Outsell's Automotive Email Marketing Drives Vehicle Sales and Web Traffic
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Sunshine Chevrolet Case Study

Outsell’s individualized automotive email marketing helps Sunshine Chevrolet increase web traffic and boost vehicle sales.

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Sunshine Chevrolet sees 13:1 ROI on Outsell Investment


Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator of Sunshine Chevrolet, joined the family business in 2014 after spending 20+ years in non-profit marketing. She brought with her not only deep marketing knowledge, but the ability to run it inexpensively. “I’m big on measurement,” says Elliott. “I want to be able to measure everything, and then jettison things that aren’t working.” As a result, one of the first things she did at Sunshine Chevrolet was to transition the company away from traditional marketing such as TV and print advertising and go 100 percent digital, so that everything could be measured.

At first, Sunshine Chevrolet relied primarily on email campaigns for marketing – twice a month, generic campaigns (meaning all customers received the same offers). It was more effective than print ads, but Elliott wanted to do more.


  • Improve relevance of digital marketing to increase open rates and draw more customers into the store
  • Do a better job mining existing customer/prospect database
  • Increase new and pre-owned vehicle sales and number of service customers
  • Measure every marketing and advertising product that we use, and jettison things that aren’t working


Through her participation in the dealership’s Local Marketing Association (LMA), which drives creative content for local GM dealer advertising, Elliott learned about DTG Octane, a digital marketing platform provided by Agency720 and powered by Outsell. It was exactly what she needed for Sunshine Chevrolet. She lobbied for the LMA to add the program to its advertising portfolio, making it available to dealers.

The Local Marketing Association (LMA) gives dealers control over their creative content for their local advertising. Dealerships who choose to be part of the LMA combine marketing funds with the other dealers within the LMA for their local marketing spend. The LMA holds regular monthly meetings and the dealers vote and approve spend as a group.


Benefits of Using Outsell’s Automotive Email Campaigns

Email open rates approaching 10 percent.

While most marketers are happy to achieve open rates in the 1-2 percent range, Sunshine Chevrolet’s email campaigns with Outsell enjoy open rates that on average are close to 10 percent. According to Elliott, “That’s extremely high, and I attribute it to our ability to individualize the content and offers, making each highly relevant to the recipient. Even if we get busy and don’t have time to localize the content Outsell provides in an email campaign, I know our customers will receive a professional, personalized email with exceptionally good content and approved Chevrolet offers.”

New car sales up by 40 percent.

This is due to a combination of factors, says Elliott: the targeted emails are bringing more people into the store, re-targeting campaigns (also created in the Outsell platform) have proven to be very effective, and Outsell’s BuyerScout® software helps Sunshine Chevrolet’s salespeople focus their efforts on the customers most likely to buy. “Our salespeople and BDC Coordinators love the BuyerScout reports,” said Elliott. “They call every person with a score of seven or higher, and many of those people go on to purchase a car from us.”

Outsell ROI of 13:1.

Overall, Elliott reports that every dollar Sunshine Chevrolet invests in Outsell brings $13 in revenue. “It’s relatively easy for us to measure our ROI since everything is digital,” she says.

Elliott is understandably pleased with Sunshine Chevrolet’s transition to 100 percent digital marketing, including Outsell. “The way cars are sold has changed so dramatically,” she says. “Customers are doing a lot of research online, not just calling the dealership like they used to. Outsell is now in the Top Five drivers of traffic to our website, according to Sunshine Chevrolet’s Google Analytics. It’s making a huge impact on our success.”

“The Outsell platform has become an integral part of our overall marketing process.”

-Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator for Sunshine Chevrolet



• Email open rates approaching 10 percent (1-2% is typical for most marketers)

• New car sales up by 40%

• ROI of 13:1

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