Understanding Emails Will Help Car Dealerships Understand Customers

Nearly two years ago, I relocated myself to the Washington, DC Metro Area and realized that I needed a car. Having never bought a new car before, I consulted my father and he helped me pick out some cars that I might be interested in. Once I’ve selected the make and model that I wanted to know more of, I submitted my email address to be contacted for more information. Having an apprehension for receiving unwanted spam, I gave out an address that I didn’t have a tendency to use often, if at all. And for this purposes, there’s no wonder why.

In the beginning of my car purchase experience, receiving information from these dealerships with information on quotes, sales, and other car-related information might have been helpful, but now that I’ve passed them up and already have a car, there’s no need for them to continually hound me for a sale…so why are these dealerships not getting it through their heads that I’m not interested? Believe me, I understand that they’re thinking that I might be in that next purchase mode already, but when I see emails with the phrase “We understand that you haven’t bought a car yet“, that might make your emails less interesting.

It’s not that I don’t dislike the car dealerships. However, I do despise their understanding of how a sale works online. Looking at the constant state of affairs in the world relating to the economy, I must say that one of the reasons why these car dealerships may be in disarray is because they just don’t understand their clients. It’s one thing to go through the motions and just get someone’s email address, but there is a Federal law now called the CAN-SPAM Act that protects consumers from getting irrelevant emails like yours. To me, these car dealerships are simply violating that and by not caring about how to properly reach their customers, these car dealerships are not interested in appeasing anyone – only care about the money.

I understand that with car salesmen, it’s probably all about getting the sale. Nothing else matters and if it doesn’t directly lead to a sale, then there’s probably no purpose for dealerships to spend that much time on an effort. But these days, you better start changing your practices in order to survive, because frankly, it looks like car dealerships are on their last legs. Rather than sending out bulk emails without a care in the world who gets them, maybe you should look at the content that’s on your site? Then look at whether it adheres to Federal guidelines – because if it doesn’t, you’re going to face some steep fines from the federal government and when enough people complain to their Internet Service Providers, your emails will be blocked from that entire service, nullifying the effect you “hoped” would be there.

So car dealerships, please pay attention to how you reach out to those interested in buying a car from you. Treat their time with the same respect as how you want to be treated when people want to communicate with you. Don’t expect your crappy emails to be acknowledged and cared for. Frankly, I’m tired of your emails and if you keep spamming me, there’s probably no way that I’m ever going to visit your site again. Plus, the fact that you think that just because I have no real way to unsubscribe from your emails, doesn’t mean that you have free reign to continue to spam me. Look at how your targeting people because thanks to the federal government, we’re now able to fight back against you. Oh, and if you’re pulling the “we need your help because of the economy” card, you better think again – the fact you’re not paying attention to the emails you’re sending out isn’t a strong case for me to care about your dealership.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.