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Why Your Dealership's Email Templates May Be Obsolete

It is highly likely that the vast majority of emails that your dealership is sending to customers and prospective clients are being opened on a mobile device. Reports show that  mobile email clients are set to surpass desktop and webmail client usage by the end of 2012.

The reports also show that mobile email usage jumps on weekends, when most people are away from work computers. What is even more startling is that 63% of Americans will close or delete an email that is not optimized for mobile and a very low number will open and read an email on both a mobile and desktop devices.

So are your dealerships email templates obsolete? The very templates that you painstakingly edited and tweaked to perfection. I decided to randomly shop several dealers from around the country and was not at all surprised by what I found.

First I did not receive any email responses or follow up that appeared to take mobile use into account on any level. I did not review these emails for content, I was mainly interested in how easily readable or digestible they appeared on my phone screen. I also looked for ease of engagement. Most of the emails that I got were extremely wordy and dense; clearly laid out with the expectations that they would be read on a full sized screen. Some were filled with content taken from the dealers "Why Buy" or "About Us" pages.

I would recommend that Internet Managers send themselves their own templates to objectively review on their own mobile devises. These templates should be tested across phone types and carriers. It may even be advantageous to send them to friends and family outside of the auto industry for more unbiased feedback, a technique that I always found effective back in my template building days.

Here are some design tips that will help your templates be more mobile friendly:

  • Keep it simple. This is also a very important key to all of your templates. As much as we want to make a great impression I believe in a  "Less is more" approach.
  • Add a link to your Google map "Locate Us" or "Directions"
  • Instead of "Read What Others Are Saying About Us....." Simply use "Our Reviews"
  • Add your dealers phone number up towards the center. Make sure that you use (-) between the numbers. A (.) will render the number un-clickable on many phones. (Use a tracking number specified for email templates)
  • Your dealers phone numbers should be located directly below a quote, if one is given.
  • Instead of creating wordy why buy from us paragraphs, add a hyper link to a your "Why XYZ Motors?" page to the template.
  • Make sure that hyper links are not piled on top of one another so that they can be easily touched.
  • Increase the font of your links and phone number one size up from the rest of your text.
  • Make sure that your links redirect to the correct .mobi URL for your dealers mobile site.
  • Add a credit application to your mobile site "Mobile Credit Application" and add the .mobi URL to the template. I had my website provider design one for my stores and it was very effective.
  • It is always a good practice to keep the number of links and images to a minimum, including headers. This helps avoid becoming SPAM. So try and be sure that any link or image is absolutely necessary to the goal of the template.
  • Try and keep your links centered within the template whenever possible.

Views: 285

Tags: Rob Fontano, automotive, blog, car, dealer, email, internet, manager, templates, training

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