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email welcome kit

Is it Time to Replace Direct Mail with an Email Welcome Kit?

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When you’re trying to increase the customer retention at your auto dealership, you’ve got to get personal. Traditionally, this involved a lot of printed materials that were sent to customers to inform and remind them to return to your dealership following their initial purchase. The only problem is, a lot of the time, those materials got tossed in the trash without a second look. Because of this, savvy dealers are embracing the email welcome kit.

Between printing costs and postage costs, direct mail just isn’t feasible anymore. Plus, email correspondence comes with a larger return on investment. A study by the Direct Marketing Association shows that the average ROI for email is $28.5, with direct mail only bringing in a $7 ROI. Not only this, but email is also more customizable, engaging, and interactive.

Ready to replace your direct mail efforts with email? Here’s what you need to create an interactive and personal email welcome kit.

The Benefits of an Email Welcome Kit

More than anything, email correspondence allows you to get your personalized message to customers quickly and efficiently, when and how they want it. People read their emails everywhere they go, on multiple devices, and at all hours of the day. An email welcome kit can be at your customer’s disposal anytime they need to access it. They’re not going to be carrying around a flyer or a brochure.

Emails are also one of the most budget-friendly and least expensive marketing tools. Emails come with a low Cost Per Acquisition — $21.10 as compared to $31.10 for direct mails. And if you design and manage email marketing campaigns in-house, you can save even more money.

Email welcome kits receive a higher level of customer engagement, too. A study by Experian shows that welcome emails are opened four times more than normal emails. The improved engagement rate paves the way for a unique opportunity to build a communication channel — and a strong relationship — right from the start.

More Than Just a Positive First Impression

An email welcome kit is a great way to make a first impression and show your customers that they’re part of the family. But they can do so much more. So, what exactly should be the goals of an engaging and interactive welcome email?

For one, you want to acquaint new customers with your dealership. Two, you need to describe the value you’re bringing to the table.

These are the two key points you cannot afford to skip if you want to get the most out of your email welcome kit. Start by stating your value proposition. This provides the customers with reassurance that they have made an informed decision by choosing your dealership. This can also provide you with an opportunity to clearly define and explain any additional services or features that could draw more interest to your dealership.

Once you’ve welcomed them with the necessary information about their benefits, get them completely set up with your dealership. You can ask them to set their preferences (email or SMS), complete their profile information, and upgrade the account or complete a purchase. This will provide exceptional overall customer experience and ultimately help your dealership’s business grow.

Other Things to Include in an Email Welcome Kit

As previously mentioned, you want customers to see value in your dealership immediately. In the case of an auto dealership, customers often need additional help. For example, customers may want additional information on changing oil filters, what type of wiper blades to use, how to book their car maintenance services, etc. Whether it’s your website’s FAQ page, how-to video tutorials, or a helpful blog, be sure to include useful content in your email welcome kit.

To make the email welcome kit more attractive, you can even add coupons or promotions. By offering a discount or gift, you can create goodwill between your dealership and your new subscribers. It may even lead to a purchase. Another study by Experian shows that welcome emails with coupons get 2.5 times higher transaction rates than welcome emails without coupons.

The last and most important step is to make sure the customers know how and where to contact you and the days and times their complimentary maintenance appointments are scheduled. Make it easy for them to keep coming back. Including contact information in welcome emails is a useful way to foster a trust-based relationship. It drives customer loyalty and reassures them that you’re always available to answer their questions and address any concerns.

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About the Author

Richard Knight

Rick Knight is an Automotive Customer Retention Executive who founded Certified Maintenance® Programs in 1996. Rick has been successful in building custom retention strategies for thousands of auto dealers to better than double CP/RO counts in the first 12 months of ownership, drive back 34+% of lost opportunity customers and help auto dealers Sell The Next Vehicle™. 

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