Lavoie

3rd Base Coach
Jan 3, 2019
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Marc
Email is super effective, but you have to know how to maximize delivery for sure. It'll vary over a couple of

For example, I encounter different situations running our automotive VBDC since dealers have worked their databases differently in the past. That's one thing to consider. Some customers are just fed up with their local store, so it's easier to get flagged.

The second is working to avoid getting sent in spam simply by knowing what hurts your delivery rates.

Then, you have to become better at getting open rates up, since an email left unopen is basically useless.

Quick Tip: Always make sure you're adding value through any email. It sounds simple but it's mind boggling how this is left out by sales/BDC teams around the country.


Great question highlighting a problem I'm sure many here would like to solve. Hope this helps.
 

NickA

Boss
Dec 30, 2020
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Nick
Thanks for throwing this out there Jenna. I'm currently reviewing the email marketing strategy for out group. We used to use Naked Lime for email marketing. However, in December they came to me with a drastic price increase, so we decided to cancel the service. I'm currently building them myself, but it does take quite a bit of time. I would think most companies know the strategy of how to keep away from spam folders, solid open rates, etc. I like Marc's comment about making sure you add value...give people a reason to open it.
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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Craig
Who do you use for your email marketing and how do you verify the deliverability?
For context, I work at a company that has an email marketing product and we send hundreds of thousands of emails a month.
I've also used MailChimp and other providers for the past decade inside and outside of automotive.
We also had major deliverability and consent conversations over the past 5 years as Canada introduced CASL which requires explicit opt-in from all customers who receive emails.

Deliverability is never guaranteed. We use an email provider that tracks things pretty in-depth.
On the last 100,000 emails we sent, we have a 93.99% delivery rate, 1.32% were suppressed/spammed and 4.69% were dropped due to invalid email or blacklist.

These numbers are pretty average for us, but you can dig right down into them and see that (for example) 80% of our "blocked" emails are from Verizon email clients, who are throttling all our IP addresses because that's just how they handle bulk email.

As you noted though, landing in the inbox is only half the battle - having an engaging subject line is critical to getting the first open and having a strong "click here to find out more" message in the email is critical to getting the recipient onto your website.

Naked Lime came up with the solution to ensure everything arrives in the inbox being to send an opt in email to every customer that interacts with us moving forward so we have a "double" opt in safety net to improve deliverability and be sure that the customers we interact with want to interact with us....
As noted above, we went through this in Canada and had very mixed results.

Better Results: We ran a very blatant and obvious promo to get opt-ins: Join Our Email List for a Chance to Win (some stores did steakhouse gift cards, some did an iPad prize). We had strong results with some stores getting 40% of their customers to opt-in, all for a couple hundred dollars in "prizes".

Weak Results: Giving consumers an email with no incentive and a free out to never receive emails from you again.
When given the option, many customers would love an automatic unsubscribe from the dealership and you've essentially done that.
Unless you have a very strong history of good emails, why would they double opt-in to get more emails?
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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Craig
Thanks for throwing this out there Jenna. I'm currently reviewing the email marketing strategy for out group. We used to use Naked Lime for email marketing. However, in December they came to me with a drastic price increase, so we decided to cancel the service. I'm currently building them myself, but it does take quite a bit of time. I would think most companies know the strategy of how to keep away from spam folders, solid open rates, etc. I like Marc's comment about making sure you add value...give people a reason to open it.
I agree with Marc about adding value, but we also encourage clients to take it one step further and try to tease the value, but take the "pay off" to your website or other landing page. To get real engagement, you want to be able to track clicks in the email, which means you want to give customers a strong reason to drive through to the CTA.

The difference it makes in campaigns when we put the offer in the email vs putting the offer as a tease is huge.
For example, if we send an email to 1000 customers and the email says "Save up to $XXXX and get free winter tires", the campaign may give us 20 clicks, but also 5 phone calls. If we send to 1000 customers, but the email says "Click here to reveal your personal offer", not only do we get 100 clicks to the landing page, but the landing page also gets 25 leads because we drive them to engage with the offer.

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Colin Rodger

Green Pea
Feb 5, 2019
10
10
First Name
Colin
Before the email is even sent it's really important to make sure that all emails render properly on every device. Something like 53% of all emails (that number can vary a little, I've seen 46%-55%) are opened on a smartphone or tablet, it's crazy to me the number of dealers we work with that have done zero optimization in the past to ensure that emails are rendering properly on every device. Not only should you make sure it renders on every device but also on every email platform (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc). Using programs like Litmus you can thoroughly test emails to see how they show up in browsers, smartphones, desktops, etc.

To double down on what @craigh & @Marc Lavoie said, having a compelling subject line and then a CTA at the top of the email is critical - data shows that people take about 4 seconds to decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line, and IF they do open it their attention span is about 8 seconds. So having a super compelling subject line AND an immediate CTA is critical.

- Test for deliverability on all devices
- Test for language that can trigger spam filters (Gmail is particularly notorious for pushing things to spam based on language)
- Send through your CRM, not an outside platform
- If you're including images make sure the images are hosted on your website platform if possible. Text and images that come from different places can be flagged as spam
- Send with UTM codes to track everything
- Compelling Subject Lines
- Compelling CTA in email
- TRACK EVERYTHING. open rates, click through rates, unsubscribe rates, etc. Build future campaigns based on that data.
 
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Shawn Zents

Green Pea
Aug 12, 2019
9
5
First Name
Shawn
I hate the unknown of how many of our emails from the CRM or our email marketing provider just go undeliverable or to spam...

Who do you use for your email marketing and how do you verify the deliverability?

We send email marketing campaigns through Naked Lime, and I can see through analytics and chat conversations on our website that the interactions are generated from the campaigns, which is great. However, I know campaigns go to my spam box.. so I contemplate what the customer doesn't get in their inbox, or what arrives in their spam.

Naked Lime came up with the solution to ensure everything arrives in the inbox being to send an opt in email to every customer that interacts with us moving forward so we have a "double" opt in safety net to improve deliverability and be sure that the customers we interact with want to interact with us.... my concern here is that being a general consumer myself, I highly doubt I'm going to open an email and click to agree to communicate moving forward. If it doesn't seem interesting I unsubscribe or delete the email. The recommended "opt in" process would only allow us to market to those who took the time to opt in, if they don't respond to the email we lose the ability to market to them entirely... even though they just probably deleted the email or it's sitting in their inbox to do in the future.

I value email as a communication method, however I'm wondering how else you are communicating if you aren't using email marketing?
Jenna - I wanted to see if I could help answer your question: "...how else are you communicating if you aren't using email marketing?" There are some great points in this thread, too!

Full disclosure: I work for an AI-driven lifecycle communications company that uses email, direct mail and social media to market at all levels of vehicle ownership (early shopping stage, post-sale, service retention...) and not just low-funnel. No human being 'pulls lists' and decides who to blast via mass messaging.

Our process involves several steps of communication - including and excluding email marketing:
  • EMAIL:
    • We perform an extensive data cleanse (eAppend) of your CRM and DMS records that cleans/scrubs/validates email addresses, verifies physical addresses and phone #s, vehicle ownership validation, remove national do not call/do not mail/do not email registrants and more.
    • We then give the cleaned data to the dealer. (*We DO NOT aggregate data, sell it, etc... They own it, it's theirs to do as they wish.)
    • Once we have identified an addressable market, we learn where a consumer is in their ownership lifecycle (shopper, early ownership, time for service...).
    • Then, automatically deploy email communications (up to 15 different Sales campaigns, and up to 24 different Service campaigns), plus a monthly newsletter.
  • DIRECT MAIL:
    • If our AI recognizes a consumer is not engaging via email, it will then trigger a single Direct Mail piece to that consumer, customized to them based on their current vehicle ownership, or triggers to get them into the Service lane.
    • The average direct mail piece = $0.43 each, including postage.
    • Deploy up to 5 different Sales direct mail campaigns, and up to 6 Sales campaigns (ie: positive equity, lease end reminders, buyer detection, lapsed service, and more...). There are no mass direct mailings - each is printed uniquely to the consumer.
    • This is not a profit center - we're not a mail house, and don't want to be. 100% of DM budget goes toward DM.
  • SOCIAL:
    • Ads are placed on Facebook, cross-posted to Messenger, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram and display ads across the web.
    • The AI analyzes consumer behavior to determine which vehicles are best suited for a consumer and dynamically promotes those vehicles in your social ads, retargeting consumers with the exact VINs they previously browsed, automatically serving up rotating images, and linking directly to your VDP pages.
    • Deploy up to 6 unique Sales campaigns, and up to 5 Service campaigns.
    • This is also not a profit center for us - 100% of media spend goes toward social ads.
  • TOTAL UNIQUE CAMPAIGNS:
    • Up to 33 unique Service campaigns.
    • Up to 27 unique Sales campaigns.
    • All a mix of email, direct mail and social.
Bottom line: all 3 channels 'talk to each other' - and the AI drives the communication based on individual consumer behavior, no matter where they are in their ownership lifecycle. If consumers aren't opening email, we'll spend $0.43 to send them a direct mail piece to engage, and can track it all. We do not expect full attribution (the reason a consumer did business with you), but we can show you their individual journey and our influence along that journey (via email, direct mail & social).

If consumers are opening/engaging emails, we won't arbitrarily send direct mail pieces. Why spend the $$ if you don't have to? This creates efficiencies and consistent messaging, triggered by the consumer, engaging in a way they choose via multiple forms of communications.

We can also recognize if a consumer buys a new vehicle at one Store XYZ, then services that vehicle at Store ABC within the same group. We'll consolidate the messaging (cost savings), avoid confusion/redundancies, and provide a far better customer experience (CX) that increases CSI scores and retention.

Screenshots attached to help see behind the curtain a little... Every store/market/product line differs, and these are real metrics - not just a bogus demo account (well, except the last one from 2018 - that's from a PDF one-sheeter. :) ).

Hope this helps you decide what else you can do besides just email marketing.

Email Screenshot.png

Engagement Screenshot.png

Financials.png

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Justin Rindos

Green Pea
Jan 23, 2020
6
6
First Name
Justin
We use Shawn's company and it provides great results. Here are some stats. We are seeing open rates at 55% on Lease End, Inventory Mover, Appointment reminder, and accessories. A 20% open rate on the newsletter. I would be happy to answer any questions about it. Email stats.jpg Email stats.jpg Email stats_001.jpg
 
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