How to Market Your Car Dealership with Direct Mail

How to Market Your Car Dealership

As one of the easiest ways to engage your targeted audience and generate leads, a comprehensive direct mail strategy is crucial to the success of your company. Just how do you market your automotive business with direct mail?

Well, we’re here to help you navigate the steps of this marketing strategy with our guide on how to market your car dealership with direct mail, created by Aspen Automotive. With these advertising techniques, you’ll keep your customers informed and capture the attention of those revenue-building leads.

What Is Direct Mail?

Automotive Direct Mail

Direct mail is a type of marketing tactic that includes sending physical mail to recipients that’s usually unsolicited. The most common form of direct mail is either postcards or letters, but there are nearly endless possibilities. Thanks to this flexibility, direct mail is a great marketing tool for your dealership.

Direct mail is often labeled as a competitor to digital marketing—like social media and email—but the truth is that these marketing tactics nicely complement one another to offer the best results possible.

While many dealerships are flocking to digital marketing as their go-to strategy, direct mail continues to be one of the best marketing strategies because of its many benefits. To help you learn more, let’s take a look at some of these benefits.

Direct Mail Is Viewed by More People

With a large portion of individuals turning to digital marketing, that leaves a large gap between the number of ads and emails seen per day vs. the number of mailers.

Marketing by the Numbers:

  • Number of ads seen per day: 4,000 to 10,0001
  • Number of emails seen per day: 1212
  • Number of mailers seen per day: Two3

Direct mail increases the chances of your dealership’s advertisement being seen, thanks to the reduced competition with digital marketing. With this reduced competition, you’re likely to see better results. For example, direct mail offers a 5.3 percent response rate for house files and 2.9 percent for prospect lists.4

Email only offers a 0.6 percent response rate for house files and a 0.3 percent rate for prospect lists.

Direct Mail Is Hard to Ignore

It’s no surprise that people are busy. Between work, taking care of the family, and running to and from whatever events are scheduled for that week, some people may not have time to catch up on their emails or sort through their mail for a few days.

With so many emails received each day, individuals may have a harder time reading through each one to find the most important information. This means that your marketing email may go ignored.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is far harder to ignore, since it takes up space in the house. Your recipient may let the mail sit for a few days, but they eventually have to interact with it to declutter. When they do this, there’s a higher chance they’ll read through your mailer.

FUN FACT: Direct mail usually sits in the home for 17 days, which gives the entire household plenty of time to read through your mailer and take advantage of your offer.5

How to Market Your Car Dealership with Direct Mail

Automotive Mail

Now that you have a better understanding of what direct mail is and the benefits it provides, let’s find out how to market your car dealership with direct mail.

The marketing experts at Aspen Automotive have simplified this process, thanks to our 5-step plan:

  1. Identify your goals
  2. Define your audience
  3. Design your automotive mailer
  4. Test your direct mail strategy
  5. Create a call to action

To help your further understand how to market with direct mail, let’s take a closer look at each of these five steps!

1). Identify Your Goals

First and foremost, your automotive direct mail strategy needs to be guided by a clearly defined goal. By taking the time to determine where your dealership wants to improve, you’ll more easily craft a direct mailer that’s geared toward achieving that goal.

So, whether you’re looking to sell more vehicles each month or want to increase the number of customers who subscribe to your customer loyalty program, you want to start out with a well-defined goal. In fact, your dealership’s direct mail objective should fit into the following SMART parameters:

  • Specific: Make sure you’re establishing an objective that features exact numbers and specifically identifies your goal. That way, you can understand exactly what your dealership is setting out to accomplish. For example, I want to sell more cars.
  • Measurable: Create a goal that can be measured. For instance, picking metrics that you already track or can be easily tracked will enable your dealership to keep a close eye on your progress and produce objective results. For example, I want to sell 100 more cars every month.
  • Attainable: Is selling 100 more cars every month a goal that’s achievable in your targeted timeframe? If not, consider paring down your targeted vehicle sales to 50 more per month. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for continued success.
  • Relevant: Is the objective that you’re going for relevant to your dealership’s success? Create goals that will ensure or encourage continued success. Focusing on short-term or low-impact goals may be tempting, but won’t provide the best results.
  • Timely: Every goal should be couched within a timeframe. Depending on the scale of your goal, you may want to set it for a month, quarter, or year. With a timeframe in mind, your dealership will have an idea of how to pace out your direct mail marketing campaigns to reach your objective.

2). Define Your Audience

Target Audience

Depending on the type of promotion or program you’re advertising, the next step of marketing your car dealership with direct mail is to understand which audience you’re targeting.

Because markets vary greatly based on the location of your automotive business, you’ll want to take some time to dig deeper into who your ideal customer really is.

Follow these steps to determine your audience:

  • Think about your current customers: Identify commonalities among your existing clients and find out who frequently shops at your business.
  • Research your competition: Take a look at the customers who visit competing dealerships to see if there’s a niche market you could target.
  • Determine the benefits: Once you figure out the benefits of your product or promotion, you can more easily identify the individuals who could profit from those services.
  • Create buyer personas: Ascertain the demographics of your ideal customer, including age, gender, occupation, income level, education level, marital status, and other traits.

Once you’ve established the demographic that’s most likely to purchase a vehicle or participate in your new program, you can build your direct mail strategy around that information and more effectively market your car dealership.

3). Design Your Automotive Direct Mailer

Let’s face it: Due to the physical nature of automotive direct mail, it’s bound to have a lasting impact on its recipients.

That’s why you want to carefully consider the design of your direct mail campaign. Regardless of the program or offer that you’re promoting, it’s important to stick to the following guidelines while laying out your direct mail design:

  • Eliminate clutter
  • Choose a theme
  • Create a clear call to action
  • Include personalization
  • Focus on texture

To make your dealership’s direct mailers stand out, think about incorporating a 3-dimensional feature in your direct mail design.

Not only does this make the shopping experience more interesting for your customers, but it also helps your dealership position itself as an innovative thought leader in your market.

4). Test Your Direct Mail Strategy

Of course, the only way to get a realistic understanding of how your direct mail advertisement will perform is to test it out. Luckily, determining the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing plan and promotion is as simple as analyzing the success of the campaign on a smaller population.

Along the way, you’ll pinpoint the parts of the direct mail resources that work best for your audience and the ones that don’t.

From there, your dealership can refine the message or offer until you find the one that has the best results. Thanks to this trial-and-error technique, you’ll have a better idea of how your program or promotion will perform.

5). Create a Call to Action

Call to Action

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that new and existing customers visit your dealership, participate in your programs, and ultimately buy one of your cars, right?

Well, to help your audience know what action they’re supposed to take to opt into one of your programs, it’s essential to include a clear, concise call to action.

By including a telephone number to your automotive company and easy-to-follow instructions—such as “Give Us a Call”—your target demographic is more likely to take that action. The result? Increased leads, more revenue, and a better advertising approach.

Find Out More About Your Automotive Direct Mail Options Today!

At Aspen Automotive, we want to help your car dealership thrive by equipping you with an effective automotive direct mail marketing strategy.

That’s why our team of experts has created a selection of direct mail options that’ll help you reach your target demographic and turn strangers into lifelong supporters of your dealership.

Ready to build your customer base with a revenue-boosting direct marketing approach? All you have to do is give us a call or email our team today!