Posts Tagged ‘direct mailer’


10,000 Piece Mailer Includes

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Investment: $6,499 Complete!





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


Four Seasons Hawaii

That is the highest and latest average retail-transaction price of new cars and light trucks. (NADA)

It’s a lot of money. It made me think of how much money I spent when we checked into the Four Seasons, Maui. It ended up being around $5,000. But when we got to our room, the bath had sponges spelled out in my kid’s names. WOW! (They causally asked their names when making the reservation, now we knew why.)

We also spent about $5,000 at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. When we went to bed the first night, we found they had sewn our (my wife and me) names into the pillow cases with Good night included. (sorry, no pic)

So now the big question. The average new car buyer today is going to spend over $30,000 at your dealership.

What type of “welcome” do you have planned for anyone showing up to their “car buying” appointment?


Even when me and my management team fly to visit a vendor wanting our business, the welcome sign in the lobby is a thing of the past. We have seen some very cool ideas like monitors all through the building with out names, logo, and pictures. It really makes you feel welcome, special, and most important, like this company must really want our business to go through all of this planning and work. Not only do you feel a little more obligated to do business with them, you want to! What a concept… Good selling!


This Weeks Words:

“Automotive Direct Mail Is Dead!”


I jumped the traditional advertising/marketing ship for “Social Media and Internet Marketing” in hopes the car dealers money will follow me!


Just telling dealers that direct mail is dead does nothing to convince dealers why or where to move their spend. The Internet is still plagued with a wild wild west hackers, spam, virus, and phishing environment.


In truth, direct mail marketing has actually increased because of new digital technology (and improved multi channel strategies) Direct mail is still rated #1 in trust so the successful formula is to intro using direct mail, but then drive the customer to the Internet for more info gathering, qualifying, and call to action!


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Question for Car Dealers/Managers!


If direct mail is really dead, then are these dead too?

  • Balloons on every car
  • Wacky Wavy Arm Guy
  • Music and DJ congratulating car buyers
  • Pizza in the break room (can eat it hot or cold)
  • Firing up the BBQ
  • Putting the 20 foot blue gorilla up on the roof
  • Pop popcorn
  • Ice-chest full of soda pop and coffee for customers
  • Hotdogs and hamburgers


Let me ask another couple questions:

1) You go to a Steakhouse restaurant at 7:45PM to have dinner. No one is there. Your group, the only customers. Are you going to eat there or the Steakhouse across the street that has a 5-10 minute wait because its packed?

2) You go to a night club with $10 Cover charge. You poke your head in and no one is there. Are you going to stay or go to that other place across the street that has a $25 Cover charge and is jam packed?

3) You go car shopping. One dealership has nothing on the lot but vehicles and well dressed salespeople. Visitor parking is wide open, and no one is in the showroom or booths filling out credit apps, or buying cars. Are you going to go there or that dealership across the street with the music, balloons, booths filled, Big ass Gorilla on the roof, and people all over the place? What dealership are you going to?

My point is don’t believe what you hear all the time. The only people that say direct mail is dead are people who jumped the “traditional ship” in hopes of a ground floor opportunity and earn more money selling social media and other “internet channels!”

The truth is, direct mail will never die. (at least not in our life time) The Internet is not a threat to direct mail or vice versa. They are like peanut-butter and chocolate. they are great by themselves but put them together and WOW!

Also, don’t read so many blogs from people who don’t understand the car business that you start to think people don’t like a fun dealership or atmosphere. Its not true. Also, people like to haggle. Yes, some don’t but that’s too bad. The car business is not like any other business. (Sorry Scott Painter but we don’t just sell a commodity.) There are trade-ins values, miles, wear and tear, leases, purchases, good credit low rates, bad credit high rates, and many other factors that go into each deal. There will always be some negotiating so get over it.

Don’t let the Internet or anyone else take the wind out of your sail. Make buying a car at your dealership fun! I am all for treating the customer right and not playing games. You can do that without taking the fun and excitement out of one of the biggest investments your customers will ever make! They deserve to have fun!

As far as direct mail, if you really think it doesn’t work then you may also think it is a bad idea to invest 75 cents a couple times a year to send customers (who invested $20,000 to $75,000 at your dealership or your competitor) a letter telling them you want to buy that car back for top dollar, and put them in a new one, for the same payment or less.

If you had a bad experience with direct mail, maybe the problem wasn’t the mail…

(Don’t shoot the messenger, hire a better one!)

Good Selling!

Todd Vowell

Digital Car LEads

Buy Mail Direct, Inc.