Email marketing is not spam


Bob McCann, Director of Education, ARI
May 7, 2013
Filed under Guest Blog

Email marketing campaigns are one of the most affordable, effective forms of digital marketing. Well-executed email marketing campaigns will help you stay connected with your customers and sell more boats, accessories, parts and service.

But, take care. Probably the biggest mistake you can make is to send emails to customers and prospects that include nothing of perceived value. To avoid that pitfall and take full advantage of email marketing, here are a few guidelines you can easily follow:

  • Establish a goal. Before you decide on the content, before you even start the email design, you need to determine your goal. Are you trying to generate leads, create brand awareness, or nurture customer relationships? Having a defined objective will set the stage for creating a successful email marketing campaign.
  • Make it relevant. Whether your email includes interesting and current information, tips or tricks, ways of dealing with problems, or money-saving deals, it must contain only content your customers or prospects will want to read and consider valuable. Simply put, don’t send your cruiser customers and prospects an email about a hardcore fishing tournament! As you create your email, visualize your end recipient. Ask yourself a few questions: What’s important to them? What type of boat are they interested in? Why do they go boating -- to fish, cruise, or for watersports? Will they use the product or service you are promoting? Will it save them time or money? Remember, your customers and prospects are pressed for time, so make sure your email content is easy to read, with your key points highlighted.
  • Provide a clear call to action. Every email you send should make it easy for your customers and prospects to take the next step. Make sure your message clearly tells readers exactly what you want them to do. You can accomplish this by including links within the content, such as “Click here for more details”; “Sign up here”; “View current inventory”; “Get map and directions”. Since most email programs track clicks, including links will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your email, while also providing you with a targeted list of prospects interested in your products or services. Then, of course, be sure to send a follow-up email or place a phone call to those who clicked on your call to action message! This not only demonstrates the value you place on your customer relationship, but reinforces your goal to get them into your dealership to buy.
  • Deliver value – not self-promotion. This is HUGE! For instance, a good email will feature a Spring Boat Tune Up for 20 percent off. A better email will include a checklist of things your customers and prospects can do to get their boat ready for spring plus the Spring Boat Tune Up for 20 percent off for the non-DIYers on the list.

A professional email marketing campaign that adheres to these guidelines is an affordable, effective way to drive online and in-store traffic this spring! Get started on your campaigns now.

Bob McCann is Director of Education at ARI, a leading provider of technology-enabled business solutions for dealers, distributors and manufacturers in the marine, RV, powersports and outdoor power equipment industries. Products and services include eCommerce-enabled websites, lead generation, lead management, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, and eCatalogs (parts, garments, and accessories).
Contact: 877-806-2150


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