How to Create the Best Automotive Internet Sales Process Ever! (PART 5)
What Not To Include in Your Process Emails to Prospects
TRANSCRIPT: “But wait Steve, we didn’t really build trust, create excitement, or create urgency?” Well, we kind of did a little bit. We said we’re excited. We said we’re happy to help you. We talked about the no hassle experience and we talked about setting up the test drive right away. But even if we didn’t, let’s understand this. You cannot cram everything you want to say into every email. I mystery shop some of you. When your dealers come to my 20 groups, I can tell you some of you are trying to cram everything you want to say into every email. Remember, your auto response is an email that’s likely being read on a mobile device, so keep it short and keep it text only.
“But Steve, Steve, Steve, shouldn’t we include mentions of our huge inventory, or links to our service pages, or links to our specials pages or … We’ve got this great, these 10 paragraphs about commitment to the community or maybe even alternate vehicles. Why don’t we include all that?” I’m not just talking about the auto response now. I’m talking about putting these into any of the emails that we send out.
Let’s talk for a second about our huge inventory. You’re a Chevy dealer and you’ve got over a hundred Silverados in stock. You like to say, “We got over a hundred Silverados in stock.” Listen, that’s great for TV, that’s great for radio, that’s great for a display ad, but it’s not for your email responses, and here’s why. There’s a Columbia study that’s posted in the Harvard Business Review on choice that I’ve quoted before, but let me take you through the study for just a moment.
The study was conducted by an expert on choice named Sheena Iyengar, and what she did and her assistant is they set up jars of jam on supermarket tables in two different ways. One, they set up 24 varieties of jars of jam, and 3% of the people who walked by the table who interacted with the table bought some jam, 3%. 24 varieties of jam, 3% of the people bought jam. When she reduced the varieties of jam from 24 down to 6, 10 times more people bought jam.
See, we need to limit their choices. Yes, you’ve got a hundred Silverados in stock. Shout it from the rooftops. Just don’t do it in your processes. They chose you. They chose your vehicle. They’re ready to buy today. Don’t try to confuse them with more choices. We need to limit choices if we expect them to make a decision.
“All right, Steve, I get you on that. I’m not going to talk about huge inventory in my emails anymore. What about links though Steve? We’ve got this great template set up with a nice header at the top, an email template with a header, and it’s got links to new cars and used cars and service and parts, and contact us, or website whatever, specials. Why don’t we send out our links?”
First off, when I was at Asbury we built a bunch of those beautiful email templates. Today that image probably doesn’t render on their smart phone when they’re reading your email, and if it does render, your text gets squeezed down, it’s real tiny, it’s a terrible experience. But on top of that, links to anything in your emails other than the vehicle of interest or to a credit app in the right template, those do nothing to move the prospect forward.
Think about your service links. Why are you putting service links in there? Are you telling them, “Hey, we expect the car that you’re interested in to break down. We want you to visit our service page right now.” How about your social media links? They don’t care if you have a Facebook page at this point. They don’t care if you have a YouTube page. Let’s get rid of those links. Specials? They’re ready to buy now. They made a decision. They found value and relevancy in the vehicle that you had and they want to buy it from you now, and now you’re going to say, “Hey, hey, hold on, before you pay full price for something, check out our clearance Corral.”
Again, you got to think about mobile on a lot of this stuff. We’ve got dealers today who will mystery shop you. You’ve got down at the bottom. So you’ve got the nice header at the top and then at the bottom your email program and put all your hours for all the days of the week. On mobile that’s so tiny no one can read it. If they want to know your hours, they can find your hours. You don’t need to put everything into every email.
“All right, Steve, but the community stuff, the why buy messaging, I’ve got to have that in there, right?” To an extent, yeah. Limited why buy messaging is fine. Your primary goal is to drive a reconnection. But we do have a secondary goal of building trust, so having a little bit of why buy messaging is okay. But again, think mobile and remember the primary goal of driving a reconnection. We mystery shopped a dealer recently who one of their why buy messaging links, they have about 12 why buy from them links, one of their links was 24 hour towing. “Okay, okay. So you must sell so many cars that breakdown on the road, you’ve got offer 24 hour towing. Maybe I’ll go somewhere else.”
Think about your goals here. We don’t need to tell them everything. Give them one or two things that are great about us. If you’ve got great Google reviews, one of the things I really like to see is, “Hey, check out what our customers have to say. Click here to see our Google reviews.” That’s great. That’s some good why buy messaging. But just think about what the prospect really cares about. Do they care that you’re a 22 time President’s Club Award winner? No. Do they care that you have a YouTube account? No, they don’t.
Justin has a question about the OEMs. We have to be OEM compliant and so we have to put all this stuff in. I get this question a lot when I do training, especially when I train for OEMS. Here’s the deal. Your OEM is going to mystery shop you and they’re going to mystery shop you for two things, they’re going to mystery shop you for the auto response and they’re going to mystery shop you for the first personal email, the second email in the process, and that’s it. They’re not going to go through and look at day 3, day 5, day 10 templates. They’re just not going to do any of that stuff. So put everything you need to, to be OEM compliant in the emails that they’re grading you on, and then do it my way or your way or the way that’s going to drive a reconnection and help us sell cars, do it that way for the rest of the process.