The title of this post gets right to the heart of why any of us invest in an automotive direct mail campaign: to convince prospects to take your messaging so much to heart that they’re compelled to visit your dealership and make a sale.
If you’re looking for a surefire way to make your direct mail efforts more cost-effective, consider running a gifting or giveaway event.
People love free stuff. So, if you send out a direct mailer that promises some sort of a free gift if they carry that mailer into your dealership, you’re inevitably going to increase your foot traffic. Give away a gift card to a local retailer. Offer the potential to enter a raffle and win something bigger and more exciting, like a car, an iPad or a big screen tv.
Of course, because you want to tie that automotive direct mailer to the event you throw, make sure you tell your salespeople to ask prospects to cough up that ‘invitation’. It will make your promotion feel more legitimate.
But, whatever you do, don’t turn anyone away if they say they’ve forgotten the piece at home. Just take down their name and address to cross-check with your marketing list. If you turn them away, that’s a customer lost forever.
Treat Customers and Non-Customers Alike
Now, there’s of course a potential downside to the giveaway promotion. Sure, it’ll drive traffic into your dealership, but not all traffic is in the market for a car – they might just want the free stuff.
That being said, unless they showed up on horseback, they probably do have a car and will eventually be in the market for another one. So, collect their information, treat them like gold, show them around the dealership and – above all else – take a little time to try and “wow” that non-customer before they leave with their free snack and gift certificate.
Make sure new customers and soon-to-be customers alike all leave with a business card and, if they express interest in things like financing or certain inventory, brochures as well. Remember, that connection might not pay off immediately, but if you play your cards right, it might pay off very soon.