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Whether it’s the beginning of spring or the end of autumn, drivers always need oil changes and tune-ups. But will drivers in your area come to your auto service shop for their needs next season, or will they go to your competitors?


Email marketing for auto service shops has proven year after year to be an incredible tool for enticing and informing potential customers. The data doesn’t lie: 59 percent of consumers say marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions. But the timing of those emails is often the most crucial element of any successful email marketing campaign for your business.


Every email you send has the potential to drive a ton of traffic to your shop. In fact, email marketing generates an astounding $38 for every $1 spent – or 3,800% return on investment. So if you’re ready to plan out your next email marketing campaign, here are 5 simple strategies for seasonal email success.


5 Seasonal Email Strategies

1. Learn From Last Year

Every year, marketers try out countless tactics for email marketing success – some work extremely well, while others fizzle out almost immediately after hitting the Send button. If you’ve tried email marketing in the past or have an idea of what has worked on your target audience before, keep those strategies in mind for this year.


After all, why reinvent the wheel? Successful email trends for auto service shops include:-

  • Using on-brand imagery, including pictures of your hard working crew and vehicles you’ve worked on
  • Sending “winback” emails to drivers you haven’t seen in a while, notifying them of upcoming offers.
  • Creating holiday promotions and using your email marketing campaign to spread the word
  • Making sure the text and photos in every email you send are fully optimized for mobile devices
  • Keeping your emails short and to-the-point, with a call-to-action at the end to provide a next step your readers can take to engage with you.

2. Use Limited Time Offers

Your auto shop’s seasonal email marketing efforts should tie in with promotions you’ve created around each season. For instance, you can offer coupon codes in each email that expire at the end of the season, or provide oil changes or other services at discounted rates until a specified date.


Make sure any promotional emails you create include content that uses urgent language. From your titles to your calls-to-action, incorporate wording like:·

  • “Act now!”
  • “Don’t miss out!”
  • “Biggest discount of the year!”
  • “Special offer while supplies last!”
  • “For a limited time only!”
  • “Offer valid through July 4”
  • “Take advantage of this great deal while it lasts!”

By creating a sense of urgency, your existing and potential customers will feel the need to visit your shop and take you up on your special offers ASAP. However, don’t be too pushy – simply highlight the timely nature of whatever you’re offering so your customers get excited to visit your auto shop.


3. Prioritize Holiday Email Marketing

Many seasonal email marketing strategies for auto service shops revolve around the holidays. In fact, some small businesses only send out marketing emails to their customers during holiday seasons. While we think you should have emails ready for seasons when drivers need auto services the most (spring, fall), putting a special focus on holidays can be just as successful for your business.


The most important holidays for email marketing include:·

  • Christmas/New Years
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday
  • Fourth of July
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Driver Birthdays

By designing emails that focus on delivering timely, holiday-themed messages while informing drivers of limited-time offers and seasonal discounts, you’ll see a significant boost in business during the slower holiday seasons.


4. Think Carefully About Your Seasonal Audience

When planning out your email strategies, consider creating multiple emails to send out to different demographics. You know that anyone with a car needs an oil change or other services more than once a year – that means you can generate one email targeting Millennials (25-40 years old), and another targeting Baby Boomers (57-75 years old).

Segmented email campaigns created an average 760 percent increase in revenue for marketers in 2019.


However, age isn’t the only thing that separates your target audiences. Other segments may include:·

  • Drivers who haven’t been to your shop recently (30 days, 90 days, and so on).
  • High-transaction drivers (those with multiple or valuable vehicles)
  • VIP drivers (your favorite, long-time customers)
  • Potential customers (drivers who haven’t been to your shop yet).

Plus, focusing your strategies around the changing of each season means you’ll seem less spammy to your seasonal audience. If they’re already looking forward to next season’s special offers, they’ll be eager to see your email in their inboxes.


5. Plan Your Seasonal Email Marketing Ahead of Time

Once you have a solid foundation of content ideas and scheduled promotions, you’re ready to plan out the next few seasons worth of emails. Rather than waiting until the very last second and cobbling together an email or two, start writing and gathering images for them now. Then, you can use email marketing tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or GetResponse to schedule them far in advance.


And remember: all of your auto service shop emails should be mobile friendly. According to HubSpot, 46 percent of emails were opened on a mobile device in 2019. They predict that number will only increase as time goes on. Each email you design ahead of time must look great on desktop, tablet, smart phone, or any other device your target audience may use to read it.


Check out the Castrol Insider resource hub for more helpful tips, information, and guides just like this one!