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Implementing Best Email Sending Practices

Automotive Repair

A consummate email campaign will boost your business' bottom line and requires time and effort on behalf of the business owner. When you determine that the time is right to launch an all-encompassing email marketing campaign, make sure to consider the following points.

Conventional advertising generates minor liability so long as the advertisement's claims are met. Email marketing presents new challenges. Two primary regulatory structures must be satisfied: Industry self-regulatory standards as well as federal and state laws.
Applicable legislation states that specific and particular approval must be gathered from the subscriber, and that approval must be permanently stored on your systems for future audit before any customer can be placed on your email newsletter subscription list. Penalties for not following these guidelines can be severe.
CAN-SPAM Must Be Respected
Federal CAN-SPAM regulations precisely detail the definition of proper approval by a customer to receive your emails. In strict legal terms, CAN-SPAM is basically "opt-out legislation," enforcing the right of any consumer to be taken off your list at their request. Email marketing best practices preempt potential legal action by mandating that clear and unequivocal permission be obtained from each prospective subscriber prior to adding them to the list. The violation of CAN-SPAM legislation is a very serious charge and carries heavy pecuniary penalties for each individual violation.
Unsubscription Faciliation
If a subscriber wishes to remove their subscription, your business is required to supply a readily available, easy to use and absolutely effective process to that end. Each request to unsubscribe must be honored fully and immediately, as federal legislation unequivocally penalizes violators.
Bouncing Email Management
When an email cannot be properly delivered it is typically returned through a Mailer Daemon function. Emails return as either soft or hard bounces: Both types need to be taken seriously. Resending emails to an address previously resulting in a hard bounce may damage your online reputation, as future emails may be interpreted by ISPs as having been sent by a spamming organization.
Privacy Policy
It can be tempting to visit a competing auto repair facility's website and simply copy and paste their privacy policy for your own use. The lack of a personalized and fully relevant privacy policy can create severe legal problems. Always consult your automotive repair business attorney and have them draft up a policy specific to your business for online use.
Properly Segment the List
Your customer base drives everything from luxury vehicles to rusty "beaters," and understanding the profound differences between your clients is an important tool for segmenting email lists for your automotive repair business. Email segmentation allows you to stratify your subscriber list according to the vehicle, the likely type of service a subscriber desires and by an additional wealth of demographic, psychographic, lifecycle and behavior patterns. By performing this sort of analysis and developing specifically targeted content for each strata, you will more accurately appeal to the individual subscriber's needs for services and turn them into satisfied, repeat customers.
Keep Testing the Content
Set aside your "gut" feeling of what might appeal to particular segments of your subscription list. Instead, engage in a series of what is known as A/B tests. These tests devise content to appeal to particular strata on your list, testing samples for response review. Continual A/B testing finely hones marketing appeal and maximizes positive responses - leading to additional sales.
Obtain the Customer's Data
No consumer appreciates divulging large amounts of personal data unless it is absolutely necessary, but a fine balance must be achieved in soliciting as much of this information as possible without losing a prospect. Put a potential subscriber at ease about why you are collecting that information. Stress that their data will be kept secure and never be sold or bartered to third parties. As you are able to build up your customer information database, you will find that your segmentation efforts will lead to consistently more accurate results.
Analyze Customer Behavior Patterns
Open and click-through rates are a good indicator of a customer's general behavior when they receive your emails. Some don't open your emails at all, and it is advisable to prune these names from your list. Others open and read your emails, but never follow through with an action (known as a click-through). These subscribers are actually being reached by your emails and should remain on the list. Another set of customers may not click through to your landing page but are likely to call you from the side of the road when they have a mechanical breakdown. Lastly, there are the customers who both habitually read and click through to your landing pages. These are the conventionally most desirable prospects. Much can be learned from these behaviors, and your content can be focused and your list further segmented to appeal more strongly to each of these types.
Good Email Practices
There are a wide variety of industry standard practices that should be integrated into all of your email campaigns. Subject lines need to be finely crafted to ensure the customer is incentivized to open your email and read it. It is also recommended that multiple landing pages be implemented to dovetail with your segmentation and A/B testing efforts.
Email Metrics
Statistical data indicates that nearly nine of ten automotive repair business owners and managers are not aware of their click-through rate, and more than three-quarters do not track their open rates. Engaging in email campaigns while failing to track important email metrics is a very basic and elementary error, and denies your business access to a wide range of factors that can be utilized to improve sales. Reviewing your main metrics of open rates and CTRs as they progress over at least a year will help you spot ways to improve your conversion rates significantly.