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Mail Shark

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About Mail Shark

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  • Business Name
    Mail Shark
  • Business Address
    4125 New Holland Road, Mohnton, Pennsylvania, 19540
  • Type of Business
    Marketing to Auto Shops
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    Marketing To Shops
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  1. Tracking the return on your auto repair shop’s direct mail marketing can be a challenge. One tool that can give you a tremendous amount of transparency into your direct mail ROI and that I recommend almost 100% of the time is call tracking. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what call tracking is and how it works, it involves putting a unique phone number on your direct mail that isn’t used anywhere else. When someone calls the number, it forwards immediately and seamlessly to your main phone line. This gives you the ability to track and record all phone calls from this special number, in turn giving you some transparency into how your direct mail marketing is performing. There are of course many other nuances, capabilities, and uses for call tracking that you can learn about from companies like CallRail or Conversa, just to name a few. That said, it’s critical you understand call tracking is NOT the be-all end-all when it comes to determining how well your direct mail marketing is working. If this were the case, you’d have to assume that 100% of every new repair order you get calls directly from your mailer. However, we all know this will never be the case. Here are a few reasons why. Your Online Presence Before they consider using you repair shop, many prospects will go online to check out your website. If a customer lands on your website – assuming you aren’t using a PURL (Personalized URL), which is almost never the case with most auto repair shops – they do their research and then call your shop from the phone number on your website. In this situation, you immediately lose insight on how they heard about you. Customers are also reading your online reviews, whether on social media or review sites. Sites like Demandforce, SureCritic, Carfax, Repair Pal, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. all have your shop’s contact details, including your phone number. Any call from customers who used these sites removes transparency on how they heard about you. Walk-Ins Our auto repair shop clients consistently tell us customers will just stop by their shop with their direct mail piece in hand. I’m not just talking about quick lube shops that are based on walk-in traffic. I’m talking about general and specialty auto repair shops. It’s great when customers have your mailer with them, because you can attribute these customers to your direct mail marketing. However, this won’t be reflected in your call tracking, which is another reason call tracking isn’t the be-all end-all when determining ROI. Online Appointment Scheduling More and more auto repair shops are offering online appointment scheduling. We like to position these shops as being easy to work with, and part of that is promoting their online appointment scheduling. We include verbiage on our direct mail pieces to inform customers they can conveniently schedule online, and most times we accompany this with a QR code that brings them directly to the appointment scheduling page. This is similar to my first point regarding your online presence and website. However, I also want to point out this specific example because in these cases, we’re actively pushing people to go online to schedule their repair or maintenance service, thus losing transparency from call tracking. All that said, call tracking is an effective tool that gives you a lot of transparency into your direct mail marketing ROI. However, you should also be running matchback reports that compare new repair orders during (and in the trailing months following your campaign) to your direct mail list. This helps you identify customers who were missed on call tracking or by your service advisor. You can then use your call tracking data in conjunction with your matchback reporting to get a clearer picture of your direct mail ROI. If you’re using EDDM® Retail or EDDM® BMEU, you won’t be able to execute matchback reporting because there’s no mailing list to compare your repair orders with. Josh Davis Mail Shark Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Email: [email protected] www.TheMailShark.com/Auto
  2. There’s an old adage in marketing: “features tell and benefits sell.” This is critical to keep in mind when you’re promoting your auto repair shop. If your prospective customers don’t understand the features your shop offers, how they’ll benefit from these features, and why they should consider your shop for their next repair or maintenance service, you may lose them to your competition. The main constraint you’ll encounter when emphasizing benefits on your direct mail is usually space. There are a lot of important elements an effective direct mail advertisement should contain, all of which are fighting for valuable space. Furthermore, putting too much information on an ad can make it cluttered and hard to read, which could diminish your return. A great solution to this problem is to provide a clear, concise, and organized list of your shop’s features that can easily be scanned by your prospects. Depending on the available space, there are two ways you can do this. If you have limited space, you can simply list your benefits out in a bulleted list. If you have extra space, you can list them out in conjunction with an icon to help illustrate the benefit and call additional attention to them. Here’s a starting point to help you develop and build a list of your shop’s features and benefits. Quality -Are your technicians ASE certified? -Do you offer a warranty on your work? -Do you offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee? Affordability -Do you offer any financing options? Comfort -Do you offer any amenities in your waiting room? Convenience -Do you offer any type of shuttle service or loaner car service? -Do you offer same day service on most repairs? -Do you offer early drop-off and/or after-hours pick-up? -Do you offer roadside assistance? -Do you offer online appointment scheduling? Trust -Are all repairs approved by your customer before any work is done? Pro Tip: Make sure you give your list of benefits a header. Something like: “Why Choose XYZ Auto” or “Our Benefits For You.” or “10 Reasons to Choose XYZ” Josh Davis Mail Shark Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Email: [email protected] www.TheMailShark.com/Auto
  3. Here’s a marketing idea I wanted to share with everyone. Auto shop owners and marketers are focused on targeting the local residential community. But what about all of the businesses that employ people who work in the area but don’t live in the area? These employees are all great prospects for auto repair services. The challenge is effectively targeting and reaching them. One idea is to create a flyer that doubles as a break room poster. The poster should have a use case explicitly telling the business owner what you want them to do with your poster. Let them know they simply need to hang it in their break room to share the savings with their colleagues and employees. We recommend clipless coupons or specials, which increase the lifespan of the poster and keep it intact for longer than it would if employees were tearing coupons off. Employees will simply take a picture of the coupon they want to use and show it to you upon redemption.Tear-off coupons destroy posters and ultimately result in them being thrown away as soon as the coupons, offers, or specials are torn off. Using break room posters requires some legwork on the part of shop owners, since you’ll need to visit the businesses you want to target. However, the actual cost of the printed flyers is minimal. Let’s say you want to print 100 of them. At around $1 per piece, your total investment is $100 (give or take) depending on who does your printing. There really is no downside to giving break room posters a shot. Put a call tracking number on your poster to keep track of anyone who comes in to redeem your coupons to track ROI. There are plenty of companies that can print cheap flyers, so call around. Attached is an example of a popular layout that Mail Shark has been supplying shops with. Josh Davis Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Mobile: 484-269-3715 www.themailshark.com Example BreakRoom Poster.pdf
  4. Here’s a marketing idea I wanted to share with everyone. Auto shop owners and marketers are focused on targeting the local residential community. But what about all of the businesses that employ people who work in the area but don’t live in the area? These employees are all great prospects for auto repair services. The challenge is effectively targeting and reaching them. One idea is to create a flyer that doubles as a break room poster. The poster should have a use case explicitly telling the business owner what you want them to do with your poster. Let them know they simply need to hang it in their break room to share the savings with their colleagues and employees. We recommend clipless coupons or specials, which increase the lifespan of the poster and keep it intact for longer than it would if employees were tearing coupons off. Employees will simply take a picture of the coupon they want to use and show it to you upon redemption. Tear-off coupons destroy posters and ultimately result in them being thrown away as soon as the coupons, offers, or specials are torn off. Using break room posters requires some legwork on the part of shop owners, since you’ll need to visit the businesses you want to target. However, the actual cost of the printed flyers is minimal. Let’s say you want to print 100 of them. At around $1 per piece, your total investment is $100 (give or take) depending on who does your printing. There really is no downside to giving break room posters a shot. Put a call tracking number on your poster to keep track of anyone who comes in to redeem your coupons to track ROI. There are plenty of companies that can print cheap flyers, so call around. Attached is an example of a popular layout that Mail Shark has been supplying shops with. Josh Davis Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 www.TheMailShark.com Example BreakRoom Poster.pdf
  5. If you are currently sending or considering sending out direct mail by carrier route, there is one specific type of address you should be aware of called a Drop Stop AKA Drop Address. A Drop Stop is a “locked” location where postal carriers do not deliver mail to the individual units or boxes. They “drop” the mail in a designated location for the individual complex to distribute. Take a look at the attached. This photo is from a client of mine from years ago that wanted to test this area and mail this specific complex that we identified to be classified as a Drop Stop. *Although the majority of Drop Addresses are apartment complexes, the vast majority of apartment complexes are NOT considered drop address apartments. In addition to designated apartment complexes, some other types of drop addresses are some gated communities, trailer parks, etc. There are no absolute rules or policies for establishing an address as a drop delivery location. The determination of a drop delivery location is based on several factors. It may be the choice of the recipients at the address such as for gated communities or prestigious high-rise condominiums that the residents don’t wish to have their physical address information disclosed and elect instead to have their mail distributed by their building management. Where a delivery location is defined as a business delivery point such as a trailer park, the USPS may make the determination that all mail will be delivered to a central location and the responsibility for distribution to the individual recipients will be made by other than USPS personnel. All that said, the first step is to identify if any of the addresses in your area are classified as drop addresses. From here I typically always recommend removing these from a saturation mailer. You could have a tenant that sees a special offer and simply takes all of them or someone doesn’t like an employee at your business or had a bad experience, etc, etc. and simply takes them and dumps them in the trash. In my opinion in 99.8% of cases it makes no sense to pay for postage on pieces that may just get dropped on a table. I’m sure you would much rather have your direct mail marketing going to a physical address that you know will get delivered into the intended recipient’s mailbox. If you have any questions regarding Drop Addresses or would like to see if there are any in your immediate area, please let me know. Josh Davis Mail Shark Executive Vice President of Sales Direct: 484-948-1611 Email: [email protected] www.TheMailShark.com
  6. If you haven’t considered or utilized direct mail postcard magnets to attract new customers, now is the time to reevaluate this medium. Over the past 9 years, I have seen first-hand how effective direct mailing a postcard magnet can be for new customer acquisition as well as customer retention. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), who is quite a credible source, also reported in their DMA Statistical Fact Book that “A postcard with a magnet attached is read at least 51.9% more often than a traditional postcard.” With that said, I cannot speak to how this study was conducted, but this directly correlates to my real-world experience mailing millions of postcard magnets for our clients over the years. Why is now the right time to mail a postcard magnet? Postcard magnets are effective all year round. However, now is the perfect time to capitalize on the recently released NFL schedules, which will give you a great opportunity to beat your competitors. You’ll be the first company to get your region’s favorite team schedules on the fridge of your prospective customers. Another reason postcard magnets are so effective is this simple fact. Your target prospects may not have a broken car or need your services the exact day that you target them. Therefore, it is imperative that you are top of mind when a need arises and that’s exactly what postcard magnets accomplish. Consumers get them and intuitively put them on their fridge, keeping your brand constantly visible in their home. There are a number of companies that offer this product so get quotes & compare services. Again, it’s the perfect is the perfect time to execute this product. I have attached a few samples to give you a better idea of what the product can look like. If you have any questions, please let me know.
  7. If you haven’t considered or utilized direct mail postcard magnets to attract new customers, now is the time to reevaluate this medium. Over the past 9 years, I have seen first-hand how effective direct mailing a postcard magnet can be for new customer acquisition as well as customer retention. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), who is quite a credible source, also reported in their DMA Statistical Fact Book that “A postcard with a magnet attached is read at least 51.9% more often than a traditional postcard.” With that said, I cannot speak to how this study was conducted, but this directly correlates to my real-world experience mailing millions of postcard magnets for our clients over the years. Why is now the right time to mail a postcard magnet? Postcard magnets are effective all year round. However, now is the perfect time to capitalize on the recently released NFL schedules, which will give you a great opportunity to beat your competitors. You’ll be the first company to get your region’s favorite team schedules on the fridge of your prospective customers. Another reason postcard magnets are so effective is this simple fact. Your target prospects may not have a broken car or need your services the exact day that you target them. Therefore, it is imperative that you are top of mind when a need arises and that’s exactly what postcard magnets accomplish. Consumers get them and intuitively put them on their fridge, keeping your brand constantly visible in their home. There are a number of companies that offer this product so get quotes & compare services. Again, it’s the perfect is the perfect time to execute this product. I have attached a few samples to give you a better idea of what the product can look like. If you have any questions, please let me know.
  8. After speaking to a number of Euro & Specialty shops recently about executing targeted direct mail campaigns, I’ve realized there isn’t a clear understanding from the shop owners perspective about the capabilities and source of targeted auto lists. I hope to add some transparency to the subject here. What type of targeted auto data is available? Below is a list of 6 categories available to select specific vehicles to target, with the top 3 being the most widely used. I have also attached a sample report that illustrates an example of data from a list that was run by make, model & year. 1. Make 2. Model 3. Year 4. Fuel Type 5. Auto Class 6. Auto Style Where does this information come from? This seems to be the point of the most confusion. Targeted auto data is NOT available from any DMV. This is due to what is called the Shelby Act AKA Data Access Act. You can google Shelby Act and read a plethora of information about it on google. Since the DMV does not release this data, the actual data that is available is compiled using multiple sources. The following list includes the primary sources of where this data is derived from. This list includes but is not limited to: 1. Co-Registration: When someone goes to specific auto service businesses for example, they take down the vin number and car info and then sell this info the list compilers. That is just one example. Over 90% of lists will come from service industries that report the vin info. Info is lacking on new models because they didn’t go to a service provider that releases the data. 2. Responder info: Someone who fills out form from a magazine, surveys, or forms they filled out somewhere, etc. 3. Online insurance quotes 4. Warranty Companies 5. Transactional data: If the consumer has purchased something for their car such as a stereo or running boards, etc. 6. Major Car Clubs of America. 7. Aftermarket Repair Companies 8. Etc., What Questions to ask your direct mail &/Or List provider before purchasing a targeted vehicle mailing list. 1. Is your list triple verified? This means your list must have come from and have been verified by three sources in order for the record to be included. 2. Is your list NCOA’d? To NCOA a list means to utilize the post office data to validate that the recipient’s name matches their current address. This ensures that the owners of the vehicles haven't moved and are in fact located at the address confirmed. 3. Is your List Shelby compliant? In summation, I can tell you first hand that not all list providers are created equal. I have personally vetted over 10 of the top list vendors to choose our resource for targeted lists. Therefore, my strong recommendation is to do your research, ask all of the questions listed above and get a list count from more than one vendor to compare. I hope this helps and if there are any questions, please let message me. Targeted List Example.xls
  9. After speaking to a number of Euro & Specialty shops recently about executing targeted direct mail campaigns, I’ve realized there isn’t a clear understanding from the shop owners perspective about the capabilities and source of targeted auto lists. I hope to add some transparency to the subject here. 1. What type of targeted auto data is available? Below is a list of 6 categories available to select specific vehicles to target, with the top 3 being the most widely used. I have also attached a sample report that illustrates an example of data from a list that was run by make, model & year. 1. Make 2. Model 3. Year 4. Fuel Type 5. Auto Class 6. Auto Style 2. Where does this information come from? This seems to be the point of the most confusion. Targeted auto data is NOT available from any DMV. This is due to what is called the Shelby Act AKA Data Access Act. You can google Shelby Act and read a plethora of information about it on google. Since the DMV does not release this data, the actual data that is available is compiled using multiple sources. The following list includes the primary sources of where this data is derived from. This list includes but is not limited to: 1. Co-Registration: When someone goes to specific auto service businesses for example, they take down the vin number and car info and then sell this info the list compilers. That is just one example. Over 90% of lists will come from service industries that report the vin info. Info is lacking on new models because they didn’t go to a service provider that releases the data. 2. Responder info: Someone who fills out form from a magazine, surveys, or forms they filled out somewhere, etc. 3. Online insurance quotes 4. Warranty Companies 5. Transactional data: If the consumer has purchased something for their car such as a stereo or running boards, etc. 6. Major Car Clubs of America. 7. Aftermarket Repair Companies 8. Etc., 3. Questions to ask your direct mail &/Or List provider before purchasing a targeted vehicle mailing list. 1. Is your list triple verified? This means your list must have come from and have been verified by three sources in order for the record to be included. 2. Is your list NCOA’d? To NCOA a list means to utilize the post office data to validate that the recipient’s name matches their current address. This ensures that the owners of the vehicles haven't moved and are in fact located at the address confirmed. 3. Is your List Shelby compliant? In summation, I can tell you first hand that not all list providers are created equal. I have personally vetted over 10 of the top list vendors to choose our resource for targeted lists. Therefore, my strong recommendation is to do your research, ask all of the questions listed above and get a list count from more than one vendor to compare. I hope this helps and if there are any questions, please let message me. Targeted List Example.xls
  10. Mail Shark

    Mail Shark

  11. Are you using direct mail to market your auto shop? If you aren’t, it’s time to add this tried and true method to your marketing line-up. Direct mail is great for auto shops, whether you’re trying to increase your car count with new customers or retain existing ones. In this blog, we’ll explain how you can use direct mail to fill your bays and maximize your ROI. Be Consistent with Your Direct Mail Wondering why direct mail is a smart choice for auto shops? One of the biggest reasons is its effectiveness at driving new and returning business to your garage. However, to make direct mail work, you have to reach your prospects consistently. It’s a proven fact that it takes three or more exposures to an advertising message before consumers take action. That means you have to send multiple direct mail campaigns to stay top-of-mind and steadily grow your car count. Your customers might not be ready for a specific service when you mail the first time, but with persistence, they’ll eventually be ready to give you a chance to earn their business. Diversify the Automotive Coupons You Send Every auto shop should be sending coupons to their prospects. According to an NCH Marketing survey, 84% of consumers say coupons directly impact their store selection. And Vouchercloud found that 57% of shoppers make purchases at businesses they haven’t been to before because they were able to use a coupon. Make sure you diversify your coupon offerings, though. Don’t mail out coupons for similar services, like a serpentine belt replacement and a timing belt replacement. And make sure you’re sending offers that appeal to a broad audience. You should also avoid mailing coupons that are too specific or too technical. If your coupon can’t be used by almost anyone or would confuse someone who doesn’t know much about cars, don’t use it. We recommend sending the following three coupons with your direct mail: Oil Change Special Coupon This coupon gets prospects through your doors for a common, inexpensive service. Treat them well, and you can earn their future preventative maintenance and more expensive repairs. Tiered Dollar-Off Coupon Everyone can use this all-purpose coupon, so it’s sure to score you lots of new business. Always use this over a coupon for specific parts or services that aren’t useful to everyone. Free Warning Light Scan Coupon Offer a free warning light scan to bring people in for diagnostic tests. Once you’ve pinpointed their vehicle’s problem, you have the opportunity to earn their business and repair the issue. Conclusion Want to learn more about how direct mail can benefit your shop? The team of automotive direct mail experts at Mail Shark are available to consult with you on the best strategy for your business. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today by visiting this page or calling 484-738-0814.
  12. Mail Shark is a full-service print and direct mail company specializing in helping auto repair shops and tire dealers increase their car count and customer base. We approach direct mail strategically by providing penetration reports and demographic analysis to make sure you’re reaching the right people with a variety of exciting products. Not only do we make direct mail affordable by giving you the flexibility to spread out your mailings and payments on a weekly basis, our approach makes it easier for you to manage your car count, budget, and your business. From expert consulting and professional design to commercial printing and postal expertise, we’re a one-stop-shop for all your direct mail needs. This full-service approach allows us to offer unbeatable pricing and unmatched customer service. Best of all, we’re independently owned and operated, which means we work for you, not a group of investors.


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