Emails can quickly reach thousands of customers

email marketing66 aftermarket trends and factsHere are a few tips on how to increase your email marketing effectiveness.

1). Segment your emails. Know who your auto parts customers are, and what appeals to them. Instead of sending the same email to your entire list, consider breaking them into groups that will receive different emails. For example don’t send emails with Ford parts to Chevy owners, or Camaro parts to truck owners. We have seen open rates and click-through rates jump by 50% to 100% or more just by segmenting emails and targeting the recipient.

2). Add alt tags to all images in case images are turned off. Some email recipients have images turned off to speed up the email loading process or other reasons. Use alt tags in the HTML of your email to display text where the image box is, giving them the same message in place of the missing image. It’s pretty simple to do in HTML, instead of coding an image  “<img src=”logo.gif” /> ” add an alt tag like this: “<img src=”logo.gif” alt=”Hedges & Company logo” /> ” *.  (Notice how you can hover over the second one with your mouse to see the alt tag?)

3). Have enough text so your emails are readable. A good rule of thumb is about 50% text to 50% images. That ensures your message is there even if images are turned off, and helps maintain your deliverability, especially in November and December when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are sensitive to spam due to the spike in holiday email volume. We’ve seen sudden deliverability problems with emails during the holiday season because of too much image, too little text.

4). Make sure emails are mobile-friendly. As the number of mobile devices connected to the Internet rises, your use of mobile-marketing should follow. Expect your customers to be reliant on mobile Internet devices for emails. About a third of all emails are now read on mobile devices. Test your email by reading it on your mobile device to make sure it renders properly.

Check in with us tomorrow when we take a look at consumer brand preferences with Trend 60: Brands of Intake Manifolds that Customers are Most Familiar With.

*Note to coders: yes, we know the ampersand in “Hedges & Company” in the alt tag above should be coded as “&amp;” but we’re just trying to illustrate the point on alt tags.

2 replies
  1. Steve
    Steve says:

    Hi…just read your other blog on the biggest online sales days before Christmas. We have seen a drop in our open rate over the past 12 months, and you’re talking about fixing that with segmenting emails. What is a “normal” open rate for email? Ours has dropped to around 10%. Is that good? Bad? What should we expect? Thanks.

  2. hedgesandcompany
    hedgesandcompany says:

    Hi Steve,
    Typical email open rates in the automotive aftermarket are 16% to 18% for an overall average (unique opens), sent an engaged audience. We’ve seen higher rates for segmented emails, in some cases significantly higher. You mentioned that your open rate has “dropped” to 10% so if it was higher than that in the past we’d suggest looking at your frequency–are you emailing your customers too often? Also look at your content–are you sending the right offer/message to your customers? If your customers have been receiving uninteresting emails that would cause a drop off in open rates. In the short-term look at your email subject lines and test different ones. Best of luck.

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