price is what you payThe evolution of VD (Variable Data) has changed the rules for automotive direct mail marketing forever. However, many car dealerships still calculate the value of a promotion by looking at the “per piece” price. The good news is most dealers know the rule of value and justified investment better than anyone.

For example, a dealer does a 10,000 piece high traffic saturation mailer for .50 each ($5,000) and has 200 ups with 10 delivered. Then the dealer does a highly targeted 7,500 piece multi-channel complex variable data piece for .85 cents each ($6,375) and has 80 responses with 16 delivered.

  • 10,000 Piece High Traffic Mailer  – $5,000.
  • 200 Ups
  • 10 Delivered at $3,000 a copy is $30,000.
  • Net $25,000

 Compared to:

  • 7,500 Piece Targeted VD Mailer – $6,375
  • 80 Responses
  • 16 Delivered at $3,000 a copy is $48,000
  • Net $41,625

Those numbers are very realistic. But make no mistake about it; you need to work with a company that truly understands complex variable data and how to utilize it in the car business. The message, market, data, Personal URL, and other key tools need to be executed correctly.  It’s one thing to utilize VD and put a PURL on the piece; it’s another to match the data with the images and place the right kind of PURL on it.

If you’re a dealer/GM but skeptical, do an A/B test. It’s worth it. You will find even within your team at the dealership that a highly targeted VD mailer is the way to go most of the time. Salespeople don’t like weeding through 30 people to sell a car (five days straight). That’s why you find your salespeople hiding in a closet sometimes (true story).

Don’t misunderstand the big picture. High traffic mailers have their place. Every dealership should do at least a couple a year. Three day holiday weekends and year-end are good times to hit it large! But again, don’t just “spray and pray”. Get the right company and set it up correctly. Then practice, drill, rehearse over and over.

Lastly, always remember, “a different message, gets a different customer every time. Car buyers are like fish,five artificial angling baits some bite on minnows, some night crawlers. Change it up, always try something new and make sure to A/B test your way to success.


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