E-mail is Killing You! Type one wrong word and you’re dead… you will laugh when you recognize the real world examples of the good, the bad and the ugly sides of e-mail Actual examples of best and worst practices in e-mail communication from dealerships all over America. Improve e-mail communications with customers, increase phone contact percentages and appointments scheduled. Implement words, phrases and template e-mails on your first day back to start selling more cars on your second day. What to avoid, and how to recognize the e-mail death traps that too many Internet sales specialists are using in thousands of dealerships. See examples of actual disaster scenes, sales mayhem and the brutality of gross profit destruction caused by as little as a single word that was poorly chosen. Gain insight into pitfalls of e-mail when used inappropriately as a replacement for good phone communication skills. See lead management tactics that leverage e-mail to dramatically increase the number of phone conversations between your dealership and the people that sent those leads. Learn how to use e-mail the right way. Attendees will receive access to online resources:. SeeLastSlide.com
INTRODUCTION: Ralph Paglia Director - Digital Marketing ADP Dealer Services
20+ year automotive industry leader in Digital Marketing, Advertising, Lead Management and dealership CRM process design and execution.
Executed Digital Marketing strategy that generated144,000+ leads to single-point Chevy dealer in 2 years.
Built dealer team that sold 4,000+ Vehicles to Web Leads in 2006.
Worked with Ford in 2007 to develop first Tier 3 Digital Advertising program providing dealers with geotargeted Tier 1 marketing assets
Managed first retail automotive Behavioral Targeting Digital Ad pilot program while at Courtesy Chevrolet in 2005, 2006 and 2007
Started generating Internet leads in 1988 using CompuServe ISP access and vehicle listings on defense contractor BBS’s in SoCal
Internet Sales & Marketing Consultant to Ford, Mercedes-Benz, GM, Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and over 200 dealers.
Do any of the email messages sent to customers by your dealership generate radioactive sales fallout? RADIOACTIVE SALES FALLOUT: Negative impact that occurs when an opportunity to do business is handled incorrectly on a scale that in addition to losing 1 sale, the customeris transformed into an outspoken criticmotivated to take additional actions to prevent other customers from doing business with your dealership.
----- Email Message From Customer to Toyota ----- From: Jeff McGrath [email@example.com] Sent: February 05, 2009 2:18 PM To: Advisor4@buyatoyota.com Subject: Re: JEFF, how is your TOYOTA request going? My request went terribly. XXXXXXX would not send out a quote by email as requested. The salesman told me I had to come in to the dealership to talk about options before giving a quote. They misquoted MSRP to me. Then after I came in, XXXXXXX held onto my license for 3 days. I tried to get it back and they said they would send a salesman to my house with the car. I said no and that I wanted to pick up my license at the dealership -- it took 3 days for them to get it there. I got a apology mail from them later - but I never gave them my address. They got my address from my license as they withheld it. If they ran a credit check on me while they held my personal information I'm going to scream. I will never go to that dealership again. Where do they make people like that?? AND I LOVED THE CAR. I WANTED TO BUY IT. I am not upset with buyatoyota.com - you guys rock. I hope you guys find out a way to bypass the dealerships altogether. Thanks, Jeff
-----Email Message From Customer To ISS ----- Subject: No Subject I got your voicemail, I was in lecture. What do you mean my email message made you laugh? You should respond via e-mail so I can read what I wrote plus your response. This is the wonderful thing of e-mail, no phone calls. When you get this message, please reply by email. Denise
The Telephone - Still the Killer Sales App! Before we get into more detailed talk about email communication, there’s one thing that every Internet-savvy dealer needs to keep in mind: The telephone is still the killer sales application, second only to the face-to-face meeting. I once heard that Donald Trump never uses a computer; he’s always on the phone. Regardless of what you might think of Mr. Trump, you can’t deny the man’s success. Yes, you’re an Internet dealer, and yes, these are Internet prospects who prefer to interact online.Still, it’s business critical to get on the phone whenever possible, in addition to emailing your prospects, until they expressly tell you not to. That being said, the following slides present techniques that can help you eliminate the problems preventing your email messages from producing their desired outcome with prospects and customers…
DigitalRalph.com says: “NEVER type out the same, or similar email message a second time! If you must write an email message about something related to buying a car, then odds are you will need to write a similar email message again in the future. Save any email you create as an email template, then every time you use it, refine that template, improve, rewrite, edit and rework it. Then, save it again as a template before sending… Repeat process so you develop a powerful set of email templates that are CONTINUOUSLY OPTIMIZED!”
DigitalRalph.com says: “Use a system of Email Templates organized by number prefixes, with the template numbers sequenced according to the process workflow of how they are most often used… Then you can create email and phone process charts that refer to the template or phone script by number. Having documented processes makes it easier to train people, review and improve the processes”
Spam Filters have Changed the Rules… And, the Penalties! Anti-spam filters are the mine fields in the war against spam, and they’re a threat to your outbound dealership emails. There are spam filters on the mail server, or Internet service provider, side; in corporate firewalls; and also on the client-side, or your intended recipient’s PC. Many filters today assign a point system to certain trigger words, phrases, or punctuations that are commonly seen in spam emails. If an email surpasses its quota of spam points, it is sent to the junk email folder or else destroyed before it ever gets to your intended recipient’s inbox. Spam Filters work like a Missile Defense system, blowing up your dealership’s email messages before they hit your customer’s inbox
Spam Filters have Changed the Rules The top Internet service providers, like AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and Verizon, all have their own customized rules for defining and weeding out spam. The big ISPs have routers for their email domains that analyze all incoming emails. These routers can block emails that come from certain addresses, which the ISP has “black listed,” because consumers have complained about spam. Dealers that have been put on Black Lists may not be aware of the problems it can create… And, it is almost impossible to get off! Dealers need a “good email reputation” with customers, because complaints can mean doom for your email marketing program. This goes for both your dealership and your CRM tool vendor – both of which have an impact on ISP relations and a hand in staying off email Black Lists. ISS’s can inadvertently get dealers “Blacklisted”
Create Relationships with Your Customer’s Top 5 ISP’s The most important element to getting your emails through is maintaining good relations with Internet Service Providers. Email servers that send your emails must remain in good standing. If a few consumers complain to their ISP about junk mail coming from a particular dealership’s mail server, the ISP will address the issue by categorically blacklisting, or blocking all mail, coming from that server. This will affect every department that sends emails from that server. A quality email service provider will always work to maintain good relations with ISP’s. As a dealer, the part you play in maintaining that good reputation is building your email list and controlling email content. Do not abuse how often and how many people you send bulk emails to. Seek a partnership where you and your supplier protect each other’s interests. Web analytics will show the Top 5 ISP’s used by your customers
Your Email Content, Structure and Form Especially Watch Your Language Part and parcel with maintaining good relations with ISPs is the content and format of your email communications. Words, phrases, punctuation and HTML coding commonly used by spammers raise red flags to the spam filters, so its important to be cognizant and avoid them when you can. It’s a list that changes on a regular basis, so be sure to check for updates. “To” and “From” Fields 1. Watch what you put in the “To” and “From” fields in your emails. Try to avoid the following:
In your message subject line, be as specific as possible, with as many relevant details as you can fit. Spam filters are more inclined to let specific messages through than generic ones. Example: when your dealership sends a newsletter, say it’s a newsletter and include the month of the newsletter in the subject line
Avoid using punctuation symbols – like “ ” quotation marks, $$$ dollar signs, and !!!! exclamation points
Avoid using all CAPITAL letters, in other words, no need to SHOUT – you’ll wake up the spam filters!
Avoid putting a toll-free (800) number in the subject line (local area code numbers are good)
The following words, in both your email subject headlines and in the body of the email are known to trigger filters: Free - alone or in combinations, for example: “free dinner with test drive” FREE – in all caps Guarantee, GUARANTEED cash money back Savings Call now $$$$ !!! Hello Discount! what are you waiting for while supplies last click here, click below million dollars Don’t miss this 50% off! Subscribe hidden opportunity Compare You're a Winner!
The following words, in both your email subject headlines and in the body of the email are known to trigger filters: remove collect amazing cash bonus credit loans Act Now! All New Buy direct Special Promotion easy terms great offer No cost, No fees Offer One time Please read Don't delete Save up to Time limited Visit our website While supplies last Why pay more? You've been selected give it away, giving it away
Your Email Content, Structure and Form The following words, in both your email Message Body of the email are known to trigger filters: One or more lines of large fonts or all caps – YELLING at the recipient At least 70 percent blank lines Header contains numbers mixed in with letters Message body claims not to be spam Body contains "removal instructions" Body contains "Dear friend" Excessive use of “click here”
If you use HTML emails, consider the following to avoid spam filters: Do use all-white backgrounds instead of colors. Do use style sheets in your HTML code if possible. Do include links to Web pages with robust content instead of trying to include that content in your email. Do use tables to organize information and separate numbers from text. Don’t send HTML messages without a text alternative. Don’t use oversized fonts. Don’t use a lot of different colored fonts. Don’t include “.exe” files or attachments with your message unless requested by recipient. Don’t use BCC distribution with over 10 emails.
The email marketing universe is changing rapidly, with new technologies and new tricks by spammers, so it’s important to continuously monitor, test, and make adjustments to ensure the integrity of this critical communication channel for your dealership.
It’s a good idea to open email accounts with all the main service providers, including AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Gmail, and others, so you can see what your customers see. Check your database and see what email domains are commonly used among your customers.
Develop Email Standards and Policies for the Dealership
Email marketing is one of the most cost-efficient tools at your disposal. This doesn’t mean you should simply accept it as a cost of doing business that a percentage of your emails are not going to get through. This is unacceptable and, in a way, let’s the spammers win. A good email tool provider is your first line of defense. Setting email marketing standards for your dealership is your second. Make your email marketing program is top notch, just like your showroom, your service department, and your website, and you can reap huge rewards from this vital communication channel.
---------- Response from the Customer’s to the Dealer’s First Personalized Message ------------ Subject: Re: About your certificate from ABC Motors... Something must have happened to my inquiry amongst these replies I'm getting from you. Anyway, I see you have a Spectra Blue Camry listed. What equipment is on it and what kind of price are we talking about? Yesterday I mentioned trading in my Miata but I've decided if the car contains what I'm looking for (must be a 5 speed for sure), instead I would like to know what kind of a trade we would be talking about for a 2005 VW GTI GLS 1.8 Turbo with 31K miles on it. Thank you Don Hill 1
---------- Response from Dealership to the Customer’s Message ----------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 13 Feb 2009 16:15:15 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time) From: ABC Motors To: Don Hill Subject: 2009 Camry #321014 Hello Don, below is price information on the Camry described. The actual price is up to you. You know your budget better than we do. Just make us an offer and it is as simple as a yes or no or what is acceptable. It's as simple as that. On your trade, please go to kbb.com. They will give you a pretty fair indicator Everytime we give a trade in estimate over the internet or phone without seeing the car we are always wrong. Either we give you too much or not enough, and then we look bad to you right in the beginning. Not very fair too you. Give me a call with other questions and if I am not in our associate manager, Mr. Ken Felby is familiar with your inquiry. Thank you for your inquiry on the Camry. Below you will find important information about this vehicle and several other vehicles very similar to what you requested: Year & Make: 2009 Toyota Model: Camry model 2844 Color: spectra blue Stock # 321014/options FE CL AW SR UP XU Z1 MSRP: $27573.00 Dealer Invoice: $24776.00 Internet Price: ???? please see Curt Williams 2
-- Second Email response from customer sent to the dealership -- Subject: Re: ABC Motors; 888-555-7777 x3009 Thank you for your response. This car has more options on it than what I'm looking for but just sending me the option codes means nothing without a 'key' to the option codes. At this price I suspect it's an automatic with sunroof, two items I definitely don't want. 3
----- Message from Customer Responding to Dealer’s Broadcast Email ----- Subject: Re: Are You Still In The Market? Sorry, I thought I responded. What I am after is an AVALON XLS WITHOUT A SUNROOF. Also, my preferred color is Desert Sand. Let me know if you are able to find this one. Thanks, Bill Wilder
----- Message from Customer to Dealership after Salesperson Spoke with Customer on Phone ----- Subject: price request Hi, I have spoken to Nick on the phone and tentatively set up an appointment for Sat (tomorrow) at 1pm. I won't be able to make it (I am not feeling well.) Please pass this message on to Nick. I have included below the car I am looking to order - a Matrix complete with options. Matrix XR 2 wheel Drive Automatic Color: -- Desert Sand Mica Anti Lock Brakes, Side Impact Airbags, All weather guard package, Floor mats, Cargo mat, Rear bumper protector Would you be able to give me an idea of pricing on such an order and whether you can give me the 1.9 % Financing? I would like to have the information prior to the weekend so that I can make a decision over the weekend. I think I covered it all. If you have any questions, please email back. I am not feeling well and it's easier for me to email than to talk, but I would like to get something going on this. I appreciate your helpfulness in this matter. Sharon Jamison Washington National Bank TSG - Information Delivery 206-555-6769
-----Message from Customer to Dealer in Response to Broadcast Email----- Subject: Re: Are You Still In The Market? Hi, I've been speaking with Judy (her name escapes me at the moment), and I am still in the market. I just don't have time to deal with it at the moment. It's not an urgency for me. Thanks a lot, Gavin ----- Original Message ----- Subject: Are You Still In The Market? Hello Gavin Niestrami: I regret not having been successful in contacting you regarding your Internet Purchase Request... It only seems fair to give it one more try. I'd appreciate it very much if you would advise me as to whether you have already bought a car or truck... Or, if you think you will be buying elsewhere. I am ready to provide you with a great deal and a pleasant buying experience, as I have for many other customers who have sent us requests using the Internet. Thank you, Curt Williams
---- Response from Customer to Dealer’s Autoreply ----- Subject: Re: Toyota of Springville; 800-555-1234 Thank you. Can you tell me what the towing capacity is on the Tacoma? I think I am looking for an automatic, either ext. cab or double cab, 2WD and 6 cylinder. I would probably be comfortable with a 6000 lb towing capacity. Thanks, Brenda
----- Response from Customer to Dealer’s Broadcast Email ----- Subject: RE: Are You Still In The Market? Hello - thanks for contacting me. I am still in the market and I have been working with Ron and Steve at your dealership. The real problem is that you do not have the exact vehicle I want on your lot. Does the Internet Dept. work on a different price structure than working directly with a salesperson at the dealership like I was doing? I am interested in a V8 limited 4Runner (which is different from what I was originally interested in). I want the 6 disc changer in dash, sunroof, and rear spoiler. Do you have that available or can you get it? Thanks. Jerry
-----Message Sent to Customer by Dealership Salesperson ----- Subject: Are You Still In The Market? Hello Jaime West: You were here and you left, I thought it was Juan that drove you away, so he went to Malaysia, your new manager is CJ Singh. Please contact him for a new test drive. I regret not having been successful in contacting you regarding your Internet Purchase Request... It only seems fair to give it one more try. I'd appreciate it very much if you would advise me as to whether you have already bought a car or truck... Or, if you think you will be buying elsewhere. I am ready to provide you with a great deal and a pleasant buying experience, as I have for many other customers who have sent us requests using the Internet. Thank you, Curt Williams 1
-----Customer Response sent back to the Dealer----- Subject: Re: Are You Still In The Market? Hello, This is Jaime West. I am currently still trying to sell my car. Until I sell it, I will be just waiting and thinking. Thank you for your response. I will get back to you when I have sold my car! Thank you for your time.Sincerely, Jaime West 2
----- Customer Response to Broadcast Email Sent from Dealership ----- Subject: Re: Are You Still In The Market? Thanks, We are still looking and are swaying back and forth between the highlander, an audiwagon, and a honda pilot - we have not even test driven yet and hope to make a purchase in the next 6 weeks - also looking at trading in a 2005 Honda Accord EX with 45000 miles; David Ridge 1216 N 97th Street Seattle, WA 98108 email@example.com (206) 555-9850
----- Dealership’s Response to Customer’s Initial Inquiry Message ----- Subject: Re: ABC Motors/Jeep Thank you for your inquiry on the 1999 Jeep. The actual stock # is 10810A. On your trade, Chuck...I quit doing that over the phone or internet. I am always wrong. Without actually seeing the vehicle and having our 2 appraisers see it either I don't give enough or I give too much. So, could you please go to kbb.com and they will give you a fair indicator of what your vehicle is worth. We actually also get on the phone and call a Dodge store while you are here and get a buy bid. It's the only way to be fair to you. I hope you understand. The Jeep is in excellent condition and for you to drive all the way to here and see it I would have to charge you $10,995.00 plus tax and license and of course all the free coffee you could drink. Let me know and I look forward to meeting you. NOTE: the associate manager that knows a lot about that Jeep is Mr. Roman Polyak. He is also a professional auto technician so he also knows the mechanical aspects of it. Curt Williams e-Business Marketing Manager 1
----- Customer’s Message sent back to the Dealer ----- Subject: Re: ABC Motors/Jeep Hi Curt, Just to let you know I have been pre-approved by my credit union. So if you find the numbers I presented you with close enough to discuss let me know and we can set up a time to meet. If not then I do appreciate your time. Thanks Chuck 2
----- Customer’s Response to the Dealer’s Personalized Email ----- Subject: ‘09 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Hi Folks, Thanks for the reply and info. If you do have an SR5, 4WD, V-8, Galactic grey exterior w/stone interior: Any chance of getting a price quote along with the list of options on the vehicle? Please advise as soon as you can. Thanks, Bill Flannery
----- Original Personal Response From ISM to Internet Customer ----- From: ABC Motors To: Wayne Holman Subject: ABC Motors; 888-555-7115 x3009 Hello Wayne, I wanted to give you some additional pricing information on the Prius. I have two on the floor as described below. Did Nick offer for you to take the Prius out for a couple of hours? Just to get the feel and flow of the car. Thank you for your inquiry on the 2009 Toyota Prius. Below you will find important information about this vehicle and several other vehicles very similar to what you requested: Year & Make: 2009 Toyota Model: Prius Color: Stock #: options FE CL RL BE MSRP: $21,549.00 Dealer Invoice: $20,678.00 Internet Price: see Nick Lashami please 1
----- Customer Response to Email Sent by the Dealership’s ISM ----- Subject: Re: ABC Motors; 888-555-7115 x3009 Greetings! Yes, Nick offered to take my wife and I out for a test drive, but we had already driven the vehicle. We know for sure that this is the type of car we want, but need to wait 2-3 more months until we have saved up enough money. (We have always paid cash for our cars.) I'm sure we will be in contact again when we have the cash. Thank-you Wayne Holman Mountlake Terrace, VA 2
I live in Springville, but this is pretty much what I want. How would I get this checked by an independent shop, or is this a Jeep Certified Used Vehicle? Does this have ABS? How are the tires? Non-smoker before? Electric windows/locks? Overdrive tranny? Is this Sport, Classic, or Limited? I could be VERY interested! Please e-mail back before I come up with an offer!! == VEHICLE INFORMATION ======================================== Lead Type: USED Year: 1999 Manufacturer: Jeep Model: Cherokee Trim: 4DR VIN: 1J4FF68S2XL555555 Stock #: 10810A Price: $12,850 == CONTACT INFORMATION ======================================== Name: Kevin Masereno Email: KMasereno@attbi.com Home Phone: (360)555-5752 Day Phone: same as home Address: N/A
USER-GENERATED CONTENT DRIVES HALF OF U.S. TOP 10 FASTEST GROWING WEB BRANDS, ACCORDING TO NIELSEN//NETRATINGS “They also benefit from their cost-effectiveness - the content is practically free.” Gibs continued, “Notably, the Associated Press also stands out, as a more traditional outlet innovating to keep pace with technology. The launch of its video offering earlier this year has driven significant growth as consumers seek streaming content to complement online and print news.
Ralph Paglia ADP Digital Marketing Solutions www.ADPdigitaladvertising.com firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 505-301-6369 www.DigitalRalph.com Presentation available at: AutoDigitalMarketing.com1. Join ADM 2. Go to “ADM Forum” 3. Use Search: “Presentation File Exchange” Attendees will receive free access to online resources they can useto gain competitive advantage in their local markets. Email Templates: www.YourDealershipWebsite.com or… http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/forum/topics/1970539:Topic:6467