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Conquest Email Marketing is Cheating (sort of)

Posted by Dave Lemmon on March 29, 2018

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Your dealership just finished a conquest email marketing campaign. Your vendor sent you a report and you matched 38 new customer sales! Your ROI is a whopping 50 grand over your spend on the campaign for the last 90 days, clearly its time to celebrate. Is it? Did you sell more cars than those 90 days last year, or was revenue flat? Lots of dealerships I've seen showed a ton of ROI, a ton of matched sales, but didn't impact the YOY a penny. Know why? Because traditional conquest email is shooting a shotgun at a dart board. Bullseye every time..also, your walls are destroyed and you need a new dartboard.


Here's the truth: if I send out emails to 200,000 people in your DMA that you aren't doing business with, by the time I'm done some of them will be your customers. If I send them to people who own your brand already, that number will increase a little. The attribution, however, is fuzzy at best. I fired a shotgun at a dartboard and hit the entire board...so, of course, I hit the bullseye too. You likely hit that exact same bullseye with Google, Facebook, a billboard, a bus stop bench, a TV spot, a sticker on a sold vehicle, and an ad on CarGurus...but they aren't telling you they sold that car for you, just your conquest email guy is.


Conquest email marketing doesn't sell your cars. There, I said it. Any more than that bench ad, that billboard, that Facebook Ad, that TV spot...it didn't sell your car. It isn't magic. It is advertising. View it for what it is and you can then plan a strategy that makes the most sense. Email has advantages no other medium does. You can't know how many people saw your bench, let alone how many cared about it. You can with email. You know how many you sent, how many were seen, and how many clicked. You know the ones who clicked are going to see you again and again if you are re-targeting. You know what they did when they went to your website. You have more insight into the effectiveness of the campaign and the value of the audience than any other advertising you spend on today. With all that knowledge, certainly you can do better than a shotgun at a dartboard, right?


The answer is "yes". You can spend less, target fewer, and create meaningful matches if you aren't just firing away with no aim. You may not be creating single attribution sales (because there are none), but you will be making a much higher impact on the right people at the right time. You create the list of people to avoid emailing with your DMS, but that same DMS data can create the list you should email. You have a customer profile, even if you haven't identified it yet.

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Your customers aren't 25 and older making 30k and up in a 50 mile radius. They're much more specific than that. What if 78% of your customers are 36-45, married, with a college degree, making 75-150k, with a 600 or better credit score and own a home? If you emailed people who looked exactly like that, owned your brand, and also weren't doing business with you now...that's not a shotgun, that's precision. Now put them in your 10 zip codes as opposed to a giant circle on a map. Precise. That's still not suggesting you are sending them a magical email that turns them into a buyer, but it changes the weight of the impression because the audience should care more about it. Make sure those opens and clicks are to people that care about your message and they will have more value. Your matches will actually reflect people driven to the store with your campaign instead of the random bullseyes you hit with that elephant gun. You will actually increase your sales year over year. You will have real return on your investment.

AutoSweet is driving precision marketing with measured ROI in real time. To learn more, call me directly at 614-745-0635.

Topics: Email Marketing, Conquest