Winsby Inc. develops and distributes emails to equipment dealers’ customers and maintains the email lists. We decided to quantify what the impact is of sending out emails on a regular basis. We compared purchasing statistics for equipment dealers’ customers who are receiving emails regularly to statistics for the customers who are not on the email list and are not receiving consistent contact via email.
This analysis compared the two groups in terms of retention rate, revenues, purchase frequency and average order size. The data used was amassed during the past 10 years for over 150 equipment dealer operations. Included are more than 500,000 customers and over 15 million transactions.
Increase your email list, increase your revenues
It is not unusual for a dealer to increase revenue significantly by monitoring and improving just one statistic: the percentage of customers with emails in the database. Of course, the dealer must be distributing emails to customers and prospects regularly in order for improvement in this statistic to have a significant impact.
As an example, one dealer saw a 133.6% increase in revenues within 36 months by using this strategy. The sales reps were challenged to gather customers’ email addresses, as they were starting with emails for less than 10% of their customers. Over eight months, they increased the percentage of customers with emails to over 90%. More than 30% of the customers were regularly opening each email. When you distribute emails at different times on different days, different customers open them. All of the customers were opening the emails at some point throughout the monthly email cycle.
Expand your email list to include prospects that look like your customers
When you analyze the industries that are prevalent in your customer database, you can identify areas where you can expand your sales. Emails for these companies can be purchased or found online. A call to the company will often result in gathering emails with targeted titles. It is important to identify new potential customers continuously through list building, as most dealers have 51% of their transactions each year from new customers.
Prospects see your emails, then think of you when their usual dealer disappoints them by not delivering parts when promised, providing a rental machine that breaks down, or completing a service incorrectly. Any time a dealer makes an error, it creates an opportunity for another dealer.
Emails should include all of your products and services
It’s a fact: 99% of all transactions are not equipment purchases. We think it’s important to mention all services to reinforce purchasing in all categories.
Equipment sales represent only 1.2% of all transactions but comprise nearly 50% of total revenue for most dealers. The customer experience, however, is based on the 98.8% in other types of transactions – parts, service and rental. The experiences of all these other, more frequent transactions determine whether customers will purchase equipment from a dealer.
Give helpful information in emails
Dealers know a lot about equipment and can provide a great deal of information to customers on maintenance procedures that are critical to how a machine operates. Technicians have seen so many examples of what not to do that they could probably come up with a year’s worth of tips and tricks without digging too far back into their experience.
Let your customers know what you’ve seen work and not work by including best practices in your emails. They will appreciate your help, and you will become the authority for all things related to equipment.
Emails must look professional
The emails you send are a reflection of your company. If they aren’t well written, well designed and programmed for any device, they will not look professional, and they could have the opposite impact. When you send emails, make sure they are well conceived. There are four skill sets needed to develop any professional email: familiarity with your business, writing, graphic designing, and programming.
How often should you distribute emails?
A rule of thumb that we see work well is to send three emails for every anticipated purchase. If your average customer purchases monthly, then three emails each month are sufficient to remind them to come to you for all their equipment needs. You can also segment your customers who purchase more often and send reminders to them more frequently, based on their purchase patterns. We’ve all seen this phenomenon with our favorite retail stores; as we buy more often, we receive more emails. It works!
Leads from email opens
Most email services will provide reports you can access that tell you who opened your emails and how often. If there was a lot of engagement from a person or company with an email, chances are they saw something in the email that they were interested in. Call them. The open report from an email is an excellent source of leads.