Auto Repair Shop Email List Management: Segmenting, Cleansing & IP Reputations

Read on for an in-depth guide on managing, maintaining, and segmenting your auto repair shop email list.

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Conceptual Minds | August 28, 2023

Auto Repair Email List Managment

Email marketing is pivotal in an auto shop’s digital marketing mix, keeping your shop’s name top-of-mind between infrequent service visits.
 
It can be overwhelming to manage, especially as lists age and bounce rates begin to rise. It’s OK; business ownership doesn’t grant you an encyclopedic knowledge of email and digital marketing. That said, it’s far more manageable when you understand the basic principles of auto repair shop email list management. 

What's Entailed in Auto Repair Shop Email List Management?

Email list management is a series of practices marketers and business owners use to keep your lists in good health to avoid your reputation as a sender being in question with internet service providers (ISPs) or your audience. 
 
It includes:
 
  • Building your auto repair shop email list with quality contacts
  • Strategically segmenting (grouping) customers into distinct groups
  • Ensuring emails look and arrive as intended 
  • Analyzing leads and lead activity 
  • Cleaning lists to keep data accurate 
 
Note also that you’ll be expected to have permission to email all your subscribers. Otherwise, you may be subject to poor deliverability rates, spam reports, or fines. 
 
We recommend letting recipients dictate the terms of your relationship and getting prompted on sign-up to opt in. Allowing them to select email send frequency is also intelligent, ensuring subscribers have an alternative to the unsubscribe button.

Keeping a Good IP Reputation for Your Auto Repair Shop Email List

Your subscribers won’t be the only ones evaluating your email content. Internet service providers (ISPs) monitor your email marketing on behalf of your recipients, looking for signs of spammy behavior.
 
Your trustworthiness is tracked with an IP reputation score on a 1-100 point scale, which determines whether your emails clear the spam filter or are blocked altogether. 
 
The following six factors determine your score:
 
  1. Direct complaints from recipients (when recipients click “mark as spam”) have a severe negative impact on your score
  2. Errors: ISPS see soft and hard bounces as an indication of a dirty contact list
  3. Spam traps: The number of email addresses made to trap spammers contained in your auto repair shop email list 
  4. IP network reputation: Fraudulent activity detected on your broader business network will be treated with suspicion
  5. IP history: Past incidents are also taken into consideration
  6. Domain age: Older domains are considered safer and more stable
 
ISPs are trying to establish your subscriber base’s level of interest in your content. The greater the disinterest they perceive, the more likely your emails will sent to the spam folder. 

What's the Measure of a Healthy Auto Repair Shop Email List?

A clean list is a healthy list. Since the average email list loses 4.5 percent of its contacts monthly, it’s straightforward to get wildly outdated in a couple of years
 
Not only do outdated lists cost you more, but they’ll also skew your performance data and hurt your IP reputation score. Clean means high deliverability rates—95 percent and higher—frequent new subscribers, and low bounce rates—no higher than 3 percent. 
 
Moreover, all contacts on your auto repair shop’s email list must have given explicit permission to receive communications.
 
While important, cleaning takes time, an estimated 3 minutes to clean a single contact. Given the many thousands of contacts in the average email list, we recommend segmenting them and gradually retiring them through reactivation campaigns

When Should You Scrub Subscribers from Your Auto Repair Shop Email List

Contact is no longer healthy when its behavior indicates a disinterest in your marketing communication.
 
You’ll need a systematic way to determine when they’ve crossed that threshold. Generally speaking, you can consider a contact expired when it does any of the following:
 
  • Frequently soft bounces
  • It has been hard bounced
  • Hasn’t opened an email in two years

Segmentation: Grouping Subscribers Based on Reliable Variables

Segmentation, the practice of grouping like subscribers, helps you send more relevant emails.
 
The benefits are enormous, including: 
 
  • Getting more favorable ISP placement
  • Generate more meaningful performance data
  • It helps you better understand your audience’s wants
  • Lowering your auto shop digital marketing expenses by identifying and purging dead and inactive subscribers
 
But how does one segment users into groups, and which segments should be represented? We’ll walk you through several auto repair shop email list segmentation strategies below.

# 1. Segment by Engagement & Visit Frequency

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Level of interest helps you target distinct groups based on the degree of investment they have in your shop. 
 
Your most reliable customers may be interested in bonus sales and loyalty benefits, whereas those who rarely check-in can be tempted back in through re-engagement campaigns.

# 2. Group Your Auto Repair Email List By Vehicle Types, Makes & Models

Segmenting based on car type allows you to reach customers with tailored promotions. 
 
The possibilities are endless. Think: 
 
  • Family van owners might be more interested in back-to-school sales
  • The performance-obsessed crowd may be tempted by parts sale 
  • All-terrain vehicles might have an extra interest in your yearly tire sales
  • EV service and maintenance needs differ from those of gas-powered vehicles
Segments will vary significantly from auto shop to auto shop.

#3. Segmenting Your Auto Repair Shop Email List By Location

Multi-location shops should avoid lumping together customers from different retail locations. Local culture, demographics, economics, and climate conditions vary; your approach to these customers should be distinct, too. 

#4. Group Your Automobile Repair Email List By Purchase History & Product Preference

If you know your subscriber’s purchase history, you also have a roadmap for product-based segmentation.
 
This helps give you a basis for continued conversation and relationship-building. Follow up with timely reminders for oil changes, battery checks, treadwear, and other regular maintenance related to their initial service purchase.

5. Investigate and Seperate Auto Repair Customers By Interests & Preferences

What are the broader likes and dislikes of your local audience? Find out more about where different segments of your customer base; where they like to eat, their lifestyle, where they go for entertainment, or the sports teams and entertainers they appreciate. 

Pay Extra Attention to These Four Auto Repair Email Marketing Metrics 

Email marketing is all about getting your customer’s attention, but it’s hard to improve if you don’t know how well you’re doing.
 
Rely on these indicators to establish the cleanliness of your auto repair shop email list.

#1. Track Your Email List's Deliverability Rates

It’s a big problem when your emails are not going where you intend. 
 
When emails either receive a hard or soft bounce, they, too, risk worsening your IP reputation score. 

#2. Open Rates for Your Auto Repair Shop Email List

It pays to know how frequently contacts open your email. Issues with open rates could indicate a problem with the subject line, the email’s topic, send time, or the volume of emails you’re sending. 

#3. Engagement Rates for Your Automobile Repair Email List

Engagement rates are usually determined by how frequently a customer clicks through an email to a business’s site. Suppose you have no reason to send subscribers to your site. In that case, you can measure engagement by subscribers taking a different desired action (Clipping a digital coupon, submitting a survey response, email replies, or link clicks).

#4. Examine Your List's Email Subscriber Churn Rate

Email subscribers are flighty. Only 56 percent of subscribers remain after 12 months, with the others unsubscribing or decaying. Monitoring this helps you project subscriber levels into the future, plan for obtaining more signups, and indicate the potential causes of any spikes in churn. 

Don't Forget: Your Auto Repair Shop Email List Needs Regular Cleansing

Email marketing is ultimately about learning how to best engage, excite, and retain interest in your auto repair brand. In short time, management practices become second nature, and your focus can turn to dreaming up targeted offers for your dedicated audiences.

Email Hygiene: Just as Important as Personal Hygiene


Managing your email list requires a bit of patience and dedication, but the results of effective email marketing speak for itself. Keep your list clean, help it grow, and, most importantly, listen to what your subscribers say. 

Learn About Conceptual Minds

As veterans of the automotive industry, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and would like some guidance, contact us today at 877.524.7696.

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