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The Secrets of Auto Dealership Direct Mail

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


A good direct mail piece in one that brings quality foot traffic into the show room. Quality sales leads are consumers both interesting in buying a car and those able to qualify for financing. There is an argument for packing the house with people to create excitement but the negative effect is that many potential buyers may walk around too long and talk themselves into becoming a shopper, instead of a buyer. If there aren’t enough salesmen on the floor to cover the sales leads walking in the door, you’ve got a problem of another kind.


1. So for starters, your ideal sales lead is one who feels confident about qualifying for the purchase process as well as one who feels they will not be wasting their time. This starts with the mailing list. Your offer should be a firm offer of credit. Making a firm offer of credit entices the recipient into considering your offer because there won’t be any unexpected turn-downs at the end of their car shopping experience. A good auto dealership direct mail piece is one that assures the recipient that they DO qualify today.

2. By making a firm offer of credit, you as an auto dealership direct mail marketer are now qualified to access a credit score mailing list. By building a mailing list based on credit score, you’re able to custom tailor your sales lead based on your financial departments ability to underwrite.

3. In addition to selecting only within an custom credit score when purchasing your mailing list, you should also consider designing your sales lead to include a percentage Paid down on their auto loan….say at least 50% or greater. Doing so ensure that your auto dealership sales leads will not contain people who may be upside down on their new auto loan.

4. Your mailing list should also include those whose lease owned vehicles that are expiring within the next 6 months. Though there will not be a large quantity of these types of sales leads, they are definitely good prospect non-the-less.

5. Consider two themes with your mail piece; offering a great new car at a terrific price point, or selling auto dealership financing like no other before. Most direct mail pieces attempt to make these points in the same direct mail piece. This is difficult but can be done. Keep in mind that you’ve got about 4 to 6 seconds of “direct mail moment” attention so try not to say too much or you’ll cloud points being made and the mail piece will be ultimately ignored.

6. Make sure your mail piece offer is genuine and unique. It should be engaging enough to grab their attention but not too over the top to appear unbelievable. Either way will cause the recipient to dismiss the mail piece all together. You must offer something balanced between the two extremes.

7. Try to make your direct mail piece appeal to your prospects emotions. You want them to feel important. This can be accomplished by using their name within the mail piece as well as providing a window of time for them to act on the sale.

8. Include your free “giveaway” buried at least half-way down the mail piece so that unless you actually read the first half, you may miss it entirely. This will hopefully eliminate those who are just coming in for the free gift.

9. The mail piece invitation should include a limited time-frame to respond, and/or a limited time-frame to arrive. Better yet, require the recipients to RSVP. This will help with managing the sales leads so to keep your salesman business but not swamped. A sense of urgency in a mail piece offer encourages a call to action.

10. Also include in your mail piece the assurance that their buying experience will be pain-free. Point out the process of the buying process that will prepare the buyer for what to expect. Example – “You’ve already been pre-qualified so the only think left to do is pick out the color of leather interior”.

11. Employ an outside company to host the event; it disassociates your dealership from having a sale.

12. Don’t overwhelm your direct mail audience with options. Your direct mail piece should include the main offer, then one or two more reasons to come to your dealership.