The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 1 year ago

Does Email Marketing Still Work? w/ Erik Huberman


Whenever you hear someone say "email marketing is dead" think again. Erik Huberman, founder of Hawke Media explains that email marketing open rates have remained the same for the last several years at an average of 15%. 

Contrast those numbers to your current ad performance, and there is a chance that your emails have a higher chance of being opened and read. That's only half the battle, however. It's one thing to have people open your emails, it's another to make sure the quality and messaging align with your overall marketing strategy. 

That's where many dealers fall short. Email is another avenue to blast promotional messages rather than a place to keep the conversation with customers open; to build relationships of trust.

Does email marketing still work? Listen to what Erik Huberman has to say.

Access the full show notes, timestamps, resources, and more at 

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Hey, gang, you know what's on my mind? More than deleting all the annoying kids shows that show up in my YouTube watch. History from over quarantine. Better marketing decisions. Yep, that's right. That's why I'm so excited to be supported by my friends at Pier cars who put the power of data and superior information into the hands of dealers where it belongs. Use peer car to make a better marketing decisions and get better results. Visit Pierre cars dot com to get a free no risk, no obligation digital strategy analysis today That's Pierre cars dot com. Yeah, there's a lot of hype around shiny object, right? Like we're shiny objects. And look at the new software. Look at the new tool. Look at the new this and...

...that. And then we we I'm not saying we like you and I because I don't really believe in this. But like as an industry, we kind of go and present those and say, Here's the solution that's going to solve all of your problems. And most often it comes down to No. What? What tools do I already have at my disposal? My website. I have social platforms. I have ad platforms. I have email marketing. What am I gonna do with those? Because I don't think I fully explored everything I can actually do with those email marketing. Somebody said it the other day when somebody says that a certain method is dying, that's an indication that it's not 100% whether you're saying that because I've said this a lot, and I totally agree. Email marketing. So I've been doing this for a decade. A little more, actually. An email marketing stats are exactly as the same as they were a decade ago, meaning it's not better. It's not like it's skyrocketed. It's just not worse. It hasn't declined. The average open rate on an email is 15% in e commerce. The average click through it is 3%. It has been that stat in terms of averages for probably 15...

...years. Before that, it was probably hired was probably better. So it declined at some point a long time ago. But then it just kind of steady state and even to this day, like I'm an investor in an SMS platform, you would think it's competitive, but no do both. SMS is 10 times as effective as email marketing. It's just harder to get a phone number, but still it's a lot more effective, but both because different people respond to different modes of communication. It's not like the it reminds me of the hubspot method. Everybody thought it was controversial. It's like I just want the e book. Why do I have to put in my name first? Name, last name, email, Phone number. Best time of day to contact you. What's your biggest marketing challenge? How big is your organization? And you just said something that triggered that thought process. And it was It's harder. Fewer people will get through, but the ones that get through are likely to be much, much more qualified, so that when I do speak to them about that topic, they're more likely to take action when it's a balance. We have a pretty big sale. At this point. It is always a balance...

...between filtering out qualified leads and keeping the funnel open. But you start to realize as you scale early on, you want to take any way you can get and figure it out. But you get to a point where you realize how much at scale. Time is wasted on shitty leads that you do start to want to filter those out. Even if you filter with some of the good with the bad, the efficiency makes you so much more money. Yeah, amazing. Now let's talk about email marketing for a minute because especially, you were just talking about your wife's leasing experience. We I was in a room yesterday with an individual from one of the O E. M s. Um, it happens to be the vehicle that we bought. My wife loves her SUV, but the process to get that SUV, and by the way, I am a complete and total lay down. I want that one. That's how I buy cars. I want that one right there, you know. Oh, well, hold on. Let's bring you back into the No, I see. I want that one. Well, how soon are you looking to buy? Well, I have to pick my kids up from school in two hours, and I'd like to do it in that one. You know, like that's how it took 18 days to get delivery of...

...this deal. Because, oh, we have to order the exact one from this store because you want the eight CR the seventh seed or not the eight cedar. And oh, actually, we ordered the wrong one, but we forgot to tell you. So now you're wondering why it's been a week and I haven't heard anything about this vehicle that I bought. So is this sort of thing. But then what happens? Robotic email marketing. We take delivery. And then the next day it's like, Would you please leave? Consider leaving us a high rating on? Yeah. And I'm like, I'm not even gonna touch this. Um, but then and then you're into this thing, and what's interesting about it is now any time I get any sort of communication from this dealership because nobody took ownership of the poor experience I made everybody know when I picked up the car, I told the sales rep who de mode it for me. I told the finance person who told me that I point I looked straight at the manager that screwed the whole deal up. And I'm..., You know how this could have been like everybody knew to this day, though, because nobody acknowledged and took ownership of that experience. Any time I get a communication from that store, I'm like, uh and then you can't unsubscribe like it's a weird It's not easy to unsubscribe. And so doing email marketing in a robotic way and certainly on the back end of a poor experience just puts you in the opposite direction of loyalty and ascension. This might make you feel better because we ended up sticking it back to them. We had a dealership. We ordered a car. They told us it would be. You know, we want to make some changes. They're like, Oh, no, it's already shipped. It hadn't shipped. So we're like, Okay, well, then when we're going to get it there like mid January What day? They said January 15th, 15th. Roll around. Nothing. Last Monday, whatever the date was rolled around nothing. And then they're like, Well, it's going to be here on the 25th. And is it like we'll let you know? I didn't hear anything until Saturday. In the meantime, we realized, Oh, covid, we're in L. A. We don't need to be in l. A.

Why don't we go to Utah for the month, like, actually, and so we decided to book that. Then we went There is actually a cool little game we could play. Why don't we go to Mexico for the month of April? Like it is actually that easy, right? Right now, my company is only fully remote. We can be where we want. So now we're going to We're sitting here, right? So we haven't got this car yet, but we're gonna be gone all of February. Gone all of April. I'm gone all of June with my wife already have a car, and we're all going to be home together for two months where there's not really that much to do in l. A. And we could probably have one. So we called them and said, You know what? Cancel it. We're not buying the car. We're gonna wait till later this year. So they just lost a sale. Have now a piece of inventory. I also asked to sign for it. Can I get the paperwork so I can just get this done so we can just get delivering? Go and they want to send it to me. All right, So now they just lost the sale completely. Now, listen, Dpb gang my beloved gang. We're not saying this. Just a dog on you all. And I mean, if you're listening to this, what I'm hoping is you it's triggering you to go look at the friction points... your process. Exactly. Because that, for example, if the and they When I said never mind, please cancel. The order was a week ago. They haven't responded. They haven't answered me. If they had said, Oh, sorry to hear that. Can we talk about this? When are you going to need a car? Next et cetera? And now what's going to happen is I'll probably need a car again in July or August is when? Because we're traveling back and forth a lot. So we're just going to go find the best deal now again and go to somewhere else. If this dealership had actually built a relationship with us, we would have gone right back to go again. Sorry, we're going to hold off. If they had let us sign, we would have had a car right now, but they didn't. So then it was like, Okay, well, we're gonna hold off, but we still need to buy a car in a few months, so I will just come right back to you. And now we don't even have that. There's no loyalty, because why we don't even have a relationship. I have been taking care of us. Haven't responded to my last message. Wow. What? What's your take on to this end? Kind of segue weighing into a shiny object. Yeah. What? What's your thoughts on emerging trends like car...

...purchasing online, the rooms, the carbon knows the, um what am I missing? There's another one that I'm missing. This this idea of you can just buy it online and the car shows up in your driver. Kind of like the Tesla model. Now, dealers are scrambling, especially with covid where they're like, we have to be able to digitally retail a vehicle. And so now they're Focus is all on this. This tech, My opinion is that's fantastic. However, what about the segment of the market like my mother in law, who believes that if she doesn't specifically, click the sign out button on her Yahoo email account that her emails start floating out into the ether like she's never gonna buy a car line? So what about this? This segment of the market or these segments of the market who still are in a position to buy a vehicle who will never buy online. Do you have a process to support this because it's still going to come down to experience, in my opinion, But I'm curious on your take.

I think that I'm all for Omni Channel, meaning when things pop up that are good places to sell cars do it. And so if you can take advantage of platforms out there, don't jump in earlier. I don't think there's a lot of benefit in being in the early adopters, these platforms. But I think once you see traction pick up and they're actually selling cars and you start hearing your customers went on, What's the big one out here? Fair is the big one in No way won't you hear? Hear that taking off? Then it's like, Okay, maybe we should look into how this bear is partnered with dealerships, so why wouldn't you? It's another channel to sell cars, so I think you know, if history shows us one thing, it's resistance to innovation tends to leave you behind, so I think it's a balance don't chase the shiny objects. Don't be the first mover, but once there is a market created and it seems to be a good revenue stream, do it. It's like all the fashion brands that resisted e commerce forever. And now in Covid, they're screwed because that's where all purchases went and so versus all the companies have jumped into. It did really well. So doing it wrong. They will be wasted effort when it comes to innovation. And also don't as I agree with you, don't chase the Chinese object the first time it comes...

...on market. But as you start to see, actually, trends surface go for both. Because I agree with the people that jump in and people that don't and painting a broad brush. Or like I guess, if you're starting a business from scratch and someone goes, you're gonna start a business. Uh, would you rather see if you can open it up to any customer that wants to buy a car? Or would you rather focus on just the people that don't like the Internet? I'm gonna go for everyone, like to open it up and, like, maybe there's a brand that needs to be built around people that hate the Internet. They want to buy cars. But I don't really care to play. And that's not what I'm trying to build them. Trying to build a nice car dealership. I'm actually invested into car dealerships, and so I'd rather open it up to all types of distribution. Oh, see? Well, there's a little Jim had. No. So you're a dealer, Essentially. You know, that's Yeah, that's amazing. Uh, in, like, a Mark Walberg kind of way, because I think he's bought two or three are invested in a definitely not my name on it. I'm, like, silent minority investor that. Yeah, so? So my...

...question to that point is, how do you, um how do you navigate all of the things that you could do and whittle it down to the things that you should do? Uh, I look at the actual friction in the business, So instead of saying, like the things you could do our infinite. So it's actually like, Where do I in this where you just have to be a good business owner. Like, where do I see the biggest friction that has the biggest opportunity? What are the biggest levers to pull and the low hanging fruit that actually affect my business. Currently, where am I having challenges and how do I fix those? That's what I focus on. It's less about what could I do? And then, in terms of a new opportunities, expansion opportunities, I look at less friction dealing with that right now. I'm sorry, Google. It's going off. But, uh, I looked at, uh, where the West Restriction to get something going with the highest opportunity. Because what I noticed, too, is a lot of people go into new innovation and want to build out their business. Opened another dealership, whatever it is, and they go for something that's really challenging.

And through that process, the return on their actual effort becomes away. Well, well, we're. And so I try to find things that I can seamlessly add to my business by hiring one more person or building out a little bit of spending a little time on it. But then it falls right in nicely, versus launching something completely new. That takes a ton of my time to build that thing out because the risk reward the risk is my time on one of these things, and so if I have to spend a ton of time on it, then the risk reward ratio goes way down versus even if the rewards similar bigger. I try to find things that I can again really easily launch off of what I'm doing and use it as a platform. So with dealerships again, I'd be looking at stuff that are really easy to integrate, really easy to get going and fix all those first and then start to work. I'm Michel Cirillo, and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever...'re listening. Right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make big changes in your life and career and want to connect with positive, nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive dpb pro community on Facebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content that isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks for listening. Yeah,.

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