How To Make Direct Mail More Personal
“Dear [NAME] – Congratulations! You’ve been hand-selected to win a special prize of [prize 1], [prize 2] or [prize 3] as part of our [name of promotional celebration] on [dates]. Simply bring in this card to [dealership name] and you could win one of these great prizes. Plus, you can learn all about our leasing offers and financing specials on [model car A], [model car B], [model car C]. [NAME], don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Visit [dealership name] on [dates] to claim your prize!”
Too often, automotive direct mail personalization is thought of as hackneyed and downright cheesy – like the message written above. Let’s be fair – anyone in the sales and marketing game is at least a little bit guilty of these sorts of form letter personalization tactics. Sometimes, with a bit of clever crafting, they even do work. The key here is not to be lazy and to churn out sales pieces that are so obviously NOT personalized at all.
Beyond merely using one’s name, there are some simple ways to make your automotive direct mailers much more personal without it being terribly labor intensive. For starters, you can speak to the prospect’s tastes – for example, if they’ve purchased sports cars from you in the past, then you likely know the sorts of inventory they’re going to be looking at in the future. Speak to that. You also have a whole list of financed and leased prospects who will soon be in the market for another car – or at least, will have paid up their purchase with you. You can personalize to that end as well.
Other personalization tactics can be a bit more sneaky, but if timed and played right, could potentially pay off long-term. For example, if you sell family friendly automobiles like sensible sedans, minivans and station wagons, you can keep an eye on the birth announcements, collect names and line them up against your prospect lists. Every few months, send personalized congratulatory automotive direct mail pieces to them outlining your latest family-oriented inventory. Make sure the messages speak to value, safety and space, plus certain convenience factors like stow-and-go seating, easy to access storage space and so on. Even consider a value-added message like a special service discount or safety check-up for new parents. These are incredibly personal and downright emotional messages that are certain to resonate.
Personalization in automotive direct mail also should go both ways. Not only should your pieces be reaching out with personalized messaging toward the customer, the messages should also be coming personally from your dealership whenever possible. So, as we’ve said time and time again, consider adding faces to names and using real images of the showroom, spokespeople, service and salespeople and ownership whenever possible.
Personalizing automotive direct mail doesn’t have to be too labor or time intensive, but it should involve more thought and effort than a tired chain letter. Once you’ve put some of these thoughts into action, you’ll learn just how easy reaching out to prospects in a real and personal way can truly be.