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BDC and Internet Managers; Do You Check Your Spam Filter Folders Daily?

As I conduct internet lead mystery shopping to dealers around the country I am constantly amazed at the lack of control that dealers have with their email marketing.  It is amazing to see how many dealers send me follow up email templates that go directly to my spam folders.  What is even more amazing is how many dealers fail to pick up the phone to call me.  But I will leave that for another topic.

I just called on a local Honda dealer in my area about doing some consulting work because they lacked follow up on a lead that I had submitted.  I also know for a fact that their direct competitor is working with another consulting company to be up on their game.  So when I mystery shop the other store I see that they are doing things right to a certain extent.  It is interesting to see how many dealers there are out there that lack proper marketing and follow up processes.  It seems as if the CRM gets installed by the vendor in a "set it and forget it" fashion.  These dealers are sending out emails and wonder why they are not reaching anyone.  The reality is that people try to avoid spam and usually just delete what emails go there.

Dealers need to have a strategy to constantly update their email templates and processes so that emails are sent out properly.  Remember, the goal of an email is to be intriguing enough to get the customer to call you back and increase your connection with them.  At the same time, it is important to stop over complicating things and keep them simple.  I am talking about making your the content is not "spammy" with words like "amazing savings".  The email needs to be compelling, selling value, promote a positive online reputation and be less pitchy.  Give the customer a reason to call you back and replace the impersonal with the personal.

Recently, I learned from Ford Direct an interesting way of creating a subject line.  They taught me to keep simple and to include a phone number.  The phone number allows for mobile users to press on it and call the dealership right away.  This is how it should look:

"ABC Motors 717 515 2200"

Do not include the dashes.  I was told that a subject line that simple is more likely to avoid spam.  I was impressed that I started using it and it has helped my dealers greatly.  This is just one of many strategies that needs to be considered when sending emails.

For more information or training on how to effectively create emails that trigger proper responses and avoid spam, contact me at or visit my website at

In addition, dealers that want to learn how to incorporate proper emails into their BDC/Internet Sales Processes need to attend my workshop at AutoCon 2012 on September 5-8, 2012 in Las Vegas.

Written by Stan Sher

There will be even more opportunities to learn at the Internet Sales 20 Group October 23-25, 2012 in Chicago ( information to be available soon.

Views: 780

Tags: autocon 2012, automotive internet sales, consulting, crm processes, dealer etraining, digital marketing, email marketing, email templates, internet sales 20 group, stan sher


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Comment by Stan Sher on July 13, 2012 at 5:52pm

Ashley, thanks for your response.  When looking at open and click through rates, Internet Managers and BDC Managers need to evaluate their reports on that and fine tune their processes.  As a consultant that is what I do with dealers.  I look at what they are doing and I work to fine tune it. 

Comment by Ashley Poag on July 13, 2012 at 10:13am

Great point on how the CRM is not a set it and forget it process. It needs constant attention and monitoring to figure what works best to generate the highest open and click through rates. I think dealerships would benefit from consulting with a professional on best practices.

Comment by Stan Sher on July 11, 2012 at 2:39pm

Thanks everyone.  @Joshua when I was told the trick of not having the dashes I was just explained that doing it that way avoids spam.  I did not go into detail because the person that told me this just gave me best practices and did not get into explaining something that I might not understand.  I believe that the dash can confuse the spam filters but I am not sure.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 11, 2012 at 11:28am

I just smacked this out to my Twitter feed.  Great article, Stan!!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 11, 2012 at 11:19am

Stan, thanks for the great article... You are right on target and this should be part of daily BDC and Internet Sales Management process in every dealership.

Comment by David T. Gould on July 11, 2012 at 10:48am

Stan, great point about SPAM and email templates. I am amazed at the lack of attention given to email templates vs. the amount of dollars and effort invested in generating the leads they go out to. My guess is that it requires enough technical skill to scare some and are frustrating enough to alienate the majority of the rest. For me, email templates are the gateway to all the information a customer could need to make a buying decision. SPAM filters are computer code. Effective subject lines, Coding and Compressing of dealer templates will get their message through, raise open rates and provide verifiable results. This is a great topic that deserves more attention. Email templates are not set and forget, they are one to the most effective ways to keep your most engaged clients up to date with the dealership's latest offerings. Good Selling! DTG

Comment by Joshua Michael Friedman on July 11, 2012 at 10:03am

Well said.  However, please explain the reason that the dashes are not recommended in the subject line phone number... I'm curious.

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