The Untapped Power of Direct Mail in the Automotive Industry

Listen up, marketing managers, general managers, and owners in the automotive space. We’re talking about an age-old method with a modern twist. Direct mail. It’s not dead, far from it.

The Myth: Direct Mail is Dead

You’ve heard the myths. “Print is dead.” “Everything is digital now.” But let’s bust those myths wide open. The truth? Direct mail still delivers. It’s tangible. It’s personal. It’s not just another email to delete.

Why Direct Mail?

Think about it. Your inbox is crowded. So is everyone else’s. Emails get ignored. But physical mail? That’s a different story.

  • High Engagement People touch it. Read it. Sometimes, they even smell it. It has texture and form. People engage with physical mail. The numbers don’t lie. Direct mail sees high engagement rates. Much higher than email.

  • Targeted Reach You can tailor your message. You can target by demographics, buying history, or geography. You can make your direct mail as specialized as you want. And that equals impact.

  • Credibility Emails can be marked as spam. Direct mail can’t. It arrives. It’s in your hand. There’s an inherent credibility there.

The Automotive Advantage

Now, why is this important for the automotive industry? Simple. Cars are not impulse buys. They require thought. Consideration. Research. Direct mail can play a key role in this process.

Introduce New Models

Got a new car model? Use direct mail to introduce it. Make it special. Make it an event. A well-designed mailer can build hype like no other medium.

Service Reminders

Your customers need maintenance. They need to keep their cars in top shape. A service reminder via direct mail? It’s personal. It’s actionable. It works.

Customer Retention

Keep your customers coming back. Offer special promotions. Exclusive deals. Personalized incentives. A well-crafted piece of direct mail can do all of this and more.

How to Do it Right

Design Matters

Your direct mail needs to stand out. Great design is key. High-quality images. Clear messaging. A strong call to action.


Generic doesn’t cut it. Personalize your mail. Use the customer’s name. Reference their last purchase. Make them feel special.

Quality Over Quantity

Don’t spam. Send less but make it count. Make each piece of direct mail a valuable offer or piece of information.

Measure and Optimize

Track your results. Use unique URLs or QR codes. See what works and what doesn’t. Then, optimize.

Case Studies

Still skeptical? Let’s look at some success stories.

Case Study 1: Grand Opening 

A local car dealership acquired a new dealership point and wanted the community to know that the old owner was no longer involved. DMS sent targeted direct mail to key zip codes in their market, resulting in a 25% increase in appointments in monthly showroom visits during the first month they were opened. Sales soared. ROI? Sky-high.

  • Appointments: 417 
  • Units Sold: 55
  • Cost: $49,786
  • Customer Acquisition Cost: $905.20
  • Estimated Gross Revenue: $1,650,000
  • Gross Profit: $64,350

Case Study 2: Lost Opportunities 

A dealership realized they had a massive opportunity in their database of people that their team spoke to at one point, but then failed to keep a relationship with.  DMS sent out handwritten letters with custom business cards to these opportunities and the results speak for themselves.  They sold 55 units off of 5,000 letters. 

  • Cost of Program: $8,555
  • Units Sold: 55
  • Estimated New Customer Acquisition: $155.55
  • Estimated Difference of Average New Customer Acquisition: –$539.45
  • Estimated Total Gross Revenue: $1,650,000
  • Estimated Gross Revenue ROAS: 19286.97%
  • Estimated Gross Profit: $64,350
  • Estimated Gross Profit ROAS: 752.19%


So, there you have it. Direct mail is not old-fashioned. It’s not outdated. It’s effective. Targeted. Personal. It has a unique set of benefits that digital methods can’t match. Especially in the automotive industry. So don’t neglect it. Embrace it. And watch your business rev up to new heights.

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