Auto Repair Business Beats the Internet Coupons with Targeted Email Marketing
Larry Miller is a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business in south Florida. While the large dealerships and auto-repair chains called him a “technician,” he prefers “wrench turner” or even “grease monkey.” He told us recently that he worked very hard for others for too long, and always dreamed of someday being his own boss. A greasy entrepreneur, I asked him? He said he’s ok with that.
Larry took the leap and started his own business in 2014, taking many customers with him. He is a rare breed of tradesmen who follow the “always do the right thing” philosophy and his customers appreciate that….most of the time.
In his first two years in business Larry would occasionally run into a customer who hadn’t visited his
shop for a while and he would ask where he or she had been. Invariably the customer would reply “well, I saw a coupon on the internet from the big dealership for a cheap oil change, so I dropped by over there.” Dismayed but undaunted, Larry tried to figure out how to stop losing his customers to his former employers.
A friend told him about email marketing, so Larry started collecting email addresses from every customer with the promise that he would send news about special deals on repairs and promised to beat any coupon.
Larry tried one of the big email marketing companies, but had a tough time trying to use the graphic design templates. He also couldn’t figure out the tracking and other tools and was about to give up when he found GMass.
“Keeping a running list on Google sheets is easy, and typing up my monthly messages takes about 10 minutes,” he told us. “I keep it simple, the customers get my mail, and it’s really easy.”
Larry figured out how to add a column on the spreadsheet for dates-of-service and now he sends a mass email each month to customers who are due for an oil change or check-up.
“Basically I’m doing the same thing the big guys do, but on a smaller scale,” Larry said. I feel like I’m controlling my business, which is satisfying.”
Larry loves that GMass is free, but says he will gladly pay whatever it costs when the day comes there is a fee. “It’s a business expense,” Larry said. “But this one brings me a lot more more business.”
GMass is an extension for Chrome and Gmail. It installs easily and is a very robust and versatile platform for sending mass-email messages. Click here to watch a video on YouTube that will guide you through the set-up.
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