Posts Tagged ‘direct mail advertising’


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Lets Talk Turkey!





When I was young, working my way through college, a friend of mine hired me to pick peaches and paid 50 cents a bucket. The bucket was a metal container with a strap you wore around your neck so you had two hands free to hit each tree.

I remember the first day well. With my first tree, I got like four or five buckets out that bad boy in 105 degree weather. I can still feel the scratchy peach fuse mixed with sweat on the back of my neck.

So I said, “OK boss, first tree done which tree is next?” He looked at me and said, “you sure you got all the peaches?” I said yes, absolutely. He just smiled, took my bucket and went over to the tree I just stripped of ALL PEACHES and proceeded to take me to school. I stood there and watched him get another 20 buckets of peaches off that tree I was sure had nothing left.

So yes, when we talk about salespeople and how most only get the low hanging fruit, it goes much further than just the optics. Getting more customers is an art form just like picking peaches. You have to have instinct, passion, tools, creativity and you have to be willing to get on a ladder and really do some hard work. (Work most are not willing to do)

Anyone can pick low hanging fruit. The best salespeople in the country no matter if its cars, real estate, direct mail, or even peaches, are the ones that really take it serious, don’t give up, and are just relentless. It becomes more than a job or even career. Selling becomes the DNA of who you are.

The best peaches (or customers) are the one’s way up in the tree, hidden behind branches and leaves. Those are the most valuable because they are hard to find and most folks have missed them, didn’t see them, didn’t even look. (They just walked on by, grabbed some low hanging, and kept going.)  Don’t let that be you…

Also, don’t let the Internet and all the new ways to reach customers fool you. Sales is still a people business. It is still all about building relationships based on trust. If customers trust you, and like you, they will do business with you. If they don’t then they won’t.

The Internet and many digital channels are just extra tools to help you (find all the peachpeaches) earn that much-needed trust in order to build the relationship. Use them all, the more the merrier!  Do that and life will be “peachie” I guarantee it! My time is up, you been great. Good selling –

Todd Vowell


8Pager front cover women8Pager inside women

Everything went great. The salesperson was informative. The test drive was exhilarating and fun. They have good credit. They just are not buying today. We have to let them go. We can do the half gallon of ice cream but let me propose an older trick in the book. (I say trick sarcastically because it is just a good idea really that has been lost in the new era of speed, internet and “now or never,” cultures. )

Have an 8-page four color well thought out custom dealership brochure ready to give them to take. This “story” is your best message, personality, flavor, history, and information that will not be thrown away.




If the customer goes home to make a decision on where and what to buy, this brochure needs to be the “scale tipper.” The 100% transparent story teller. The brochure is filled with what matters most and answers many questions because if they didn’t buy, we need to give them “peace of mind.”

When someone clicks on most dealerships website “About” button, its almost sad. No real thought, no passion. Just a canned, “We are 100% committed to your satisfaction bla bla bla! (Yawn…)

What is your story? Who are you?  Who are your employees? What charities are important to you?  What else is important to you? What makes you different?  How about tips on how to save money? The pros and cons to selling your car. Do we lease or buy?  Safety first so what are the stats?  Service coupons. Maybe a incentive to get them back in? Where to take their first trip.

In fact, this brochure that has been put together piece by piece is something you would want your salespeople to take with them when they go out on appointments. It is the “tell all” to connect your entire dealership in an easy to understand, fun, and gravitating presentation. Something cyber could never accomplish.

This is something your customer can feel, read, cut coupons, crossword puzzle maybe, take advantage of offers, all kinds of cool things. I would make sure copies are placed in the Service waiting area, Brochure racks, the bathrooms, local restaurants, etc. I would even mail out at least a couple thousand bi-weekly.

But this brochure takes time to put together. Time you don’t have. Find a Digital/Direct mail marketing company that will slow it down, do the homework, create a masterpiece for you and your dealership.  Don’t tell customers how different the dealership is, show them.

Writing content is not easy. Its hard work. But when you are shaking that customers hand, giving them this brochure that is the heart and soul of your store, you know they are coming back! Good selling!

ron berg

As an automotive Owner/GM, if you expect success with your next automotive digital/direct mail event, but your only willing to pay for it, then save the money, don’t do it. That is not meant to be the old “take away.” It is sound advice supported by 29 years, 500,000 miles flown, 35,000 events, 245 million pieces of mail (average 7,000 each event) 3,675,000 ups, and 330,750 deliveries.

Years ago, most companies that sold automotive direct mail events, were from the car business and certainly were NOT “ad agencies.” Today, many dealers make a fundamental mistake and choose a direct mail event based on price or looks, not value, ROI or experience. (Not all, but plenty)  Then get mad when it bombs. In fact, many younger, newer dealership managers think direct mail is just something to “get some extra traffic.” BIG MISTAKE… Huge Mistake! With the added value of new technology and many digital channels today, direct mail is unstoppable.

Today more than ever, a dealership must invest just as much time and effort in prep as they do anything else. Still to this day, the car salesperson will make or break any direct mail event, period. They are the backbone and must be trained and ready to handle a packed lot. There is an art to quickly but diplomatically sifting through to the buyers.

“Most moochers are buyers if the automotive salesperson has the right attitude and is trained correctly.”

After 35,000 events, guess what one question from car salespeople I hear more than any other (during a direct mail event) that kills more deals than halitosis? Ready? It’s, “Hello folks, you here to buy a car today or just want a free gift card?” (The correct way to handle this is greet normally and if they ask about the gift, give it to them, it disarms then, then go back to your normal process.

Direct mail has not gone away because it is too powerful. Car dealers need to embrace this and take advantage of it. But they also need to hire a company that knows the car business and is willing to prepare, train, and make sure the entire dealership is committed, and ready from top to bottom.

I will end with this. Every weekend, two dealerships that sell the same make and model, are in the same state, the event was the same weekend, same direct mail event message, same size stores, both do the same amount of pieces, get the same response rate, but one sells 4 cars, and the other 34. Why? The market? No. The weather? No. Management, salespeople and the right attitude with a commitment to prepare, practice, drill, rehearse and train? Bingo!

Great selling, go out and make it a great day,

Todd Vowell


I have a secret for you. I say secret because I can’t find a dealer utilizing YouTube’s new “Interactive Cards.” Are you? If not, get a big time edge on the competition. Plus, start doubling “YouTube leads!”

You already know all the stats that are “off the chart” when it comes to car buyers consumption of watching videos. The newest stat though is over half are watched from a smartphone. YouTube sees it too. So they have a new Interactive addition you can put on all your videos.

Meaning, you can now add an Interactive card pointing viewers to your website or five other “Call To Action” choices. For example, as customers watch your video on that “hard to find pre-owned vehicle” you just got in, you can put a “Get Pre-approved Now” in the upper right corner of your video. (Or “visit our website for all inventory” or whatever you want) Customers click on it and can go right to your website link to get per-approved.

Is that not powerful? This is exciting stuff from YouTube!

Here are the directions, its easy:

How to set up YouTube interactive cards: (Or watch their video, click here)

1. Go to your YouTube video manager, click “edit” button. (Or click down arrow )
2. Click on “cards” in the top navigation bar, then click on “Add Card.”
3. Scrub to the point in the video where you want to add a card. This is where the teaser/title text will cue in the upper right corner of the video for about five seconds, then revert to an “I” icon in the same spot.
4. Click a blue button on the right called “Add Card” and it opens a window.
5. Select the card type you want to add.
6. Customize the card by adding an image, optimize the title, customize the call-to-action text, or adding a URL.
7. Repeat in other parts of the video as needed. You should space them out.
Click “Create Card!”

Great selling and happy interacting!

Todd Vowell

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!