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Contests are a simple, innovative way to get more traffic to your dealership. Who wouldn’t want the chance to win a car, a night on the town, or a vacation?

Many car dealers are beginning to understand the power of offering something for free. Even in times of economic security, free stuff tends to go over well among any target demographic.

Online marketing has made creating and promoting contests super easy – but you can increase the power and reach of your contests by including your automotive direct marketing materials as part of your plan.

Stretch Your Contest Across Platforms

Not all your customers are going to be browsing on the internet at all times – so unless you’re blipping information about your contest to your audience 24/7, some people may not know about it.

You can address this issue by creating custom automotive direct mail pieces that fit your audience’s needs. Target a specific neighborhood or demographic in your city and surrounding areas, or offer to draw winners from a certain pot of entrants.

Connect Online with Offline

You can also connect your online marketing with offline efforts by asking people to go to your website and enter the contest. A series of automotive direct mailers are a great way to do that. Coordinating online and offline contests with similar graphics, language, fonts, and any other visual elements will help your customers make the connection between your offline and online efforts.

Showcase Your Vehicles

When you create and market a contest, it’s important to show your cars – and to tie a special auto sale into your contest efforts. A winning customer might get a free vehicle, a trip somewhere in one of your vehicles with a qualified staff member accompanying, etc. You could also take the names and information of people who are looking to buy cars, and enter them into a contest for lower-priced leases or buys.

Once a winner is selected, you can design automotive direct mailers for people who didn’t win as well. People who didn’t win but still want to engage with you can be informed of further special deals and promotions they can be a part of. Automotive direct mail pieces are a great way to do this. You can get users to your site and keep contest losers in a funnel so you can market to them further.

There are several ways to do interesting contests, and no wrong way. Have fun, engage your users, and get people involved across channels.