Dealerships find Success in Marketing their Internet Sales Departments

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Dealerships find Success in Marketing their Internet Sales Departments

Direct Mail Offers Proven Results

With the 2020 world economy changing nearly overnight, automotive dealerships have turned the page and begun marketing their internet sales departments with direct mail just as they would normally advertise their in-house sales events. And guess what: It’s WORKING!

The idea of internet sales for automotive dealers and the more “traditional” sales managers may still be a confusing gray area, and some may think it is best left to those who are more “technologically advanced.” Unfortunately, so-called “experts” and even some dealer trainers heavily profit in keeping internet sales a mystery for the average dealer’s management team. 

“The truth is that internet sales are not just relatively easy to master; internet sales are so easy to master that they’re actually kind of boring.” according to Ask The Manager in their informative online automotive dealer publication.

Back to the Direct Mail aspect:

internet auto sales departments for online car sales

Again: Direct Mail Offers Proven Results

There is a very simple reason why the direct mail marketing campaign still thrives in this digital age: it works.

Think about how many ads you see on television or hear on the radio– even just see on billboards throughout the day. It’s a lot. It’s enough that consumers have learned how to easily tune them out.

A good reason that people might ignore this kind of advertising so easily is because it’s intangible. Direct mail, on the other hand, is very tangible. It gives you a sale, promotion or coupon that you can hold right in your hand. That’s quite a bit harder to ignore. In fact, when you present an attractive offer on your mailer, your business is going to see some major returns.

Due to direct mail’s impact on its recipients, you can expect to see better returns on your physical mailers, compared to digital advertisements.

What this means is: a direct mail campaign will give your dealership more ‘bang for your buck’ than an email, social media, or paid search strategy.

Better ROI makes Direct Mail Cost Effective

What makes automotive direct mail so cost effective is the impressive return on investment. The cost of direct mail is typically only a tiny portion of the returns it earns for the dealership – and that’s why dealers send SO MUCH direct mail.

For example: According to the PRC, “Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media).”1

With these statistics in mind, it’s relatively easy to understand why direct mail ends up being a more cost-effective option than digital advertising. The ROI generated by this proven automotive marketing method far outweighs the shipping and production costs.

While such shipping costs aren’t a part of digital advertising, the bottom line profit resulting from direct mail still exceeds the profit of digital marketing techniques.

Bottom line here:  Send Direct Mail, even to push your online sales.

Direct Mail = Improved Response Rates

Response rates are very important for dealership success. Let’s repeat that: Response rates are very important for dealership success. The more responses you receive from customers, the more likely your sales and service teams will create revenue from interested leads. The result? More dollars for your dealership – which offsets any cost acquired from your direct mail campaign.

To give you a sense of just how effective this approach is in boosting response rates, according to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), 2018 brought about a 5 percent response rate for in-house lists and a 9 percent response rates for prospect lists. But How? Why?

Due to its tangibility, it’s more personalized and memorable. When your target audience can easily understand and remember your dealership’s campaign, they’re more likely to consider you as a ‘go-to’ business for purchasing a vehicle, especially when you are consistently reaching the household.

Automotive direct mail’s versatility allows your team to give out free “perks” for a test drive or contest and personalized, attention-grabbing mailers to your customers – BUT HOW does an online test drive work?! Delivery.  Plain and simple. 

We’ll say it again, just in case: Keep sending direct mail, even to push your online sales. Because direct mail WORKS.

1 PRC Study Reference

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In Memory of Mark Keefe


July 18, 1959 - March 15, 2018

Friend, mentor and leader whose legacy will be remembered. Time will never erase the work you have accomplished here or the positive impact you have had on our lives.


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