Archive for February, 2014

See on Scoop.itAutomotive Direct Marketing

Chevrolet plans a national promotion in March offering supplier pricing on all Silverado pickup models — in addition to nearly every other vehicle in its lineup — marking the second straight month of beefed-up incentives from GM.

todd vowell‘s insight:

If I’m a Ford, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Dealer/ General Manager, I am in the sales meeting today (or tomorrow) and this article is "taped up on the chalk board"! (if you didn’t play sports, that may not make sense to you)  If I’m a Chevrolet Dealer General Manager, I am in the sales meeting today (or tomorrow) with some extra "mo" in my "mojo" firing up the troops to take advantage of all these incentives. EVERYONE INCLUDING TRUCK BUYERS AND DEALERS WIN!

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Unprecedented Promotional Assault!chevy boost

If I’m a Chevy dealer this morning reading the Automotive News, I’m planning out my March with a little extra “mojo” on the chalk board.

If I am NOT a Chevy dealer this morning, I have just been pointed at with the index finger,  “Meet me out at the bike rack, three o’clock sharp!” Know what I mean?

Are you fired up this morning? Are you pumped? Don’t you love to compete? Its on for March baby, it on!

So its on for March. The inventories have swollen and as we said a few weeks ago, the competition is fierce. The Internet is great for people who have decided to buy and are already “in the sales funnel”. Have I said how much I hate the sales funnel? The funnel is great for not getting oil on my engine when I pour but besides that, give me a break! Since when in the car business do we wait around until someone is interested in buying a car? Not this cowboy and not the dealers we do business with, that’s for sure.

In the full article (Automotive News), it says and I quote, “GM plans to back the promotion with heavy advertising, including direct mail to existing Silverado owners”. (I’m sorry but we have seen and done “manufacturer direct mail”. I have seen sharper teeth on a house fly! They are using direct mail because its the most effective tool still today at reaching targeted audiences.)

One more thing. I still call a few dealers everyday that I do not know. Yesterday, got a dealer on the phone that said “We don’t do direct mail. We tried it and it didn’t work”. Folks, there are five other dealers in his town that are delighted. Sending your customers and people who own the product you sell a hand written letter telling them you want to buy it should not even be called direct mail. Its called “Intelligent Marketing“!

“Direct mail” is not some universal term that represents all direct mail styles. There is direct mail that is an embarrassment to our industry that should be taken out back to the woodshed and then there is hard hitting, complex variable data, multichannel, digital and direct mail marketing messages that MOVE METAL!

If you want the best in the business and you want your money to go into the event (not sales commissions, bonuses, Presidents, Vice Presidents, over rides,closers, etc.) , call us now. Its GO TIME!

Inquires – Todd Vowell


Cell 916-580-5190


See on Scoop.itAutomotive Direct Marketing

A McKinsey study shows car buyers around the world, including in the U.S., are changing how they buy new cars and trucks.

todd vowell‘s insight:

Oh my, if car dealers don’t really look at this change and realize without hard hitting complex variable direct mail marketing in the arsenal, you don’t even have a shot at 25% of car buyers who go to ONE DEALERSHIP! Only one tool can change that and its direct mail (but it must be executed correctly is key).

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“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Coach John Woodencoach wooden2

March Madness is in the air. What would the results of your next “Big Event” be if you prepared your salespeople and managers the same way Coach John Wooden prepared his basketball teams for The “Big Game?”  After all, your Big Event is like the Big Game, right?

How much time and effort did top management invest into preparing everyone for your last Direct Mail Marketing “Big Event”? Some Dealerships prepare for the Big Event by adding it to their weekly “sales meeting” like this: “OK ladies and gentlemen, please remember to put all keys back where they belong after test drives. Next up, we have a direct mail promo going this weekend so people should be coming in with letters. We are spending good money to bring in this extra traffic so sell sell sell!”  Thankfully its only a few…

Let’s go back to the main question.  What if your team prepared for the Big Event with as much effort and time that coach Wooden prepared his team for the Big Game?  I guess we would call that a rhetorical question but we still need to examine it.

The mind is as important or even more, when it comes to prep and getting ready for something big, right? One pessimist (that you may not even know about) is all it takes to ground your Big Event before it even takes off. Add the fact that the one pessimist happens to be your current “top dog” and you could have even bigger problems.

I have always called my “Top Dog” the ring leader or union leader. If I need the salespeople to do or believe in something, I enlist my ring leader fist, because they have a lot of pull. If I have their support, it’s easier to get everyone else on board. (This goes for other things as well like new pay plans, changing CRM software, etc.)

Too many dealerships go around saying “direct mail doesn’t work around here” or “we did direct mail and people just came in for the free gift, we didn’t really sell any cars”. The blame weighs more on the company who sold the event than the dealership. Advertising companies and “marketing companies” that have never even been inside a dealership, much less in the car business, are selling mailers to car dealers and that’s it. They don’t know the first thing about prep so they just sell the mailer based on colors, fonts, and burst!

There are thousands of dealerships nationwide that prepare their team well before every Big Event. They have it down. They practice, they drill, and they rehearse. Every I is dotted, every t is crossed. I know because we have done business with many of them for over 20 years. The smart manager/dealer is the one that realizes they don’t have all the answers and want to learn more because that is how you get better. They see the value and are willing to take the time to prepare right.

“I’d rathecoash wooden shhhhr have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” Coach Wooden

There are a lot of young managers out there that know how to sell cars, desking, F&I, and so on. But when it comes to preparing everyone for an upcoming $20,000 Big Event investment, they never received any real training, so they do their best. If they had the right training and guidance, they would be increasing market share and selling double what they sell now. That’s because direct mailcoach wooden marketing now is executed in concert with a good smart digital strategy as well.

You want to grow the dealership and gain market share? You want to crush the competition?  Make sure you prepare your people (and dealership) just like The Big Game. Put as much effort as Coach Wooden did preparing his team for the Big Game, and you may even surprise yourself. Good luck, good selling, and GAME ON!

See on Scoop.itAutomotive Direct Marketing

U.S. auto dealers set a record in 2013 for average new-vehicle sales per dealership, according industry-consulting group Urban Science.

todd vowell‘s insight:

Business is up, but competition is up more…

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March Madness Slam Dunk w Motors91% say a TEST DRIVE AT THE DEALERSHIP remains the most influential source in the purchase process!

Buy Mail Direct has the Direct Mail Piece and Hook (Gift Cards have been the most requested item on holiday wish list 7 years in a row now ). This is HOT!  Even if you’re not a big fan of hooks, we have made the Gift Cards affordable, desirable, and you will be proud to hand these out at your event! THIS OFFER DRIVES THEM WHERE THEY BELONG, ON YOUR LOT, KEYS IN HAND!

Special Pre-Game Investment:

Internet, Commission Free Price: $6,599


  • 10,000 Pieces Direct Mail
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  • one $50, one $100 Gift Card

(5,000 Piece Mailer with 50 Gift Cards: $4,399)

BONUS: Sign Up Early Receive YOUR Own New iPad Mini!

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For More Information, Please Call Todd Vowell 916-259-1751 or Cell 916-580-5190!


coffee cups lotsIt only took 27 years, 39,420 cups of coffee, 486,000 phone conversations with dealership owners/managers, and 41,732 successful direct mail marketing events to learn this. The biggest mistake MOST (not all) dealers make is utilizing the direct mail marketing event as a “last-minute Hail Mary” solution to a bad month, when it should be used as the most valuable weekend of the month or quarter (depending on frequency). The event should be well thought out, with a blueprint that is detailed, evaluated, adjusted, practiced, drilled, and rehearsed over and over. It may be a lot of work, but would you do it to earn $100,000 – $350,000 gross profit over the weekend AND KEEP IT ALL?

Again, 41,732 direct mail events created, sold, written, and produced, specifically for automotive dealerships. That is important because there might be some doubters. Don’t misunderstand this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with tapping direct mail last-minute to pull a month out. Just don’t make a habit out of it, and make sure you use a company that has been there, done that. Vet them well.

Why is this the biggest mistake? First, bad things usually happen when you try to rush something with an almost impossible deadline. Looking back on all those events, at least 90% of the mistakes took place with last-minute jobs, no question. The zip codes were rushed through or the letter was not properly proofed, so quality control was not able to catch mistakes that usually would have been caught by the first pair of eye balls. (things like phone number, dealership address, zip, or dealership name) It should be noted that the most common challenge is actually with the Post Office and late mail.  The Post Office makes sure last-minute promos also are late. It’s in their DNA sometimes… (Over a few decades, you get to know what Post Office Entry Units are good, and which ones are bad news…)

When mistakes do happen in the direct mail business (and it is NOT very often), they are expensive ones. If a car dealership does a 20,000 piece mailer, and there is a mistake, it could cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $20,000. That’s just the direct mail piece. Add in food, prize insurance, drinks, entertainment, hiring extra help, other advertising, and it can reach $250,000 in a hurry!

With todays automotive business and the growth of the Internet, digital marketing and social media, there are even more key reasons not to rush the direct mail marketing event. If you set your event up SocialMediaMessXLcorrectly and leave plenty of time, you can promote your event unlike ever before in the history of advertising and marketing. When you add Social Media and digital to your direct mail marketing event, you are essentially feeding Popeye a can of spinach (If you have allowed yourself time).

The BIG EVENT can be promoted with video, Email blast, Text, Blogs, Personal URL, Landing (or Squeeze) Pages, Networking, Podcast, Banners, Facebook, etc.  All this takes time to be created, edited, uploaded, and indexed by the search engines. Then you let viewership have its day!  Ladies and gentlemen, get ready and brace your self for the biggest weekend ever! People laugh when we say that but YOU GOT TO BELIEVE IN THE BIGGEST WEEKEND EVER with ever fiber of the dealership, from the receptionist to the owner, everyone must be on the same page. Good luck, believe, and great selling!