Shop Site of the Month
British American Auto Care Inc. - Columbia, Md.
Here's an interesting concept: Create a second Web site to promote your shop's "green" efforts to environmentally conscious consumers. British American's efforts pay off nicely for them with a niche site that highlights their hybrid and diesel vehicle services, maintenance tips that impact the environment and the shop's environmentally friendly procedures and practices. And we must give them high marks for emphasizing the differences between wasting resources and wasting the engine on your vehicle.
Web Wise: Give Them Something They Can Chew On
Epsilon, a Dallas-based marketing firm, recently released a study that shows the benefits of permission-based e-mail marketing campaigns and how they can have a major impact on offline consumer purchases and loyalty. Check out these stats:
• Fifty-seven percent of consumers feel they have a more positive impression of companies when they receive e-mail from them
• Forty percent said that simply receiving e-mail has a positive impact on their likelihood to make a future purchase from a company.
• Half said they're more likely to buy products from companies that send them e-mail, whether their purchases are online or at a place of business.
• One-third said they usually visit sites directly instead of clicking on an e-mail link.
This information didn't really click with me until I read a recent blog from Ryan Deutsch of StrongMail that discussed his interest in Apple TV commercials (as opposed to skipping over them on his DVR) as a result of the informational e-mails he'd been receiving from the company regarding his iPhone.
"Apple's advertisements grabbed my attention because they help enhance my experience with the iPhone, informing me of new tools that may be of interest. If a broadcast media like TV can educate the consumer on new product features, think about the implications of e-mail, the most targeted channel of them all," wrote Deutsch.
So, let's apply this to the automotive service and repair world. How could you enhance your customers' experiences with their "products" - their repaired and maintained vehicles? What if a body shop sent a follow-up e-mail to a customer outlining the procedures for washing and waxing her recently painted vehicle? Yes, you gave her instructions when she picked up the vehicle. But would she remember your shop more fondly if you followed up to remind her how to care for her investment?
What could the good will generated from messages such as these do for your business? Think about it. Give your customers some real information they can use when you send messages; don't always pitch them with the latest special.
Note: Epsilon's special report, "Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email," is available online at www.epsilon.com/pr/emailbranding.
ASA Web Ways: Don't Miss Your Division Newsletters!
Each month, ASA provides its members with newsletters informing them of association and industry news. These newsletters, the Collision Repair Report and the Mechanical Division Dispatch, have been transformed to a digital-only format - delivering timely news to ASA members entirely online. The latest editions are available by logging into the Members Only section of the ASA Web site, www.ASAshop.org.
To ensure that you will continue to receive your monthly division newsletter, call ASA's membership department at (800) 272-7467, ext. 295.
As of January 2009, 74 percent of the world's digital messages are being sent via mobile device.
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