Practical Considerations for Email Marketing

After reading a recent Facebook post by Hubspot “that Tuesdays at 11am is one of the worst possible times to send your email campaigns,” I started to take notice of how I reacted to emails as they entered my inbox.  You see, like you, I’m not only a marketer, but I’m also a consumer.  My various email inboxes are also inundated with communications from retail stores to technology and social media related newsletters to automotive industry publications.   The marketer inside me wants to answer the question: Does when (specifically day of the week and time) I get an email really effect if I open it or not?Missy Jensen - DMEautomotive

Questions and discussions regarding email deliverability are not new…rather, they have been around since the beginning of commercial email.  I get asked the question, “What is the best time to send an email?” on a frequent basis.  I answer with the truth:  There is no concrete, definite or undisputed answer.  It’s not the most popular answer but if there were an optimal time, every marketer in town would send email at the same time…and what would that get them?  Nothing but a lot of competition for the readers’ attention!

Maybe it’s not which day of the week or what hour in the day that the email is sent that improves an open rate! I’d make a strong argument that the successes of your dealerships’ email marketing efforts are strongly dependent upon the dynamic between your recipients and your message within a respective timeframe.

As an automotive marketing professional, it’s critical you put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  You must think about what your customers need (or want) from your dealership before you go hitting the “send” button.  If you are sending out an email about this upcoming weekend’s new car sales event, do you think your customers are more likely to think about what they are going to do this upcoming weekend on Monday morning or Thursday afternoon?   Similarly, if a customer recently purchased a vehicle, would they be interested in your latest sales spectacular and financing deals?  Ask yourself, is your dealership just blasting out emails that may or may not be relevant to the recipient?

Ah, relevancy…that’s the key to a good email.  A highly targeted email filled with valuable content sent to people who have subscribed to your email list will get read (and responded to) no matter what day or time it’s sent.  That’s the answer to my question above:  it does not matter when an email comes across my inbox.  What does matter is that it pertains to my life, my current needs (and frankly sometimes wants) and it inspires me to act now, because if I don’t, I’ll miss out on a great opportunity.

So, how can your dealership ensure relevancy in its email campaigns?  Knowing how difficult and time consuming it can be, many dealerships have taken to employing a direct marketing company to handle email marketing.  A good automotive marketing company: (1) looks at consumers’ behaviors and motivations when developing its products and communication pieces, (2) utilizes clean and accurate data that is segmented to improve relevancy and (3) helps the dealership examine past campaigns to determine what has worked best to refine email campaigns over time.

If you’re sending emails on behalf of your dealership, whether independent of a marketing company or to supplement their efforts, here are a few tips to remember:

1.  Always use the most recent email database from your DMS.  In other words, don’t send to an old list.

2.  Use a consistent look and feel through all messages.  This way your readers will know/recognize who you are.

3.  Don’t send one gigantic picture.  Do you have a dozen used cars to unload off the truck?  Don’t advertise all of them in one embedded image that is emailed to your database.  If you do, it will look like generic spam and it may never even make it to the inbox.  (By the way, if you’re one of the lucky ones that get through to the inbox, you’ll probably find yourself in the deleted folder before you know it.)

4. Don’t wait till the last minute to send out an email.  If you’re going to do email marketing, take the time to think about your customers, what they may want to receive something from you and when it may be most applicable to them.

Though Hubspot may have found that Tuesday mornings aren’t the ideal time to send emails and those sent on the weekend have higher click-through-rates, your dealership should spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that the message is relevant so when it does come across the recipient’s inbox, they are likely interested in seeing what you have to say.

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at and check her out on LinkedIn.

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