How Car Dealerships Can Write Great Emails

Personalized messages convey enthusiasm, professionalism and sincerity.

Richard Libin, President

August 28, 2019

4 Min Read
great emails
A follow-up email may be the step needed to bring a customer back to close the sale.Getty Images

The crucial missing step in many automotive sales efforts is follow up. It’s been proven.

A Wards article, citing research by the National Automobile Dealers Assn. found:  

  • 90% of buyers did not get follow-up contact after leaving the dealership without making a purchase.

  • 90% of the prospects bought somewhere within a week.

Your best opportunity for sales is the business behind you, those that you’ve already talked to and who decided to buy later. That’s who you are chasing with follow-ups.

An effective follow-up strategy includes multiple steps and forms, including emails. While email will never replace personal contact, it can be effective.

How to Write Effective Emails

1. Pay attention to your writing. Ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors.

2. Keep content clear and concise. Help customers understand the message and the benefits so they want to set up a meeting.

3. Avoid using templates, but if you do, be sure they don’t look like a template when they go out. Use the format or a flow you prefer but personalize it. Ensure you take out any placeholders such as, “Insert Name Here.”

4. Remind the customer when you met, what you discussed and how you left things.

5. Provide a summary of your meeting. Include benefits that relate to the customer’s specific needs, wants and desires. For example, emphasize space, reliability and safety to a customer looking for a family car. Talk to new empty nesters about fun and freedom with undertones of quality and economy. (Regarding the latter, they may be empty nesters but could still be paying their kids’ tuition.)

6. Make it easy for them to respond. Use a clear subject line and a specific call to action. Include your phone number and invite them to call or text.

7. Include an article or new information that helps them decide on a vehicle.

8. Never flag your email as urgent or high priority.

9. Don’t be cute or funny. It can backfire. It may not come across the way you meant it or the way it does in person.

The following are examples of how to create personalized emails for different scenarios.

For following up a customer conversation:

Subject line option 1: Wonderful to meet you today!

Subject line option 2: I’ve included information I believe will help!

Good morning (customer’s name).

I appreciate the time you spent with me talking about your search for a vehicle for your family. I want to help you find the right vehicle and buy it.

I want to recap our conversation to be sure I didn’t miss anything that will help find the right vehicle for your needs:

  • Your new vehicle must be flexible enough to hold family and friends or equipment and gear, or both.

  • Since you enjoy family road trips, it must be reliable, safe and comfortable.

  • As the primary driver, you want features that make your life easier and more enjoyable and are easy to use.

I’ve included vehicle information from an independent firm. I think you’ll find it an informative, quick read. I’d like to set up our next meeting, so I can answer any additional questions. Simply click on this link for my online calendar, or call me at  (your phone number).

Many thanks in advance.

Name/company/job title/ work and cell phone/website

For emails after you’ve left a message:

Subject line option 1: Sorry I missed you.

Subject line option 2: When is a good time to chat?

Good day (name). I’m sorry I missed you. I just left a voicemail. I called to (give a reason).

I’ll try you again on (date and time), but feel free to reach me whenever works best for you at (phone number) or shoot me an email. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Name/company/job title/ work and cell phone/website

For emails after you’ve left several messages:

Subject line option 1: Hoping we can connect!

Hi (name), I’m sorry we haven’t been able to connect recently. The last time we met, you seemed quite interested in (model).

I realize you’re incredibly busy, and I want to respect your time. I’d be happy to schedule a meeting whenever it works for you – even after hours. If it’s more convenient, I can come to your location.

Many thanks.

Name/company/job title/ work and cell phone/website

Believe it or not, a handwritten note still gets the best attention. People feel you took time especially for them. It puts you a step above the rest.

But in certain cases, a follow-up email may be the step needed to bring a customer back to close the sale.

These guidelines help you create personalized emails that extend relationships, convey enthusiasm, show professionalism and demonstrate sincerity.

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And, of course, you’ll close more business.

Richard F. Libin is the author of two self-improvement sales books, “Who Knew?” and “Who Stopped the Sale?” As he says, “Everyone is a selling something.” He is president of Automotive Profit Builders, a firm with more that works with sales and service professionals to build customer satisfaction and maximize gross profits through personnel development and technology. He is at [email protected], 508-626-9200 and www.apb.cc.

About the Author(s)

Richard Libin

President, APB-Automotive Profit Builders, Inc.

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