Archive for June, 2013

A Personal Message From Buy Mail Direct Owner Todd Vowell-

I have loved the car business since 1977, the day I was about 13 and my uncle flew in to see my dad and show him this southerner by the name of Jackie B Cooper on an old  Betamax ( Spell check doesn’t even recognize that as a word but you young-ins, Google it).  Anyway, I was hooked!

In fact, fast forward to my early 20’s (after being in the car biz) and I was selling Jackie B Cooper workshops across the Country. Every event at every hotel started off the same. The room was split down the middle (smokers on one side, non smokers on the other side). The smoking side was always full and non-smoking side was empty. LOL!

Yes the car business was filled with smokers, drinkers, animals, ETC! Salespeople, Managers, and even Dealers knew how to work hard and play hard. Still do! The car business is stressful to say the least.

What is my point?

Well, recently we lost the best writer, creative mind ever, Vince Flynn (Prostate cancer ONLY 47 years old)! We also lost the legendary James Gandolfini or better known as Tony Soprano. ( Heart attack, only 51 years old).

Yes, they were famous. But after losing my dad years ago and recently my mommy and even my brother who was not even 50 (was 49), I guess it gets to you after a while. You wake up and your only sibling is gone and both parents. You add in my wife and the loss of her mom and grandma, it can be overwhelming.

Don’t let this message be a downer. In fact, let it be a wake up call. Life is precious. Every day really is a gift. It isn’t just a saying.

CELEBRATE your life with the ones you love.

The car business is filled with stress, high pressure to achieve, and competition is fierce. I know so many 2nd, 3rd generation car dealers today that lost their dad to a heart attack and they took over the chair way too early. But they stepped up and did what they knew they had to do. My hat is off to all of you.

I want to remind you to take care of yourself. So many of you put others before yourself because its in your nature. But be good to yourself and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The car business is filled with so many great, giving people. Enjoy your kids, hug them, squeeze them, kiss them, make them laugh.

Ask your wife (or husband) out on a date…

If your dealing with a loss, divorce or any of life’s tougher challenges, please don’t go it alone. Trust in God- Call unto me, and I will answer thee…

ALWAYS, Keep The Faith…

Thanks and God Bless,

Todd Vowell

I don’t know which one is more flattering to our beloved automotive direct mail marketing industry. The fact that billion dollar social media companies like Facebook and Google, who were going to stomp out traditional marketing (like direct mail)  but have ended up engaging in and enjoying the profits of good old direct mail themselves. Or just watching all the 3rd party lead generators like cars.com, Truecar.com, KBB.com and others invest in that really washed up, TV! You know the TV that no one watches anymore? The one that everyone fast forward through all the commercials and even when the TV is on, people are on their laptops?  Come on…

The simple truth is and it’s been proven over and over, is simply that there just is no silverImage bullet; one size fits all solution to selling a product or service.  It’s that simple.

Many bloggers attempt to gang every product and service into one category in order to pimp their service (usually social media).   It should be no surprise that buying a new coffee maker or DVD player is not the same as buying a new vehicle.

Car dealers should break out their monthly budgets so they are investing heaviest in proven, time tested advertising and marketing.  Then, there should be a slice of the budget reserved for research or testing and trying different lead generating ideas.  There is nothing wrong with buying leads as long as they are solid and there is no shenanigans going on. But dealers need to rely on their own leads that they generate from within more than 3rd party leads.

There are lawsuits going on with Carfax right now and companies like Truecar.com and Cars.com are being slammed by dealers in the blogosphere.  Some of the beefs are when a car buyer goes on Cars.com for example and selects a vehicle and the lead is delivered to the dealership and the two are engaged in “buying and selling”, the car buyer will start to receive more emails from the lead company (like Cars.com) offering the car buyer many more options like comparable makes and models to the vehicle they selected steering the customer away from the dealership that just paid them for the hot lead!  Many dealerships of course have a big problem with this practice.

Needless to say, the Internet is a mess right now. It is still very powerful and dealerships need to engage in social media and digital marketing.  With so many people going online to research, it’s a great place to generate leads (hot and cold).

Speaking of hot, video is hot right now online and even though it is considered digital, many of the online tools can be merged with traditional advertising and marketing like direct mail.  It is not uncommon for a direct mail piece to drive the customer to the Internet first, then down to the dealership.

So again, make sure you reserve the lion’s share of your budget for proven hard hitting tools like the workhorse, direct mail marketing.  At the same time, always be testing something. The good thing about the Internet is many options are free or close to it. It is crowded but the options are endless!

Great selling! (more…)