boom box

The reward or “hook” has been driving customers down to automotive dealerships for over 50 years. Back in the 80’s, the big hook was a “35mm Camera with a Coupon book good for 300 rolls of Kodak Film FREE” and the famous “10-piece Anchor Hocking Pop Top Storable Set”. Both pulled them in like nothing else! There was one event at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Beverly Hills/Hollywood area. It was a 5,000 piece mailer and the hook was the 35mm Camera “Just for Coming In”. Personal limos ( kid you not) showed up to get the camera and film. The dealer sold 14 new and used Benz that weekend so it doesn’t matter if you are a millionaire or not, people like free gifts.

In the 90’s, it was the AM /FM Mini Boom Box with Detachable Speakers, Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker, and Igloo 6-Pack Cooler ! The picture of the “Boom Box” on the direct mail piece looked like something you could throw up on your shoulder and walk down the street with pride! Fact was, it fit in the palm of your hand…LOL… You remember those? Some of you were born in the late 80’s/90’s but make no mistake about it, they were hot!  I know a lot of you are smiling right now because you gave out thousands of this stuff and sold many cars, right?!  Ah memories…

Then in 1996, (yours truly) came up with and called it “The Butterball Bonanza”. This was the first time a promo stepped away from handing out something of substance, meaning an actual product, and moved to a voucher or piece of paper that was worth something if you went and used it. We didn’t know anything about “redemption rates” and got taken to the cleaners until we finally perfected the event and now today, most dealers do them and I think every one of our competitors sell the “Turkey Certificate” in one way or another come Thanksgiving time. (Boy if I had a quarter every time my competitors used the Turkey Cert…LOL)

In 2000-2010, the Internet was growing and so was creativity. The now infamous “$1,000 Online Shopping Spree” hit the automotive market hard. Car dealers coast to coast ran direct mail and used these certificates.  There were a lot of problems. First, the $1,000 Spree was only worth 50 cents. That was a pretty good clue right there. The trick was you had to buy $1,000 worth of stuff at one sit down, no coming back to the site after you entered. You could buy a baseball hat for nothing because you have a $1,000 to spend but you had to pay $48 for the shipping on that “7 dollar hat”…

Today, there are many great choices. One of the strongest PResSampleshot is the Gift Card or Reward Card Bundle worth $25, $50, $100, and $250 respectively. There are many ways to use them but no matter what, you will be proud to hand these to your customers and prospects. Consumers can buy name brand items outright or get substantial discounts off the price in stores. They pass the smell test in even the toughest states.

Buy Mail Direct offers a custom box that we brand with each dealership’s logo and tie the message in with whatever event is going on. For February, Presidents Day Weekend is perfect. But, every month has something going on and we will make it happen no matter when the event is or what it is.

If you’re a dealer or manager that doesn’t like hooks, there are many direct mail pieces today that are effective without the hook. However, don’t let your personal beliefs motivate you to use a hook or not. Let your market decide. Too many dealers are not utilizing “A/B Testing”. It can save you a load of money and answer all those nagging questions like what really works and what doesn’t.

For more info on the Gift Cards, please feel free to contact Todd Vowell at Buy Mail Direct!

gift cards spread


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