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Three Tips to Boost Email Collection Rates

By Jennifer Kras, Marketing Development Manager with AutoLoop

A name without an e-mail address is a wasted opportunity. For every 10,000 contacts pulled from dealership management systems, on average only 3,000 have deliverable e-mail addresses. This means that most dealers are unable to send e-mails to 70 percent of their past, current and potential customers.

That's money left on the table, folks. E-mail is probably your dealership's best form of marketing for response rates and ROI. Our research shows that if a dealership can increase their e-mail collection rate a mere 10 percentage points--from 33 percent to 43 percent, for example--they will see an average of $56,000 more in customer pay over a year.

The good news is increasing e-mail collection rates is not rocket science. It just requires focus. I recommend setting a goal for 2015: increase your dealership's e-mail collection rate by 10 percent. This is doable with a two-pronged approach: improve the list you have and improve your e-mail collection rates with new and existing customers.

Here are three best practice tips to get you there:

  1. Do an Email Append. Run your contact database against a national append database. These companies take the known customer data such as names and postal address and match them with current e-mail addresses. After you get the new e-mail addresses, we recommend running a campaign that introduces your dealership and lets your customers choose whether to opt in for exclusive specials and coupons, or to unsubscribe. Typically dealerships that do this will see a seven to nine percent response rate, which results in at least 700 more confirmed e-mail addresses per 10,000 contacts.

  2. Get Your Sales & Service Team on Board. Much like attaining an important sales or service revenue goal, attaining an e-mail collection goal is more likely to happen if it's a team event. Make this the topic of an all-hands-on-deck meeting. Explain the facts and figures, and ask employees' help to brainstorm e-mail collection processes. If you can get them involved, they're more likely to follow the processes.

    Consider offering your employees an incentive. If your CRM or DMS has a tool to track ROI associated with e-mail campaigns, offer employees a quarterly or year-end spiff or gift card. If the dealership meets the email collection goal, the employees receive their reward. Schedule one meeting at the end of every quarter to track progress.

  3. Offer Customers An Incentive. Today's consumers are sophisticated enough to know that giving an e-mail address usually means they're opting into an e-mail list. Have your employees brainstorm a list of scripts to overcome objections, such as: "We occasionally e-mail coupons that we only make available to customers via e-mail. Are you sure you don't want to receive these exclusive offers?"

In today's world, e-mail addresses are no more personal than mailing addresses or phone numbers, and 81 percent of consumers surveyed said they were more likely to make a purchase as a result of a targeted e-mail (source: Harris Interactive). So get out there and start collecting! What do you think? I'd love to hear any feedback or your tips for better e-mail collection rates.