E-mail marketing campaigns can be effective when targeted at a select base of prospects

Jan. 1, 2020
Potential customers of all ages are likely to have e-mail accounts, and tire dealers can tap this resource to impart important information, follow up on a purchase or spread the word about your marketing message. New product updates, service offering
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Potential customers of all ages are likely to have e-mail accounts, and tire dealers can tap this resource to impart important information, follow up on a purchase or spread the word about your marketing message.

New product updates, service offerings, discounts and couponing can all be accomplished through an online initiative. E-mail addresses can be collected at the counter from existing patrons or gathered at community events such as car shows, business fairs and the like. A compilation of prospects can also be obtained from e-mail list-providers based your market’s population demographics, individual areas of interest, geography and other details.

“Nowadays it seems like everybody is using email,” says Paul Niiyama, a sales executive with ProspectDB, Inc. of Canoga Park, Calif., which specializes in mounting email messaging efforts. “Ten years ago it would have been a younger crowd.”

No matter what the scope of your email delivery endeavor happens to be, the content should be appropriate to the recipient. A harried mom shepherding a brood of kids is not necessarily interested in learning about custom wheels and racing slicks, nor would a high-performance buff be particularly receptive to a tire-rotation special.

“Target your campaign,” suggests Niiyama, who has compiled a Top 10 list of strategies to consider when preparing an e-mail initiative.

10) Delivery timing: Be conscientious of the times, dates, days of the week and frequency with which the e-mails are delivered. There are a large number of theories regarding the best e-mail delivery times, but in general you can be sure that Tuesday through Thursday is your best delivery window for business-to-business e-mails sent to fleet account prospects. For this type of application, in general you want to get the e-mails into the recipients’ inbox during working hours. E-mails sent in the middle of the night are more likely to be spam and more likely to be viewed as such. If you can tweak your delivery settings to allow for a slight delay between each e-mail, that has been shown to improve results. Also, if you send out 100 e-mails a day spread out over 10 days, you will usually get better results than 1,000 e-mails sent all in one day.

9) Diversify and customize: Use a variety of e-mail content and subject lines when possible. This will make your e-mails look less like spam as they hit the servers and you will avoid the “all eggs in one basket” scenario. By diversifying you can also target the message more specifically to particular people, business titles, geographies, etc. A more specifically targeted e-mail with customized content for a specific subgroup makes a message more relevant to the recipient and will yield better results.

8) Immediate follow up: Start acting on the results from your e-mail campaign right away; not a few days or a week later. Most e-mail senders expect a prompt reply; you should be set up to do the same.

7) Avoid “spam catches:” There are many of these (software spam-eliminators) that you can unknowing include in e-mail content, but a general rule of thumb is that if you don’t sound like a cheese commercial you are less likely to be perceived as one. More specific examples include: Don’t put lots of text in ALL CAPS, don’t use words like “free” and “discount” too frequently — and never in the subject line.

6) Check your e-mail’s “spam score:” Here is a service recommended by ProspectDB: http://www.thecassiopeia.com/Portal/SpamTest.html. There are many more out there, and using as many as possible is advised.

5) Tracking tradeoffs: Realize that the more you do to track things (through software tracking programs) like recipient open-rates, click-through rates, etc., the more likely your e-mail is to be seen as unsolicited and the less likely it is to reach the intended recipient.

4) Response options: Give the recipient some choices on how to respond. They can reply directly to the e-mail, go to a Web site or pick up the phone and call you. More options for response = more responses.

3) Use a dedicated domain: If your company’s main Web site is www.abc.com, don’t use that domain for your marketing campaigns. Use a dedicated domain just for your marketing efforts, such as www.abc-email.com to separate a mass e-mailing from your regular site content.

2) Make the e-mail content as personal as possible: The more the e-mail looks like one that the recipient would receive from a friend, co-worker, colleague or fellow professional/executive, the more likely they are to open it. Open with the person’s name, end with a signature line and have the e-mail actually come from a person rather than a generic entity.

1) Be “CAN-SPAM” compliant: Don’t be deceptive with the subject line; include a full signature line with address and phone number, include opt-out instructions, etc. For more details on CAN-SPAM compliance, go to: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm.

For more information, visit www.propectDB.com.

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