Best Practices

4 Letters That Will Sell You More Cars This Month

How many times have you heard or even said to yourself…

“I’ve sent this customer 5 emails and I have yet to hear anything back”
“These Internet customers never call me back”,
maybe even
“I send them a price and I never hear back”..

No doubt about it, sending emails to someone who never responds is frustrating. But who is really to or the customer?

You’re already aware there’s no Silver Bullet, no sure fire way of making every potential customer respond to your emails. However, many times your emails or email templates are an over looked vital element of your success in transitioning the customer from behind the computer to the phone and ultimately your showroom floor. There are proven methods that will increase your response rate and help transition your customer to the phone quicker.

When writing to your potential customer remember to include these 4 key elements in your email and email templates.

1. Grab your customer’s ATTENTION fast!

There are 2 main elements for grabbing your customers attention: the subject line and the opening paragraph of your email. You want your subject line to create trust while also creating interest and enticing the customer to open your email. Yes, I know we have all heard too much about the importance of your subject line..but what about after that? The opening paragraph of your email sets the tone and needs to keep your customers attention. If your message in the opening paragraph is weak you will quickly lose the reader.

2. Create the INTEREST.

You have now grabbed your customers attention so it’s time to deliver the information and create interest. How do you create interest? With options! Provide your customers with inventory options. If your customer is interested in a new Volkswagen Passat, provide them with information on one that closely matches their request. Provide a base model, the cheapest one you have on the lot, along with a more expensive one with more equipment. What about a used Certified Volkswagen Passat? Over 60% of your new car buyers will consider a certified or well maintained pre-owned vehicle. Think about that!

3.  Hint on the URGENCY

Urgency can be used to grab your customer’s attention in the beginning of your email as well as towards the end. I’m not necessarily a fan of statements like “Prices Only Good until this date” though this strategy can sometimes work. I prefer using phrases that hint at the urgency. For example: “Mr. Smith, we have some great specials this month” or “the incentives this month are some of the best we have seen”. Let your customer know that this is the month for a great deal. Also, when selling new cars and using availability to hint at urgency, you could refer to the model of interest as a “best seller” or “limited availability”. The point is to plant the seed of urgency rather than being blatant.

4. Keep the momentum going with the next step to ACTION!

I’ve read so many emails that end in..”I look forward to hearing from you” or “Call me at your convenience”. Why would you wait for the customer to contact you? If you get anything out of reading this, this is it! The “A” the “ACTION” at the end of your email is the most important of the four letters. End your emails by asking your customer to take the next step of action! That may be picking up the phone to accept your call or clicking on the link to your online credit application. I prefer transitioning the customer to the phone. A question as simple as “Kristy, would it be OK to call you in the next 10 minutes?” can yield you some great results.

Your emails need to grab your customers ATTENTION. Once you have their attention, quickly turn that attention into INTEREST. While you have their interest, establish a sense of URGENCY and keep the momentum going with your next step to ACTION.

The next time you think you are ready to click the Send button, give your email a once over to be sure you have included the 4 letters that will sell you more cars this month; A I U A.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • I
    Ian Statler
  • May 8, 2008
Surprised to see no feedback here. It's a little deep but if applied, I think could be very successful. I have added a post-it note stuck on my monitor with AIUA written on it to remind myself to include these elements in my emails.

I'll report back later and let you know if it works.

Thanks Jeff.
  • J
  • May 12, 2008
Good post - sales 101 but I frequently revisit the basics as over time it's easy to stray. One thing I would add to the "interest" section though. Customers (no matter if you're B2B or B2C) need benefits in addition to the features. Sure, you can give a few vehicles to them, but you'll have more success if you pair that with corresponding benefits. The WIIFM statement if you will (what's in it for me):

Example A: Mr. Shopper, here is information on the vehicle you requested, and here are two more vehicles that you might be interested in as well which also get great gas mileage.

Example B: Mr. Shopper, here is information on the vehicle you requested, and here are two more vehicles that you might be interested in as well. As I'm sure you're aware, Vehicles 2 and 3 have the best mpg ratings in their class, so over the course of a year you'll actually save money over Vehicle 1.
I couldn't agree more. I train based on the same philosophy and it works everywhere I go. I have went to this format after trying fancy signatures, graphics, links; you name it!
I literally follow this step by step but added a few minor things that made a major difference for me. Results may vary.

I make all my templates and e-mail responses personal. I know you have heard that before, but I am "conversing" with them, rather than writing to them. I want to create dialogue and build rapport. I think some make the mistake of only doing that on the phone.

Secondly, I give them more than they asked for. Simple as that; everytime.

Lastly, my closing and call to action are simply by confirmation.

So, I will try to play this out using the AIUA formula and what I mentioned above.


Hey I saw that 2004 Honda Accord online, stock #p5353 is it still available? What is the best deal you can do?



Hi Tim,

Great news, we do have that 2004 Honda Accord in stock! Actually, we just got another one in as well, if this isn't exactly what you are looking for.

Now when you say "best deal", are you looking for best payment deal or best "out the door" deal? Either way, I would need to know if you have a trade, money down and credit situation to determine the best rate.

I will follow up with you via phone shortly to make sure you received this e-mail and discuss some options.



Hopefully this will work for you, but either way, DEFINITELY use the AIUA!
  • P
    Peter B
  • May 13, 2008

Great read - These are best practices that can make a difference immediately.
  • D
    dennis b
  • July 6, 2011
Really good advice! Thanks, great read.

I work for a towing company in the Philly area. We service the whole Northeast. For more info check us out at
Great timing! I am upto my armpits in projects and this NAILS one of them!

Big time saver JK!