Automotive Direct Mail

In today’s digital world, businesses of all types, including automotive dealerships, use a myriad of tools to attract audiences online. Despite the rise in digital marketing, direct mail marketing provides an impressive return on investment for prospecting and keeping customers. Learn about the efficacy and types of automotive direct mail to see how it can improve your business.

What Is Automotive Direct Mail?

Through direct mail, customers receive personalized, targeted advertisements at their home or business from local, national, or international businesses. Automotive direct mail’s goal is often to entice interested customers to visit the dealership’s showroom.

How Does Automotive Direct Mail Work?

Companies interested in using automotive direct mail have many options to create and implement an effective plan. Some car dealerships send their own direct mail from their showroom, using lead lists they’ve developed personally. Others send their own mail, but use customer lists with prospective buyers who match their target demographic that they buy or rent from distributors. Some choose to outsource the entire operation to a third-party company with the knowledge and information to oversee a productive automotive mail marketing campaign.

 

What Are Some Effective Types of Automotive Advertising?

Car dealerships use a variety of marketing strategies paired with a direct mail campaign to increase their customer base and overall sales. Consider a few of these ideas for your next direct mail operation:

  • Thank-you notes: Use a handwritten thank-you note following a successful sale to show your customer you personally care about their purchase.
  • Dealership newsletter: Automotive companies can send newsletters to existing customers to keep them informed of any dealership updates or news. Many businesses include useful automotive industry-related information in their newsletters alongside marketing and ads. Newsletters are often sent as letters or self-mailers.
  • Loan or financing specials: Send a postcard, letter, or self-mailer with information about special loan deals or financing specials to the appropriate customer demographic.
  • Birthday greetings: Keep in touch with previous customers and encourage them to pay a visit to your dealership with a thoughtful handwritten birthday card.
  • Loyalty program: For existing customers or potential customers, send a self-mailer or dimensional mailer listing the benefits included in your customer loyalty program. You could even create two documents, one for current customers and one for customer leads, to better optimize the mailer’s language.
  • Holiday sale: Advertise any holiday sales events with a handwritten postcard, letter, or dimensional mailer. Make these as eye-catching as possible to prompt your customers to read the mailer’s copy and learn more about the sales event.
  • Service offerings: Send customers information about your service center on a postcard, in a handwritten letter, or in a self-mailer. This is a particularly useful campaign idea for current customers who may not be in the market for a new vehicle but who you know own a car that might need service.

holiday-automotive-card

Is Automotive Direct Mail Effective?

The Data & Marketing Association performs an annual survey to evaluate the efficacy of direct mail marketing. The 2018 DMA Response Rate Report indicates that direct mail is an incredibly effective form of marketing. Consider these statistics:

  • There was a 9% response rate for a house list compared to a 1% response rate for an email house list.
  • There was a 5% response rate for a prospect list compared to a 1% response rate for an email prospect list.

Clearly, direct mail, particularly when targeted and personalized, can yield impressive results in the form of new customers and return purchases from past customers.

What Are the Benefits?

Automotive companies can profit tremendously from a well-executed direct mail campaign. Consider a few of the many benefits:

  • According to the Data & Marketing Association, 42% of people either read or scan their physical mail before answering it or throwing it away. This means your current customers or potential customers are likely to see your message even if they then throw the mail out.
  • Creating personalized mail is a simple task with the right software or a third-party company.
  • You can use curated lists of potential customers that meet the parameters of your target market to ensure your direct mail reaches interested people.
  • Direct mail can take many forms. You can use your creativity when designing your direct mail campaign. Use a variety of colors, shapes, and even handwritten cards to catch your customers’ eyes.
  • Direct mail campaigns are easy to track so you can see the frequency with which customers are accepting your messaging.
  • It’s a great return on investment. The United States Postal Service ran a study on its own direct mail marketing campaign and found that direct mail generated over half of its customer responses.
  • Direct mail is less intrusive than other forms of advertising or marketing since customers can choose when to look at it.

automotive-direct-mail

What Are the Different Types of Direct Mail?

Automotive mail is super versatile. You can combine different types of direct mail with a variety of marketing strategies. This will land new customers and increase return purchases from existing customers. Common types of direct mail include:

  • Self-mailers: Like postcards, self-mailers have no exterior packaging. Instead, they’re often a single sheet of paper tri-folded and sealed or a small, sealed booklet. Self-mailers are an excellent choice for providing detailed information to prospective customers since they offer more space than a postcard or other types of mail.
  • Letters: Traditional letters feature a sheet or two of paper enclosed in an envelope. Letters are a highly-professional form of direct mail. They work well for hyper-personalized campaigns. Often, the writer will sign their name in pen but think about handwriting your entire letter to show your customer you care.
  • Dimensional mailers: Dimensional mailers are similar to self-mailers, but often have upgraded features like the type of paper, colors, and shape. Dimensional mailers are designed to be eye-catching and look expensive to entice potential customers to examine them.
  • Catalog: Catalogs are most popular with companies that sell a wide range of products. This type of mail is essentially a book made from glossy paper with detailed descriptions of the company’s products for purchase.

Automotive direct mail marketing is an excellent tool for gaining new customers and retaining current customers. Use personalization and targeting to get the best return on your investment.

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