Email Blast vs Push Notifications - Which is More Effective?

What is the most effective way for a dealer to communicate with their customers?  For years dealers have used e-mails and SMSs.  As long as you have an e-mail address and a cell phone, through your CRM system, you can theoretically contact thousands of customers instantly.  Though they lack personal touch and can even seem intrusive they are still relatively effective.  And now that mobile has become the most impactful communication platform due to its massive growth over the past five years, the ability to reach more customers quicker via their devices is impressive.  The downside to SMS is you legally always need to include an “opt-out’ feature which means another vendor, another process, another system, and ultimately more money.  When you include Push Notifications via a mobile app, the consumer reach impact is even more powerful.  But which is more effective? 

How effective is E-Mail?

Let’s consider some known facts about sending out e-mails blast to attract new customers and reach out to your existing customers. 

  • Average open rate for dealers is less than 10%

  • Possibility of spam and malware spread is high

  • First reach is slow (most go to Junk Mail)

  • Costs can be extremely high for regular e-mail blast campaigns (thousands per month)

  • The engagement depends on content (if there are links) and the length of the message

  • Opt out rate is from 20%-50%


How effective are Push Notifications?

The investment into a mobile app, allows for dealers to be able to use Push Notifications to reach their customers.  Customers need to know about the app and agree to Push Notifications.  However, the advantages are worth noting:

  • Low cost – unlimited messages (you only pay the monthly fee to have an app)

  • High engagement and delivery speed (97% view rate on pop-up)

  • Targeted using location awareness (Geo Fencing)

  • Can’t be ignored (no SPAM or malware)

  • Less distractions (right to the point)

  • Opt out rate is less than 15%


    A BMW dealership located in NJ did a comparison – E-mail blast vs Push Notification blast.  They spend about $3500 to send out an e-mail blast to the 10,000 e-mails in their database.  Their average e-mail open rate is about 10%.  So about 1000 customers opened up the e-mail (doesn’t necessarily mean they read it or acted on it.)


    The same dealer has about 4000 people that downloaded their app and about 3000 agreed to accept Push Notifications (that’s about 75% of their app users….).  Push Notifications averages about 50% open rate. So the same message that was sent out via e-mail that reached 1000 customers, reached 1500 app users.  Remember, these messages cannot go to SPAM, include malware, get moved to a folder, etc.  1500 app users actually read the message.


    The results: 1 out of 10 may have seen the e-mail message. Nearly 4 out of 10 read the push message!

    It’s safe to say from this actual test that Mobile App Push Messages are 4 times more effective than e-mail blasts at a fraction of the cost!


Push Notifications May Be Just the Boost You Need

Dealers around the nation are discovering the strategic value of push notifications. To reach your engaged customers—those who care enough about your dealer to download and use your app—e-mail just can’t match the timeliness, targeting, conversion and relevance of push notifications.

With careful planning and message development, push notifications can help you reach your customers more effectively than ever. It’s time to push your marketing to the next level.

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Comment by Ed Louis on June 2, 2015 at 1:16pm

Yes it does Bruce.  Thanks for reading the article.  We hope this type of message reaches out to as many dealers as possible. Awareness can lead to new opportunities and more business. 

Comment by Bruce Polkes on June 2, 2015 at 1:57am

You make a great point, Ed. Not all messages are equal, and you have to look at beyond just the quantity at the quality and efficiency. Mobile has many advantages -- this is a great example of one of them!

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