How to Use Auto Repair Email Marketing to Increase Your Shop’s Profits

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If you can increase your Average Repair Order (ARO) you can improve your profits. Auto repair email marketing is a great tool to help you do that. Capitalize on customers that already frequent your shop rather than trying to attract new customers that may come in for a cheap oil change but never return. One of the most critical indicators of a successful auto shop is the ARO. Increasing your ARO will allow you to run a more efficient and profitable auto shop, and is more effective than focusing on a higher car count. Quality customers make your shop thrive, and auto repair email marketing gives you direct access to their inboxes. You don’t want to send emails just for the sake of sending them, so we’ll show you how to best approach it.

3 Ways to Guarantee That Email Marketing Will Increase Your Profits:

  1. Choose an Email Marketing Service
  2. Know and Segment Your Customers
  3. Send Messages that are Unique to Each Segment
  Unlike other digital marketing, you don’t have to worry about algorithms, ads, or your rank on Google when sending emails. However, emails aren’t immune to being unopened, deleted, unsubscribed, or the worst fate of all: sent to spam. You want to see positive results from your efforts, so here are some factors to get started with your auto repair email marketing.

Choose an Email Marketing Service

The easiest way to manage an email campaign is by choosing the right email marketing service. There’s many to choose from, but here’s a list of some of the most popular: An email marketing service can streamline all of your email marketing efforts, and they have a wide range of features related to automation, subscription, notifications, monitoring, and more. Review what each service has to offer, their fees, and ease of use to pick which one best fits your needs. You also can hire someone to do it all for you, like services that specialize in email marketing for auto shops. One of the great things about email marketing services is that you’ll be able to take customer information from your shop management software and import it right into their platform to personalize the emails based on the categories mentioned below.  

Know and Segment Your Customers

To see better results from your auto repair email marketing, accurately target your customers rather than sending blanketed email blasts. Fortunately, because you’re targeting existing customers, you should already have customer email addresses in your records, and you don’t need to build a list.  If you haven’t already gathered email addresses, you can leave a sign-up sheet at your checkout counter or encourage sign-ups on your website. How well do you know your customers? Do you know which ones only pay for the bare minimum in repairs and those that appreciate preventative maintenance? Even if you don’t have this knowledge, with the customer information gathered in your system, you can segment your audience and send personalized emails that target specific owner groups. Segmenting your lists allows you to send messages that will resonate with your audience, rather than sending a generic email that they will skim and delete. Many types of customers will make up your list, but many will fall into these categories:
  • New customers
  • Long-time customers
  • Customers who just got new/different cars
  • Customers with older cars (mileage 100k+) in need of constant repairs
  • Owners of specific makes and models
With a segmented email list, you can personalize your message based on the attributes above, making it more effective. For example, sending an email to your customers with vehicles beyond 100,000 miles with a list of things that you recommend looking at to ensure it stays in good running condition.

Send Messages that are Unique to Each Segment

Discounts are always valuable to customers, but when trying to increase your ARO, your marketing efforts should also be geared towards the importance of maintenance and targeting customers who are willing to invest in their vehicles. Keeping that in mind, here are some ways you can use email marketing to increase your ARO:

Encourage Visits through Coupons

Whether your customers are new or have been patronizing your auto shop for years, competition is fierce, and there’s a chance that you may be overlooked when they need their next service. Emailing a coupon to your customers may be the incentive they need to visit YOUR auto shop vs. your competitors. We wrote a blog called, “Do Coupons Really Work to Increase Profits at Auto Repair Shops?”  Check it out to find out what coupons you need to offer to boost your auto shop’s profitability. This message would be best for these customers:
  • New customers
  • Long-time customers
  • Customers who just got new/different cars
  • Customers with older cars (mileage 100k+) in need of constant repairs

Inform Customer of Additional Products and Services They Need

Some customers may not visit your shop until they need an oil change or that dreaded check engine light comes on. But there may be services that you offer that they don’t know about that would get them in your door when they need other types of work performed on their car. Maybe you provide auto detailing or just got a new high-tech wheel alignment machine. You may not want to overwhelm customers with this information while getting unexpected repairs. Still, an email is a great way to introduce them to these products and services and update them when there are new additions. This message would be best for these customers:
  • New customers
  • Long-time customers
  • Customers who just got new/different cars
  • Customers with older cars (mileage 100k+) in need of constant repairs

Introduce a Loyalty Program

Your shop management system probably keeps track of how much customers spend when they visit your auto shop. You can capitalize on this and reward customers who spend more by introducing a loyalty program. Let’s say you want to introduce this loyalty program to any customer who spent at least $200 at your shop in one visit. You’d email these specific customers letting them know that they’ve been automatically added to your VIP program. Then after they spend an amount (say $500), they’ll save $20 on oil changes (or any reward of your choice.) This message would be best for these customers:
  • New customers
  • Long-time customers
  • Customers with older cars (mileage 100k+) in need of constant repairs

Send Time-Sensitive or Seasonal Deals

Auto repair email marketing enables you to reach your customers whenever you want. It works excellent for time-sensitive or seasonal deals. Spring is a great time to send an email reminding people to get their A/C checked. Or you can add a sense of urgency with a limited deal by asking customers to book by a specific date or time and save a certain dollar amount off of a service. This message would be best for these customers:
  • New customers
  • Long-time customers
  • Customers who just got new/different cars
  • Customers with older cars (mileage 100k+) in need of constant repairs

Cross-Sell Based on Customer Data

Certain problems seem to be common with specific makes and models of vehicles. I can attest to this having just gotten rid of a 12-year-old GMC Yukon. In this case, you can cross-sell to customers that may purchase if they know that others driving similar vehicles have made that same purchase. Email customers making them aware of problems you’ve noticed on the make and model they drive and promote services or products that customers who drive similar cars have received. This message would be best for these customers:
  • Owners of specific makes and models
You’re always looking for ways to increase the profitability of your shop. Auto repair email marketing is a tool that can help you resonate with your customers and get them to act on your offer and bring them to your auto shop. Email marketing is just a small part of auto repair advertising. Learn more about the best ways to advertise and drive new customers to your auto shop.
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