As of March 2019, over half of all email traffic was spam.1 So, what does that mean for your dealership and your carefully curated automotive marketing campaign?
Well, in short, this statistic indicates that there’s never been a better time to pull out all the stops to get your emails into your leads’ inboxes rather than their spam folders.
But, first, it pays to understand how spam folders affect automotive marketing, how to avoid them, and what to do to increase your automotive marketing campaign’s email click rates.
Luckily, the team at Aspen Automotive is here to help you crack the email marketing code and keep you far away from those pesky spam folders. Let’s get started!
Spam Folders: How Do They Affect Automotive Marketing?
Put simply, spam folders can potentially prevent your dealership’s emails from reaching their intended recipients.
A number of factors affect the deliverability of your dealership’s automotive marketing emails, such as the particular ISP (Internet service provider) and spam filter preferences of your audience. Ultimately, spam folders have the power to render your automotive marketing efforts ineffective due to two main reasons:
- Your business is labeled as a spammer by your lead’s ISP, which prevents your emails from reaching their recipients.
- The recipient of your email has marked your emails as “spam,” which automatically filters all email communications from your dealership into the reader’s spam folder.
If your recipients aren’t receiving your dealership’s emails due to the above reasons or others, the chances of your business building revenue from your automotive email marketing campaigns automatically decrease.
However, there are many ways to ensure that your emails are ending up in the right place (your audience’s inboxes) and being clicked on by their intended recipients. It all involves a little thing called deliverability.
Cracking the Code on Spam Folders: Increasing Automotive Email Deliverability
When it comes to avoiding spam folders, your dealership should be focusing its efforts on promoting email deliverability. Before we dive into how to improve your automotive email deliverability, however, let’s first define it.
According to Hubspot, “email deliverability is the rate at which your email actually makes it into recipient inboxes. An email deliverability rate can be lower when an email bounces or gets automatically filtered into a spam folder.”2
To increase your automotive marketing strategy’s deliverability rate, there are a few simple guidelines that your team can follow while designing your email campaign. Take a look:
- Give Your Leads a Way to Opt In
Permission is a priority when it comes to keeping your automotive marketing emails far away from spam folders. Due to the fact that unsolicited emails are automatically identified by spam filters, it’s essential to provide your leads with many ways to easily opt into email communications from your dealership.
Not only will this help you grow a solid email base, but it will also ensure that your business is complying with anti-spamming laws.
In addition, consider adding an unsubscribe link to all of your dealership’s emails, even if they’re only sent to individuals who have opted into your email subscription. That way, you’ll have all of your automotive email marketing bases covered.
- Don’t Purchase Email Lists
While purchasing a list of leads who have agreed to email communications is a tempting idea, it doesn’t provide your dealership with any sort of measurable benefit in the long run.
In fact, buying email lists can cause your business to be labeled as a spammer, which is something you should avoid if you’re aiming to build a solid reputation.
Although it takes longer to build up a foundation of high-quality email addresses, this is the best way to improve and maintain your dealership’s email authority.
- Practice Good Email Hygiene
No, we’re not talking about wash, rinse, and repeat here. As a main factor in establishing a solid email deliverability rate, you want to make sure that your automotive marketing campaign is paired with a clean email list.
Why is this the case? Well, any outdated or inaccurate email addresses are likely to bounce, which affects your reputation as an email sender. Instead, remove any invalid email addresses to reduce bounce rates and steer clear of the spam folder.
- Send from a Reputable IP Address
The reputation earned by your sender’s IP address is crucial to the successful delivery of your automotive email campaign. For this reason, it’s ideal to send your marketing emails from an IP address that boasts a solid IP reputation.
In fact, the IP address of the sender is often one of the main email characteristics that email service providers review to determine if an email should be categorized as spam. There are a few key factors that affect your IP reputation, such as:
- Number of emails sent
- Spam complaints
- Industry blacklists
You’re likely wondering how you can evaluate your IP address reputation. Fortunately, all you have to do is visit http://www.dnsstuff.com/ to see if you’ve been marked as a blacklisted sender.
No matter what your current sending reputation may be, there are always ways to improve it and get back in front of the eyes of your ideal buyers.
- Avoid Spammy Language and Punctuation
Now, let’s get down to the way that your dealership’s emails are written. With the sophistication of ISP algorithms and spambots, it’s paramount to keep the messages of your automotive marketing emails free from spammy language, such as:
- No obligation
On top of that, it’s best to avoid using exclamation points and all caps in any part of your email message. Such formatting practices are surefire ways to get your emails filtered into the spam folder.
- Keep It Personal
Think about it: the more personalized and customized your email messages are to the individuals who receive them, the more likely it is that they’ll not only be read but also stay out of spam folders.
To achieve that, though, it’s important for dealerships to practice data mining and audience targeting techniques.
With this approach, you’ll be able to craft relevant emails that speak directly to specific subsets of your email list. As a result of your dealership’s personalized and data-driven emails, your leads will connect with your message instead of sending it to their spam folder.
Of course, there are plenty of tried and true email marketing personalization techniques that can help you improve the quality of your emails and avoid your customers’ spam folders. Let’s dive into a few of these methods:
Depending on the car buyer who’s receiving your email, the products and services that you’re interested in most will differ. That’s why it’s important to customize each detail of your automotive email campaign right down the images that appear in the email’s body.
That way, your subscribers will feel as though the message that they’ve received from your business is tailored to their unique interests, which ultimately makes them more likely to click.
Segment Your Emails
Through careful analysis of your automotive marketing data, your team can divide your customer list into groups based on interest. From there, you’ll design individual emails for each audience segment that’s customized to mirror their unique product preferences and shopping habits.
For instance, if you know that a subset of your current consumer base enjoys the outdoors, you can create an automotive email that’s filled with content that interests them and suggest which models from your showroom would be ideal for their next adventure.
But how does this practice keep your emails out of your leads’ spam folders? Well, the more that your dealership’s message aligns with each customer’s interests, the less likely they are to mark emails from your team as junk.
Consider the Buyer’s Journey
As an established rule in any marketing scenario, it’s essential to determine where your consumers are in the buyer’s journey. With these insights, you can craft an automotive email campaign that addresses the unique needs of each of the three stages.
By doing so, you’ll avoid pushing your customers to make a purchase before they’re ready to do so and provide the right amount of encouragement to buyers who are ready to make a purchase.
- Double Down on Your Opt-Ins
One of the top best practices for avoiding spam folders is to go the route of the double opt-in. Double opt-ins ask the user to confirm their email address through a link sent to their inbox after they’re subscribed to your dealership’s email newsletter.
This ensures that the individuals who have opted to receive emails from your business have done so knowingly. By adding this additional step into your automotive email marketing process, you’ll end up with a list of high-quality, highly engaged recipients.
Effective Automotive Marketing: Avoiding Spam Folders
At the end of the day, you want to know that your dealership’s automotive marketing emails aren’t ending up in your customers’ spam folders.
That’s why the marketing professionals at Aspen Automotive have designed a time-tested email marketing process that keeps your email lists clean, free from spam pitfalls, and ready to be clicked on by your targeted audience.
Ready to get started on the path toward your audience’s inbox? Give our team a call or send us an email today! In the meantime, check out some of our data mining and email marketing techniques that’ve helped over 10,000 dealerships across the country achieve automotive marketing success.