4 Questions To Guide Your Dealership’s Email Frequency

Nov 4, 2014 | Email Marketing

4 Questions To Guide Your Dealership's Email Frequency

How many times do you have to see a commercial before you finally tune into what it says, or hear a radio advertisement before its jingle gets stuck in your head?

Now, how many email blasts does your dealership send per month? Enough to stick in your prospects’ heads? So many that they’re about to bash your head in?

We generally recommend messaging your audience multiple times a month to keep your dealership fresh in your prospects’ minds. In fact, the 2014 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report found that 70% of companies send 1-5 emails each month, and the highest amount of engagement came from frequencies of 1-10 emails a month!

See the chart below:

Email Frequency Effectiveness Over Time

Image Source: 2014 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report

However, we’ve found that there is not a clear-cut, one-number-fits-all answer. Here are 4 questions that will help you determine how often your store should send email:

1. What type of email is it?

The first step to finding the right amount of frequency is to first identify the goal of your message: are you seeking new customers or are you seeking repeat business? Are you sending out an email newsletter to your existing database, or announcing a huge sales event to bring new customers to your lot?

Database email marketing

A database email targets customers that already exist in your CRM or DMS. Database emails are often in the form of announcements, newsletters, invitations, or reminders.

Conquest email marketing

A conquest email seeks out new customers that don’t currently exist in your database. Conquest emails generally use big sale events, service coupons, or targeted trade-in offers to attract new customers to your dealership.

Once you identify which type of email you’re sending, consider the customer who will receive your message:

If you’re sending a database campaign, are you contacting your loyal parts and accessories customer who visits your store every week, or your lease customer who only trades in every year? A weekly newsletter may work well for the first customer, but may annoy the second.

With your conquest campaigns, however, your audience is uncharted territory. Their habits and loyalties are a mystery. How, then, do you decide what frequency to use? Keep reading!

2. What holidays are coming up? Is there any urgency?

Our team always jokes the auto industry is the most festive industry in the world because dealerships celebrate a holiday every single month.

Your sales events are already in place around Black Friday, New Years, Valentines Day, Winter Holidays, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, etc.; now it’s up to you to get them out to market! Holiday and urgency-based campaigns are wonderful reasons to contact your audience multiple times about the same event, so make sure you structure your email campaigns well ahead of (and snugly around) the final “hoorah.”

If you’d like to test multi-touch campaigns, try sending three emails around your sales event: 1) a teaser with the most tempting deals, 2) a close-up that goes into each deal further, and 3) a last chance email that reminds prospects to come in before it’s too late.

3. Will my content get stale if I send it out more than once?

You can study and compare the click-to-open rates of your campaigns to see if your content is effective, but there are other factors at play when considering frequency. Creating consistently engaging content also depends on your send list and how often your list will change throughout your campaign’s timeline.

For instance, if you want to send just two emails about the same event to the same list, there’s no need to change your email content: simply changing the subject line and keeping the same email body can help reinforce your original email and generate more clicks and opens than the first send.

However, if you’re sending numerous emails about the same event to the same audience, we recommend changing up the creative and what offers you’re featuring – even if slightly. This will help your audience distinguish the new message (and new offers!) from the old.

For conquest campaigns, ask your data provider how often their data is being updated and changed. Weigh how many new prospects are going to be in your list against how many prospects you’ve already emailed, and use your best judgment for whether or not you should generate new content for every blast.

Simply changing the color scheme and header image of your email can keep what’s working in place while still offering your audience a fresh look at your dealership.

4. How is my audience reacting to my current frequency?

Find out how many unsubscribes your next email gets. See if anyone marked your message as spam. Note your clicks. Study your website’s traffic around the blast’s send. Listen to feedback from your subscribers. All of this information will help you determine whether or not you need to change your current dealership’s email frequency, and will help you deliver the most effective message the most effective way.

What’s your dealership’s “sweet spot” for your database and conquest email campaigns? Let us know below!

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Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.


Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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