It might surprise you to learn that social media and Internet marketing aren’t the only growth sectors in advertising and marketing communications. Clearly, both sectors are on the rise, however, studies like a recent one by Ad-Ology found that the best ways to earn and retain new customers are actually marketing via e-mail and direct mail. This finding comes as no surprise to those of us in the auto direct mail game. In fact, of the respondents of the Ad-Ology research study, nearly 85% of respondents chose email as a preferred mode of advertising communication, with direct mail right behind at just over 70%.
Many in the advertising field who fancy themselves on the cutting of “what’s hot” and “what’s new” like to write automotive direct mail off as one of the dying forms of advertising. They couldn’t be more wrong. The fact is, automotive direct mail has just had to change with the times. Mailers now need to incorporate social media elements, SMS, and other forms of communication across a broad base in order to stay competitive. Sure, mailers can’t be the same hackneyed, stale pieces of cardboard that they were 10 to 15 years ago, but so long as they entice the receiver to act, auto direct mail can be more successful than any other more current form of advertising communication out there. The key is engagement.
Also important: a good media mix. Combining e-mail and direct mail is an incredibly popular form of new customer engagement because they can be personal and feel like one on one communication. We know that any form of correspondence, specifically e-mail and mailers, are always more effective when they address the receiver by their name. Even texting can be made to accomplish this task and many social media ad campaigns can also be tailored to the recipient.
The same is not true for broadcast media. Plus, unlike television and radio ads, everyone checks their mail and e-mail. Nowadays, many television viewers either change the channel or pre-record programs so that they can fast forward through commercials. Radio listeners too, either change the channel or flock to XM or satellite radio in order to avoid commercials. At the very least, with auto direct mail and e-mail advertising, you get the receiver’s attention. Once you have the receiver’s attention, it’s our job as auto direct mail marketers to help you keep it, and entice the reader to act.