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7 Postcard Marketing Tips for Automotive Dealerships

Direct mail is not only a good option to supplement other real-world and online marketing efforts, it’s also a great way to reach a local audience in order to raise awareness of your automotive dealership and encourage visits to your location. Here are just a few postcard marketing tips that will help you make the most of your campaigns.

  1. Introduce your new lineup
    There are many ways to promote new lineups when you own an automotive dealership, including placing new inventory front-and-center on your lot for passersby to see, featuring new models prominently in your showroom, adjusting your website homepage to reflect new additions to your lineup, and of course, advertising in print and broadcast media and online.

    You can also send out direct mail to local residents, especially targeted consumers that are most likely to purchase your products based on proximity, age, income, past purchases, or other demographics. If you want the best opportunity to keep current and prospective customers apprised of your latest products, postcard marketing can contribute to overall marketing success.

  2. Promote specials
    Automotive dealerships don’t have sales every day. While some businesses lose all credibility by sending a constant barrage of discounts, deals, and sales information to consumers, auto dealerships have the opportunity to create a much bigger impact by sending out only periodic postcard mailers touting sales and other specials. Something rare is something valuable.

  3. Encourage timely turnaround
    Having your postcard hanging on the fridge for a while isn’t the worst thing that could happen. What you don’t want is for it to end up in the trash before it has served its purpose. You may therefore wish to create incentive for a timely reaction with a time-sensitive offer.

    As noted previously, discounts, deals and other promotions are a great way to encourage visits to your location. However, it’s not a bad idea to include information about expiration dates for offers. This is implied with, say, holiday-specific sales, but you should always put an end date so that consumers are motivated to take advantage of offers sooner rather than later.

  4. Skip the hard sell
    There are many goals you may wish to accomplish with your direct mail postcard campaign. You want consumers in your area to be aware of your existence and you want to remind past customers of the wonderful experience they had. You want to compete with other dealerships.

    You also want to inspire face-to-face interactions by encouraging visits to your location. Naturally, the end goal is to make sales, develop patronage, encourage positive reviews and trusted referrals, and grow your business.

    You needn’t necessarily meet all of these goals with a single postcard campaign, though. What you can reasonably hope to accomplish is putting yourself on the radar of targeted consumers, encouraging them to seek further information by visiting your website, or preferably, your dealership, and ultimately, generating leads.

    Keep in mind that consumers may have to see 2-3 (or more) postcards from your dealership before they start to become familiar with your brand and invested in further interaction. If you push the hard sell on the first go-around, before prospective customers warm up to you, it could backfire and create a negative impression that is difficult to overcome later on.

  5. Use available space
    Don’t make the mistake of forgetting that your postcard mailer has two sides you can take advantage of. Certainly one side will feature the name and address of the recipient, as well as applicable postage, but that only takes up a portion of that side.

    The flip side is often used to display eye-catching graphics and the main intent of your message, including information about new models or upcoming sales. The remaining space on the back side of the card can be used to reinforce the message on the front, display additional graphics, or add information that you don’t want cluttering the front of the card, such as a small map of your location to help customers find you.

  6. Stay your hand
    It’s tempting to cram a lot of information into a small amount of space, but if you can hook prospective customers with an attractive layout and a simple, compelling message, you’ll have plenty of time to deliver your spiel when consumers visit your dealership. Instead of cramming your postcard mailer full of tiny product thumbnails and wordy sales pitches, consider making like Coco Chanel and removing some bling before your postcards leave the house, so to speak.

    Always use high-quality graphics, including photos of some of your best-selling or most desirable inventory. Postcards are a visual medium, and pictures are worth a thousand words. There’s no need to describe the appeal of your products when you can simply show the allure through beautiful images.

    Remember, you’re not writing the next great American novel here. Postcard campaigns are a way to let local consumers know your business is nearby and that you have the products they want. The best way to do this is to keep your mailers concise. Use fantastic photos and include only the most relevant content, including your location and contact information, any ad copy pertaining to sales, discounts, or other draws, and a call to action.

  7. Target postal routes
    Target marketing can be tricky, especially when you can’t necessarily use online metric tools to help you track and retarget. How can you reach likely leads when sending out mailers without wasting money on a blanket approach?

    It’s simple – target postal routes for areas that are likely to meet your demographic criteria, including homeowners, young professionals, parents, above-average income earners, or other particulars, just for example. If you know which local neighborhoods are most likely to feature the demographics you’re seeking, you can use postal routes to hit a target audience with your postcard campaign.
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