More successful email campaigns: lessons from marketing car dealerships

Take 5 Solutions

Editor’s note: From time to time we ask some of our clients and partners to provide their perspective on how marketers can “up their game.” This time around, we asked our friend Alex Radetich, Managing Partner and Chief Executive of Take 5 Solutions,to share his thoughts on email marketing. Alex shared the following example of a local automotive dealer looking to find new clients, but the lessons below are applicable to any marketers looking to grow demand through targeted multi-channel marketing.

Take 5 Solutions is a full-service, integrated direct-response marketing company located in Boca Raton, Florida.

More Successful Email Campaigns:
Lessons from Marketing Car Dealerships
 by Alex Radetich

Over the last decade most automobile dealerships at one time or another have used email marketing to reach out to more than just their own databases (DMS) of past customers.Success with email is very similar to success with traditional direct mail.

With email, the first and most important thing a marketer (in this case, a car dealer) needs is an effective list.

Most email-marketing providers use legacy data, meaning that the “hand-raisers” on the list wanting to buy a car most likely indicated this propensity six months or even a year or more ago. Stale data yields few results.

Bona fide Auto Intenders are hand-raisers in a given market that legitimately want a vehicle and have indicated so no more than 30, 60 or 90 days ago. Dealerships can see their cost-per-car range from as little as $102 – 200 by using the right type of list.

With email, the message is very important. Whether you are using an agency or creating your own message, it is critical to keep consistent across your multichannel pieces. Don’t just copy or chase a competitor’s cool idea – make your message truly reflect your unique offer.

Today’s consumers desire legitimate information. Tell your story, but remember that your story is only important to them when it convinces them that you are there to help them. Less is more. Think in terms of Twitter rather than information overload—and have fun with it!

Once you have your list and your message, you must get eyes on your message. With direct mail this means getting the letter opened, but in email this is a two-pronged effort. First you need to get into the inbox instead of a spam or junk folder. Look for a list provider that has a verified send-score over 95%. This means at least 95% of what you send will reach the inbox. If you have ever had a bad experience with email, it won’t surprise you that most providers in the industry average 40–50%.

Don’t forget to make time to craft a good subject line. Your subject line has to be compelling. Have a sense of urgency! Spend time with your provider to come up with a few different but persuasive subject lines and test, test, test! This is where the rubber meets the road in email. To open or not to open; that is the elusive question.

Email is becoming more and more effective as consumers become more willing to receive sales information. But reaching legitimate prospects is any dealer’s greatest marketing challenge.

For further information, contact Mr. Radetich at 561-819-5555, Ext 112 or

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