7 ways to supercharge your tire shop’s email open rates
Even with the introduction of new technologies and platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, e-mail marketing continues to be one of the most successful marketing strategies out there.
Email offers a lower cost and significantly better return on investment (ROI) compared to other marketing strategies. According to ExactTarget, 91 percent of consumers check their email daily.
However, consumers are also inundated with email messages. So to achieve maximum success with your email marketing efforts, it is important for your tire shop to not just send reminders and promotions but also to implement an approach that will make your message stand out.
My team at Conceptual Minds recommends thinking about the following questions when composing your next email to customers:
1. Will your customers know exactly who sent the email?
In most cases the “from” name and address are what email recipients first see and read. Be sure your “from” name is recognizable, trustworthy and identifies your tire shop’s brand properly. Avoid using “no-reply” or “info” email addresses. This comes across as unfriendly and uncaring and you could be missing out on customers replying with questions, ideas or other valuable feedback. Instead, consider using “firstname.lastname@example.org” or even the first name of one of the owners such as “email@example.com.”
2. Does your email have a strong subject line?
Your email’s subject line is attempt number one to catch the reader’s attention and entice them to open the email. At the Convince & Convert Online Marketing Summit it was estimated that 35 percent of users open emails based on the subject line alone.
Here are some subject line tips:
- Personalize the email with the customer’s first name
- Keep the subject line brief (under 50 characters)
- Don’t be spammy: Avoid terms like “free” and the overuse of capital letters or exclamation marks
Following is an example of the sort of subject line that works. In this example, Marketing Profs use the sender’s first and last name and also uses capital words effectively to draw attention to the fact it is the last opportunity for consumers to act as the offer ends tomorrow. They have a strong subject line where they tell the reader how signing up for the offer will make their life easier.
An opportunity for improvement here is to keep the subject line short so the user can read all of it without the need for opening the email.
3. Does your preview text or pre-header support your email subject line?
Go beyond the basics with the preview text and get creative. Include a call to action, special offer or catchy slogan. The preview text is likely the third sentence your customer sees as they consider opening your email. Don’t you think it should say something more than “Having trouble viewing the email?”
4. How does your email look on mobile devices?
It is estimated that today about 66 percent of emails are opened on mobile and that number is only growing. Your email needs to have responsive design — so it automatically changes the size of your email to fit the device a customer is using.
A study by Litmus observed that 69 percent of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile and that a responsive design email had a 30 percent higher click rate than a non-responsive design. That is huge! Imagine if you could get a third more people to take an action, like make an appointment or download a coupon. You could likely experience an instant increase in business.
The example below highlights how Vistaprint has done a good job of tailoring their message effectively to an iPhone’s screen.
5. Have you bought an email contact list to get more subscribers?
If so, then this is probably hurting your open rate. While it seems like an easy, quick way to expand your customer database, ultimately these subscribers don’t actually know you and are highly unlikely to ever open an email you send. Also, in most cases, if a list is for sale, you aren’t the only one using it. Those email addresses that once had value have since been spammed time and time again by other companies as well. Organic growth over time is a better approach.
If you are trying to reach new customers, we may recommend using other marketing channels such as print marketing.
6. What value is your content providing the reader?
If you only send a monthly email/newsletter that comprises information about the shop or the same promotion for everyone, don’t be surprised to see your email open rates dwindle over time. It is important that any content you write and plan to send is purposeful, beneficial and interesting to each customer.
Here’s a specific example for you to consider:
- Customer #1 owns a Corvette and had Brembo brakes installed by your shop on Feb 10, 2013.
- Customer #2 owns an Accord and had ceramic brakes installed by your shop also on Feb 10, 2013.
It is highly unlikely that both of these vehicles will need new sets of brakes on the same day again for many reasons, including amount of mileage driven, type of driving, etc. Therefore you should not send a brake service reminder or a brake coupon to both customers at the same time.
It’s far better to segment your customers based on specific criteria, like the vehicle type, parts, location, service and maintenance needs.
Once you time your messages appropriately, you will not only enjoy a much higher open rate — perhaps increasing by as much as 400 percent — but you’ll also enjoy a significant jump in conversions.
7. Do you know the ideal time to send your customers an email?
We recommend reviewing past email campaign performances to identify trends when you enjoyed the best open rates. Also, consider conducting some A/B testing (marketing speak for sending two identical emails at different times) to determine which has the best open rates.
A good strategy is key to email marketing success
With the right platform and strategic implementation, your email marketing has the potential for significant return on investment. If you are using a platform like DemandForce, (currently popular with multi-location tire shops) then you have a head start.
We hope these suggestions inspire you to freshen up your email marketing campaigns. If your tire shop needs assistance with email marketing strategy, feel free to give us a call at Conceptual Minds at 877-524-7696.
About the author
Taran Sodhi is the chief executive of Conceptual Minds a marketing firm that caters to the tire and auto industry. Conceptual Minds. To learn more, visit the website or call 877-524-7696.