Producing and delivering automotive direct mail in a timely fashion is, by no means, a walk in the park. I know this from experience! In order to attain successful mail execution, you (and likely the rest of your team) need to take on a number of crucial tasks to ensure everything runs smoothly and your clients are happy. Believe me when I say that this is all based on past experiences. Here are my top 5 rules for successfully executing direct mail:
TOP 5 RULES FOR SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTING AUTOMOTIVE DIRECT MAIL
1. Pay Special Attention to Artwork Detail
There’s little to no denying that printing massive quantities of mail can get rather expensive. That said, there’s nothing worse than printing off tens of thousands of automotive direct mail pieces; only to discover that there’s an issue with the mail design. There might have been a typo you missed or you might have discovered that the piece was only a draft. When you’re looking at the overall piece, it can sometimes be difficult to spot mistakes. Before you send your artwork off to the printer, make sure that the final version you see is indeed the final version. Check to see if all your messaging, imagery, fonts and offers are correct. The last thing you want to do is waste time and money.
2. Don’t Drag Your Feet
If I’ve learned anything over the course of my career, it’s that automotive direct mail often coincides with a time-sensitive event sale or promotion. Since it takes some time for mail to reach its destination, you definitely don’t want to drag your feet with production. If it takes approximately 3-4 business days for mail to reach your target destination, you’ll want to assume that it’ll take longer purely for the sake of caution. Give yourself some extra time to print your mail so that you’re able to ship out the pieces to your local post office in a timely manner. And if you’re personally strapped for time, delegate any production tasks to someone else to ensure timely delivery.
3. Provide Feedback to Your Production Company
If you’re like most marketing companies, you’ve probably outsourced mail production to another company. One thing I can’t stress enough is opening up communication with any production company that you choose to work with. You know your client’s consumer base far better than the production company. Never assume that your production company will “figure it out.” If there’s anything that you feel the production company needs to know about, let them know at your earliest convenience.
4. Send Out Mail Within Close Proximity of the Dealership
While there will always be buyers who are willing to go out of their way to visit a particular dealership, I’ve learned over time that the majority like to stay close to home. Why? Well, simply put: people enjoy convenience! I know I do! So, when you’re deciding on what zip codes you’re going to target for your next mail drop, focus on ones that are closest to your dealership. The more mail you decide to throw into those designated areas, the more visitors you’ll get to your dealership. Yes, many of them will be, what I call “prize-grabbers,” but it’s a straight-up fact that “motion creates emotion.” When lots of people visit a store, it creates a sense of urgency, which then causes serious buyers to visit the dealership and eventually make a purchase.
5. Don’t Risk it with Big Warehouses
Having a distributor ship out your mail directly to local post offices might seem easier (and cheaper), but it could end up more complicated in the long run. When you have a completely different entity separating and distributing your mail, you end up having to communicate through a middleman; instead of the post office delivering your mail directly to customers. Between trying to separate mail based on zip codes, you might also run into mix-ups that could cause late delivery of your mail… which ultimately defeats the purpose of holding these promotions. So trust me, it might cost a little bit more, but I implore you to send your mail directly to your dealership’s closest post offices. You won’t risk mail being delivered to the wrong consumers and, under most circumstances, will be delivered on time.