While it might be tempting to follow all of the signs pointing toward digital advertising, it would be a mistake to neglect perhaps the most tried and true option out there: automotive direct mail. Sure, emailing, tweeting, blogging and posting are all fantastic ways of reaching your customer where they are – but there’s no more surefire way of ensuring your message reaches your customer directly than landing those messages right in their very own mailbox.
In fact, according to the Direct Mail Association Factbook for the year 2013, 64% of consumers admit that they’ve indeed made a purchase as a direct result of receiving some sort of direct mail correspondence. Perhaps even more compelling is the Direct Mail News statistic from 2012 that found the average direct mail response rate was leaps and bounds higher than that of e-email at 2.4% versus a pitiful 0.12%.
But, what about cost per lead? Well, it’s roughly the same for direct mail as email. Sure, it costs more to print the materials but the overall ROI comparison pretty much levels the playing field. In fact, the Direct Mail Association Factbook points out in their cost per lead comparison that Direct Mail costs about $51.40 apiece, Pay-Per-Click at about $52.58, Email at $55.25, Print Ads at a little over $60 and Telemarketing at a whopping $190.49 per lead.
When you want to lead-generate with things like “free service” offers or easy one-step “apply for financing now” promotions, nothing beats automotive direct mail either. According to the Print on Demand Institute, direct mail outperforms just about every other channel or mode of advertising there is.
And, because direct mail tends to have a longer “shelf life” than email – it’s more natural to stick a piece of compelling automotive direct mail on the fridge to pursue or redeem at a later date than it is to flag an email or even to print out an email – that adds to its power.
Also worth noting: the USPS found that postcards are the most effective and most likely to be read forms of direct mail out there. This is likely because they take no time at all to read and are easy to hold onto than a traditional letter or elaborate promotional package.
Finally, working with a direct mail vendor can bring an extra bit of success all its own. That’s because direct mail vendors have been working to cultivate their databases and methods of lead generation for years. Email lists tend not to be as effective, since they are a much softer target.