How I can prove Direct Mail is still the strongest advertising ROI there is in the Auto Business BAR NONE!
A short back story:
I started in the car business back in 1987 as a young kid who wanted to learn all I could about this business. One thing I caught on to quickly was that whenever we had a “Mailer” sale going on, I wanted to work bell to bell. Who wouldn’t, we were always so busy and I made a great paycheck those weeks.
Nothing changed in the next 4 years that I sold. I continued to notice that when we were slow the managers would huddle together in a frantic frenzy and I would inevitably hear the words “Let’s do a mailer”. It was not long after that that I sold my first mailer sale to a dealer as I made the change to being a vendor at the ripe age of 22. I remember clearly all of my friends in the business telling me that I better hurry up and make some money doing it because mailers were getting used too much, they were saturating the market and pretty soon no dealer would be buying them because they would not work anymore.
Well, I stayed on the road as a one man wrecking machine (no teams, no staffed event, no percentage payed out, yup just me) for 12 years and sold over 500 events to dealers and loved every minute of it. ..... still working after a dozen years.
I will be brief on the sabbatical I took of 5 years to learn dealerships operations as a High volume GM in the circa 2004-2009 era. I will say, I learned that I bought a lot of mail as GM..... Huh, it still works after all these years. ......17 and counting
I have been on a rampage for a few years now speaking at event after event about how Traditional media is still alive, relevant and should be used in conjunction with all this new fangled digital media.
Ok, so lets get to the point of this article, 24 years later after everyone told me to hurry up and sell mail while it was hot, through all of this digital, and internet growth, SEO, SEM, social media buzz, retargeting, Autotrader, Cars.com etc etc etc..... I can still prove that Direct Mail is the best traffic driver in the USA...BAR NONE. The next paragraph is the proof you have been waiting for.
I call this the Super Sale Challenge. Wether you like Super Sales or not. Wether you do them or not, (and there is a good chance that you do not like them and still do them) there is one consistent truth about Super Sales that proves my point. The men and women who travel the country putting them on live and die by the traffic that they generate. I would venture that the follow guesses are fairly accurate.
You see, the fact that these companies get paid on the gross profit of the event, pay their own expenses and many times now will actually even pay for the advertising tells me they are the smartest advertisers in the country on many levels because their entire life / paycheck depends on advertising results.
The fact that none of them, and and yes, I said NONE of them to my knowledge have held a pay per click sales event, a video SEO event, or use anything other than mail tells me that Direct Mail is still the best traffic driver in the country.
It is for this reason alone that believe I have proved Direct Mail is the best form of ROI advertising still to this date. My company does not do super sales, but we sell a bunch of mail. I still believe in how effective it is, and for the dealer that does not want the 3 ring circus in town there are loads of other options. That said, I will keep a watchful eye on the Super Sale Business until I retire to see what form of advertising is the most relevant, highest ROI form of media to use. Until it changes.......Direct Mail is KING.
President Dealer World
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Dealer World is a full service advertising agency specializing in direct mail and electronic media.
Troy Spring is #1 best selling author and sought after speaker on Traditional Media.