You probably remember when conquest mail marketing was the “next best thing.” It’s certainly become a very popular method of advertising, which has some dealerships questions whether it’s still worth it. The answer is it definitely can be!
What does conquest mean? Conquest in the automotive world refers to automotive owners who did not purchase from you, but rather a competitor. You can effectively target these prospective customers through conquest email campaigns, which is just one of about 24 touch points a car buyer makes before visiting a dealership. Email campaigns are just another great way of hitting one of those touch points. Email blasts are customizable and unrestrictive in terms of your creative and the geography and targets you want to reach.
However, it is important to know that the data you are getting is accurate. Many companies started selling bad data which has given email marketing a bad rap. Good data is compiled by utilizing online behavioral targeting. Car shoppers are placed into an “auto intenders bucket” based on terms they are searching. Digging a little deeper, they can also be placed into more segmented buckets like makes or models they’re interested in, if they’re currently a lessee, or if they own a certain vehicle. This information comes from sources like IHS.
To have an effective email campaign, there are a few items that need to be solidified before hitting that launch email button. These items are what is going to guarantee your campaign’s success and why conquest email marketing is still valuable today.
1) You’re able to pinpoint the geography you want to hit and your targets.
An email blast is going to be most successful if you are targeting an accurate geography and people who are in the market. There are some manufacturers that require you to only target people within your PMA, which can be limiting if your PMA is small, but still can be effective. On the other hand, we know it’s a small chance that someone who lives over 20-25 miles away will visit your dealership – so why put the money toward a geography that isn’t getting as much action? You can zero in on your geography by a radius or by specific zip codes.
When choosing targets, think of what your main goals are for the month. Are you looking to increase new car sales or pre-owned? Do you want to push your low monthly lease payments, or your low financing rates? These are all factors that contribute to your targets and you’re able to pick and choose as you please.
2) Your email creative will drive quality traffic to your website when using calls to action.
If your creative is in-line with the targets that were chosen for the email campaign, you will have a better click through rate, time on site, etc. because the content is relevant to the buyer. If you are targeting pre-owned auto intenders, your creative should have a wide variety of pre-owned vehicles from your inventory. Or, if you are targeting people with subprime credit scores, you may want to have a credit approval message in your email. By using powerful calls to action, you’re engaging the prospect into clicking that link. You can link each slice individually to exactly where you want the buyer to go on your website. And since these potential customers are going straight to where they need to be, there should be a decrease in bounce rates and a reasonable time on site. For example, by advertising specific pre-owned vehicles, we’re able to link that car directly to the VDP which gives the buyer full information on the car. An engaging piece of creative means the buyer is more inclined to shop the entire email and in turn, show up at your dealership.
3) You’re able to track your campaign’s success with Google Analytics.
One of the best parts of an email campaign, or anything digital for that matter, is that we’re able to track the success in real time. By using Google UTM codes for all the links within the email, we’re able to see how many clicks each link gets, how many people are visiting your website, time on site, bounce rates, and much more. These tracked links basically tell us exactly where your traffic is coming from. And not to mention, Google Analytics is completely free! It provides you the key information you need to keep track of your marketing and what is working or what needs improvements. For dealers, it’s beneficial for them to see which models or specials get the most clicks. If you have little engagement, it may be a sign the creative, geography or selects need to be tweaked. This coding and reporting is all part of our transparent and in-depth reporting that we provide and review with our clients on a monthly basis. We feel transparency is key for an automotive marketing agency.
4) You’re able to see how effective the email campaign was with a match-back report.
So, how can you be sure your email campaigns are generating leads and are being converted into sales? We recommend doing a quarterly match-back report. After 3 months, we compile your sold lists from that quarter and match it against the lists that the email blasts went out to. This way, you can see how effective email campaigns really are for your dealership. You would also be able to see if you’re hitting optimal geography and can tweak for the following month’s campaign if needed. If there are towns being targeted that you aren’t selling as many cars in as others, you can easily adjust and resituate the targets elsewhere.
One of the most unique parts of an email blast, unlike a display ad that you may just see once while browsing the web, it can sit in the buyer’s inbox so they can go back and shop it at any point they want. Our D2D conquest email campaigns typically reach a 20% open rate – double the industry average. They immensely help drive potential customers directly to your website which boosts your direct and organic website traffic. Remember, quality over quantity. An email blast going to 40,000 people will most likely perform better than one going to 100,000 people if you have quality data. Prospects placed into that auto intenders bucket will filter in and out based on the most recent available data. Quality email blasts = quality leads = more sales.
Sarah is a well-seasoned marketing professional who kicked off her career soon after graduating Kutztown University. Starting right out of the gate in automotive marketing, she has spent the past four years excelling as an account manager, recently advancing to the senior position at D2D. She is an expert when it comes to juggling, organizing and following through with the day-to-day tasks that come along with the position. Having worked with most vehicle manufacturer brands, she has an expansive knowledge of co-op, creative requirements, and everything in-between.
For more information on how D2D can help, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org