Direct Mail for Automotive Advertising Campaigns
Marketing your automotive business can be hard. It can be even harder to ensure that your marketing efforts are able to reach the target audience at the right time. For any marketing effort of yours to be termed successful, you must make sure that your message is conveyed to the right audience and at the right time, which effectively makes them take the desired action. If you can accomplish this, the result will be a successful marketing campaign that not only raises awareness in customers but also helps your business to thrive.
Direct mail for automotive has long been the most effective tool of marketing for the automotive industry, and it still remains the same. Over the years, direct mail has evolved to be inclusive of new and advanced technologies that have helped to streamline its process and enhance the results. Introducing an automotive direct mail strategy into your marketing campaign can have wondrous advantages for your business. However, it is important to understand how direct mail for automotive businesses has changed in the past years and act accordingly to get the best results.
This article takes you through everything you need to know about automotive direct mail. We explain what exactly is automotive direct mail. We discuss the difference between direct mail and digital marketing and how and when one trumps the other. We even take you through the different types of automotive direct mails that you can employ for reaching a broader audience and getting the best result out of your marketing campaign. Furthermore, the article also sheds light on how you can optimize your automotive direct mail campaign for obtaining the best possible results.
What is Automotive Direct Mail?
Automotive direct mail refers to the advertising material that is often sent directly to your customers or target audience via a mail carrier. The automotive direct mail campaign can employ a variety of marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, newsletters, and much more for this purpose. You can choose which approach/medium of direct mail you want to take for conveying the message to your target audience in the most effective way possible.
The best part, however, is that using tangible automotive direct mail enables your marketing strategy to have an 80 to 90% chance of being read by the target audience. This is perhaps the biggest advantage and the key reason behind the success of automotive direct mail. The fact that your automotive direct mails have a much higher chance of getting read by your target audience means that they also have a higher chance of engaging with your promotion or program, further increasing your Return On Investment (ROI)
That being said, automotive direct mail marketing is by no means some magic formula that guarantees the best result for your marketing campaign. Direct mail can only assure that your marketing content gets read or rather opened by the target audience. Grabbing their attention and encouraging conversion through your automotive direct mail is still on you. This means that you need to have aesthetic designs and graphics that appeal to the target audience. Consider using bright colors, uncommon textures, and well-placed graphic elements on your automotive direct mails for maximum effect.
Although constrained to a tangible medium like a piece of paper, direct mail does not put a limit on your marketing ideas. Direct mails need not necessarily include only letters. For starters, you could try using images much like a comic that urges the reader to read the whole mailpiece. You can even consider using 3d cards or even meme templates to pitch your idea to the target audience. However, you will need to know the different types of mailers used in automotive direct mails and the most effective direct mail marketing methods to come up with a unique strategy, and we’ll discuss that as we go further.
Digital Marketing vs. Direct Mail
Despite the advantages of direct mail that we have discussed above, at least some of you are still skeptical about using the age-old direct mail over digital marketing. You can always jump on the bandwagon and go after what literally everyone else is going for regardless of their business size, while everyone fights to be the one to be seen by the target audience. Getting the user’s attention in the digital world is something that’s easier said than done.
People who live in the digital world, including ourselves, have developed a habit of ignoring all forms of digital advertisements because we are constantly bothered by them everywhere we turn. Think about it, our email inboxes are filled with promotional emails we don’t even open, and we are constantly bugged by the ads we come across in the digital sphere, from YouTube to mobile games/apps we use. An average person receives a hundred emails and goes through around 60 ads every day. Therefore, if your aim is to capture customer attention, then it is best to adopt an offline approach like direct mail.
Direct mails are relatively rare, and furthermore, human curiosity pushes the recipient of the direct mail to at least open the mailpiece to check it out. You must also factor in the fact that in today’s age a direct mail is also a mark of professionalism and convocation because it shows that you didn’t take the easy road to simply send out a digital mail. It goes without saying that the competition in the case of direct mails is significantly less than that in digital marketing efforts.
Even if we were to talk numbers, a whopping 73% of people who participated in a study reported that they’d prefer direct mail over any other type of marketing method. A contributing factor for the popularity of direct mail, as opposed to its digital counterparts, is that direct mail is associated with nostalgia by them. Especially seasonal or personal greetings through Christmas or birthday cards, etc., can strongly trigger the nostalgia aspect of the reader. Direct mail also creates a sense of being valued by the sender because of the time and effort that goes into it.
Creating such a strong impression on the target audience can do wonders in terms of brand awareness. But that does not mean you can cut off digital marketing either. The best approach would be to club your online and offline marketing efforts together in a way that you can get the best of the two worlds. For example, you could try using direct mail for the initiation alone and provide a QR code inside, which will then lead the user to your website or landing page.
Choosing The Ideal Automotive Direct Mail Campaigns
Each automotive dealership or business has a different goal in mind and hence their needs, in terms of marketing, are also different. Below we discuss some of the most effective automotive direct mail solutions that are widely used by dealerships around the world.
1. Loan or Finance Promotions
One of the most prominent types of automotive direct mails is the one that targets the people who are an ideal fit for their financing options. Loan or Finance promotions can be used for pretty much every dealership out there as all of them provide some sort of loan options to their customers. When using automotive direct mail advertising for loan/finance promotions, make sure that you highlight your business’s most equitable financing options.
Furthermore, you must also ensure that the loan options that you highlight are the ones best suited for the recipients who have a specific income or credit range. This is relatively easy as long as you can narrow down the recipients who belong in a specific income or credit bracket. This filtering process can be effectively done by targeting people who have a specific credit score range, income range, etc. Getting this information will reveal your ideal target audience, and you can craft the mail accordingly.
Getting the targeting part of the automotive direct mail advertising correct can directly affect the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. You can avail yourself of services that can furnish you with reliable information when it comes to determining the prospective customer’s economic background and then use this information in tandem with an advanced automated direct mail tool like PostGrid to send out your mails with ease and utmost accuracy.
2. Loyalty Programs
An attractive loyalty program is a key factor in establishing a warm and long-lasting relationship with your customers. Provide your customers with various loyalty perks to have them return to your dealership and use the same to attract new customers to your business. Loyalty program direct mailers are a great way to keep your customers well-informed about all the promotions and events at your dealership.
These events promote the existing customer to return to your dealership by offering them additional benefits. Additionally, loyalty events can also act as a beacon for drawing the attention of new customers to your business both directly and by word-of-mouth. The loyalty program if it is good enough, can convince prospective customers who are still on the fence about choosing your automotive dealership.
3. PURL or Personalized URL Programs
One of the decisive factors that determine whether a marketing campaign, including automotive direct mail, is successful or not is personalization. Perhaps the best way to provide a personalized experience to your customers is through PURLs or Personalized URLs. However, the best part is that you can use PURLs in tandem with your automotive direct mail. All you have to do is include the PURL link or a QR code that leads to the same.
The URL or QR code provided in the direct mail will take the recipient straight to the PURL page, which is personalized for each user. Simply seeing their name on the website address will entice them enough to open the link by almost two times, making them an effective tool to engage with prospective customers. The PURLs can be employed in a variety of situations ranging from minor promotions to periodic service reminders.
Enhanced Automotive Direct Mails With Interactive Programs
As we have mentioned earlier, the best approach to automotive direct mail in the digital age we live in is to incorporate online marketing methods into it. The most obvious choice is to incorporate a QR code into your direct mail that the recipient can scan to take them to your business’s website or landing page. Not only will this help you create brand awareness among the target audience but also help in making a lasting and positive impact on them through personalized programs.
There are several types of interactive programs that you can employ, and a QR code makes accessing them easy and convenient for the customers. We are all familiar with QR codes, and the best thing about them has always been their convenience. The success of QR codes, especially in a direct mail campaign, is largely dependent on the laziness of people in general. This is especially evident when we are forced to type in a URL, no matter how small it may be, and we end up wondering, “why can’t they just give a QR?”
Below we discuss some interactive programs that can be effectively used with your automotive direct mail campaigns with the help of a QR code.
Want to know what your customers think about your automotive dealership? Conduct a digital survey accessible through a QR code from your automotive direct mail. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to conduct a customer survey for your automotive dealership or any other business, for that matter. You can simply provide a QR code inside your direct mail which leads the customer directly to the survey page without having to manually type the URL. It is more likely that your customer responds to the survey this way than any other.
Online contests are an effective way of customer engagement. The contests often have some rewards that will entice the customers to follow through with the contest. By using automotive direct mail, we can ensure that the target customer will most likely take part in the contest and generate higher business interaction. Furthermore, the use of a QR code makes it even more convenient for the customer to enter the contest as all they have to do is scan the QR code, and voila, you are already in the contest.
Direct mail for automotive dealers and businesses is a perfect way of reaching out to their target audience. Although direct mails can be considered a traditional marketing method and in many ways overshadowed by digital marketing, it is unique and effective in ways its digital counterpart can not be.
The ideal automotive direct mail makes use of a combination that incorporates digital efforts and uses technologies like QR for maximum penetration. You can make use of advanced direct mail tools like PostGrid to ensure the validity of the addresses for your automotive direct mail campaigns. Furthermore, advanced tools like PostGrid also allow you to automate the entire direct mail process, including printing QR codes to get the optimal result for your marketing campaigns.