At Auto iLead, the most important task we perform each day is helping people. To help people we must first understand them, their needs, and how to truly HELP. Our commitment to help drives us to enhance the relationship a customer has with a dealership prior to arranging their appointment to inspect or test drive a vehicle. Keep in mind that our leads originate as an email to our dealer clients. Email is often our only means of communication which means we have to be the best! In a fast-paced society, communicating via email is often the preferred method for dialogue. We are happy to email when our competition will not.

What’s our secret?

Generate a response. Our team of communication experts email using a proven technique designed to generate a response.  Sequence, word choice, and focus on the logical next step in the buying process creates a comfortable and helpful feeling that the recipient appreciates.  Emails written well avoid controversy and remain conversational with a helpful undertone. Poorly written emails may appear grammatically correct, but leave the audience uninspired to respond. No response to an email is a hurdle to the process requiring additional work and prompts to motivate our reader into sending us something to keep the dialogue alive.

Beautiful Art

Email communication is an art and ever-evolving. Examples help us to see what is possible. With that in mind, we want to give back and help the world communicate better. Non-verbal communication accounts for about ten percent of the three components which make up communication in face-to-face meetings, but it is our only tool when we email. Without inflection and body language, we must be incredible with our word choice and sequence. In the upcoming blog posts, we will help professionals everywhere learn from our extensive research. Normal email-only prospects require 20 to 30 emails prior to making a buying decision. Occasionally, this process takes 60 to 80 emails. Our experiences provide us with helpful insight that will enhance your communication with others to build trust and earn more business. Below you will find the first real life email example and our commentary. Check back often to read more on email best practices!


This email example is the first in our series (these are in no particular order). We emailed Heather last month the unfortunate news that a vehicle she had been extremely interested in had recently sold. Knowing a customer is extremely interested in purchasing a vehicle from your dealership is very exciting. When someone else buys the vehicle first, we back to our investigative process where we begin to learn more about our prospect.

The following draft was written by an AEC (ammatuer email communicator). We see a grammatically correct email with the concept of emailing for a response in mind. It turns out there is more to earning a response.

  • Draft

The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD we have been discussing recently sold. There are plenty of other vehicles out there, and we would love to assist you in finding the perfect one. What other makes and models are you considering?

  • Final

The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD we have been discussing recently sold. I will continue to assist you with finding the perfect vehicle.  What specifics are you able to share with me regarding your desired year range, acceptable budget and pricing criteria?

Notice the direction of the draft is a bit cold as it discusses plenty of other vehicles. To make it worse, the term “we would love” is used which takes the focus off what our prospect wants and turns the attention to what we want.  Avoid phrases that turn the focus toward what you want. Instead, consider helping others find what they want. Finally, the last question will puzzle a prospect if they are not considering other makes and models. When someone decides to buy a Chevrolet Silverado, they want a Chevrolet Silverado. Remember, the prospect committed to buy and then someone beats them to it. If we email and ask, “what other makes and models are you considering?” Their mind race as concerns are raised about the sales representative’s ability to listen and/or care about their expressed interests and needs.

It’s exciting to see where a response starts and ends. Through constant collaboration, we constantly learn from one another and compose the best response possible while keeping an eye on the time. Try to avoid spending too much time. Improving an email is always possible if you spend more time. Remember: Time is your great limiter and we must be excellent and quick!

Here is the final version again:

Hi Heather,

The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD we have been discussing recently sold. I will continue to assist you with finding the perfect vehicle.  What specifics are you able to share with me regarding your desired year range, acceptable budget and pricing criteria?

We begin with the negative news and hit it head on. Follow this bad news by educating them on the next step down our path as we assist them with their vehicle search. We wouldn’t want to give up just because the vehicle they wanted sold. Protect your investment that has been made up to this point and stay the course. Finally, tie up the email with a question to earn a response. This particular question offers several choices as opposed to one. Odds are on our side that part or all of the question will merit a response. When the customer responds, we win. If we learn one piece of new information, we win twice as much.  For example, say our prospect writes back and says, “I need to stay under $350 per month.”  We still are not clear on the year, mile or equipment range, but we have a better grasp of their needs.

Our team will not give up on helping our customer with their pursuit to find the perfect vehicle. The next step remains the same, to learn as much about their requirements as possible now that the initial vehicle has sold. The first response back will start us in the right direction and often stimulates more questions bringing us closer to the right vehicle and an appointment. This is a huge step towards developing a strong bond. Prospects will take away that you are not simply just trying to sell them a unit, but here to help!

Absorption Check:  Multiple responses add up, building emotional capital, thus improving the relationship with your client making it difficult for them to shop anywhere else.

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Comment by Jason Mickelson on December 3, 2013 at 9:38pm

Tom, I am glad you posted back your thoughts and I especially appreciate the wishes for success.  

Stan, as a well-established voice in the industry, your affirmation means a great deal, too!

Email training isn't the most glamorous, but it is one of our passions.  We are extremely excited for future discussions regarding email approach.  

Comment by Stan Sher on December 3, 2013 at 12:56am

This is very powerful.  There is very good use of word choices.  I can't tell you how many email templates I have seen that are either misspelled or not worded properly.  The fact that words are only 7% effective in communication is true. It is amazing how sometime people can misread something and feel a sort of way about what they read when the meaning is actually different from what they felt.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on December 2, 2013 at 11:35pm
Jason... Thanks for sharing the logic. Nice to see you put so much into communication. All the best for success with your product
Comment by Jason Mickelson on December 1, 2013 at 3:21pm

Thanks for your comment Tom.  Before responding specifically, keep in mind that all of the emails we will be sharing initially are custom emails that have been used one time.  In our custom emails we error on the side of professional (could substitute stuffy) because we know that professional emails work with professional prospects as well as those who may not label themselves as professional.  We want to communicate in a way that every reader will be able to understand us perfectly.  Because email only uses 10% of human communication assets, we must be careful to ensure our reader interprets us correctly.  In addition, when executed properly, professional language and sequence is used to include subliminal messages if you will.  These messages affect the readers mind and thoughts without them knowing how or why (I'll explain more below).  


You will see a trend that many of our emails are short, but that is a result of the prospects communication style.  In the event that someone writes us a lengthy email which includes multiple points or questions, we will respond in a similar fashion.  When someone become lazy or relaxed with his/her word choice in an email, the effect is diminished. Remember, we are only using 10% of our communication skills in an email when we lack inflection and body language to convey meaning.  The professional (people who have great credit and are serious about buying a car) are turned off or unmotivated by the email and may not even know why. People shopping online expect to deal with a professional who is educated on the product and who understand the proper order of events the buyer must travel before making any type of commitment.  When you use poor language (sometimes it only takes one sentence) or rush the process, people become difficult to reach, which creates extra work. We train and encourage the best email the first time.      


The second sentence, "I will continue to assist you with finding the perfect vehicle." is far from casual.  Here are a few thoughts on this particular sentence and the purpose or deeper psychology behind it.  

  1. Professional to instill confidence in our ability to assist.
  2. This sentence informs the reader of what will happen next.  (Agendas are important to sales and work well in emails, too)
  3. The verbiage is assuming thus planting the seed of control and power as we move to sentence three. This will help them digest sentence three in which the reader will see we expect a response with additional information. 
  4. Sentence #2 accomplishes what the writer hoped to accomplish in the first draft without making it about us.  Prospects do not want to hear about what we want. 
  5. Complete avoidance of any negative words that may be read differently than intended.
  6. Utilizes several key words that the reader will enjoy such as: Continue, Assist, Finding, Perfect.


Keep your audience in mind as you write.  Americans have a narcissistic attitude that should not be overlooked.  We care about ourselves unless a strong relationship has been formed with the other individual.  This may sound harsh, but it is reality.  Avoid talking about what you would love.  Turn your attention toward planting seeds and pleasing people.  Give them ideas about what they might do to help themselves. Show them how providing information will make their shopping process easier.  This takes skill and practice.  It is much more natural to simply tell the reader what we want, but be cautious of this because of your limited rapport and/or control that we all battle prior to making the sale.


ps. Tom, I agree with you about CRM templates being too long. People are busy and have short attention spans in general. 

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on November 30, 2013 at 10:09am

Jason - I see a genuine need for better communication skills in the dealership setting, but the second sentence in the final version seems a big stuffy to me. Within the bounds of decent grammar (which even mass media seems to ignore), don't you find that keeping it a bit casual to be more effective - especially with a shopper that has become dumbed-down communication-wise with social media.

I LOVE that you keep it short - I think most canned CRM responses are 5x longer than they need to be.

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