Archive for January, 2016

campaign 101

With the Presidential election process in full swing, what better way to explain the difference between a campaign and an event?

When running for president, you don’t just do an event and send one direct mail piece out that says “vote for me.” No, you run a campaign that repeats “why, how, what, where you should vote for me” over and over including direct mail, social media, and other media channels. The message includes facts, positions, experience, etc. You build value over time!

Let’s compare an event and a campaign in the automotive industry. If a car dealer is having an Event, it is one weekend. Good examples of this are Presidents Day Weekend, or Labor Day Weekend. These are holiday weekends that can be targeted with a direct mail piece (a hook) and invite customers and/or prospects in over a few days. Pack the lot, create that “buying environment” and sell cars.

A good example of a campaign would be the “Buy Back” Campaign. This is the most powerful campaign today. But most dealers don’t come close to taking full advantage of it. Let’s cover the right way to run a powerful Digital/Direct Marketing Campaign for the “Buy Back.”

First we define the audience. Are we hitting customers, conquest, or all year, make, models in a radius around the dealership? Once we have that, we then can build the campaign. A good campaign should last 90 days. There is an old saying, “repetition is the mother of all skill.”

So for this example, we have ran a 10 mile radius of the dealership and we are targeting all 2006 – 2013 Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, and Hyundai vehicles. (Came out to 10,000 owners) At the end of the 90 days, those 10,000 vehicle owners that live in the same neighborhood as the dealership will all know there is a buyer for their vehicle, it’s serious, and we are talking “top dollar!”

This Campaign starts off with a multi-channel digital/direct marketing approach that Includes:

• Direct Mail (1st notice, second notice, last notice)
• Complex Variable Data
• pURL – Personal URL
• Blue or Black Book Value Appends
• tIP – Target IP’s
• Facebook/Instagram Newsfeed Targeting
• Landing or Lead Page
• Mobile Conquesting
• Email Broadcast
• BDC (To take phone calls and set appointments for dealership)

Everyone knows the Internet is hot. But we can’t forget that good old dependable and trusted mailbox out front. The mail is now perceived as “noteworthy.” (Oh, you got something in the mail? Must be important…)

You combine digital targeted messages (view-ability only on the computers, phones, tablets, and gaming devices of people receiving that important direct mail), you now have yourself one powerful Automotive Digital/Direct Marketing CAMPAIGN.

You hammer it for 90 days; you turn that campaign into an impressive and huge profit!

Happy campaign trails!


Drivers Seat


The growth of the Internet has brought with it a bunch of new companies. (Some with no car biz experience) With it, includes all kinds of new terms and measurements.

But, all the Video Display Pages (VDP’s), Impressions, Reviews, Reputation Management, Key Words, Click Through Rates, Algorithms, Analytics, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), online reviews, Behavioral Targeting, Mobile, SEO, PPC, branding in the world don’t mean one hoot, if you can’t get the car buyers butt in the drivers seat for a test drive!

Thousands of car buyers in that 5 mile radius of your dealership have not set foot in a dealership in at least a few years. They have no idea what today’s cars and trucks really look and feel like. They have no idea how far technology has really come.

Car dealers, managers, and salespeople live in the automotive world so they don’t see the “puppy grow.” Car buyers however who have been absent (for even a year or two) will be amazed when they see up close and be able to interact with today’s new vehicle technology, much of it standard.

While everything changes, it stays the same. To this day, the number one influence car buyers (based on a study sponsored by Google) is still THE TEST DRIVE!

google report

What generates Test Drives? Incentives. The most common statement made in F&I during a digital/direct mail marketing event? “We didn’t really plan to buy anything today, we just came down for the free gift.”

Commit to a strong Digital strategy. But don’t forget the time tested, proven effective old school traditional direct mail marketing either. The most powerful event today is a little of both. Yes, a Multi-channel Digital/Direct Mail Marketing approach will deliver the results you expect and deserve! My time is up, good selling!

Todd Vowell



There is a lot going on between Internet advertisers, digital marketers, and consumers. Ad blockers, hackers, scrapers, bots, and outright fraud has forced advertising to move to content. So we no longer read articles regarding news and stories on the Internet. We read articles with advertising wrapped up in a pretty bow. That’s bad…

If that’s not enough, when we do find something of interest on the Internet and want to read the article associated with it, we click and instantly get frustrated. Its literally getting to the point where you have to be skilled, patient, and a bit of gambler to actually “bob and weave” to get to that damn article.

Then once you get to the article, you then need to keep eyes focused or get distracted by:

  • Man with bionic penis to finally lose his virginity at 43
  • The 14 Most Stunning Victoria’s Secret Swimsuit Photos Ever
  • Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee Gets Stuck on Roller coaster
  • I Thought They Were Friends! 19 Stars Who Hate Their Co-Stars
  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Vacation Cost Them $18,000 Per Night
  • The new Wedge club that has people talking
  • 67 terrible human condition pictures only for the strong hearted

What does all this mean? The same thing it always has. The Internets biggest enemy is the Internet. Millions of consumers just want to read the news, entertainment, lifestyle, business, sports, or weather. They don’t want games, pop ups, ad content, etc. They just want the meat.

The Internet has changed the world and we all love the instant info, apps, and technology. But when it comes to advertising and marketing to consumers, the Jury is still out.

So, just like TV, Radio and Direct Mail, I wouldn’t count Newspaper out just yet. If the Internet keeps going like it is, we are in for a “Newspaper Come Back!”

Oh and before you shake your head, please note, I have no skin in the game with newspaper adverting whatsoever. In fact, newspaper is best used for starting a fire in the fireplace and training the puppy. But I actually went and purchased a newspaper yesterday. No BS, no games, just read the paper. It was nice.

Happy trails, my time is up, you have been great!

Todd Vowell
Digital Car Leads
Buy Mail Direct, Inc


PS – If you still have not watched famed ad legend Bob Hoffman’s Speech on “The Golden Age of Bullshit,” you are in for a treat! Click Here