Direct Mail Marketing is Alive and Well

Direct Mail Marketing

We live in the age of technology where it’s easy to fall into the new trend or tech that comes out. From my experience, if something works well then you need to use it instead of waiting for the next best thing. Direct mail marketing is a tool that has worked very well in the past and continues to work well for automotive dealers. A recent study from the USPS showed that nearly half of all recipients read or scan direct mail pieces—this means half of your targeted audience is stopping to read your message. Depending on the strength and relevance of your message, you can turn that into a healthy response rate.

Despite the low-end on the technology scale, direct mail is vital to growing your business and is here to stay. Let me give you three reasons why direct mail marketing can’t be overlooked when trying to bring next day traffic to your dealership:

First, you can reach specific people who are more likely to buy. A strategic approach to direct mail marketing can help you get the right message to the right people. Direct mail can be tailored to a specific group of people that meet the criteria of those who are repeat customers at your dealership. Despite the lack of broad advertising like we have in television and radio, you can address a smaller percentage of the population that will have a higher probability of responding to your offer. Once you do the research on who is more likely to purchase a vehicle from you, a strategic message can be crafted that will reach this type of potential buyer.

Second, success is measurable. Success in direct mailing is something that can be easily quantified; however, unless you are diligent in tracking your responses you are not getting your money’s worth out of the campaign. There are several methods of capturing the information from new and repeat customers. Small incentives in the mailers, notice of special sales, or even a customer survey can be extremely beneficial when it comes to capturing customer data. Capturing customer information allows your dealership to evaluate the information before dropping your next mailer. These are all valid questions to ask in evaluating the success of a direct mail campaign:

  1. Who responded and who didn’t
  2. How long it took for a response
  3. What kind of feedback did you or your staff receive on the offer

Third, direct mail is cost-effective while being successful. We’ve talked about how direct mail has a strategic means of communicating the right message to the right people. For the going cost of a stamp per household, mailed to a strategic zip code, your offer can be delivered directly to a future customer who is more likely to buy your vehicle. Several of our clients at Strong Automotive Merchandising can attest to the success of direct mail marketing. Some have seen direct mail marketing account for almost 22% of their sales. You can’t tell me direct mail is long gone with results like that.

Despite direct mail marketing being “yesterday’s technology” it can still be a huge benefit to your dealership. Strategic and intentional use of a direct mail campaign can take your dealership to the next level when it comes to driving more next day traffic. Let Strong Automotive Merchandising help you craft the right message to send to the right people and get you the right results.

Source for USPS survey:

About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.

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