Save A Stamp, Save A Tree, Market Via E-mail

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Dealers who wish to beef up the number of e-mail addresses in their customer databases could get a boost from a service that helps in matching names and snail-mail addresses to e-mail addresses.

Mailbox 2 Inbox is a service that takes a dealer's existing snail-mail list and checks each customer against three large consumer databases. When matches are found, Mailbox 2 Inbox sends out a welcome e-mail prompting customers to join the dealer's e-mail list. Currently, the rate of return is anywhere from 25 to 35 percent.

"A dealer that has no e-mail addresses but has 10,000 mailing addresses will get around 2,500 to 3,500 e-mails," says Thomas Heenan of DG Advertising. Heenan suggests being aggressive in the initial email, with specials and deep-discount coupons to entice customers to sign up for the e-mail list.

The Mailbox2Inbox service costs anywhere from 35 to 45 cents per e-mail address. Dealers pay only for the e-mail addresses of the customers who opted to join their mailing list.

Generally, the bulk rate for postage ranges from 20 to 28 cents. There's also printing and design costs involved. "It becomes very expensive if a dealer has 10,000, or even 5,000 people to mail to," Heenan says. E-mail marketing is also environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of paper and mailing materials used.

"We look at it really strictly from a marketing perspective as a very cost effective, simple and easy way to market to their customers," Heenan says. "We believe it's more successful than direct-mail marketing." Mailbox 2 Inbox also provides e-mail marketing services, and other e-mail marketing programs cost as little as $35 per month.

Heenan advises sending out e-mail promotions twice a month. Dealerships like San Luis Motorsports and GP Sports in San Jose, Calif., have recently enlisted Mailbox 2 Inbox to build up their e-mail lists.

Mailbox2Inbox also provides e-mail templates and e-mailing services. Call 949-497-3889 or visit www.mailbox2inbox.com for more information.