Customized e-mail to service customers is generating big responses -- and revenues -- at dealerships run by Group 1 Automotive Inc.
The messages target customers whose vehicles are most likely to need work, based on mileage and previous service. The promotions help Group 1 stores make more efficient use of their service equipment, CEO Earl Hesterberg says.
About 7 percent of all customers who get the messages schedule service appointments, Group 1 says. By contrast, the public dealership group has a response rate of about 2 percent for direct-mail promotions to service customers.
In a typical month, Hesterberg says, the e-mail messages generate as much as $3.4 million in parts and service revenues. In the year after Group 1 started sending the messages in 2002, he adds, the company saved $1 million in postage by switching from U.S. mail to e-mail.