How to Increase Email Open Rates for Your Dealership in 5 Steps

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Dealers often gauge drip marketing success based on email open rates (or how many recipients open their emails), which is the precursor to healthy click-through rates, high customer engagement, and, ultimately, boosted revenue

However, not all dealers understand how to increase email open rates, nor do they employ the necessary technology to maximize their campaign efforts. This article outlines five strategies those dealers should consider when devising a fresh marketing plan. 

How to Increase Email Open Rates: 5 Strategies 

Dealers should consider the following five tactics to increase email open rates:

1. Maintain an Up-to-Date Email List 

Spending time and resources to increase email open rates becomes a non-factor if the contact database holds outdated email addresses. Customer contact information can become stale for several reasons, including: 

  • They switched to a new personal email account and rarely check the prior one. 
  • They provided a work address and left that job. 
  • They unsubscribed from the dealer’s communications. 

Scrubbing these lists allows dealers to concentrate marketing efforts on potential customers, resulting in:  

  • Fewer spam complaints 
  • Lower bounce rates 
  • More emails sent to the right (i.e., more willing to buy) audience 
  • An enhanced reputation 

Lastly, four steps dealers can take to clean and fully leverage their contact data might include: 

  • Checking older lists for stale addresses 
  • Identifying causes for ongoing bouncebacks 
  • Following up with non-responders 
  • Engaging new subscribers immediately 

Efficiency is critical to a successful email marketing campaign, and that efficiency can suffer due to wasteful communication to unused email addresses. 

2. Draft Compelling Subject Lines 

Subject lines can often determine an email marketing campaign’s success. They are the first thing subscribers see, using them to decide whether they will open the email. 

The subject line aims to attract the readers’ attention and motivate them to act. Successful ones employ one or more of the following concepts: 

  • Offering teasers 
  • Asking pertinent questions 
  • Supplying numeric lists  
  • Sending announcements 

Generic and overused subject lines, such as “Service Updates” or “Monthly Newsletter,” will not garner much interest.

3. Offer Something of Value 

While the subject line is critical to drumming up interest, dealers must also offer subscribers valuable content that resonates with them, ensuring that the substance of each email delivers on the promise of each subject line.  

The following examples might provide the most value to email subscribers: 

  • Informing them when a car of interest is back on the lot or on sale 
  • Surprising them with birthday and purchase date anniversary offers  
  • Sharing informational content, like how-to articles, that addresses problems the target audience often faces 
  • Sending them special service promotions when oil changes and yearly inspections are due 

A compelling subject line encourages a higher email open rate, but the content prompts further action. 

4. Segment and Personalize the Emails 

Subscribers should feel that the dealer understands their specific needs better than competitors.  

As such, dealers should segment email lists and send targeted messages to the right potential customers instead of blasting generic emails to the entire audience. The most active current customers and lapsed ones the dealer hopes to reengage will not feel valued if they both receive the same communication. 

 Steps to achieve this segmentation might include: 

  1. Identifying the most valuable audience first. These are customers who may have purchased from the dealership within the year and have family members who might be looking for a new car. They may also be due for their service appointments.  
  1. Finding secondary segments. These might be prospects who have previously shown interest but have not engaged recently or former service customers the dealer has not heard from in a while. 
  1. Considering the type of content for each segment. Dealers can develop tailored, targeted marketing messages for each user group based on what each wants to see after segmentation.  

For example, longstanding customers might appreciate receiving special promotional offers or being the first to learn about new products and services.  

Conversely, a prior customer who has not bought another car or returned for maintenance might reconsider a visit to the dealership for a service discount. 

5. Send the Right Number of Emails 

Depending on customer preferences, dealers may send too many or too few emails to preserve subscriber interest. The email marketing plan’s primary goal will dictate the frequency.  

More specifically (and not surprisingly): 

  • Increasing email volume and targeting a larger audience will boost traffic. 
  • Reducing email volume and targeting a selected audience will increase open rates. 

To decide which email frequency the audience responds to the best and drives the most interest, dealers might test both strategies. 

Boosting Email Open Rates Requires the Best Conversion Software 

Understanding how to increase open email rates is critical to improving your strategy, increasing subscriber engagement, and driving more revenue. While adopting the abovementioned marketing tactics should help in the long run, keep in mind that you might not see results at once—which is often the case when adopting new strategies. Remember to remain steadfast in your approach and give each tactic time to work before exploring alternatives.  

However, you cannot fully leverage these strategies without cutting-edge lead and demand generation solutions. Your dealership needs data-driven technology that helps you find the ideal target audience and craft personalized content that boosts conversions. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s Newsletter can help your dealership increase email open rates to expand its reach and boost ROI. 

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