What is an Example of Effective Direct Mail for Dealerships?

Effective Direct Mail

When it comes to creating a marketing strategy for your dealership, using direct mail is an effective way to reach current and future clients. Fortunately for you, our team at Aspen Automotive has spent over 30 years perfecting automotive direct mail marketing. What does this mean for you? Simply said, you’ll have access to a team of marketing experts who will take your strategy to the next level.

Curious to learn more about effective direct mail marketing? Keep reading!


Direct Mail

Direct mail is a type of marketing that includes sending physical products to your targeted audience. This includes merchandise, mail, promotions, and more. In order to send direct mail, you first have to determine who your targeted audience is. This can include general demographics, income, credit score, and loan amount on their current ride.

Direct mail in marketing is quite effective, despite the surge to digital marketing. In fact, direct mail generated 57 percent of campaign response rates, while email generated 6.2 percent, and searches produced 3.8 percent of responses.

Now that you have a better idea of what direct mail is, we’ll be taking a look at six examples of effective direct mail marketing.


You may be wondering why you should run a direct mail campaign when there’s such a focus on digital and social media marketing. Well, the answer is in the question. Direct mail offers less competition, giving your dealership a higher chance of standing out from the crowd.

Thanks to less competition, your dealership may experience higher returns on investment (ROIs). In fact, it’s estimated that the response rate for email prospects is at 0.3 percent, which cannot compete with the 2.9 percent response rate of direct mail.1



In addition to its high response rate, which could lead to higher ROIs, direct mail offers many benefits. This long list of benefits is one of the reasons that direct mail is growing in popularity. Let’s take a look at three reasons that people are turning to direct mail to deliver their dealership’s message!

1). Everyone has Access to Direct Mail

One reason that direct mail is growing in popularity is because it’s for everyone. You don’t need the internet, a computer, or a smartphone to access the information. It’s estimated that only 62 percent of adults over the age of 70 use a smartphone.2

Don’t miss out on marketing to nearly 40 percent of the population. Instead, market to people of all ages—young and old—through direct mail.

2). It Elicits an Emotional Response

There’s a reason people reminisce. It’s because they love looking back at simpler times. Direct mail is great for this because it has a hint of romanticism. Getting a letter in the mail is exciting. It makes people feel valued.

3). It Plays with Senses

Direct mail is tangible. It forces people to interact with your advertisement and use their senses. Digital marketing only uses sight, but direct mail automatically adds touch.

Since direct mail is flexible, it gives you the opportunity to add even more senses. Think about adding a car freshener to your mailer to add the third sense of smell, or consider adding a driving playlist your customers can enjoy on their first commute in their new car.


Traffic on Site

Now that you know a little more about direct mail marketing and some of its many benefits, we can take a closer look at how to set up, run, and track an effective direct mail marketing campaign.

When you’re looking to start your dealership’s direct mail marketing campaign, there are a few different ways you can make your mailers stand out from the crowd. Below, we’ve listed six different examples of direct mail for dealerships. Let’s get started!

1). Get Creative to Stand Out

One example of effective direct mail marketing includes using bright colors that grab the attention of the recipient. Think about the ways you can incorporate color theory into your direct mailers.

Factoring in the psychology behind colors is one way to put a subliminal message into your campaign.

When you’re running a loyalty or trade-in promotion, consider using green. That’s because green is often associated with money and wealth. Furthermore, green works to harmonize the brain and encourages decisiveness.

Are you running a sale? Try and incorporate red, as it creates a sense of urgency and immediately pulls the attention of the viewer.

2) Think Outside the Box

Who says that direct mail only means sending out a traditional postcard or letter? When you’re planning your direct mail strategy, don’t be afraid to think outside the box by using boxes, catalogs, and postcards. Let’s take a look at the benefits each type of mailer offers:

  • Dimensional mailers: These mailers are extremely unique and pique the attention of recipients. This helps increase response rate and pass-along value, too.
  • Catalogs: These are great to showcase your vehicle lineup, your staff and services, and any upcoming promotions. This way, you can include lots of information all at once.
  • Postcards: These small, hand-sized mailers that don’t require envelopes are rather inexpensive and can be sent in multiple sizes.

When you’re creating your marketing campaign, think up different ways you can send your mailers.

3). Get Personal

You’ve learned that sending a personalized letter produces a sense of nostalgia, so don’t be afraid to include personalization in your direct mailers.

One easy way you can personalize your mailers is simply by adding the recipient’s name. This in itself will help your recipient feel more connected to your dealership and feel even more valued. You can also add a handwritten signature to your mailer or handwrite the address information on the envelope or mailer.

4). An Envelope that Grabs Attention

If you do use envelopes for your direct mail, you’ll want to make them stand out from the rest of the mail your recipient has in their mailbox. There are more than a few ways to do this.

For instance, ask a question on your envelope that requires the reader to open the letter to receive the answer. Or, highlight a key benefit of the mail campaign—perhaps savings on sales or service—without detailing the benefit, so the reader again wants to open the letter to learn more.

5). Test Your Mailings

Mail DesignBefore you roll out the entire campaign, it may make sense to test a mailing or mailings. You may have a couple of different ideas and want to understand which will be more effective. To create an effective campaign, testing these ideas is essential.

You can test different envelopes, messages, graphics, offers—whatever variable you like! Just be sure to only test one variable at a time, so you can make conclusions about what is most effective without ambiguity.

6). Targeted Lists

You don’t want to waste any mail on unqualified recipients—the people who are unlikely to buy a car or have one serviced with you. With the help of a database, you can target the people most likely to buy from you. All you need is the right demographic data.

Our automotive-focused databases are the perfect source for the data you need! You can choose from a wide variety of databases to meet your needs, including:

  • Aspen SureDrive Data. Sell cars and service by learning more about your customers’ current vehicles! This database can identify the make, model, year, and auto style of their cars, as well as whether the customer chose to drive or lease.
  • Real Time Credit Score Data. Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. Now, you can target your buyers based on their credit scores. This database pulls information from the three major credit bureaus to help you tailor your marketing to the financing needs of various audience segments.
  • Lease/Loan Enders. Know when a customer’s lease or loan payments are coming to an end, and you’ll know when they may be most receptive to offers to trade in and buy or lease a new car. With this database, you’ll be able to see the number of payments remaining and the percentage of auto loans remaining.
  • Dealer Data Download. Accurate data is important, and this system knows that. It retrieves and updates in your Dealership Management System to keep your records accurate at all times. You’ll have less duplicate or incorrect information.
  • Saturation. Just opened a new dealership? That may be the perfect time to send a mailer to every home in your service area, and Saturation can help. Let your community know you’re in business!


Are you ready to start an effective direct mail campaign of your own? If so, let our team of marketing experts at Aspen Automotive help you every step of the way. To get started, simply give us a call or send us an email today!



1. https://spectrummarketing.com/direct-mail-response-rate-2018/

2. https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/technology/info-2019/2020-technology-trends-older-americans.html#:~:text=Today%2C%20smartphone%20adoption%20is%2086,smartphones%20on%20a%20daily%20basis