Compel Readers to Action
As with any good marketing program, the objective is to get your audience to react. In most cases, you are trying to get it to escalate its level of sales engagement. Here’s another example: An Internet sales manager at an auto dealership publishes an e-newsletter to build relationships with prospects and customers, with the overall objective of selling more cars and service. He uses several mechanisms to compel readers into action. For instance, he carefully has designed his e-newsletter to prominently feature links to his dealership Web site—the inventory page, the test drive request form, the service coupons page, etc. He has found that roughly 2 percent of his Web site visitors ultimately convert to vehicle buyers, so if he can increase his Web site traffic, that increased traffic will correlate to increased sales. Since starting his e-newsletter campaign, he has observed that his Web site traffic doubles and triples in the two weeks following each e-newsletter send.
He also gets his readers to react through good copywriting that delicately balances hard- and soft-sell articles. On the hard-sell side, he provides articles on financing promotions, dealer incentives and service specials. He also includes vehicle reviews, with links to the Web site test drive request forms and inventory pages. It’s common sense that subscribers interested in reading a vehicle review might also be interested in test-driving that vehicle, so he makes it easy for them to take that next step. These articles are precision-engineered to compel readers to click to the Web site and escalate the sales engagement with the dealership.
Auto dealerships know that 45 percent of deals occur within two weeks of the lead’s first contact with the dealership, so their sales force is trained to hit prospects hard for the first couple of weeks. However, that means 55 percent of the eventual sales occur after two weeks—and a full 25 percent of sales occur after eight weeks, according to Kain Automotive, an automotive Internet and business development consultancy. Therefore, if dealerships can use lifestyle articles like driver safety tips, vehicle maintenance advice, or write-ups of local travel destinations in an e-newsletter to keep these tire-kickers engaged, they stand a better chance of reaping sales from them when they’re ready to buy.