Archive for August, 2008

How To Get Good Credit In Less Than 4 Minutes

August 27, 2008

Attn: Auto Dealers,

Watch this short video and imagine your next direct mail piece with this strong credit offer. The company GUARANTEES a $5,000 charge card to anyone that applies. Anyhow, take a quick watch and let the wheels do their own turning!


Why Some Auto Dealers Survive While Others Go Out of Business

August 20, 2008

We’re halfway through Q3 and we are approaching the final stages of planning Q4. Certain industry factors have left some craters in the wake, but the moon-walking automotive direct marketer feels at home in such conditions. Let me explain.

Soaring fuel prices and economic uncertainty led to a sharp decline in U.S. auto sales in general, but truck and SUV sales in particular suffered the most. At this point there’s no need to recap this summer’s auto sales woes, but add in the stricter lending guidelines and loss of lease business, and we can say with assurance that the “car business” is hurting right now.

But from our perspective, our interaction with U.S. auto dealerships and what is being reported in the national media do not necessarily match up. For example, earlier this month a Hyundai dealer in Tennessee did a 5,000 piece targeted direct mailer, and from the first half (2,500) they got 36 responses (1.44%), which isn’t bad. It’s above industry average, and it yielded double digit sales. But there’s nothing too special about that (our direct mail has been called the best in the business, and over 90% of our programs have performed in this manner for over three straight years!).

The amazing thing is that with a tweak in the data for the remaining 2,500 pieces, the dealer got 175 responses (6.99%) and is still selling units to this day from the mailer we sent out! In the end, the dealer will probably end up with 30 or 40 retail deliveries. This is in addition to the traffic produced by other advertising mediums and daily walk-ins. This dealer will gross over $100k from a dinky little 5,000 piece Hill Marketing mailer; just one of the reasons our clients love us so much!

On the other end of the spectrum is a Dodge dealer in NC. Only the man that has been hiding under a rock in a dark cave isn’t aware of the ultra-suffering and hemorrhaging that Dodge dealers have had to endure this summer. But as a Hill Marketing client, this Dodge dealer has had a steady flow of quality traffic from our mailers. We got a call at the beginning of the month and the dealer “TRIPLED” their normal amount of direct mail (they run with us every month).

Now, why would a Dodge dealer triple their amount of direct mail? Our answer: because our mailers out-perform anything else on the market! This Dodge dealer is enjoying over 3% response rates and is not firing salespeople, rather, hiring more! Try to tell this Dodge dealer that the market is soft and he’ll laugh at you. His salespeople and F & I team will average over $10k on this month’s paycheck – because they’re selling units with good grosses.

Another example would be a GM dealer in Louisiana that runs our mailer religiously. In the midst of all the trepidation they are laughing all the way to the bank enjoying a 3.74% response rate from Hill Marketing direct mail.

Then there’s a Texas dealer that can’t stop putting in orders for our direct mail. He’s a Chevy store, and he uses us multiple times per month (anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 pieces). For over a year we have been providing direct mail for this dealer, and in his eyes, we’re his hero.

So it is with a major San Antonio dealer (tough market). We’re the ace in the hole for them because we’re the only direct mail provider that can get 5.34% response rates! To a bunch of savvy car people, leads are of essential importance. That is why the GM down there picks up the phone and calls Hill Marketing and orders direct mail from us – every month.

Anyone can say anything online. That’s just the way it is. So if you’re a dealer reading this and are considering doing direct mail but think I’m lying, do like they did at one point and call me and ask for references. The above referenced real life cases have been informed of this article and are willing to take reference inquiries. Nothing beats a real life testimonial from a peer, and now is your chance to check things out. Q4 will be here soon, and there’s still time to book Q3 events.

It’s either that or you’ll just keep reading about other’s success!



John Greenleaf

Marketing Director

Hill Marketing Group

(866) 572-4861 ext. 4127


August 13, 2008

I’m not sure if this is considered “classified information,” but I have been told by three different GM dealers (in different regions) that on the 19th of this month GM plans to launch what they are calling “THE BIGGEST SALE IN 100 YEARS!”

We don’t know what it’s going to be yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll let you know. So if you’re a GM dealer, then you probably don’t need to use us for the rest of August. But if you aren’t a GM dealer, then you need to worry about market share.

This will be a ripe time to mail since auto buying will be on the mind, producing a consumer “monkey see monkey do” environment.

In our Hill Marketing office we play a radio in the background all day long. Today I have already heard several mentions of GM products from the DJ, not an advertisement, in between the songs. Someone’s getting paid!!!

Stay tuned, I’ll let you know as soon as I hear what this “BIGGEST SALE IN 100 YEARS” is all about.

Automotive Direct Mail Firing On All Cylinders

August 6, 2008

Since most automotive direct mail campaigns have a “hit-n-miss” component that sneaks up and appears when it’s least expected, a celebratory boasting is warranted whenever a solid run emerges. This latest string of successful automotive direct mail campaigns stretches back to the middle of March (of this year). The few minor adjustments we’ve made have resulted in a major impact in the overall volume of new and pre-owned sales for the dealers we’ve serviced.

So, if a sudden surge in sales is what you’re looking for, now would be a good time to call. Free consultations are offered between 8am and 4pm (PST). To reserve a free consultation, fill out our contact form completely and you’ll be contacted a.s.a.p. Media Kits with samples, pricing, etc., are available upon request.

No obligation

No purchase necessary

Discussion: Mass Media or Direct Mail?

August 4, 2008

Augustin Gohil, managing partner of Hill Marketing, has an interesting and informative post on his blog discussing direct mail vs. mass media. In fact, that’s the title of his post which can be read here.

He discusses how “media fragmentation reduces the coverage for individual stations and press,” and how that leads media owners to increase their prices in order to protect revenue. This behind the scenes competition raises the price on mass media while the mass media audience decreases. He shows how direct mail is unique because it does not operate in this way.

He asks, then answers the question: “How is direct mail different?”

Click here to read his article. Although it is not designed for the automotive industry per se, he discusses “shared principles” that are not industry specific. He also allows comments if you have any questions or input. I might jump in to the discussion myself. (SG)


August 4, 2008

With Factory leasing no longer being an option for many dealers, a peek into the old marketing trick bag could be well worth the time. Our turnkey direct mail programs are virtually plug-n-play. If you’re ready for a big pay day, then browse our featured programs below. Every one of these programs will be available in August, 2008.

 1. Severe Traffic Builders (for emergency situations)

  • Giant Key Mailers – 17X22 full color w/$50k in prizes (recent events include 54 units sold off 30k pieces). Prices starting at only $0.79 (30kp).
  • Gigantic 9X12 Jumbo Postcard w/high quality key affixed. Full color double-sided key mailer on card stock w/multiple prizes. Prices starting at $0.69 (50kp).
  • Giant 11X17 Tri-Fold Saturation Key Mailer. Double-Sided full color on 80lb. gloss w/high-quality key taped to inside panel. Multiple prizes to drive traffic. Prices start at $0.69 (50kp).
  • All Key mailers are fully insured for prizes: 1) $25,000 in cash, 2) Vehicle giveaway ($20k), 3) 42″ Plasma TV, 4) 4-Wheeler ATV, 5) $100 in cash. For additional saturation traffic builders, call or email us for samples and prices.

2. Title List Mailers (for targeted trade-ins for pre-owned inventory)

  • Mail the piece of your choice to our title list that catalogues current owner with the current vehicle at the current address. With variable data printing, mailers can reference the owner’s name as well as vehicle. This is an insider’s secret that every successful dealer is using below the radar. Great for toggling between dealer database and title list. Best for buyback and conquest. Highly effective, no nonsense mailing list.

3. Pre-Screened Credit Offers (for high-gross sales)

  • US Capital MasterCard Credit Sale. This piece is a pre-screened credit offer backed by a real auto lender (you can switch financing) that has an actual US Capital MasterCard affixed to the piece. This extremely official looking piece generates a large volume of credit applications by pre-screened Beacon-filtered customers interested in obtaining an immediate auto loan. All events are exclusive and customer must physically appear at dealer location to take delivery. Prices start at $1.39 (10kp) and $1.59 (5kp). Larger volume discounts are available. Price includes first class postage, credit data from TU/XPN/EFX, toll free # with IVR/CRM and 24/7 call center and appointment setting.
  • Live Check Mailers – Send pre-screened credit offers to qualified prospects in your market area. Piece includes a funding check already made payable to your dealer. All customer has to do is register online or call IVR to secure funding code. Then they walk live check into your dealership and you match their credit approval with a vehicle from your inventory. Strong advances such as 120% of MSRP or retail blue book makes it easy to roll no money down deals, or absorb negative trade equity. Prices as low as $1.29 (10kp) and $1.57 (5kp). Great grosses are continually reported.
  • Credit Mailers are best for dealers with strong finance departments. The above programs allow dealer to use any lender they choose. No demand for first right of refusal are ever made. Dealers have total freedom and are never restricted or boxed in.

4. Ongoing Lead Programs (for Spec-Fi depts.)

  • Current top-rated lead program is our BKLeadXpress, a daily BK trigger program that sends US Capital MasterCard mailers to every discharged BK the same day it is discharged. This program focuses on the customer’s need to establish positive post-bankruptcy credit to enhance their future credit rating. Using your auto loan as the catalyst, this program makes a strong run at every discharged bankruptcy in your market area and gives them strong reasons why they should buy a vehicle from you right now instead of waiting for their credit to get better first. Program requires dealers that have lenders to finance fresh discharged BK’s with as little as $2,000 down payment with strong employment history.  
  • Facts: 37% of consumers purchase a vehicle within the first 30 days of their discharge. 70% of consumers will purchase a vehicle within 90 days of their discharged bankruptcy. These “ready-to-buy” prospects are the hottest commodity in the Special Finance world, and they’re available immediately upon set-up.  
  • Depending on size of dealership and aptitude of Special Finance manager, one time investment is approximately $2500 to $3500 for 6 to 8 months worth of leads. Manifest with phone numbers are sent daily to dealer for immediate phone follow up prior to mailer’s in home date. Ample opportunities await the sales and finance professional with auto lenders to buy this paper.

 5. Internet Lead Services and Online Applications (disc.)

  • Due to the highly frivolous, unscrupulous, and fraudulent nature of many lead providers and their leads, we have indefinitely discontinued offering internet leads to our clients. Our reputation is too valuable to blow for a quick buck, and so we give internet leads away for free to dealers that we do business with. Whether it be 12 leads or 496 leads, we do not charge for them nor do we stand behind them as authentic or exclusive. We apologize if this hurts anyone’s feelings, but our long-term outlook on our business always takes precedent over short-term profit. Our decision is final.

Media Kits, samples, and price cards are available upon request. Just email or call and request.