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A Definitive Guide to Best Practices for Automotive Newsletters

A definitive guide to best practices for automotive newsletters

Did you know there are four billion daily email users and 50% of people buy from marketing emails once a month? So if you’re still debating whether to start that automotive newsletter, it’s time to get moving! 

Email marketing earned more than $10.89 billion in 2023. Marketers find it incredibly valuable to carry out email marketing campaigns for engaging with users, keeping them informed, and staying top of mind. 

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Your shop’s automotive newsletter can do the same! Let’s detail how.

What is a newsletter email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is just a series of emails you send to your customers periodically. These emails include valuable information (helpful blogs or case studies) and a call to action. 

For shops, that CTA can include:

  • Getting a quote for maintenance and repair services

  • Scheduling appointments for an inspection

  • Shop promotions or special deals

Before we jump into how to craft the most engaging newsletter, let’s cover WHY you need to start your automotive newsletter in the first place. 

5 benefits of an automotive newsletter

5 benefits of an auto repair newsletter

Your automotive newsletter will help you create awareness about your auto repair shop among existing and potential customers. Plus it will engage existing customers between visits! 

Both of these results can lead to increased visits and a boost in repair orders for your shop. Let’s break down more specific advantages. 

Create awareness

With your automotive newsletter, you want to establish a top-of-mind recall for your customers. Whenever they think of car repairs, your shop should be at the top of their minds. Newsletter email marketing campaigns will help you do that. 

Engage customers

Your automotive newsletter also helps you engage your customers. How so? Well, your newsletter can host valuable information for them to take care of their vehicles. When you educate your customers, you add value to their life. Try to offer information that will help them increase their vehicle’s longevity. 

Increase website traffic

When you create your newsletter, you will also add links to any blogs on your website. That is an easy way to direct people to your website, get them to read your content, and explore your website and what you offer.

First, you need to create quality content that answers your customer’s pain points and discusses the vehicle topics they will have interest in. 

Improve relationships with your customers

With your automotive newsletter, you can better communicate with customers and offer them value. This will inevitably strengthen your relationship with customers. Give them what they want, offer insights and learnings, and see them become your most loyal customers. 

Increase ROI

All of the above advantages lead to one sole purpose: generate more business! That is, get people curious and ready to visit your shop. Increased footfall will lead to increased revenue. And then all that effort of distributing those newsletters will be worth it. 

How do automotive newsletters keep car owners informed?

Your automotive newsletter is one of the most powerful marketing tools. It offers you direct communication with your customers, both existing and potential. 

You can send out: 

  • Special seasonal discounts and offers, such as any Black Friday deal you run 

  • Email vouchers for car services like battery checks that they can redeem in-store

  • Information about intervals on when to schedule oil changes and tire rotations 

  • Educational DIY guides on vehicle maintenance at home 

  • Relevant industry news and trends

You keep your customers in the loop and informed while establishing a strong relationship with them. 

But what are the most important elements of your automotive newsletter? Here are the eight best practices for your newsletter that will keep customers engaged. 

8 elements of an effective newsletter

8 elements of an effective newsletter

Your automotive newsletter has to hit the spot. It should deliver the right content to the right people and effectively grab attention. Not just that, it needs to encourage your customers to take action. 

So what are the components of an effective newsletter? Let’s find out. 

1) Attention-grabbing subject line

As we already established, there are 4 billion email users, all receiving multiple daily emails. They all probably wake up to flooded inboxes. 

How will you make your newsletter stand out? How will you ensure the customer clicks on your email out of all the new emails in their inbox? 

A powerful, attention-grabbing subject line is your way in! That is the first thing they see. If it spikes curiosity and you make that connection, voila! They click on the email and see what you have to say. Here are some exciting examples of compelling subject lines that can bring you increased engagement: 

  • Revolutionary Tech: Driving the Future Today

  • Incredible Deals Await: Uncover Savings Now

  • Master the Road: Expert Driving Tips

  • Roar of Success: Inspiring Automotive Stories

  • Breakthrough Innovations: Automotive Industry’s Latest

  • Epic Road Trips: Explore Uncharted Routes

  • Fuel Your Passion: Unveiling Car Enthusiasts’ Secrets

It helps to personalize your subject lines. Add the name of your recipient to address them directly. You can automate that process using most email automation tools. 

Another tip is to add an emoji to your subject lines. They add a fun element to what you want to say. 

2) Mobile-friendly format

Almost 37% of emails are opened on mobile devices globally. This means if you haven’t optimized your emails for mobile, you’re missing out on a huge audience. So along with desktop optimization, make sure your email is easily readable on smartphones. That also means checking if your subject line appears properly on a smartphone interface. 

These efforts might seem small, but they make a huge difference. Your customer’s experience and interaction with your content will benefit. 

3) User-friendly design

When designing your newsletter, focus on more than just the fonts and colors. The entire layout needs to keep your customers hooked. It needs to be easy to scan with headlines popping out. Add a clear call to action so you get more engagement. 

Another important design element is keeping your newsletters accessible. Does the newsletter have the right font size? Do the images have alt-text? Does it have color contrast? These are key considerations that will make your newsletter more user-friendly. 

4) Targeted customer segmentation

The worst thing you can do is send a one size fits all newsletter. So segment your customers when you send out targeted newsletters. 

Another thing to avoid is sending company updates and making a newsletter about yourself. Your automotive newsletter is about customers and what you can do for them. How can your business make life easy for them? That is what you need to talk about. 

You can segment customers using many criteria. For one segment, you can focus on who are the newer customers and who are the older ones. You could also segment based on car types. You could even group the ones who own trucks separately. 

Another group could be people who own SUVs and another who owns minivans. This will help you create targeted content for the type of car they own. It will also provide them with more value. 

5) A/B testing & optimization

When sending out your newsletter, you should run A/B tests. This testing process involves changing around your call to action, plus other elements of your newsletter. 

Collect data on open rates and click-through rates, then compare your approaches. This analysis will help you understand your audience better. You gather detailed insights into what they prefer. A/B testing will help you increase engagement for newsletter campaigns. 

6) Thoughtful newsletter frequency

Don’t bombard your audience with multiple emails when sending out your automotive newsletter. Keep a check on how often you’re sending emails out. Some testing and experimentation will give you a good understanding of how many emails to send and what times to send them. 

7) Powerful call-to-action

In addition to educating the target audience, your newsletter also should encourage them to take action. 

Examples of actions include contacting you for maintenance services, booking an appointment/consultation, or taking advantage of a special discount. Use a powerful call-to-action button that leads them to take your desired shop action. 

Here are some examples for you to use: 

  • Discover More

  • Get in Gear

  • Schedule Today

  • Contact Us
8) Embedded videos

A great way to engage your readers is to embed videos in your automotive newsletter. 

Videos are an excellent way to increase engagement, as people prefer to watch them over reading long articles. You can feature informational how-to videos or even customer testimonials to push social proof. 

Additional automotive newsletter best practices

Approach your newsletter with thoughtful detail to keep customers engaged. You don’t want them to unsubscribe or suffocate them with irrelevant and frequent emails. 

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind: 

  1. Determine what type of newsletter you want to send to which customer (we discuss templates for different types of customers in the next section – stay tuned)

  2. Keep it a mix of educational and promotional. Make sure you’re not just promoting your shop. Add value and educate your customers. This shows them you care about them. Hubspot recommends keeping your newsletters 90% educational and 10% promotional.

  3. This may be a hot take, but yes, make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Email recipients won’t like struggling to find an unsubscribe button. Some customers don’t want any email subscriptions, and that is fine too.

  4. Keep it short. No one wants to read long essays. Get to the point, and ensure it is all skimmable and easy to read.

  5. Lastly, and most importantly, do your research. See what competitors are doing. Understand what other newsletters best practices are. Make your newsletter unique for your customers, but study what excels in the marketplace.

We covered the eight best practices for crafting a newsletter. These tips will help you carry out successful campaigns. Now let’s talk about the type of your newsletter. What will it look like? 

This will mostly depend on the objective of your newsletter and the audience you’re sending it to. For instance, are you sending to new customers or older ones? Are you promoting some special deals and discounts or are you just sending a sales newsletter? 

Let’s explore these different types of automotive newsletters. 

5 types of automotive newsletters

5 types of automotive newsletters
1) Introductory automotive newsletter

If you’re sending out an automotive newsletter to your new customers or potential customers, of course you will introduce your auto repair shop. You will talk about your services and what differentiates you. 

In this outreach, you can still offer one-time discounts, talk about some essentials of car maintenance and servicing, and tell them about your personalized automotive care. Your CTA should ask them to book a call with your service advisor or invite them to visit the shop. 

Add informational videos that will give customers a reason to stop by your shop for maintenance and repairs. Add social proof by sending them any video-recorded customer testimonials. Offering social proof to new customers will prove you have a solid customer base. That will lead others to trust you with their vehicles. 

2) Follow-up automotive newsletter

This type of newsletter will target your regular visitors. You want to stay in touch with them between their visits and keep reminding them of other repairs they can take care of. 

For instance, you can talk about the best aftercare for their vehicle after maintenance and servicing. Offer any driving tips or information about where they can go for summer road trips. This is also another great place to offer social proof again. 

Tell them about upcoming events, send them invites, and detail what they can get out of each event you’re hosting. 

3) Special seasonal event newsletter

This type of newsletter will go out ahead of special events such as Black Friday in November, where customers can celebrate and take advantage of seasonal offers. 

Instead of just offering discounts, tell them what they need to do to increase the longevity of their vehicle. Educate them about how they should take care of their vehicles. Then offer those discounts and invite them to book an appointment with you. 

The way you talk to customers matters. Adding value to their life vs. upright selling to them makes a huge difference. You do not want to bore them. 

Celebrate special occasions with them such as Christmas and the 4th of July. Send them greetings from your auto repair shop. You don’t always have to deliver some information or promotional newsletters. Sometimes a simple greeting is good too!

4) Automotive sales newsletter

Do you want to offer special sales discounts? Or even send them an eBook that they might find useful? It could be a guide to help them conduct after-service checks on their vehicles or remind them that their oil change or tire checks are coming up. This will remind customers to book their next appointment with you too. 

5) Educational newsletter

This is an opportunity for you to discuss any industry trends and data that you have available. Having the right knowledge about the automotive industry and trends empowers your customers. And if you help them acquire that knowledge, you will become a thought leader for them. 

You can talk about the latest trending vehicles, prices, maintenance strategies, and any taxes they need to know. Discuss the latest technology with them. For example, electric vehicles and hybrid cars are popular. You can talk to them about how you’re preparing training and equipment to work on these emerging models.

Send easy do-it-yourself tips that can help them carry out checks on their vehicles. Even show customers how they can save money. They will love you for it. 

​If you’re hosting any webinars, invite them to those! Again, those webinars should add value to their life as vehicle owners. After the webinar, send a summary and list the important points discussed. Provide a link to it so they can catch the session or know to attend the next one. 

In short, this is your opportunity to add value to your customer’s life and educate them. Remember, we talked about keeping your newsletters more educational and less promotional? That’s exactly what we meant. 

» Looking to transform your shop? Discover how AutoLeap can help.

Final thoughts

Automotive newsletters are an excellent way to establish undeniable connections with your customers. You can use it to educate them, build that relationship and nurture those leads. Talk to them about their interests. Understand what they want to learn. And solve their problem!

It’s not just a great way to keep your long-time customers engaged between visits, it’s also the best way to engage new and potential customers. The perfect opportunity to show them what you got. 

So start your research, draft the newsletter, and remember these automotive newsletter best practices! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most vehicles from 1996 models to now are compatible with the OBD-2 scanner. However, if the vehicle is older than 1996, then you might need an OBD-1 scanner. 

Using an OBD-2 scanner will not hurt your vehicle’s warranty. But if any issues or faults occur because you worked on the car or tuned it, it will void your vehicle’s warranty. 

OBD-2 scanners with advanced features and functionalities support different makes and models. But you should always check if a certain vehicle is compatible with your scanner. 

OBD-1 was a scanner used in earlier years. It connects to the console of a car. The OBD-2 is an advanced version of OBD-1 that most modern shops use. It offers better signaling protocols and messaging. It also provides more accurate results.

Software updates are available quarterly, after six months, or annually. Updates may become available online. Advanced updates might come about after a year. Your tool provider can guide you on specific update releases. 

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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