Archive for December, 2013

crazy funny portraitsMost car dealers and aggressive forward thinking GM’s are still not using their biggest asset (You) to increase business and grab market share. We at BMD visit hundreds of dealership websites weekly. Even the dealerships that choose to show staff members with pictures on their website have that awful generic staff member picture for “upper management”.

Start the New Year right and hire a professional photographer today! Get your dealerships biggest asset (you) working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Running the risk of pissing someone off, please get a professional, you can afford it. We recently found a dealership GM with the “men’s rest room sign” in the back drop (no joke)!

When is the last time your picture was on the direct mail piece?  When you add your picture to successful direct mail events like the “Buy Back” or “Trade Up”, you are adding  more than just your picture. You are adding validity, emotion, relevancy, strength, legitimacy, sincerity, and so much more.

Your image on a direct mail piece is linked closely to response. Your goal should be to prompt an emotional response (that goes for any campaign). It is emotion NOT REASON that typically drives customers’ purchasing decisions.  There should be other images on the piece as well, but yours is the most important.

There are other critical factors that drive overall success of the campaign like complex variable data and the multichannel approach. We will touch on those and more soon. But, first things first. Get pretty for the camera and get your professional photo shoot done and in the books. It is so important.


See on Scoop.itAutomotive Direct Marketing

Facebook’s December News Feed algorithm change is so far punishing brand pages, regardless of how interested fans are in that page’s content, according to a new analysis by Ignite Social Media.

todd vowell‘s insight:

This is pathetic, budgets will go elsewhere quickly…

See on

sell bell2December 1979 was the first time my dad let me “Ring The Bell” after he sold a Jackie B Cooper video (or cassette tape) automotive sales training series. I was only 15 years old and thought I was just ringing the bell for him. It was not until I grew older, had my own family, did I start to really understand and realize the significance  of the “Sell Bell” and what it meant to ring it “for my dad”.

He was more than a father to me. He was my best friend, coach, boss, teacher and so much more. Even though God called him home 24 years ago this Christmas, I still have him in my heart. I still have our memories… I still have our “Sell Bell”…

The “Sell Bell” now sits on my desk and even though I moved from automotive sales training to direct and digital marketing decades ago, it still rings. Between me and hundreds of salespeople I trained throughout the years, we have rung that sucker at least 50,000 times (That’s a lot of direct mail campaigns)!

I look at that bell sometimes and just start laughing. It is amazing what that bell will trigger sometimes. I remember walking into my dad’s office one day and he was on hold waiting to talk to a dealer. He had both arms up above his head like that cat in the poster hanging on for dear life. The phone was carefully balanced to his ear via his propped up shoulder. I said “dad, what the heck are you doing”? He just smiled and said “I called a dealer and the receptionist asked me to hold on“! (Rim-shot!)

My dad was so good on the phone. He was professional, respectful of the dealers time, and always took time out to say hi and talk with the receptionist.JackieBCooerVidPic

Back then, not all dealers knew who Jackie B Cooper was. It took persistence, massive action, drive, and discipline. Convincing dealers to invest in a $4,000 video training series back then was not common. The series always paid for itself the first week though, (if they applied the training). Jackie B always believed deeply that selling was very personal. He said “I can’t be you, you can’t be me, but we can share ideas, you use what works for you and I will use what works for me”. But my dad loved Jackie B Cooper and loved selling to dealers even more. He taught me everything I know.

If you’re just starting out in sales, get yourself a “Sell Bell” or some ritual that is performed after every win. I have had dealers to this day that ask me to keep them on the phone to hear the Sell Bell after they signed up for another campaign! Commit to yourself to get that bell for 2014.

Remember, technology is great but people still buy or don’t buy, primarily based on feelings. That will never change. If they feel good about you, they will do business with you…

Enjoy the ride…Keep the faith…Ring The Bell!

Thanks to all car dealers that have entrusted me with their business from 27 years ago to last week!

Todd Vowell


Buy Mail Direct Inc.



Let me take you back to “Finding Nemo” and Dory is telling Nemo’s father to just “let go”, as they hang on for dear life in the back of the whale’s throat. Nemo’s dad was convinced if he let go, he would end up in the whale’s stomach as dinner. Of course as the story goes, Dory convinced Nemo’s dad to finally let go, and the whale blew them both out his blowhole to safety.

That is my favorite way to explain how dealers dominate their market. It truly does take a “leap of faith”. Anyone can be average. That is why there are so many. But only one dealer can dothink diffminate a market.

To be more specific, you have to be a little radical and unconventional. History and guys like Steve Jobs (the crazies) prove that. If you go to a car dealership’s website, you usually see the same basic content: Specials, trade-in worth, financing, and a picture floating across the screen trying to talk to me. That is not radical or unconventional but it is the complete opposite.  (“Specials and incentives” barely made the top 10 reasons people buy a car)

Direct mail marketing is a great place to take the radical and unconventional road that leads to dominating the market. Most dealers still think of direct mail as just something you use once in a while to build traffic up for a weekend and try to sell as many cars as possible (it’s a numbers game). This drives me crazy and can’t be more wrong.

With all the advancements in technology, data, and printing itself, that is just not true. With the right direct mail marketing company, dealers can strike fast; generate leads, by using small mailings packed with content filled with information that directly relates to the segment we are mailing to.

I hear you! You’re asking “then why do direct mail companies still push and sell big 10,000-25,000 piece mailers”? Answer? Money… Most direct mail companies have salespeople on commission and bonus that push volume. Printers don’t earn profit if they are not printing so the big automotive direct mail companies that brag about printing in-house (you know who they are) have to be printing 24/7 or they don’t earn any money. How do I know? Been there, done that.  The direct mail company with 50 salespeople calling on dealers, selling as much mail as possible, and then printing it on our equipment. It’s what worked at the time (1990-2008).

Times have changed. This is post-2008 (the year we started Buy Mail Direct Inc).  Advances in technology especially in printing, has changed the rules. We don’t need to do huge mailers all the time. What are theseBizManSurprised big direct mail companies that have been around for 10, 20+ years going to do?  They own printing equipment, inserters, folders, ink jetters, etc. They have salespeople galore, massive square feet leased or owned, and have a $400,000 nut every month, just to break even! They are stuck. They have to push volume or sink.

We here at Buy Mail Direct have a network of trusted trade commercial printers that allow us the ability to print and drop your mail from facilities across the country. If there is a snow storm in Chicago or time is of the essence, we can move your mail to drop elsewhere. Plus, we are online with dozen of the world’s top data companies, along with our own formulas that we keep locked up and protected. We have replaced salespeople with technology nerds and creative artist. Our technology nerds build digital internet applications that tie into our direct mail. They don’t sell but boy can they create mail pieces that bring RESULTS.

Simple economics 101: Our dealer customers pay less, when we don’t pay out high commissions and bonuses.

We only go round once. Why not dominate your market? Why not put the pedal to the metal? Thame and raet’s the best part of the car business. Car dealers and GM’s didn’t get where they are at by being like everyone else. It is a contest of ideas.

Merry Christmas!

Todd Vowell


Ron Burgundy ads hawking Durango’s launched a month ago. Chrysler car sales are up 11% and Dodge Durango’s are up 59%. That is great for Chrysler and Dodge but Buy Mail Direct is more interested in seeing local Dodge Dealer sales up 59% as well! We have put together a powerful, exclusive Digital/Direct Mail campaign to pack the lot with new and used car buyers exclusively for Dodge dealers”.

Car buyers are back but they only visit on average 1.3 dealerships before they buy so now more than ever, getting that car buyer parked on the lot is critical!

Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is out there everyday doing something to promote this highly anticipated blockbuster movie.scotchscothscoth There is everything from Ron Burgundy Jockey underwear to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Scotch Scotch Scotch! He is even anchoring the news on local stations and the big boy, ESPN!

amc package dealThe ability to offer local car buyers something exclusive that no other local car dealership can offer is by far the most powerful tool any dealership can utilize to actually drive traffic to come down to the dealership, period”.

In 2004, the original Anchorman earned over $90 million  worldwide in box office tickets alone. The sequel Anchorman2, The Legend Continues, is highly anticipated with many cameos including Harrison Ford, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, and Kayne West. It is set to open December 18th.

Anchorman5Dodge Dealers have the rare opportunity to wrap all this up and use this spotlight to drive traffic to their dealership. But, the window is short and time is of the essence. Todd with Ron B stashThe high level of attention will only last a short time.  One call to Todd Vowell at Buy Mail Direct is all you need to do. BMD has this down to a science.

(Click on Todd’s pic and make your own “Ron Burgundy mustache”)

See on Scoop.itAutomotive Direct Marketing

In commemoration of 75 years since the 1st xerographic image and to celebrate what the next 75 years brings: 5 reasons why print should be part of your marketing mix

todd vowell‘s insight:

When you get passed the main Internet marketing kool-aid drinkers (that happen to be Internet marketers themselves), the facts regarding traditional direct marketing are clear. Companies must find their own comfort zone that mixes in both traditional and Internet marketing. The best strategy hands down is using today’s digital technology to improve your direct mail marketing.

See on