Direct Marketing, a form of advertising that uses physical marketing materials to communicate to their consumers regarding about a product or service. This form basically just removes the ‘middle man’ and provides customers with a direct line to their consumers. Smaller companies (or dealerships), who tend to have a smaller advertising budget, tend to prefer this method due to the lower costs.
This strategy of marketing usually includes a call to action, which encourages the recipient to respond via a reply card, toll-free phone number, or through a link in an email promotion. The effectiveness of the strategy is calculated or tracked through the responses. Direct marketing has higher success rates when a targeted list of prospects is used. These lists are generally built through the available marketing data that is segmented into groups that are likely to be interested in your products or service.
If you, as an automotive dealership, are thinking about tackling direct marketing, then this article will be a great start for you. Whether you’re an auto broker or you own your own car lot, you may not even realize the various ways in which you can reach your customers.
So, how can direct marketing help your dealership? There are six specific ways in which they can be beneficial to your dealership.
- Target Customers
Direct marketing is a great way to target specific consumer groups through the use of tailored messages. By researching and identifying customers who would be interested in your brand’s products or services through extensive research, you can focus your efforts where you have the highest chance of achieving the desired results.
A well-planned and targeted campaign will provide you with an accurate representation of how customers respond to your product or service.
- Market On A Budget
Direct marketing focuses on a specific audience while helping you improve sales results and set realistic goals even on a tight budget. Dealerships can run purposeful and effective direct marketing campaigns at a fraction of the cost of traditional broadcast advertising methods.
- Increased Sales To Lapsed Or Current Customers
Most customers appreciate companies who make an effort to actually understand their customers’ needs and push to build a personal relationship. You can use your direct marketing techniques to re-establish a relationship with lapsed customers. Approaching lapsed customers provides dealerships with a great opportunity to keep your records accurate, rekindle sales, and find out why they stopped coming. It’s quite valuable to increase sales to your current customers by continuing to maintain reliable customer records and choosing well-planned, simple promotional techniques.
- Improve Loyalty
Direct marketing helps to build a relationship with your customers through the use of personalized offers, letters, and promotions. This will also help to increase the personal connection that they have with your dealership. Many choose to combine customer loyalty strategies and direct marketing to build customer relationships, through tools such as invites to upcoming sales, discount offers, or sending birthing cards.
- Creating New Business
Direct marketing helps to communicate directly with your chosen target market. You can achieve flexible and fast sale results. For example, it boosts sales of a particular product, directly follow-up on a promotion, runs out of discontinued stock, increases customer contacts, and renew stale sales figures.
- Testing And Measuring Sales And Product Performance
Direct approaches help to provide direct feedback, which makes it great for gauging your customer’s appetite for trials of new products or services. Each time you run a campaign, you should monitor and review results to improve the success of your next campaign.
The power of direct mail creates individually personalized pieces that make the customers feel special and closer to your dealership.
Personalized Data: The What and The How
Location can entice people to join their neighbors in buying the same things or things of the same brand. If you point out that others in their neighborhood have bought a vehicle from you, then they are more likely to purchase a vehicle from you.
The easiest and quickest way to personalize anything is to include the name. It shouldn’t just be placed in the address block, but also as a part of the offer. Use the first name, if you are trying to convey and more conversational tone. This shouldn’t be the only form of personalization, but it does help when you include the first name. Ensure that the name is correct.
You can create incremental reminders to customers for aspects such as insurance and/or service reminders. If you include coupons for another purchase, then make sure that you have an expiration date to create some source of urgency.
If you have an offer that appeals differently to men than it does to women or vice versa, then this can be a good way to segment the offer. In many cases, you’ll find that different genders look at products and services than the other gender. It’s best to use that data to your advantage through the use of targeted offers.
- Donation History/Past Purchase
Use what you know about an individual when personalizing their offer. If they bought a vehicle, and you found out some personal information or the type of vehicle that they bought, then use that to your advantage. So, if they bought it for their son/daughter, then use that data to offer them certain products that they are likely to purchase.
Overall, direct marketing is far from dead in 2018. In fact, to this day, it still gets the best responses in comparison to other marketing strategies, including email, paid search, social media, and online display. Though it might not seem believable, the younger generations actually prefer direct mail over offers made digitally and are more likely to respond via direct mail.
There is a higher response rate with direct marketing, especially with former or lapsed customers. Since direct marketing is considered more personal, people are likely to open that piece of mail instead of assuming that it is junk. Finally, if you’re looking to increase your conversion rates or cut down the advertising costs, then direct marketing might be the best option for you. Our personalization tips, as well as the reasons why it’s important, can help you get started on your direct marketing journey.