How Does $40K Gross on a $4K Investment Sound?

Did my headline stop your scanning eyes? That’s how an IntelligentMail direct marketing campaign grabs the attention of your customers and then pulls them directly into your dealership.

IntelligentMail is a unique collaboration of on-demand digital color printing with customer and vehicle-specific data. The data pulled from the customer database is used to create compelling messages targeted to each individual customer’s identified “buy” points.

An average dealer using this collaborative direct marketing approach typically spends one dollar per each mail piece and from a 4,000-unit mailing, which typically enables them to sell 25 units—or on average 6.3 units per 1,000 highly selected database contacts mailed.

The numbers of most interest: mailings like this typically generate upwards of $40,000 return for a $4,000 marketing investment!

This type of technology makes highly personalized and customer-specific direct mail printing in full color affordable. Content for the mailers is based on deep database analysis that identifies individual customers’ possible buying opportunities.

Because of this combination of technologies applied to direct mail, dealers are creating uniquely individualized direct marketing offers with highly personalized messages and vehicle photos to help them accomplish several objectives.

  • Avoid lease mileage penalties for their customers.
  • Prevent customers from “driving self-insured”—driving without warranty protection.
  • Optimize trade-in values.
  • Offer customers a newer make and model for about the same monthly payments as on their current model.
  • Offer more value in continuing their business with your dealership, to retain their business longer and perhaps conquer other members of their household as well.

This kind of direct marketing can easily accommodate individual messages personalized to each customer’s ownership situation. Thus, the value proposition to the customer is always pertinent and real.

IntelligentMail delivers correct individual messages to specific customers – at the right time – to help your dealership retain their business long into the future. Benefits to dealers include:

  • Being able to source late model, retail trades
  • Create new purchases from orphaned customers
  • Boost customer retention by providing unparalleled value to customers, by being a hero that:
    • Alerts them to the danger of lease mileage penalties and offers opportunities to move into a newer unit for about the same monthly payment

    • Salvages customers purchase regrets, due to wrong color choices, or body type, etc. This process help you identify other vehicle options they might prefer and for about the same monthly payment

    • Prevents them from running out of warranty protection

This kind of sophisticated direct marketing requires tight integration with the customer database. It also requires the right kind of print and fulfillment technologies. A library or source for quality photos of the vehicles you sell is also important to have. Duplicating the IntelligentMail campaign with parallel email marketing campaigns that replicate the offers mailed to your customers will help boost closing rates.

Some dealerships might have the resources internally to manage such highly effective, highly targeted direct marketing campaigns like this. However, others may want to outsource this function to a capable direct mail provider.

Finally, what helps make this kind of direct marketing campaign so potent is the sophisticated customer-specific data modeling, creative design and buyer-specific messaging. Furthermore, because so many customers today care less about vehicle cost than affordable monthly payments, all price quotes offered to customers through such mailers should reflect 100 percent of the MSRP.

Boyd Warner is CEO of AutoAlert®, Inc. (, the most advanced lead generation solution available on the market today. Contact him at

Boyd Warner


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