In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes.
It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 5D of our ongoing Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Evaluate Email Campaign Success.
Previously we’ve discussed:
- Part 1: Develop Provoking Content
- Part 2: Grow Social Media Influence
- Part 3: Create Referral Programs
- Part 4: Establish Local Partnerships
- Part 5: Craft Dynamic Emails
In this article we discuss:
- Evaluating Email Campaign Success
Once you have planned and implemented an email strategy, your campaign is off and running. If all goes well, you are effectively engaging prospects, generating leads, and retaining consumers. Of course, simply starting an email campaign is not the end of your journey – the next step will be to analyze the success of your efforts and see what lessons you can take on to your next campaign. To do this, you’ll want to:
Monitor Your Campaign: It can feel great to finally hit that “send” button after a great deal of preparation, but you’re still not done. As the campaign progresses, it is important to monitor the campaign for changes – either successes or issues – so you know if any changes need to be made even as the campaign is ongoing. In other words, you cannot manage what you do not measure. Keep in mind that you should not overreact to initial data, as it may not be representative of how the entire campaign will perform and you don’t want to impulsively and unnecessarily disrupt all of your planning. However, if more data comes in and you see troubling trends emerging, then it may be time to consider making some changes – we’ll talk more about those potential changes in the next point. Here are the 4 key performance indicators (KPIs) to pay attention to1:
1. Deliverability: The rate at which emails successfully reach the inbox of your intended recipients
2. Open Rate: The rate at which recipients who have received the email decide to open your message
3. Click-Through Rate (CTR): The rate at which recipients who have opened the email click on your Call-to-Action (CTA) links
4. Unsubscribes: The rate at which recipients who have received your email remove themselves from your subscriber list
Making Changes: You should not only monitor your campaign as it is happening, but also measure your total campaign results once the campaign is complete so that you have a complete picture of your overall achievements and shortcomings. Collecting and analyzing campaign performance data allows you to make changes and improvements, either to a current campaign or future campaigns. Here are some basic recommendations that may help you make effective changes to your campaigns in order to improve your KPIs, depending on what adaptations the data suggests are needed1:
- Double check that you are adhering to CAN-SPAM best practices (federal guidelines for sending emails) and not ending up in recipients’ spam folders
- Remove inactive recipients or email addresses from your subscriber list so your numbers are not artificially deflated and to maintain your email database accuracy
2. Open Rate
- Use A/B testing (comparing 2 emails with 1 difference between them) to experiment with various subject lines in order to find the most appealing for your audience
- Experiment with sending your email during various times or on different days in order to find the best window of opportunity for audience engagement
3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Be sure your CTAs are offering actual value to your audience
- Be sure the language in your CTAs is clear and understandable
- Be sure the imagery and design of your CTAs are appealing and capture attention (consumers most often see them as a colored button or as blue underlined text)
- Ask if your email has:
- Actually provided value, or has just wasted their time
- Strayed from your brand or your audience’s preferences
- Inadvertently confused or tricked them with unclear meaning
Segmenting Your Audience: Before launching your campaign, you should consider dividing your subscriber list into different groups, based on factors that are important to you, including age, income, geographic location, or inventory interest. Doing so allows you to target specific groups with individualized campaigns that are catered specifically to that group, increasing your campaign’s odds of making a connection. As you analyze your campaign after it ends, you can also use the data to further segment your audience based on how they interacted with previous campaigns.
For example, after a campaign concludes, you could classify your audience into those who did not open the email, those who opened the email but did not click on the CTA, those who clicked on the CTA but did not contact your or make a purchase, and those who did contact your or make a purchase. Going forward, then, you can send future email to your audience segments based on where they are in the purchase lifecycle, which enhances your ability to get them the information they want or need at the time that is most relevant to them, thus helping you nurture your leads and close sales.
Eventually, after a number of campaigns, you may even be able to develop specific buyer personas – including ideal customer profiles (ICPs) – in which you group your audience into segments based on variables that collectively group together and predict the likelihood of a campaign’s success with that persona segment.
In conclusion, we hope this sub-series has helped you understand the basics of email campaigns. When the marketing budget is tight, and the money just isn’t there for an expensive advertising campaign, crafting dynamic emails is a great way to successfully maximize exposure and grow sales. And if you’re looking for more ways to pursue Scrappy Marketing on a Budget, whether you sell Ford Transit Vans or Ram Pickup Trucks, our final post in our Scrappy Marketing series will discuss community involvement. Stay tuned!
About the Author
Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.