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When it comes to holiday advertising for dealerships, so many lots are using the same tactics year after year. Santa Claus, snowflakes (which we went over in our last article), Christmas trees – why do the same thing over and over again?

If you’re interested in creating eye-catching automotive direct mailers, you may want to consider using imagery that’s relevant to your local area, the types of people who buy from you, and the way your dealership comes across to clients in image and in value.

Let’s start with your community. Many people go with Santa Claus because it’s the “safe” bet – but what if a large part of your demographic doesn’t celebrate Christmas with Santa? Traditional, “safe” Christmas imagery may not be so safe if it doesn’t appeal to your customer base.

Consider who the people with money are in your area. Are you getting those folks to your dealership year after year? If you’re not, you may wish to consider targeting particular neighborhoods with themes that match the financial or ethnic demographic of the area, or consider marketing certain features of affluent neighborhoods that users will connect with.

One great idea may be a “landmarks around the city” campaign, with a different mailer printed up using each different landmark. You can target these mailers to a customer’s particular neighborhood based on the location or history of the landmark.

Bold Design

Just because you make the decision to go with less traditional imagery doesn’t mean you can slack on the colors and template creation. You have to make sure that the way you present that imagery is as bold, tasteful and eye-catching as any other design you would create and show your customers.

Many automotive direct mailers are “run of the mill”, but many others with bold designers end up using combinations of colors and imagery that are attractive. Before you go with any mailer, test it on members of your staff and those close to you. You might also want to select a few professionals in your life who you aren’t close to, as these folks will usually be honest. Don’t skimp on the design elements, even after you select great imagery.

Preparing for the holidays

You should already be thinking about holiday promotions – you’re going to be running up against printing and mailing deadlines if you haven’t already begun. It’s a great time of the year to reconsider your marketing strategy for November and December – which are typically some of the busiest times of year for car dealership managers and marketers.

Start nailing down your strategy not just for this year, but additional years – and you can save yourself a lot of headaches. You also have an opportunity to plan out great promotional mailers that will really attract some attention.