Building an Automotive Drip Campaign in 5 Steps

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An automotive drip campaign, where dealers send emails automatically to potential customers on a predetermined schedule, is an effective means to communicate with prospects.  

However, designing a successful campaign strategy is not necessarily straightforward, and dealers might struggle to segment their ideal target audience and determine what content and offers are appropriate for each group. 

This article discusses five strategies dealers should consider when setting up an automotive drip campaign. 

5 Steps to a New Automotive Drip Campaign

The following five steps can help dealers jump-start a successful email drip campaign: 

1. Establish Campaign Objectives and Target Segments 

First, dealers must design an action plan and segment the target audience accordingly, which might be as follows: 

  • Upselling current customers. This group might include customers that have spent less than a predetermined target amount over a specified period. 
  • Retaining former customers. This group might include anyone who has spent more than the predetermined target amount but has not done so recently. 
  • Encouraging potential customers to make their first car purchase. That target audience might include anyone who signed up for periodic announcements within a specific timeframe but has not yet made a purchase. 
  • Selling a specific make and model. The dealer should market specific vehicles to potential customers who visit that vehicle’s website page but have not made a purchase within a specified period. 

Allocating customers into the correct segments allows dealers to send the right content to the right audience. However, this strategy might require more information than the dealer can access. If so, they might consider segmenting the customer based on more straightforward data points, which might include: 

  • Buyer demographics 
  • Website clicks 
  • Purchase frequency 
  • Potential lifetime value 

The dealer should also ensure that each prospect appears in only one segment and that each customer can switch from one drip campaign to another based on changing behavior. 

2. Determine the Number of Emails 

Dealers often need no more than one “feeler” email to decide whether recipients wish to participate in the automotive drip campaign. 

They should monitor the unsubscribe rate and the point at which recipients begin unsubscribing to figure out the number of emails in a single campaign. They should also watch for drops in open and click rates, which are all signs that the dealer is sending too many emails. 

3. Determine Email Frequency 

Email frequency can differ from one dealership to the next. Dealers might consider an A/B testing approach involving two emailing schedules and choosing the final frequency based on which campaign performs better. 

Time and the day of the week are also essential, and dealers should implement digital marketing tools that automatically disseminate content to each user at the proper time. 

4. Craft the Appropriate Subject Lines 

Dealers should make the subject line for each drip deployment unique. Depending on the goal, they might consider another A/B test to find the ideal subject line based on open rates or clicks. 

For example: 

  • If the dealer wants recipients to read the email but not click on it, they should experiment with available rates. 
  • If the objective is generating clicks, they should experiment with that metric. 

Dealers might also use an average open or click rate for the entire campaign to expedite the process and optimize emails that perform below average. 

5. Track the Relevant Metrics 

Once a dealer’s email campaign is active, they must keep an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs), which should include the following: 

  • Change in sales conversions. Dealers should calculate the difference between sales before and after the automotive drip campaign’s introduction to determine its effectiveness. 
  • Clickthrough rates. How often would-be customers act within the email can help find what subject lines and offers intrigue customers the most. 
  • Open rates. For an overall better outcome, benchmarking open rates can help dealers in identifying effective subject lines across the drip campaign. 
  • Unsubscribe rates. As discussed above, unsubscribe rates may rise if the dealer sends out too many emails.  
  • Vehicle selections. To find upselling opportunities, dealers might use A/B testing to determine popular vehicles and what products and upgrades best complement them. 

Finding and tracking the right metrics – including those listed above – is critical to gauging email campaign success. 

The Best Campaigns Require the Best Digital Solutions 

Email drip campaigns can be an excellent way to reach a new target audience and provide them with the relevant content necessary to encourage further action. 

However, maximizing those efforts by identifying the right target audience, knowing what they want, and how often to reach out requires the best data-driven marketing tools. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s Quote can help your dealership design an automotive drip campaign that identifies the high-quality leads most likely to convert into active customers. 

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