Automotive Digital Marketing

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Many companies that offer automotive direct mail/digital marketing have never been in the automotive business.


It has not always been like that and at times, is unfortunate. So today, call it a throwback, but lets go back to our roots, yes back to the salespeople!

You do a 10,000 piece mailer and get 75 -125 ups. Now what? They are going to just grab their $10 Wal-Mart Gift Card, eat a hot dog, drink a soda, and leave!

-Here are three steps to increase your closing ratio starting this weekend-

  1. Ask for the invitation: This is so important. Customers will drive down to your dealership and they will put their invitation in the glove box, pocket, purse, somewhere, but they will bring it. Why? Because most invitations say “bring this letter for admittance”, right? However, in the customers mind, they don’t think what you’re doing is real. They are doubtful and pessimistic. So when your salesperson greet them and don’t ask for the invitation, everything is confirmed in their mind (false, just another car dealer hoax, deceivers). So, remind your salespeople: “Welcome to ABC Motors, did you receive your invitation? I need to see that please!”   
  2. Get Behind This Event: Your salespeople look up to you. You influence them in ways you may sometimes forget. If the boss is willing to invest in a mailer but is skeptical, uncertain, and doubtful, then the salespeople will follow. Your salespeople will NOT SELL CARS if they are skeptical. Even if you have to fake it, be excited about this event. Talk about it all week. Get involved. If you normally don’t attend sales meetings, attend one. If you have spiffs on a normal weekend, do something over and beyond your normal spiffs, specifically for this event.   

    Who do you think sells more cars during a direct mail event, the experienced salesperson or a green pea? If you said green pea, you would be correct. Why? Because Traffic + Excitement = $ales. So, GET PUMPED UP MAN, GO NUTS, HAVE FUN AND LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL! Someone buys a car? Get on the paging system and congratulate them! Let them pop a balloon with special little gifts inside. Hit the GONG! Do something over and beyond!  

    Your people will follow and you will sell more cars than ever before! (Are you thinking “that stuff doesn’t work anymore”? Keep on doing what you been doing, keep on getting what you always gotten!)   
  3. Collect that data: We live in an instant (microwave) society. We want it now. Wipe that out, slow it down, and gather as much info as you can from EVERY BODY that attends. We have more technology in our CRM software these days than we know what to do with.   

If a prospect attends your event, they are fair game. If they park, get a $10 Target card (or whatever you’re giving away) and eat a hot dog, drink a soda, then they are fair game. GET THEIR EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER, VEHICLE, and if they are not in the market today, when will they be in the market? Do they know anyone who might be in the market for a vehicle?


In closing, unless they arrived via taxi, horse, or bicycle, they have a car. So eventually they will be ready to buy a car. You invested $5,000 to $10,000 or more on that 10,000 piece mailer so get your money’s worth.


We are conditioned to sell cars during the event, grab the low hanging fruit, and then move on. Your managers need to hold your salespeople accountable for proper follow up on all attendees to the event. Proper follow up is an insurance policy that covers your investment for a year of returns, not just one weekend.

Views: 238

Tags: advertising, automotive, campaign, company, direct, list, mail, mailer, printers, rates, More…response, todd, vowell.


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Comment by Todd Vowell on October 16, 2012 at 7:14am

Hey Jeff, excellent point on gaining 10 new opportunities to prospect.  We have added a PURL to help salespeople with their follow up but the "human element" of a strong salesperson that does follow-up cant be replaced.  Thanks, great selling today!

Comment by Jeffery Sterns on October 15, 2012 at 6:57pm

I agree that if you don't make it an event, it's not an event!

Also don't forget to get your salespeople to invite clients back in that aren't closed yet. I've had huge "all appointment" days (during events) that others might have called a bust. Even the mail vendor would apologize. But, I was thrilled. It was available tools and props of action and urgency that helped close those appointments. Also I CANNOT AGREE MORE about staying in touch with all that arrived. I have always believed (and practiced as a "no ups" salesperson (after 2 years on the floor)) that the unsold up is not less likely to refer than the sold if you stay in touch properly. A mail sale was just a chance (in my opinion) to get a whole bunch of pipeline going.

I like selling a car but I don't know if I would take selling a car (that day) over meeting 5 or 10 new people to prospect. I never understood why some of my peers thought I did a lot of (prospecting AKA "staying in touch) work. To me, spending 5 hours on the lot with a freshy that didn't ask for me sounded like way more work.

Direct mail sales were a great way to meet new people and have "selling a car" get in the way! 

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