This is the 30 Days To Sell Cars Podcast. In this episode, we're talking about Conquest Email Marketing and how you can use this powerful tactic to generate awareness, leads, and deals from people who might have never considered you, your brand or your dealership. If you want to increase your sales and put more deals on the board this month, you're not going to want to miss this episode of our podcast.
Hi, my name is Sean Cassy, and today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite strategies when it comes to conquesting new business for car dealers. That's Conquest Email Marketing campaigns, or in other words, sending emails to people who are not yet your customers. Now to help me shed some light for you on the do’s and don'ts of Conquest Email campaigns, I have invited my friend and email marketing ninja, Tony Carbon to show you the ropes, if it's your first attempt and expand your knowledge if you're already familiar with this proven marketing concept. Tony, I want to welcome you to the show and thank you for taking some time to share with our listeners your expertise.
Tony: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure being here.
Sean: Tony, let's immediately talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to conquest emails and talk about its legality. We have people from around the world listening to the show and with the GDPR regulations and the European Union or CASL in Canada and similar regulations probably coming soon in the US, some of our listeners might wrongfully assume this tactic cannot be executed in their market.
Now a quick footnote, very important, just to be clear, Tony and I are not lawyers, and nothing we are saying in this podcast should be construed as legal advice. You should always investigate the laws and guidelines in your market thoroughly and when in doubt, hire legal counsel to avoid breaking any laws. Tony, what I would like you to elaborate on is the fact that Conquest Email Marketing campaigns are sent to contacts who had legitimately opt-in to a specific list and who have agreed to receive emails from marketing partners. Can you elaborate and explain a little bit more?
Tony: Yes, that's exactly true. We are CAN-SPAM compliant in the United States; we are GDPR compliant in the European Nation and also CASL compliant in Canada. Basically, the clients in our database or customers, however you want to call it, have actually opted in into our database. They've given us all their information. Now, we keep the information that they've given us private. What we do is we basically process it and make sure that everything is correct. If anyone ever asks, we have the date and timestamp of when they've opted in into our database, the IP address they used, the device ID and so forth. We have that information readily available; this is what they have actually given us.
Sean: You're not selling the list or renting it? You're simply making available the contacts on your list, right?
Tony: That is correct. We never sell our lists. Since we have private information on our clients, it's never divulged to any other company. We just market our clients on their behalf.
Sean: Now, how many contacts do you have available for dealers in North America? Are these predominantly available in big markets or are they also available for dealers in rural areas?
Tony: Excellent question. We have approximately 300 million opt-in consumers in our database. We have it going by 30, 60 and 90-day market buyers. We can use our data for both rural areas, or if you're in a major city, that is not a problem. We can run account for any dealer basically that's out there. The only thing is, it all depends on how far out that they want to go as far as mileage or anything like that is concerned.
Sean: Tony, what I would like you to do is to walk our listeners through the main steps of a normal campaign. From figuring out the number of contacts available to deployment. Just a big milestone, though. I want our listeners to get a bird's eye view of what's involved in making this happen.
Tony: Okay. That's fairly easy. Basically, what we want to do first is we want to know exactly what they're selling. What kind of vehicle do they have? Do they have a luxury brand? Do they have a standard brand? Are they looking to sell the vehicle or are they looking to lease the vehicle? We want to know their geo area. Possibly, they want to say, "We want a certain income or credit level." We want to know their buying history or their leasing history and so forth. Once we do that, then we can basically run a count and find out exactly who's in market for their dealership.
Sean: Tony, you took the time when we started working together to educate me on the two different reporting models available in the industry when it comes to consumer data. One, the predictive model and two, the self-reported model. Could you explain both to our listeners and provide us with maybe the pros and cons of each and tell us which one in your opinion would provide better results?
Tony: Well, there's pros and cons to both. Let's start with the predictive model. Let's say, for example; we have a John Doe or Jane Doe. They have been purchasing the domestic vehicle from the United States for the last say 15 years. They normally lease, or they normally sell, and they purchase or buy. However, let's say every four or five years. Their fifth year is coming up, so we predict that they're going to be buying another domestic vehicle like the one they're presently driving. That's the prediction model.
The bad part about that is we don't actually know what they're going to do. They may go to a different brand; they may go into an import. However, with the self-reported model, this is basically where John Doe or Jane Doe basically came to us saying, "Yes, I am in the market for an import. I normally drive a domestic vehicle, but I'm looking at an import SUV this time." That's a major, major plus as far as that is concerned.
Another thing that's basically perfect about a self-reported model is that we leverage their digital footprint. We prequalify to purchase or lease a brand or a vehicle. That's basically what it is. If they're targeting a certain brand, we're able to leverage their digital footprint and keep an eye and see what's going on there. A downfall of that is they may change their mind along the way. That would be the only downfall for the self-reported model.
Sean: Interesting. Let's talk now about the importance of having a strong offer. I mean, you can have the best data in the world. If the offer you're presenting the prospect is lame, you're not going to get a lot of reaction from your efforts. Plus, we always have to keep in mind that these contacts or conquest contacts do not exist in customers. They don't know, like and trust the sender yet. In your opinion, Tony, what are the components of a good conquest offer?
Tony: A good conquest offer is a good brand at a great price. If you're having a lease of 199 a month or 299 a month, let them know exactly what's going on with that. Give them as much information as you can so that they can make an irrational decision of saying, "I really like that offer. I like the brand. Let me look into it further." That would be a good one.
Sean: Just to drive your point even further, what's the opposite of a good offer? Tell us what a bad one would look like.
Tony: A bad offer would be, let's say, for example, we have this vehicle here, and we're offering $3,500 off MSRP. What is MSRP? That's the problem. We don't know what the MSRP is; we don't know what the monthly payments are, we don't even know how much the vehicle is.
Sean: Clarity is quintessential to a good offer. That's what you're saying.
Tony: Absolutely. Give the consumer everything they need, what their monthly payment would be, what their down payment would be, with an interest rate that they would qualify for and if they want additional information somewhere on there to contact the dealership.
Sean: Tony, how critical is a good subject line to a Conquest Email Campaign?
Tony: The subject line is the most important. That is where you have to actually capture your audience. If you have a bad subject line, they're not going to open your email, but if you have something good that pops and say, "Hey, you know what, that is interesting to me. Let me see what they have to offer." That is critical because that's basically the front door of your dealership today.
Sean: What's the best subject line you've seen? Do you have one in particular that comes to mind?
Tony: I don't have one that actually comes to mind because of the geography and the different types of dealerships and different types of brand and so forth. Each one is basically customized for that type of vehicle. You may want to talk with someone, throw some ideas at them, discuss it a little bit, see what worked in the past, what didn't work in the past. A subject line will always be changing because times are always changing. The time of year is changing.
Sean: What you're saying is always to be sensitive to context, your audience, and your offer when choosing a subject line. Great Information. How much personalization should be included in the campaign? Is first name, last name enough? Does adding more merge fields increase conversions? When is it too much?
Tony: Well, as far as personalization is concerned, the first name is adequate. You don't want anyone to know that you have a lot more information about them than possibly their first or last name, give them the option to give you some more information. As far as personalization is concerned, first name is efficient.
Sean: Yes, I hadn't thought about that, but it might come off a little creepy if you have too much information about the person, good point. Do you recommend Tony, adding a click-through link to a specific webpage from within the body of the email? If yes, how does it help the results of the campaign?
Tony: That is the most excellent question. The reason why is-- let's say, for example, I'm looking at a vehicle. I like the vehicle; I like the pricing, I like the down payment, I like the monthly payments on here. I want to know more about it. When I click on that vehicle, it's going to bring me from my email to the dealer's website to that specific vehicle where I can obtain a lot more information, that is very very critical.
Especially, if let's say someone wants to be pre-qualified, "I really like that vehicle on the email, but I don't know if I can afford it or not. Let me click on qualify, or their finance button, let me go right to that." They'll click on the finance button, brings them right to the finance department on the website of the dealership, they fill in their information, and they'll be able to know exactly if they qualify or not.
Sean: I often make a parallel between email marketing campaigns and a 4 by 400 meter relay race where the subject line runs the first leg of the race, the body of the email the second, the landing page from the click-through link the third, and the sales team runs the last and final leg, their responsibility is to bring the deal home. It's kind of the same stages you're explaining here. What would you say, Tony, about consistency?
Continue reading part 2 of this interview here