Direct mail campaigns can hit the target or fall flat, depending on the approach. It can be frustrating spending hours putting together a campaign, only to get hit with a lack of response and interest. 

While it can often seem like the results are random, there are reasons why some direct mail campaigns become successful while others get lost in the trash. So, what are the top reasons so many people are trashing your auto shop mailers?

7 reasons your auto shop mailers are getting trashed

1. Your mail looks like the dozens they receive every day from other marketers. 

The increase of consumers getting marketing messages in their email and mailboxes has led individuals to become bored and suspicious. Most people know when an email is one of “those” emails or a piece of mail is salesy. These approaches all have the same things in common. They are boring, repetitive, and trash. 

Pile of mail

Before your next auto shop mailer or direct mail piece goes out to potential customers, ask yourself this question. Does my mailer look like every other mailer being sent out? If you answer yes, it is time to get creative. A new mail program can shake things up and bring new life to your campaign. 

Think about your audience and the best way to get their attention and keep it. Stop it with the same old approach everyone else is using and be daring.

2. You have an unclear call to action. 

Auto Mail 101 should have taught you that the call to action is critical. The biggest mistake people make when creating auto shop mailers is they become too wordy. You need to be brief and get right to the point.

Your readers need to know how they can move forward. If you do not instruct them to move, they will not. How many times have you received an amazing auto shop mailer that ends with no clear direction? We call this a waste of time.

Even worse than not including a clear call to action is adding one that makes people jump through too many hurdles. Consumers want to act instantly. If it takes too many steps or is difficult, your mailer goes in the trash.

3. Your mailer lacks communication skills.

The message you are trying to offer should be crystal clear. Have you ever read a mailer you needed to read three or four times before the meaning became clear?

Question mark

Do not go on and on like your Aunt Erma. Get straight to the point if you want to see a better return on investment and fewer people trashing your auto shop mailer campaigns. 

Your readers should know your intentions right away. The content of the auto shop mailer should be to-the-point, intriguing, and wrapped up in a nice bow that pulls it all together. Anything else will lead to your mailer getting put in the trash, where it will go to the void.

4. Your auto shop mailer looks outdated.

Do you know a website that looks like it has not gotten a fresh coat of paint since Britney Spears became an adult? Yes, that one! If you expect to gain any attention with your mailers, you have got to stop using old templates, fonts, and messages used fifteen years ago or longer. If your ideas and tools are old, maybe it is time to work with someone who is successful in mail campaigns and knows how to get attention.

5. You are missing the target.

If your auto shop mailers seem to misfire worse than your old Chevelle, the reason could be a lack of research. Some marketers send the same tired mail piece to every single person on their list. 

Successful marketers research their customers. They design their mailers to match the audience, and they end up getting better results. It is important you know exactly who to target and what to say. 

You must be careful with your audience and target their interests. Sending out the same mailer to everyone is like swinging a bat in every direction and hoping to make a hit. It just won’t happen!

6. You are trying to sell instead of helping your readers. 

If your readers think your email marketing response is a sales pitch, they will trash it faster than an unwanted fruit cake. You must remember an auto shop mailer is not about trying to sell a product or service in any way possible. 

It is about solving a problem for your readers. If you can solve their problem, they will make a move. Make them realize they have a problem and then offer the solution. It really is that simple.

7. Your mailer is full of grammar and spelling errors.

Just because many people are used to “text speak” does not mean it is acceptable for a business to engage in this type of communication. The reason your direct mail is in the trash is likely because it is filled with grammar errors that make you look unprofessional, unpolished, and unready. 

Please edit your mailers before hitting send or going to the printer. Use editing software and have more than one person check for errors. Your mailers should be highly professional. Spelling errors do not equal good ROI metrics. 

Improve your mail marketing campaign now

If your mail marketing campaigns have been unsuccessful, there is hope. Mail campaigns are highly profitable when they are used correctly. Whether you are reaching out to current customers or seeking new ones, there are ways to improve your plans and see a better return on your investment. Try these tips now for better success, whether in digital or print form:

  • Make the most of blank areas on your mailer. People are more likely to keep reading if you allow their eyes to rest. Use brief sentences. Use lists and indentions to break up walls of text. With better readability, more people will understand the contents of your message and take action. 
  • Get to the point as quickly as possible, using as few lines of text as you can. This is not the time to bring a long message. Think about your grandpa’s fishing stories and how long he takes to get to the point. You need to get there faster. 
  • Use vivid colors without allowing your mailer to become too bright. Boring white backgrounds with black text will put your readers to sleep. If you do not want your mailers headed for the trash, make them colorful, exciting, and interesting. Color is an important part of successful mail campaigns. 
  • Use a friendly tone. You are writing to them. Use I and you throughout the piece. Do not be afraid to use simple words. This is how people speak. Pretend you are talking to a friend. 
  • Your first paragraph needs to get them interested right away. If you do not grab their attention in the first couple of lines, their interest is gone. Practice makes perfect. Learn to write a good introduction and you will always interest your audience. 
  • Make sure the biggest part of your letter explains the benefits of your products or services. Be clear with your reasons for offering them answers.
  • Appealing to their emotions is over half the battle. Stop being salesy and get to the main point. People decide with their emotions and not their brains. Remember that each time you create a mailer. 
  • Increasing the urgency of your mailer is important. You want people to feel as if they should act right now. Taking a lazy approach to the offer gives them too much time to think about things. 
  • Never underestimate the word free. Offering a free gift is a great way to create more interest. Giving something away improves the offer and makes it more interesting for your readers. 

Stop the waiting!

So, your last few mailer campaigns have been terrible. No responses mean your hard work went right to the trash. If you have been putting off changing up your auto shop mailer or direct mail campaign, now is the time to get started.

With the above information, you should be more than ready to face your fears about rejection. You may not be able to create the perfect campaign overnight, but with practice and determination, you will reap the rewards with a better ROI. 

Putting these tips into action takes guts. You need to rethink your thinking completely. A good mail campaign does not write or mail itself. First, think about your audience. Next, consider their emotions. Finally, write a clear and urgent call to action. 

If you use the tips above, you will no longer have to worry about mailer campaigns being successful. When you can solve their problems and make them realize what you are offering, the deal is done.

There is no time like the present to rewrite and re-design your auto shop mailers and direct mail campaigns. Avoid taking the lazy way. Instead, be creative and make your mailers stand out from the rest. 

Our experts specialize in both print and digital marketing for auto repair shops and are offering a free marketing assessment when you contact the team at UpSwell!

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