Sift, Sort, And Screen Your Way To Marketing Success

by John McIntyre

Email marketing testing Is marketing an art or a science?

With the rise of data-driven marketing, it seems like the answer is a little bit of both.

Innovative companies, in almost every industry, are mixing smart marketing with even smarter strategy…

And the results are nothing short of impressive.

Today we’re looking at two businesses in “boring” markets…

That you’d never expect to be running complex digital marketing campaigns.

You’ll discover the exact strategies being put into action right this second…

And how you can replicate their results in your own business. 

How This Auto Dealer Nearly Tripled Incoming Leads

Introducing D&C Chevrolet: A small New Jersey auto dealership.

A few years back, D&C had a big problem…

The local auto market was crowded.

In fact, there were 49 other Chevrolet dealers in the local area.

As you can probably guess, business was not going great.

Leads were hard to come by.

And new customer acquisition was abysmal, at best.

So the team at D&C Chevrolet realized it was time to strategize.

They went back to the drawing board and examined the landscape of the market… starting with the competition.

Surprisingly, almost all of the competitors had an advantage over D&C.

Some had a better location. Others had a larger selection of cars.

The situation was depressing… but the D&C team knew there was a way to beat the competition.

They realized the one area where competitors didn’t have an advantage was online.

The competing auto dealerships were neglecting PPC, email marketing, and other important marketing channels.

It was time to completely overhaul the D&C marketing strategy.

They started a multi-part campaign:

1) Pay Per Click – They targeted everything from broad terms (like “Chevy” and “”) to super specific search queries (like “Chevrolet Invoice” and “new car payment”). This allowed the team to start driving traffic and testing.

They quickly realized that long-tail keywords were key… the more specific keywords and ads produced cheaper clicks without hurting the quality of the leads.

2) A “Faceless” Microsite – The marketers wanted to test multiple variations of the landing page without having to use the official website. This allowed them to send lots of traffic and study the market without damaging their image. The microsite contained persuasive copy leading up to a quote request form.

The form collected basic information from leads like an email and zip code. (The leads were automatically “sorted” by a program depending on the given zip code. Only local leads were passed on to the next step.)

3) Email Marketing and Phone Call Followup – The D&C marketers knew the importance of following up. A three email sequence was set up. First, leads received a confirmation email with their provided information and a call to action along with the contact information for a salesman.

Second, an hour after the first email, an additional message was sent with quotes for the vehicle that had been requested. Finally, two days later, a third email would alert leads that a salesman would be reaching out to them shortly. At this point, a salesman would contact the lead and attempt to close the deal.

But that’s not it…

The dealership team also knew the value of inbound leads. They wouldn’t just give after the first attempt.

They employed a few other key tactics to get the most value out of their marketing spend:

  • Another automated email campaign was set-up to handle leads that didn’t convert during the first process. Over the course of 90 days, leads would receive up to six more emails following a similar strategy.
  • Leads received messages in varying quantities and times. (For example, people that indicated they were interested in buying a car in the distant future received messages for the full 90 days.)
  • Online-only special offers and promotions were used to entice leads to take action.

All of this hard work paid off tremendously.

D&C Chevrolet lead generation increased 276.7% and sales conversions jumped by a multiple of six. (Source)

Don’t underestimate the power of a constantly evolving marketing funnel. As long as you can test, you can always improve your marketing results. (Tweet This)

Auto Parts Ecommerce Store Takes A Personal Approach To Email Marketing (AAG) sells high-end performance car parts.

Back in 2012, AAG needed to boost profits and reengage old customers. They looked to email marketing as a potential solution… and came up with a surprisingly effective and innovative strategy.

It all started with the “insiders” email newsletter. This was the backbone to AAG’s online marketing.

The newsletter allowed AAG to:

  • Stay Top Of Mind – Subscribers would learn of all the new promotions, sales, and products… and any company news.
  • Build A Relationship – The emails were not just focused on sales. The AAG marketers understood the value of a relationship, and tried to build on them by providing links to content on the website (like buying guides) rather than only sending sales promotions.
  • Sift, Sort, and Screen – The emails contained highly personalized content that was tailored to the needs and interests of each subscriber. This was achieved through link tracking, website analytics, and some marketing automation.

This may seem like a normal email marketing campaign…

But the marketing ingenuity behind this email newsletter goes much deeper than it appears at first glance.

The AAG team put in some serious effort behind the scenes:

1) Constant Email Testing – There’s a reason it’s called scientific advertising. The AAG team tested each and every piece of the email newsletter to find out what worked and what didn’t.

2) Focus On Dynamic (And Personalized) Content – Because the email list was extremely segmented and tracked through marketing automation software, the emails contained perfectly customized content. (For example, if you owned a BMW M3, you would likely receive an email saying “Hey Bob, we thought you might want to check out these brand new floor mats for your M3.”)

3) Freshness – To hold the attention of subscribers, the AAG marketers made sure not to recycle images or content in the emails. They were all 100% original so subscribers always had something new to click on or explore.

With this overall strategy, AAG has been able to keep roughly a 20% open rate and 12% click through rate… rather surprising numbers for a performance auto parts ecommerce site. (Source)

As you can see, this combination of email marketing and innovative thinking is extremely powerful when done correctly. These businesses took well-known marketing tactics, added their own spin, and iterated multiple times (while testing) to improve the results.

It’s not rocket science… it’s just smart marketing.

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