Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tri Auto Tutorials from the Direct Mail Diva

Over the past month or so I've begun posting "tutorials" on all the little extras we include with our marketing. If you have questions over any of the pieces of your campaign, you can find some of the answers here. Of course, call any of us on the Diva Team to get details. Here are links to each post on the different topics, or click on tutorials to view them all at once. Toll Free Tracking Phone Numbers Credit Websites Ultimate Prep Pack (lot outfitting kit) MailPlus Mail Delivery Tri Auto Sweepstakes Marketvision Personal Websites (PURLS)

Monday, August 24, 2009


I reference Marketvision quite a bit but it's been a while since I blogged on it. Here's some quick info-for those of you who haven't experienced this technology yet.
What is it?
Marketvision is a computer kiosk that comes with every mailer we provide. It's delivered a few days before your sale in a black crate, then picked up a couple of days after your sale. Setting it up is as easy as: 1. take it out of the crate, 2. put it on top of the crate, 3. plug it in & turn it on.
What does it do?
Quite a bit actually.
On the front end it:
*Tells customers what they won (replaces the prize banner) *Collects customer data (phone, email, trade in, etc)
*Helps manage traffic *Provides a final closing tool with a voucher with additional trade in money
*Gives salespeople an easy way to collect email addresses
On the back end it:
*Links in real time to our website-you can log in 24 hours a day to view up to date data
*Provides reports on zip code response, lead contact lists, leads by salesperson, and an easy format of all leads to export to your CRM.
*Shows you exactly the response rate you received off the mailer and/or other advertising
*Allows you to capture not only ROI but missed opportunities
Why should I use it?
All the reasons above are many of the reasons our dealers choose Tri Auto. The largest gain we see from clients using Marketvision is our zip code analysis. After 3-4 sales with the technology Katy is able to perform an in depth look at what areas are performing best, we can then narrow in on those zip codes eliminating the ones that don't do well. This has allowed us to double response for the same (or less) budget with several of our clients.
Current clients-why do you use MarketVision? What should other dealers know about this program?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Are You Going Soft?

I'm fortunate enough to work with Bryan Neale at Caskey here in Indy. Caskey is a sales training firm. We were meeting together a couple of weeks ago and he was asking me about business, I was sharing with him the inventory struggles, tight credit and Clunkers ups & downs my clients have been facing as of late. He listened and finally said "are you going soft? It sounds like you've lost your edge Steph." And that got me thinking-was I starting to let everything going on around our industry affect my attitude and determination? Maybe a little--I can see now that I was starting to challenge dealers less on if what they were doing was working, starting to accept the notion that maybe the market couldn't be moved, basically stopped doing my job. What about you? I think we've all gone down that path a little this year. I see it changing in many of you though! Cash for Clunkers has reminded dealers what a full showroom is like-and given them hope that people are in the market to buy, they just have to have the right incentive to do it. So here's the real question-what are you going to do to keep from "going soft" again? ...and here's where I do my job. I can provide you with traffic, brainstorm new incentives to drive even more people in, and perhaps best of all, I can show you REAL DATA from hundreds of sales to help you determine what mailer would get you the results you are looking for.

Friday, August 14, 2009

*New Product Alert* Saturation Emails

Good morning all-just wanted to get the word out about a brand new program we're offering at Tri Auto! As most of my readers know we already offered personalized emails to your database or MarketVision list of emails. We typically send 3-4 different messages depending on the different groups of leads. For example people who purchased recently would get a service offer, while those that haven't bought in a few years would get a more sales focused email. However, now we can also do basically what we sometimes do with mail-saturate your market via email. I'll be honest, we've had the opportunity to get into this market before and have declined-there are a lot of shady ways to send out emails and we wanted to make sure we were keeping our clients compliant with phishing & spamming laws. Through a lot of diligence and searching we've found a way to do this for our dealers. I'll blog later on the best uses for saturation emails-but they are a great way to boost traffic to your next event type sale, database mailer or VIP event. You can saturate your entire market for pennies per email. Let me know if you want to talk in more detail on this new product.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dealer Inventory Shortages

The past couple of weeks I'm hearing about inventory challenges more and more. The Clunkers boom is beginning to start a new car shortage, and prices at the auctions are making pre-owned vehicles hard to come by. Obviously, I don't build cars in my garage so I can't help on the new side but here are a couple of ideas on the used car side:
  • Send out a true "buy back" mailer. We've all used these in the past with the aim to actual sell vehicles off of it-by why not actually try to buy back nice, late model used vehicles from the public? Chances are you'll get the same or better deal than you would at the auction and you've made a new contact--then it's just bonus points if they buy while they 're in! We've created a letter and an event style mailer for just this reason.
  • Ask for help! There are experts out there when it comes to working the auction circuit that can help you make sure your time is well spent. Devin Weisleder at Vuenu Media is one of those guys I happen to know. He helps dealers with knowing exactly what is selling in their market and which vehicles are most profitable, sorting those vehicles by which can gross dealers the most profit, displays which lenders are financing those vehicles AND he knows where and when those vehicles will be running at upcoming auctions. Devin helps a lot of dealers, he might be able to help you too--and their reports start at only $395!
  • Get online. Spread the word that you are paying top dollar for local vehicles on your website, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. If you aren't completely savvy in the social media world try an email campaign. You could saturate your entire market for just a couple thousand dollars!
  • Call me. If you are having trouble with inventory, don't hesitate to call. Our best ideas are spurred by conversations with real dealers about their real issues. We'll talk through it and see if there is anything I can do to help.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What do we do with all this...traffic!?

Love it or hate it the C.A.R.S. program has ignited an interest in car buying again across the country. All week I've been hearing things like:
"Last month was close to, if not our best new car month ever." - Ford Dealer, Troy, OH
"July ended as our best month in a long long time and we're hoping August will be even better." - CJD Dealer, Chickasha, OK
One thing is for sure-traffic is up. New car, Used car, clunker traffic and lookers-with all the media buzz the public's focus has again shifted to vehicles. Now that your showroom is full again--what do you do with all that traffic!? Here are just ten ideas for making the most of the increase in traffic:
1. Get their email addresses! Many of these customers have probably never stepped foot in your store before, make sure the salespeople are going through the process and getting all their info--including emails! This is a great time to build your prospect database for future marketing.
2. Put your best foot forward. This program truly is unique and rare--make sure the dealership staff is making a good impression and building strong relationships that will outlast the current program and hype.
3. Reach out to your current customers. With all the commotion make sure your message is loud and clear to the people you've done business with in the past: "We appreciate you and want you back!"
4. Maintain positive attitudes. Things are crazy, and this is a good thing! Watch out for deteriorating attitudes as tensions rise on busy days.
5. Continue the momentum. With your marketing you always have to be looking ahead. Two weeks from now what will the showroom look like? Now that the first rush of Clunkers customers has come and gone how will you continue the steady flow of traffic? We've already developed some pieces for this time frame so give me a call if you'd like some ideas.
6. Refine your sales process. Over the past few months things may have become a little rusty, utilize your morning or weekly sales meetings to brush up on the basics.
7. Ask for referrals! Print up some fliars with the dealership info on them and info on a bird dog or gift for referring friends and neighbors. Again-basic Sales 101, but are you doing it at your dealership?
Shoot me an email if you'd like the final three ideas on what to do with the increase of traffic at your dealership. If you haven't seen the increase in traffic it might be a good idea to email too-we can help with that.