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Make Your Trigger Mail Count

There is a monster out there. It is the troll under the digital bridge that leads to your potential client’s inbox, and it is hungry for your marketing materials. Newsletter software has become smart, but so has the anti-spam software. It is very adept at identifying unwanted email and terabytes of valuable marketing is lost in the mix.

Escape the clutches of the spam blocker with real mail that bypasses anti-spam filters and gets opened. A trigger mail campaign applies new technologies to classic marketing. The result is effective to direct mail that potential clients want to open. In fact, they open our letters almost every time. This results in a response rate of more than 10%!

There is a great deal of noise out there. This is a big term in advertising, and breaking through it is the subject of many expensive debates. Our solution is a classic strategy that combats this modern roadblock. Put it to use as part of your next mail marketing campaign and see the difference trigger mail it makes.

One of the ways we achieve these results is by using more than one bureau. Our competitors only use one. This helps our mailing list stand head and shoulders above other direct mail campaigns. Of course, our mailers are compelling and interactive, giving clients the option to respond via toll-free call with a real person or our secure website.

Even though our direct trigger mail system avoids the spam filter, it does not forego technology. We transmit every valuable lead to you via e-mail immediately after receiving an application. This puts you in direct contact with qualified consumers—your potential customers. If you prefer, your leads can be sent directly to CRM systems, as well.

To ensure our and your company’s good name, our direct trigger mail campaigns and call center adhere to all “Do Not Call” requirements. This is just another way we answer the question: What is spam, and how do we manage it? It is also a way we protect our marketing materials  from anti-spam software.

How You Can Have an Unlimited Marketing Budget By Denny Long

There are few things that frustrate me more than hearing a client that made four to ten times what they spent on marketing say that they can’t spend any more! What? You spent $2,500 and made $25,000 in gross profit, but the owners have given you a budget? This make no sense at all!

When you “budget” your marketing, you are apparently saying that your marketing programs aren’t working. In many cases, that may be true. That’s why it’s important to track everything you do in marketing. If it’s not working, you shouldn’t be doing it! If it is working, you should be doing more of it!

John Wanamaker, one of the pioneers of marketing, once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Advertising was hard to track over 100 years ago when Mr. Wanamaker made this statement, but in today’s world, there’s no excuse for not knowing which of your marketing programs are working. Today we have computers, tracking phone numbers, great CRMs, trackable websites, and many fantastic lead providers that will all help you track your advertising investment.

Yes, I said advertising investment! Great marketing is not an expense; it’s an investment, an investment that should always return multiples of the amount of money invested. It has been said that, over many years, the stock market has returned an average of 7% annually. Based on that, if you have $10,000 invested in the stock market, your return on that “investment” is about $58.34 per month. If you invest that same $10,000 on marketing and generate four to ten times the amount invested, your return will be $30,000 to $90,000 per month.

Granted, the gross profit made on sales doesn’t all go directly into your pocket, but I promise you, you’ll have a lot more left than $58.34. Let’s say you invest $10,000 in a marketing program. With the leads generated you sell 20 vehicles at an average gross profit of $2,500 for a total of $50,000. If you pay out 30% of that money in commissions that’s $15,000. Let’s say that there are other expenses that add up to another 10% or $5,000. So, you made $50,000, invested $10,000 in the marketing program, paid out $15,000 in commissions, and paid out another $5,000 in other expenses. That leaves you with $20,000! I’m a business owner too and I know that much of the profit from incremental sales goes straight to the bottom line and into my pocket. That’s the great thing about owning a business.

Now that you have a better understanding of marketing as an investment, you must start treating it like you would any other investment. You must know your numbers! What gets measured, gets managed! If a department head wants to spend money on a marketing campaign, give it to them, but make sure they know that you will want the numbers after the campaign. And the most important numbers are the amount invested and the return on that investment. In other words, what did we spend and how much gross profit was created from sales to the leads generated. The cost per lead and the cost per vehicle sold is NOT important. The only important factor in “Investment Marketing” is the multiple of money spent to gross profit generated.

That brings up another important point: You invest money to generate leads. How well are those leads being worked? Are your people following up on every lead until they “buy or die?” Watch for future articles on how to best track these important items.

You should also realize that selling more vehicles using Investment Marketing will cause logistical challenges. You will need to buy more vehicles, you may burn out some of your people, and you will need to decide what to do with all the extra money you’re making. Some of that money should be invested in training your people. That’s another investment that will pay big dividends! Your lead providers likely have some great training material that is there for the asking.

Start treating your marketing as an investment and enjoy the dividends! Good luck and good selling!

To BDC or Not to BDC – That Is the Question! – By Denny Long

Before we get too far into this post, the answer to the question is a resounding YES! Big or small, if you want to compete in today’s market effectively, you should definitely be working on your BDC. The job of a BDC is to make sure you take full advantage of every opportunity available. Opportunities wasted are opportunities lost.

We spend lots of money generating leads, but there is very little effort spent working the leads that we get. In many cases, a new lead receives one attempted phone call. If we do not make physical contact with that first call, we leave a message then go on to the next lead, never to go back to the previous lead.

If you are still on the fence, look at these three ways your BDC can maximize leads and even create new ones!

  1. Incoming Calls and Leads

This should be the first job of a BDC. Thousands of vehicle sales are gained or lost each day based on how incoming phone calls and leads are handled. The consumer contacts us to ask questions, but many times we forget to ask the consumer questions. In a high percentage of cases, the salesperson fails even to get the name of those calling. We are talking about someone that’s in the market right now, and we do not even know who they are. The goal with each contact should be to get a name and set an appointment.

  1. Outgoing Calls

We see this as one of the major failures of most marketing campaigns. The manufacturers have been very disappointed with the follow up on the leads they generate and supply. Many salespeople that are great at face-to-face sales are terrible at working the phone. Your BDC teams are experts at handling these outgoing calls because that is all they do. The goal should be to contact 100% of your leads by phone, and leaving a message is not considered a contact. You cannot set an appointment with an answering machine.

Your BDC should also take the lead on contacting references for customer applications (those references can become new leads as well!). Moreover, there’s one more group of highly neglected leads, your past customers.

  1. Dead Leads

You should not limit outgoing calls to just new leads. Your BDC team should also be calling what many consider “dead leads.” There are many reasons for a missed appointment, but so many times we just assume the consumer lost interest. The only way to find out what happened is with a follow-up call. In most cases, we find that the appointment can be rescheduled.

  1. Follow-Up Letters

You should build a series of letters to follow up on leads and customers. These letters should be sent without fail. You should also send birthday cards or letters. This is one of the most powerful methods of building a close bond with your customers. From this, you can incentivize your referral program, maintain brand recognition, and grow customer loyalty, all in one simple letter.We have sample follow up letters available for free , so please do not hesitate to contact me at denny@creditmailexperts.com

The BDC should be the centerpiece of your future marketing efforts. It is an investment that will pay huge dividends. Your competition will wonder how you increased sales so much without increasing your advertising. We will just keep that as our little secret. Good Luck and Good Selling!

About the author:

Through his extensive knowledge of computers, programming, direct marketing, and the automotive business, he has created a number of special analysis tools to help dealerships get more from their advertising dollars. Denny has been in the automotive and direct marketing industries for over 30 years with a passion for the special finance and BHPH areas. He has also been a featured speaker at many trade events and is known across the country as one of the top marketing experts in the industry.He can be contacted at denny@creditmailexperts.com.

Direct Mail Marketing For Auto Dealers

Does your auto dealership cater to customers with bankruptcies or repossessions in their past? If so, it is important to develop a marketing strategy that efficiently targets this niche. Many people in this category believe that affordable car loans remain unavailable to them, so they tend to disregard automotive ads on the TV and radio.

A more cost-effective option is to use direct mail marketing. It enables you to tell specific people that they qualify for auto financing at your dealership. You can easily change the channel or delete an email message without opening it, but it is hard to ignore an eye-catching paper advertisement in your mailbox.

Targeted Direct Mail vs Mass Mailings – Mass mailings have the same problem as radio and television. You must pay to reach a broad audience, but the ads only appeal to people with low credit scores. Fortunately, you can boost response rates and save money by using targeted mailings. Your message will only reach potential customers with the desired characteristics.

Auto dealers often see impressive results when they switch to targeted direct mail marketing. Automotive News reports that one dealership in Ohio cut the size of its mailings in half and quadrupled the response rate. Many businesses have increased spending on targeted mail because it lets them customize special offers for specific readers.

Credit-based subprime leads uses credit records and demographic data to identify potential customers. For example, you might choose to market a certain car loan to anyone who recently filed for bankruptcy. You can also send mailings to drivers with low credit scores or people who lost cars to repossession during the past year.

Other Marketing Factors  Well-targeted ads do not guarantee high response rates. To attract customers with direct mail marketing, you need appealing ads and desirable offers. A toll-free number also helps, especially if people can call at convenient hours. It has been shown that some readers become more responsive when mailings include website addresses or alternate contact information.

Our company offers a proven advertising solution that reliably enhances response rates. We handle every aspect of the direct mail marketing program, so you do not have to worry about writing ads or mailing letters. Credit Mail Experts can customize a campaign to suit your dealership’s advertising budget, geographic area, and target market.

  • No need to print, stamp or mail your ads
  • Customers dial our toll-free phone number
  • Our call center forwards promising leads

Subprime Credit – Asking The Right Questions

Are Your Sales People Asking The Right Subprime Credit Questions ?

Statistics show that somewhere between 30% and 60% of those walking onto your lot have subprime credit.. A few simple questions can help determine if you are talking to a customer who has subprime credit and needs sub-prime lending.

This will make a tremendous difference in your closing ratio. Working with the right Finance Manager who is trained in the right methods can greatly increase the profitability of your dealership. That will increase the rate at which you sell your sub-prime and used inventory.

  1. Where did you purchase your current vehicle?
    In most cases, the subprime credit customer will not have a problem sharing this information with you, but the answers can tell you a lot. For example, a customer that went to a dealership known for special finance, there’s a good chance the customer may still need some help with their credit.
    If the last car purchased at a dealership that does not do subprime ,you know there is a good chance you are dealing with a prime prospect. What if they  purchased their car for cash outright? That is another sign they may have little to no or bad credit that may need the special handling of a Finance Manager.
  • Was it a franchised store like Chevrolet, Ford or Chrysler or a Buy Here Pay Here dealership.?
  • Why did they choose that place to go ?
  1. Which company financed your current vehicle?

Make sure your salespeople have a list of the subprime lenders. A good follow-up question might be “What other finance companies did you look at when purchasing the vehicle?”

  • For example: Did the subprime credit customer use a deep lender such as Westlake Financial or Credit Acceptance or did they go through a captive lender such as General Motors or Ford Motor Credit ?
  1. What is your opinion of that finance company?

The third question is a real giveaway. When customer tells you they do not like the current finance company because they call all of the time, take that customer directly to your finance manager. We all know finance companies only call for one reason – to collect payments. Those of us who make our payments on time never hear from our lenders and most likely have no positive or negative opinion of the lender.

 

Once your customer is in the right place, closing the deal becomes that much easier. Your Finance Manager can handle the harder questions involving credit, get scores, and discuss options. Customers fell more comfortable when they are talking not only to some one that can help them but with someone who cares.Not to mention, you did not potentially embarrass a customer by drilling them about income and credit as soon as they walked in the door to make the right determination.