Archive for May, 2008

Automotive Direct Mail: Summer Solution?

May 28, 2008

If this past Memorial Day Weekend is any indication of how automotive direct mail will perform this Summer, then expect a “push” on certain mailers and a “whoa” on others.  Out of the three different pieces I mailed, one stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Was it (a) the saturation pieces?  Was it (b) the credit mailer (pre-approved)?  Or was it (c) the one I said would out-perform anything it came up against? 

Not to pat myself on the back, but it was “c,” the one that I predicted beforehand to out-perform anything it came up against.  That’s right!  The greeting card I designed behaved just like I created her to do.  She was a good little animal this past weekend generating an average of 27 deliveries per 5,000 mailed!  At less than $180 per vehicle, General Managers, Principles, and those beloved bean-counters are all of a sudden paying close attention to those marketing folks over at Hill Marketing.

It makes total sense.  People love receiving greeting cards in the mail, be it a birthday, holiday, special occasion, etc.  Perhaps some sort of psychological satisfaction subliminally occurs when their fingers are carefully tearing open the edges of the sealed envelope.  Perhaps the anticipation of the unknown source of joy that awaits inside the envelope sets the stage in the mind that leaves it vulnerable and persuadable to a degree uncommon to standard automotive direct mail.

I really don’t know the exact reason.  But as far as reliable empirical evidence goes, dealers that run this mailer always sell many units.  If you have a favorite mailer that you run, I suggest you try it at least once.  Shoot me over the copy and I’ll get a proof out to you in the greeting card format.  If I don’t substantially increase your response rate, you can say so here on my blog in the comments section for the world to see.  But if you end up like everyone else – COMPLETELY SATISFIED – then we’ll keep it our little secret while you stealthily go into your PMA and snatch up all them deals, leaving your competitors in the dust.

Email for prices, turnaround, etc.  Also available: saturation, pre-approved credit mailers, buyback, title swap, customized, free consultation – no obligation.

Ron Cogan Gives Advice on Quick Ways to Cut Your Gas Bill

May 23, 2008

According to Ron Cogan‘s article “5 Quick Ways to Cut Your Gas Bill” at greencar.com, he says that many are asking when this [high gas prices] will end.  Cogan adds that some consumers get mad, while others “suck it up and just pay the price, figuring it will go away.”  Cogan bluntly adds, “[i]t wont.”  Then he asks the question: “But what can you do about it?”

I agree with Cogan that the gas price problem won’t go away.  In fact, I’d take it a step further and add that it will get worse.  I’m not trying to paint a bleak and negative financial future, but if experts are correct in predicting $7 per gallon gas prices, then Cogan’s advice should be taken with all seriousness.  Here’s a basic summary of his article’s 5 ways to cut your gas bill: 

  1. Don’t drive as much.
  2. Ease off the pedal.
  3. Resist the need for speed temptation.
  4. Avoid mid-grade or premium fuel unless necessary.
  5. Check tire pressure and maintain recommended PSI.

All of these ways except for #4 result in using less fuel which results in cutting your gas bill.  #4 cuts your bill only if you do not have a high-performance vehicle, or a vehicle that requires a higher octane fuel (i.e. 89, 91, etc.).  But this distinction between #4 and the others speaks volumes to toward solving a deeper issue – the vehicle you drive.

If two separate people followed Cogan’s advice to the tee in exactly the same manner, we would expect to have identical gas bill cuts.  But this would only happen if the two experiments were with identical vehicles, number of passengers, etc.  But if person #1 drove a 1999 Toyota Camry V6LE and the other a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban 2WD, the degree of savings would be affected by the degree of difference in fuel consumption and efficiency of each respective vehicle.  Bottom line, the Suburban would be more expensive to maintain than the Camry because the Suburban gets 12 miles per gallon while the Camry gets 22 (guess-timation).

So to further enhance the wealth of wisdom in Cogan’s excellent article, I would suggest that *if* you drive a “gas hog,” consider trading it in and leasing or purchasing a much more economical and fuel-efficient vehicle.  The intention of this article is not to suggest a make and model, just to suggest that you seriously consider the adjustment of your driving according to Ron Cogan’s advice, and to do so in the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can get into.  After all, if those experts are right, and if gas hits $7 per gallon soon, then many of our lifestyles will require adjustments if we can’t afford to drive anywhere!

Click here to read Ron’s article.

Automotive Direct Mail: Memorial Day Sales Update

May 22, 2008

This Memorial Day Weekend, 2008, has been forecasted to be the best selling weekend of the year.  Make sure that your staff is ready to handle the sudden surge of customers.  Since things have been kind of slow lately, it is possible that your staff has formed some bad habits due to the light traffic, and in the process may have become lazy.  Now is the time to wake them up because they’ll make the difference for you this Memorial Day Weekend.

I suggest that you do an early Sales Meeting Friday Morning (5/23) and establish the tone for the weekend.  Be sure to put out big spiffs with qualifiers for top man/woman, top gross, most units, etc.  Make sure that the Sales Meeting is dynamic in tone and be sure to motivate the crew.  For those of you that are running Hill Marketing Sales Events this weekend, be sure to provide your managers with the audio recordings of the sales training that is on the DVD that is included in your giveaway package that should have been received today at your dealership (FedEx).

Keep your head in the game this weekend.  It’s going to be good!

Awesome Memorial Day Weekend Sale and How Automotive Direct Mail Saves the Car Business Once Again!

May 20, 2008

I am sure that more vehicles will be sold this Memorial Day Weekend than last year’s.  I am so excited at how receptive and pumped up everyone is about our Memorial Day Weekend 2008 Sales Event!  Putting these sales together has been extra fun this year so I just want to say thank you to all you car dealers out there that signed up.

They told me that it was sheer genius how I wrote my new sales letter using our Title List Data to go after those old gas hogs and make purchase offers for trade-ins for something a little more economical.  Many car dealers that called me for the first time did not know that I had access to massive lists of trucks, vans, SUV’s, etc.  When they saw my sales letter they just about flipped!

Here’s my reasoning.  Follow my thought process and see for yourself if this doesn’t make perfect sense.  Everyone knows about the gas price problem (I won’t argue for that here).  I attended a conference last month that had a session regarding the high demand for web developers and I.T. personnel in religious organizations (churches, ministries, etc.).  Since gas prices are forecasted to reach $7 per gallon in less than two years, these religious organizations anticipate losing much of their commuter attendance (people that drive a long way to get there). 

Many of these organizations have multiple gatherings on different days of the week (i.e. men’s groups, women’s groups, youth meetings, etc.).  With the economical pressure being experienced by American families, many of them will need to “cut back” on attending except for Sunday, or whichever respective day.  So the need for web developers and I.T. personnel emerges.  Why?  Because the plan is to accommodate those unable to attend by making services and meetings available online through streaming video and other interactive formats.

The point of mentioning all this is to direct your attention to when and how I got the idea.  I thought, “If these large organizations see such an impact on their businesses due to gas prices, then that could be huge for my dealers!”  (I’m always looking out for you guys!)

I got back to the office and pulled some counts in some suffering areas of the country (those most likely to be effected worst).  I queried 1981 to 1999 trucks, vans, and SUV’s from Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge (gas hogs) within 20 miles of a particular store I do monthly campaigns for.  I came up with 185,000+ titles!  This means that I can send a purchase offer to the owner that is relevant to his needs while making an offer for a gas-saver!

Plus, because I can use variable data printing, the letter can be made out to the owner’s name, regarding his exact vehicle (make, model, year, color, etc.), at his current address, from the sponsoring dealer.  So it can say (sample, not actual direct mail offer):

Scott,

My name is John Greenleaf, Used Car Manager at ABC Motors and I want to make you an offer on your 1992 Chevrolet Suburban.  With gas prices on the rise, I thought it would be worth a shot to write you because you may be interested in selling or trading now more than ever before. 

To be sure I win your business I’ve hired three independent appraisal companies to compete for your trade-in, just in case you want to want to trade for a more economical vehicle.  These appraisers will be at my dealership this Memorial Day Weekend only between 9AM and 6PM.  Give me a call if you can make it…

Initially I thought that I would write this as an additional product for Memorial Day only.  But now it seems that most dealers want to run this program till the end of the year.  With over 100k titles in our database for most PMA’s, you can run 10,000/month till 2009 without mailing to the same person twice!  This means that you can overcome the car dealer blues that this recession is causing.  So stop crying (the blues, that is) and start selling!

Automotive Direct Mail has saved the car business once again.

Sincerely,

John Greenleaf (takes a bow)

Marketing Director

Hill Marketing Group

Protected: Memorial Day Weekend 2008 Automotive Direct Mail – Sell the Most Units with This

May 5, 2008

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