Automotive Email Marketing Guide for Car Repair Shops

A stellar automotive email marketing campaign can definitely provide a bang for your buck. 

Creating an email marketing strategy is your best chance of personalizing your business messaging at scale. Here is all you need to know about email marketing for your auto repair shop.

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What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a series of emails sent to your contact list. You can send specific messages and include calls to action. Examples include:

  • Call us for a quote
  • Schedule an appointment today
  • Shop promotions and specials

These marketing campaigns are all about sending the right content to the right person. When you have someone’s email address, you can immediately start nurturing a lead into a customer.

Once you have converted a customer, email marketing helps you maintain loyalty. 

Why email marketing?

Your email marketing campaign can help you boost footfall in your auto repair shop. With so many options out there, it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed. 

You do this by converting leads into opportunities and then buyers. Auto repair shops are forced to broaden their customer base. This is done by creating opportunities to connect deeper and more frequently.

Simultaneously, it also gives you the opportunity to increase your company’s value, build a relationship with potential customers and show that you offer the best services. Additionally, it’s an effective way to target people with specific actions. 

What is an email drip campaign?

A “drip campaign” or “workflow” is the name given to your marketing automation tool. Any action taken by your contact will trigger a series of other automated actions based on the person’s behavior. For instance, if someone clicks on the sign up section of your brake repairs promotional email, their action can trigger relevant blog emails on brake upkeep. 

Maybe you have a customer who has added items to their cart but left it abandoned. Your drip campaign might encourage them to either continue shopping or head to checkout.

For any action taken, you can decide how many emails to send and how often to send them. What’s more, these emails can have your contact’s name and specific references to the action they took.

This is a very personalized, helpful and human experience for your contacts. Yet you are doing it at scale. With your email campaign, you can achieve different goals for your business, whether it is lead nurturing, maintaining clientele, or marketing your automotive business!

To understand how to plan your event email workflows, we have put together some helpful tips.

What defines a good email strategy?

The conversion rate is the percentage of actions taken by the user, after total clicks throughs on an email. 

According to Mailchimp, a good conversion rate is between 2% to 5%. If you have achieved this rate, you have a successful email campaign!

Automotive email marketing strategy

Begin by segmenting your customers

Crafting personalized content for your customers will definitely increase your email conversion rate. Interest will likely be higher if the content is carefully curated to their needs. This approach gives them an individualized experience. 

Thanks to all the CRM softwares out there, you can segment and curate content to specific customers. Each customer (or prospective customer) will receive different kinds of messaging or calls to action. 

For example, current customers might get reminders for their annual car diagnostics. The call to action can be to ask them to book their appointment. 

Prospective customers can get emails about the different services available at your location and how they can benefit from them.

You will start by creating contact profiles though your contact list. Here is how you can do that:

1) Existing clients and email subscribers

You will likely have individuals who are already in your contact list. These are people who already use your services, or have signed up for your email list. 

You can easily segment each of these according to properties such as:

  • Life cycle stage (new customer, old customer)
  • Job title
  • Contact owner
  • Median income

Knowing these factors can help you personalize messaging. 

2) Demographic data

It’s always beneficial to segment according to income, gender, location, age, etc. This kind of sectioning will help you determine your audience and their interests. 

3) Vehicle condition

New cars will require less extensive maintenance and repairs than vehicles with many years of miles logged. 

Take this fact into consideration when crafting your email messaging for individual customer segments. You won’t want to send an email promoting comprehensive engine repairs to a customer who purchased their car one year ago! 

4) Vehicle makes and models

By segmenting customers based on their vehicle specifics, you can tailor your messaging. The unique repair needs of trucks and off-road vehicles don’t apply to customers driving sedans for daily commutes.  

5) Location

Differences in climate, standards of living, etc. all might require different kinds of messaging. You can please different customers in different ways. 

A customer who has to survive the Chicago winter would need different vehicular maintenance than those driving in the sweltering heat of Texas. Market to the specific features, like heating and cooling systems, they may respectively need.

Create automotive email drip campaign

Now that you understand how to segment emails, it’s time to “drip” your pre-written set of messages to various customers.  

Drip campaigns work by setting a schedule for various messaging. Remember, you don’t want to bombard your customers either. That is why this step will require a lot of planning.

You will have to communicate with each user type according to their needs. This will only be possible with thorough research. 

Each user will have different calls to action, meaning you will have to configure different emails in the workflow.

You will have to conduct thorough research and plan ahead of time. There might be different calls to actions for each user segment and thus different emails that you would have to set up in your workflow. 

Various CRMs allow you to schedule emails for certain times and dates targeting individual segments.

Types of email marketing messages in the automotive industry

Welcome email

For every new user, a welcome email is important. Thank them for signing up and welcome them to the mailing list. 

Explain what they can expect from future emails and share any contact details they might need for your auto repair shop.

Invitation to connect

After some time, you can send an email asking the user to connect with your social media and website.

Having individuals follow you on multiple platforms ensures they feel connected to your brand name. 

Simultaneously, establishing more followers ensures more credibility. A wider audience creates more leads that you can then nurture. 

Monthly newsletter or blog post

Newsletters and blogs are a great way to share your success stories and answer pressing questions. These resources also keep your customers up to date about your brand.

Content provides an opportunity to bring people to your website. You can create specific calls to action (CTA) such as ‘Download our guide/pdf from our website’ or ‘Read these relevant blogs’.

By bringing traffic to your website, you are also improving organic SEO as well. Not to mention, individuals might explore other pages as well from where they can become customers.

Here are some examples of shop blog titles:

  • Everything you need to know about car diagnostics (CTA – book your free diagnostic)
  • Car feature comparisons
  • Tips for testing a car before buying it 
  • How to improve gas mileage

Promotional emails

If you have a specific event coming up, these emails help create traction. You can also use these for sales, discounts or promo codes. Such emails are popular and bound to increase your conversion rate. 

Maybe you want to host an event at your automotive shop and need to spread the word. Promotional emails are a great way to create buzz.

Helpful tips for your automotive email marketing

You want to maintain your contact list and ensure  customers aren’t unsubscribing.

In order to keep this from happening, there are some important rules to follow:

Final note

Running an automotive email campaign can definitely feel tricky and confusing. You may want to research the best and user-friendly CRM softwares in order to make life easier for this process.

A little science is definitely required. But with these blog insights and some experimenting, your business can reap the rewards of this essential marketing strategy. 

Auto Repair Shop Management Software

AutoLeap is a powerful all-in-one auto repair shop software that helps to keep complete track of your business – from scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices.

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