How to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

How to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

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.

Why Use Direct Mail?How to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

When looking to market your dealership, direct mail is a great option. It lets you send physical mail to current and potential customers for less than imagined. It’s highly creative and versatile, making it easy to send inventory, service, and finance information.

Despite the surge in digital marketing, direct mail remains a top choice for dealerships. It offers several benefits that are sure to help your mailers stand out from the crowd. Here’s a quick look at some of those benefits!

Less Competition

Less is always more, especially when it comes to competition. Direct mail gives you the ability to have your mailers stand out from the crowd, thanks to its low competition rate.

It’s no surprise that we live in a digital world, bombarded by ads and emails every day. With the average person receiving about 121 emails a day, you may find it hard to have your dealership’s content be seen.1

When you send direct mail, though, standing out isn’t nearly as challenging, since it’s estimated individuals only receive two pieces of mail per day.2

Direct Mail Is the Preferred Marketing Method

It’s time to give people what they want. That’s what marketing’s all about, after all, isn’t it? Letting people know how your dealership offers the service they need. Why not tell them you have what they want the way they want?

Did you know that 73 percent of people say direct mail is their preferred marketing method?3 It helps individuals think back to yesteryear when letters were the main form of communication. Now, with the rise of the internet, receiving a letter elicits a positive emotion. You also get extra points for personalizing with a handwritten signature!

Direct Mail Is Flexible

Want to send a bold mailer that’s full of bright colors? What about a freebie? All this and more is possible with direct mail. Some of the possible types of mailers you can send include:

  • Postcards
  • Letters
  • Brochures
  • Dimensional mailers

Thanks to this flexibility, you can play around with creative options to make your mailer completely original to your dealership’s brand.

Plus, the more creative you get, the higher the chance your mailer will be remembered.

1). Identify Your GoalsHow to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

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 subscribed 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 the 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

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 which ones frequently shop 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 MailerHow to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

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

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 furnish your direct mail with 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.

How We Can Help

How to Market a Car Dealership with Direct Mail

Ready to see results by marketing your car dealership with direct mail? We at Aspen Automotive can help with every stage in this journey. Our marketing gurus can help with everything from creating a mailing list to sending your designed mailers to the post office for delivery.

Looking to send pre-approved financing information to nearby individuals with a certain credit score? We have the data solution tools you need. What about creating a postcard that uses color theory to enhance your message? Our award-winning design team has the expertise needed to help you stand out.

Once designed, the fun doesn’t stop. We have an on-site production studio where all your mail is printed, inserted, sealed, and stamped. With most print jobs, your mail is at the post office within 72 hours of design approval.

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!