Auto dealer Brown Daub sees traffic from locally targeted e-mail

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Advertising locally is key for bricks-and-mortar businesses, and for Pennsylvania-based auto dealer Brown Daub, targeting consumers via geotargeted e-mail is key to selling cars. Last month the auto dealer sent out an e-mail to promote a Memorial Day tent sale and saw an 11% click-through rate.

The auto dealer sends e-mails from its in-house program to customers, but works with geotargeting e-mail services firm CityTwist, an e-mail and database marketing company, in a move to acquire new customers. CityTwist has a database of125 million consumers, who have opted in to receive e-mails about local businesses in their area based on industry.

“It is very much like direct mail,” said Ken Schwartz, CEO of CityTwist. “It is locally targeted so that people in your immediate community can receive marketing messages about your product. The idea is to get folks who live in their community come into our clients' stores. The e-mails drive more opens, more clicks, because they are locally relevant to the consumer.”

Brown Daub sends e-mails through CityTwist for special events, such as off site tent sales, as well as for promotions they are having on vehicle service such as $20 off an oil change.

“E-mail is important because you can track the response,” said Nanci Oakley, advertising and direct marketing manager at Brown Daub. “We use CityTwist to announce events and to reach a broader area outside of our circle of customers.”

This month, the brand is working on an e-mail to go out in June that targets Pennsylvania consumers that live in towns where Dodge and Chrysler dealers have closed, to let them know that they can still have their cars maintained at Brown Daub. As car dealers are facing the challenge of a recession and a troubled auto industry, being more targeted is a key to reaching customers.

“The problem auto dealers face is that their used cars are depreciating very quickly, so they have to move their vehicles very quickly and in this recession, the auto industry has been challenged,” added Schwartz.

For Brown Daub, acquiring new customers is key. “There are a lot of new people new to the area moving from New York City and Northern New Jersey and they don't really know who the reliable car dealers are and how to reach them,” added Oakley. “So we send them e-mails to let them know that we are here.”

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