What is a Good ROI with Direct Mail?

What Is a Good ROI

As a thriving dealership, you understand the importance of your return on investment, better known as ROI. Not only does it help your team project the success of your future automotive direct mail campaigns, but it also gives you a better understanding of how your dealership is performing in the industry.

How do you get into the nitty-gritty of your direct mail performance? Well, it starts with knowing what’s considered a good ROI for direct mail marketing campaigns.

Fortunately, the automotive marketing experts at Aspen Automotive are here to provide you with insight on the number that’s deemed a solid ROI for direct mail advertising. Take a look!

What Is ROI?What Is a Good ROI

Return on investment (ROI) plays a major role in marketing. It’s used to determine how profitably your campaign performed. This number—written as a percentage—is then used to determine whether your completed campaign worked to your benefit and increased overall growth.

ROI can help steer you and your marketing team in the right direction when it comes to future campaigns in these two ways:

  • Discuss marketing budget: Examining ROI can help you determine a future marketing budget. It can help you identify strong campaigns that you can repeat while also showing which campaigns underperformed and may not want to be repeated.
  • Distribute budget across various channels: Taking a closer look at your marketing campaign, ROI can help you identify which types of marketing channels—direct mail, email, or social media—will see the highest revenue possible.

As you can see, ROI is an important indicator in determining how much reward you’ll see from a particular course of action.

In a nutshell, ROI lets you know how positive an impact your marketing campaign will have on your overall dealership and is a marketing tool that can’t be overlooked.

Importance of ROI

As you already know, ROI is an important indicator in determining how much reward you’ll see from a particular course of action, like starting a new marketing campaign. This number is determined by taking a look at how much you spent on a marketing campaign, compared to the revenue it brought.

This information can be used to look to the previously run campaigns to determine the effectiveness of running a direct mail campaign, social media campaign, or how they’ll work together.

How to Track ROI

In order to track your ROI, you can utilize marketing tools and software—like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or call tracking—that are designed to give you quick glances into where your dealership stands in terms of your marketing campaigns.

While there are tools you can use to track your ROI, you’ll find that calculating ROI yourself is just as easy as using software. In order to track your ROI from a direct mail campaign that has ended, all you have to do is use one simple equation:


After plugging in your specific numbers, you’ll have your ROI in a matter of minutes.

What’s a Good ROI for Automotive Direct Mail Marketing?What Is a Good ROI

Now that you know how to calculate your ROI, what percentage would you count to be a successful campaign?

Let’s get straight to the point: a good ROI for household-bound direct mail for 2020 was around 41 percent.1 Why this number in particular? This is the median return on investment for household direct mailers across all industries.

Depending on the metrics to which you’re looking to compare your automotive direct mail campaign, what’s considered a good direct mail ROI can vary. For our purposes, though, the general return on investment median is a great way to start calculating your dealership’s direct mail success.

It’s worth noting that, since 2017, direct mail’s median return on investment has nearly doubled, placing it in third place behind email marketing and social media marketing as one of the most valuable advertising formats.

How to Boost Your Dealership’s Direct Mail ROI

Ready to increase the return on investment for your next automotive direct mail marketing campaign? Follow these simple steps and watch as your dealership receives better response rates and improved revenue as a direct result of your direct mailers.

Cater Your Content to Your Audience

Just as ROI estimates help you keep your budget in check, tailoring your campaigns to fit the needs and tastes of your targeted audience does much of the same in terms of controlling overall costs.

Rather than sending out a blanket direct mail campaign that doesn’t speak to the individual buyer, gearing the copy, photos, and offer on your dealership’s mailers ensures that you’ll get a higher response rate to a direct mail strategy that doesn’t dwindle your budget.

Lower Costs + Improved Customer Response = Better Return on Your Investment

Another way you can cater to your audiences’ needs is by taking pain points into consideration and by using data mining. For example, you could target individuals who have a lower credit score and may have been previously denied a loan elsewhere.

Taking their pain point of needing a car but not being approved into consideration, you can send out a pre-approval form, letting them know they’ve been pre-approved for a car loan through your dealership.

Make It Easy to Respond

No matter what type of offer you include in your dealership’s direct mail campaign, one thing must be consistent: ease of response.

Each piece of direct mail that your leads receive should provide them with a phone number, email address, or personalized landing page to which they can go for more information. The simpler it is for your potential customers to engage with your dealership’s mailer, the more likely they are to do so.

Plus, the unique phone number and other contact methods you include on your auto direct mailer give your team a way to quickly measure the return on investment of your campaign.

Give Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Incentive is everything when it comes to automotive marketing. That’s why it’s paramount to include a tempting offer with your direct mailer.

Whether it’s a percentage-off automotive service, a special new-car rebate, or some other type of special, you’ll boost the odds of a better response rate, and thereby a better ROI, by presenting your leads with an incentive.

Moreover, special offers equip you with yet another way to track the response rate of your advertising strategies, this time with coupon codes and vouchers.

Bring Direct Mail into the 21st Century: Pairing Direct Mail with Digital Marketing

What Is a Good ROI

Looking for a higher ROI? Consider pairing your direct mail campaign with your digital marketing strategy. Why? In 2020, 60 percent of those who paired their campaigns saw an increase in ROI.1 Think about it: When you combine both types of marketing styles, you’re potentially reaching a larger audience than if you went just the direct mail route.

Plus, adding a digital aspect to your mailers gives you even more of an opportunity to experiment with visual and interactive elements.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can combine these two types of marketing!


Personalized URLs, or PURLs, are a fast way to merge direct mail with digital mail. When you use PURLs, you’ll send a mailer to your targeted audience, which includes the information you want to share, as well as a custom URL for each individual.

This personalized URL will take the recipient to an individualized landing page or microsite. This page will typically display a message with the recipient’s name to help increase the feeling of value. From there, a PURL page could include personalized car recommendations based on their search history, information on pre-approved financing, custom maintenance plans, and much more.

These microsites can be as generic or specific as you want, making PURLs a flexible marketing option.

Using PURLs combines the best of both marketing worlds by giving the recipients of mailers the option to interact with their own microsite to learn more.

QR Codes

QR codes are another way you can combine direct mail with digital marketing. Another flexible option, QR codes can lead recipients to a custom landing page, similar to PURLs, or they can link to nearly any other page.

For new model releases, QR codes are a great option. You could send a mailer with images about the release and when it’s expected, then add a QR code to the mailer, so they can learn more. When scanned, the QR code could lead to your inventory page, a vehicle review, or even a virtual tour to add even more digital elements.

QR codes could also be used in place of a PURL printed with the mailer. So, instead of the recipient typing the personalized code into their phone or computer, they can just pull their phone out of their pocket and scan the code.

Plus, since nearly all smartphones are equipped with QR-code-reading technology, this feature is accessible to just about all recipients.

Benefit to Adding Digital Features to Direct Mail

On top of potentially increasing the ROI for your campaign, adding digital elements—like PURLs and QR codes—makes it easier to track your campaign. You can now track the revenue gained by running your direct mail campaign, but you can also track how many times a personalized microsite was accessed.

This information can be used to better adjust your campaign in the future and make any fine-tuned adjustments to create an even more successful campaign.

How We Can HelpWhat Is a Good ROI

Ready to start a marketing campaign with a high ROI? Then let us—the marketing gurus—help you achieve the ROI you seek.

We offer several services that can aid you in every step of your marketing journey. That way, from planning to production, you know you’re getting the highest-quality service possible. Our services include:

  • Data solutions
  • Design
  • Production

Let’s take a closer look!

Data Solutions

As discussed, you need to cater your marketing materials to your audience. That includes messages and images, but that also means having the right people see your campaign.

That’s where data solutions come into play.

Data solutions help target your mailers based on where your leads are at in their buyer’s journey, credit score, family size, and much more.

Our data solutions can also help you clean up your current mailing list by fixing incorrect addresses and removing duplicate customers.


Whether you’re creating a direct mail, digital, or combination campaign, you need something that’ll stand out from the competition. Our award-winning design team can help you do exactly that!

Whether you need help designing a mailer or digital campaign, our team will use their experience with color theory, typography, and knowledge on design elements to get your message across visually.

They can also help with pop-card promotions, utilizing a PURL program, and so much more because of their versatile abilities.


We have an in-house production studio that’ll get your mailers ready for delivery. With several printers and the ability to fold, insert, seal, and stamp letters, our team can handle it all.

Plus, since our studio is located at our facility, we can make sure that everything meets our high standards, including time. With most projects, we can have your mailer sent to the post office within 72 hours of design approval. That means you’ll see your high ROI results even faster than expected!

Pair Your Next Automotive Direct Mail Campaign with a Good ROI!

Finally, another way to improve the return on investment for your dealership’s direct mail campaign is by teaming up with an automotive advertising agency that boasts years of direct mail campaign experience.

Luckily, the team at Aspen Automotive knows exactly how to customize the design, messages, offers, and other details of your mailers to ensure a solid ROI for every campaign. Need some proof? No problem. All you have to do is give us a call or send us an email today!



1. https://www.compu-mail.com/statistics/25-direct-marketing-statistics-for-2020