Five ways to improve your customer e-newsletter. Learn more at NADA Booth 6718W

There’s no shortage of opportunities for businesses to reach out to clients. Tools like email, social media, guerilla marketing and viral videos all rest at your disposal.


Yet all these devices don’t automatically make your marketing more efficient. A poorly worded or offensive Tweet tarnishes months of goodwill.  Sending out too many emails makes people search for the “unsubscribe” link.


“A monthly newsletter about your products engages readers while inviting them to participate in your business,” said Jay Alling, founder of Sensible Driver.


Auto dealerships use Sensible Driver to connect with their customers. Subscribers get relevant auto information on topics such as routine maintenance and safety tips. Coupons attached to the newsletter invite clients into the service center.


Here are five suggestions from Alling about what makes newsletters an efficient way to connect with clients.


1)   A newsletter needs to be more than a sales device:


“You don’t build customer loyalty by trying to sell them something every time you talk to them,” he said. “An e-mail newsletter with relevant content builds rapport and helps customers get the most value out of their auto investment.”


For example, an article about how to care for your interior and paint helps the resale value. Or an article about tire issues can entice a customer to act on related offers for tires.


2)   Make it relevant.


Generally, article content should relate to your business. There’s nothing wrong with a general interest article as part of the overall newsletter, but the majority should relate to your business. As an auto dealer, your newsletter should include local stories about the dealership, information about the brand and tips on how customers can get more out of their vehicle investment.


3)   Content is king.


“Customers recognize the difference between poorly crafted content and e-mail newsletters than contain quality articles,” said Alling, a former reporter who also worked as editor at global high tech firms. “Articles must include proper sourcing, quotes and attribution. It goes a long way toward credibility.”


Articles within the newsletter should provide readers with an expert’s opinion on a given subject. When it publishes stories about a subject such as brakes, the Sensible Driver editorial team interviews expert sources. While this process takes time and patience, the resulting information educates readers and builds dealership brand loyalty.


4)   Don’t overwhelm your subscribers.


Sensible Driver sends out customer email newsletters at least monthly. The frequency keeps users engaged and helps lower unsubscribes.


“Frequency and relevancy are the two most important keys to maintaining customer interest and viewing rates,” he said.


5)   Consider your audience when creating content.


“An e-newsletter needs to be something you want to read,” Alling said. “Ask yourself if you would read the email if it dropped into your inbox. If not, take a good look at the type of content you are including.


“A dealer e-newsletter offers a soft-sell approach with professionally written content,” he said. “Readers place a high value on articles about each profit center – vehicle sales, service, parts. Using such a customer-focused approach yields dividends on a dealer’s bottom line.”

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