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Why Direct Mail for the Auto Industry is Still Effective

DATE PUBLISHED: May 17, 2013

The automotive industry is certainly an industry that values good marketing and advertising.  Be it on billboards, television or YouTube, you probably see at least one car advertisement a day.  Just for fun, count for a week how many car advertisements you see. auto direct mail

Most of these advertisements are for car manufacturers advertising on a national level.  While that helps local car dealerships to some extent, these big budget-advertising channels can sometimes be too costly and ineffective.

What DOES work then? 

At Palmer, we found the automotive industry to be one industry that still sees huge results from direct mail campaigns.  With an advanced software program created by auto dealers, we implement a creative and strategic direct mail campaign that delivers impressive results.

Want to learn more about our automotive marketing tactics? Click the link below to download our automotive marketing ebook:


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There are a few key things to consider when creating a direct mail campaign for the automotive industry:

  • Creative—While direct mail can be effective, it is essential your direct mail piece stand out from the rest.  This means getting creative with your design and packaging.  Make it unique.  The form the piece itself comes in is just as important, i.e. a postcard, a pamphlet, a box etc.
  • Customize—If possible try to have each direct mail piece incorporate the receiver’s name.  Furthermore, each direct mail piece should have customized copy and creative.  Make sure you are accurately reflecting your dealership’s unique promotional offerings inline with your local area.  For example,  maybe you want to do a promotional giveaway around your high school football team’s playoffs.  This engages those in your specific community.
  • Closed Loop Analytics—Try to add a Personalized URL (PURL) or a personalized phone number for each potential customer’s mail piece so when they go to redeem the offer advertised or go to learn more about your dealership on your website, you will know they came from that direct mail piece. Using a closed loop analytics system you will be able to report the exact ROI on your direct mail campaign.
  • Utilize Social Media—Whenever possible try to get your potential customers on social media. 68% of people say a positive referral from a Facebook friend make them more likely to buy a specific product or visit a certain retailer. If you can offer incentives for those that receive your direct mail piece to get on social media and talk about their special offer all the better.  
Try this: Why not host your offer on an application on your Facebook page?  For example you could advertise one thing in the direct mail piece and then mention that if they go to your Facebook page, like it and fill out a quick survey, they can get an additional percentage off.

Direct mail can still be an effective means of generating leads and sales in some industries.  However, it has to be done correctly.

Just like the importance of closed loop analytics when monitoring your social media marketing campaigns, it is also ESSENTIAL to incorporate some kind of closed loop analytics in your direct mail marketing.