Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Tired of Customers Ignoring Your Emails?

person clicking the delete key on a computer keyboard
Article Highlights:

  • 3 tips to improve email open rates.
  • "Taking care of the “front lines” will go a long way toward your success!"

Think of the last magazine you picked up or promotional email you opened. Most likely, something you saw before opening it caught your eye and made you want to read more. That’s how your emails should be!

According to a recent study by digital marketing provider Silverpop, customers open only 20.9% of emails sent by retailers1. Dealerships are no exception to this trend.

It should be every dealership’s goal to improve email open rates.

The challenge to attaining a higher open rate is you have limited opportunities to convince the recipient your email is worth opening. The good news is you control three things that, when used wisely, go a long way to encourage recipients to actually open the emails they receive from you:

  • Subject line.
  • First line of text.
  • From line.

These three items are viewed in the inbox before the email is even opened and can be thought of as the “front lines” of your message.

The Subject Line

Keep the subject line direct and to the point. Avoid using certain words that trigger spam scoring. For example, the following words and phrases can trip spam filters: “get it now,” “incredible deal,” “free,” or “urgent.” The subject line must be pertinent to the receiver.

The First Line

Keep in mind nearly all devices display the first line of email text within the inbox. Customers with limited time will read that opening line to gauge if an email is worth opening. See why it’s important to craft an outstanding first line?

Think about your inbox… when you receive an email, the first thing you want to know is, “what’s in it for me?” Your customers want to know the same thing. The first line preview is your chance to grab the reader, and tell them why they should open up and read more.

The From Line

Of course, the recipient’s inbox will also display the name of the sender. I like to call the spot for the sender’s name the “from line.” If a prospective customer recognizes your salesperson’s name, and the salesperson has taken the time to build a relationship, open rates go up.  If you don’t have a strong subject line or opening line of text, the from line will carry little weight in future emails.


Sending an email that isn’t strong in all three of these areas can be costly, as it decreases the likelihood of customers opening future emails. What’s worse is the customer may mark your emails as spam or choose to opt-out of future emails.

Ultimately, the number of people who visit your website or your dealership showroom measures the success of your emails. Taking care of the “front lines” will go a long way toward your success!

Look for part two of my best practice email series in the next edition of Fuel.

12014 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

Find out more information about Reynolds Consulting Services.


Share this Article

Reynolds Consulting Services

Matt Clark joined the Reynolds Consulting Services team in 2004. He is accomplished in eCommerce, internet, CRM, sales process, and digital marketing consulting. He has over 25 years of automotive experience, including positions as General Sales Manager, BDC Manager, Internet Manager, and Sales Professional.


Related Articles:

NADA Photo Compilation

Amid the NADA Buzz, 3 Common Themes I heard from Dealers

NADA is always a busy, boisterous event – multiply it by 10 when you’re in Vegas. As I walked around the show talking with dealers,

3 Creative Ways to Show Customers the Love on Valentine’s Day

For many people, Valentine’s Day means heart candies and flowers, a nice dinner, and a box of chocolates from your loved one. But it’s also

That’s a Wrap: 2023’s Top 5 Fuel Articles and Connected…

If the past has proven anything, it’s that dealerships are able to remain strong and adapt to whatever comes their way. 2023 has been no

The Unsung Superheroes of Your Dealership

Dealers are some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world, but they don’t operate the business alone. Many will tell you that taking care of