5 Great Automotive Direct Mail Practices

by | Jan 30, 2018

When you want to drive customers to your car dealership or service center, there’s nothing like direct mail to get the job done. From postcards to brochures, you have a lot of options to carry your message. But what tactics work best to get customers to choose your business, and to keep coming back?

1. Show off your endorsements

Drivers put a lot of stock in the professional opinions of others. They weight their expertise when making a decision of what to buy, whether it’s a new vehicle, or getting work done on your current ride. Mention how your brand has received recognition from widely-respected authorities. For example, Subaru highlights its recognition in several categories by Kelley Blue Book on an entire panel of this folded self-mailer (see photo).

2. draw a map

If you’re located on a commercial corridor, your signage may not be enough to make an easy impression on all of the drivers whizzing by. Make it easy for customers to get to you by using a map that shows your location. Even better, use VDP in your direct mail piece to draw a precise, custom map that shows how to arrive at your door.

3. Celebrate a holiday

Holidays are a classic way to promote vehicle sales and service specials. Christmas, New Year’s, Presidents’ Day, and Independence Day are just a few of the most popular ones.

But think outside the box a little and consider promotions based on other occasions that can attract visitors to your establishment. Some examples I’ve seen include Black Friday, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. And a Back to School sale offers reassurance to nervous parents that a new or well-maintained car will keep their kids safe.

4. Give them something tangible

Coupons, coupons, coupons! This is actually one a lot of automotive direct mail marketers get right. When a customer has a physical (in print) promise of a discount, doors open. But you can also use savings “certificates”, “exclusive” invitations, and “event passes” to achieve the same result.

5. Reward your friends

Are all car repair places the same? Does it really matter who sold you your car? For a lot of customers, a car or truck is more than basic transportation; it’s an extension of who they are. And like anyone in a relationship, they want to feel wanted. So keep things fresh by remembering anniversaries, say, of their vehicle purchase. Send helpful hints on how to keep their car in prime condition. In other words, remember that loyalty is a two-way street, and that you have to keep up your end of the deal, or they will go somewhere else with their money and devotion.

Wrapping it up

  • Capitalize on the power of print by using your direct mail to make an experience helpful and meaningful, whether it’s buying a new car or getting an oil change.

  • A greeting card mailed around a holiday can not only offer a discount but also deepen feelings of loyalty.

  • A personalized map works great for reaching new movers who may need vehicle service – eventually – if not much more.

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