Postcard Campaign -- Looking for input

24 replies
I work for a truck dealership, and we are try to drive some leads to our sales people. This one is a bit more narrow focused, as we sell a product from Mitsubishi Fuso. These are the commercial, smaller cab-over trucks found around the world. We are in the USA.

The game plan:
1) Send out 2,000 post cards offering customers (other business owners) $50 to come test drive a truck
2) Special landing page listed on postcard, along with 1-800 # that has call recording and such (Using CallFire that someone else on WF recommended)
3) A week after mailing the postcard, I have 5 people at our business who are going to call each of the recipients and ask when they would like to schedule the appointment. I have good names for about 50% of the 1,000 we are mailing, not the other half.
4) On this call, our people will be scheduling appointments for the test drives.

Customers get the $50 Amazon gift card when the salesperson emails me their contact info, and I then email the customer the $50 gift card.

What am I missing? Any tips/tricks/traps that I should know about?

Any expectations I should have for # of leads generated?

We've never done anything like this before, so I'm trying to cover all bases.

Here is the postcard, it will an oversized one (6" x 9"): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...tcard%20v2.pdf

Our mailing list is very focused from our CRM software & previous customers we've had.
#campaign #input #postcard
  • Profile picture of the author wsands
    Couple of things:

    1. When someone calls the 1-800 number, will it route directly to your office so they can talk to a live person? Or is it a recording? I would definitely recommend a live person answer that, callfire has a whisper message that the person answering the phone hears before the call is connected, so the person answering the phone can know that they are about to talk to a lead from the postcard campaign and to schedule the test drive.

    2. Since your list is from previous customers, it should be good. I wouldn't wait a week after the postcard hits, I would start calling the next day. "Hey you received our postcard in the mail yesterday offering $50 to come test drive, would you like $50?" I personally think a week is too long, especially since you have a May 30th deadline.

    So lets say you hit mailboxes by the 8th, call the 9th-12th, test drive, test drive, test drive, then on like the 20th-23rd, I would call everyone who either didn't answer, or didn't schedule a test drive again.

    Do you also have email addresses for your customers? Email the offer out too!
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    • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
      Originally Posted by wsands View Post

      Couple of things:

      1. When someone calls the 1-800 number, will it route directly to your office so they can talk to a live person? Or is it a recording? I would definitely recommend a live person answer that, callfire has a whisper message that the person answering the phone hears before the call is connected, so the person answering the phone can know that they are about to talk to a lead from the postcard campaign and to schedule the test drive.

      2. Since your list is from previous customers, it should be good. I wouldn't wait a week after the postcard hits, I would start calling the next day. "Hey you received our postcard in the mail yesterday offering $50 to come test drive, would you like $50?" I personally think a week is too long, especially since you have a May 30th deadline.

      So lets say you hit mailboxes by the 8th, call the 9th-12th, test drive, test drive, test drive, then on like the 20th-23rd, I would call everyone who either didn't answer, or didn't schedule a test drive again.

      Do you also have email addresses for your customers? Email the offer out too!
      The 1-800 number goes a live person answering. It actually rings 2 phones at the same time, so one of my two people will (hopefully) answer the call.

      I was worried about calling about this offer, but they didn't have the postcard yet ... I guess we can always just mention that it should be there any day now.

      I wish I had email addresses for all of them, I don't... maybe 20%. I have over 10,000 people on our email list, but I was concerned about over-broadcasting the message ... Maybe once I get through the initial 2,000 I can do the mass email and see what hits.

      Some people in our company have concerns about non-qualified buyers (people who just want $50) taking us up on this offer and our company shelling out a bunch of money so I was trying to restrict it somehow.

      Thank you for the feedback! I'll make sure to post results of the campaign after to let everyone know how it goes!
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      • Profile picture of the author themikerogers
        Some people in our company have concerns about non-qualified buyers (people who just want $50) taking us up on this offer and our company shelling out a bunch of money so I was trying to restrict it somehow.
        That's a chance you have to take. But...

        Tell everyone that comes in that "they will receive their gift card by email in 3-5 days" and collect their email address for your list (use an ipad so they can sign up online, right there in the office - if they don't opt-in to the mailing list - and the ones that just wanted $50 probably won't - they won't get the gift card).
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        • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
          Originally Posted by themikerogers View Post

          That's a chance you have to take. But...

          Tell everyone that comes in that "they will receive their gift card by email in 3-5 days" and collect their email address for your list (use an ipad so they can sign up online, right there in the office - if they don't opt-in to the mailing list - and the ones that just wanted $50 probably won't - they won't get the gift card).
          Good idea, we will do just that! That should help curb it.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Several things.

    For one, you want to make sure they're in a position where you can sell them a vehicle. So when they call, there should be some "qualifying" questions to ask so you can determine if you've got someone who might buy.

    Then I'd also rephrase the offer to tie it more into selling them the test drive and vehicle.

    "If you don't feel the Mitsubishi Fuso's the best ride you've ever had, we'll give you fifty bucks just for trying it out."

    So to get the $50 they don't just have to show up and test drive it, they'd have to tell the salesperson how they didn't like it. Unlike just collecting the email adress and the prospect saying "thanks, it was fun" That initiates a conversation, right? A conversation the sales staff ought to be able to turn into sold vehicles.

    Which reminds me of another idea which comes from Harley Davidson. They did no strings attached test drives on real terrain, which other motorcycle dealerships weren't doing. When each rider was done, they handed back the keys and said "thanks." Nobody was buying. Until someone asked one of the riders for feedback. Then they got to hear what the buyer would've wanted to see in the bike. They started asking everyone for feedback and made changes. That sold vehicles like crazy for them. I know you can't change the vehicle but getting conversations started is going to give you information and sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Which reminds me of another idea which comes from Harley Davidson. They did no strings attached test drives on real terrain, which other motorcycle dealerships weren't doing. When each rider was done, they handed back the keys and said "thanks." Nobody was buying. Until someone asked one of the riders for feedback. Then they got to hear what the buyer would've wanted to see in the bike. They started asking everyone for feedback and made changes. That sold vehicles like crazy for them. I know you can't change the vehicle but getting conversations started is going to give you information and sales.
      That's what I love about this forum, great ideas! When I do the prep with all the salespeople next week I'll put this as one of the requirements for the $50. Thanks again!
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  • Here's a little something that'll help with the postcards.

    I like the $50.00 amazon voucher.

    You see why when you read this...

    Attachment 20518


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Look at having separate message and offer for existing clients
      from the rest.

      It can be as simple as (Name), are you thinking about replacing your truck?

      No offer to test drive.
      No listing of trucks and finance available.

      Just that one question.

      Purpose of it is to open up the conversation.

      For non customers, Mitsubishi ran tv ads here in NZ about a bean counter character checking it out and giving it a pass tick.

      That would appeal to the fleet owner more so than the owner driver.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Here's a little something that'll help with the postcards.

      I like the $50.00 amazon voucher.

      You see why when you read this...

      Attachment 20518


      Steve
      Wow, thanks for the share. Lots of good nuggets in there not just for post cards but ad writing in general.

      I really like the idea of sending it back to them a 2nd time with a slightly updated message.

      I'm not sure what to expect for a response rate, but I'm excited to find out!

      I think I'm hitting on all the points you put at the end except for the "Absolutely Irresistible Offer", but there is only so much you can do when selling a $50,000+ truck.

      Tyler
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        A further way to increase response is to use social proof.

        Instead of the usual "call now to get X"...this
        line is proven to increase phone calls...

        "If the phone is busy when you call,
        please call later."

        The majority of the population look to others
        to make a decision to take an action.

        May as well make use of this action trigger
        common in most people.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Could you let them test drive the truck for a day or two??

    Back in 2003, I was buying my first NEW car (Well, technically my mom was buying it for insurance purposes) and the salesmen said to take it home and drive it around for a few days.

    Did I buy it? Of course I bought it! I already wore the seat in.

    So, not sure if you can do that or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
      Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

      Could you let them test drive the truck for a day or two??

      Back in 2003, I was buying my first NEW car (Well, technically my mom was buying it for insurance purposes) and the salesmen said to take it home and drive it around for a few days.

      Did I buy it? Of course I bought it! I already wore the seat in.

      So, not sure if you can do that or not.
      Yea, we can do test drives for up to 3 days... but with trucks of this size it is difficult because every customer has different needs. One needs a refrigerator box, one needs a flat bed, one needs a stake body, etc... So it makes it tough on medium duty.

      We do that on the larger semi-trucks that pull trailers since they are pretty much the same however, but usually only for large fleet customers.

      Thanks for the idea though!
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  • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will surely do a follow up postcard as well.

    Working on the call script. Once we get the person on the phone I was thinking of having my people say:

    "Hi (customer name), I'm calling about the $50 we'd like to give you"

    Likely customer response will either be "who is this" or "what $50?"

    We respond "oh, we sent you a postcard the other day offering $50 to test drive a new Mitsubishi Fuso truck. When would you like to schedule yours?"

    If they say "not interested" I'll have my people ask "why?" ... Or if they are interested I'm not sure if I should have my people try to qualify them more (ie, "great! Are you looking to replace a truck you have now or add another truck to your fleet?)

    Any suggestions/input would be appreciated!

    Tyler
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by jtr8178 View Post

      Working on the call script. Once we get the person on the phone I was thinking of having my people say:

      "Hi (customer name), I'm calling about the $50 we'd like to give you"
      You can try it. But it has a scam sound to it.

      Likely customer response will either be "who is this" or "what $50?"
      I'd hang up.

      We respond "oh, we sent you a postcard the other day offering $50 to test drive a new Mitsubishi Fuso truck. When would you like to schedule yours?"
      But you haven't built any desire in them to go to the dealership and test drive anything. Who's going to get out of bed and do all that for fifty bucks? A person that's a good prospect to buy a $50,000 truck?

      It sounds like the script follows what typical auto salespeople say and do but remember these people you're calling haven't walked on to the lot. They haven't shown that they're in the market to buy so reel it back and build that desire first.
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      • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
        I've thought about this all weekend and I agree with you. I think I'm going to go with a softer approach, have my call team ask of they are in the market to buy this year. If they are, great, we will get the ball rolling. If not, that's great too, we will try to at least capture an email address from them.

        Thanks for the input!
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  • Doesn't sound bad. I say go for it
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  • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
    Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on this. The postcards got dropped in the mail Friday, so customers started to receive them this week. Tomorrow I'm prepping my "call team" (6 employee's) on the script and what to say when we start calling (starting tomorrow as well). So decided to practice on the first 25 customers to see how well the script would work and what kind of feedback I would get. My very first call netted a customer that was looking to purchase a truck! He actually had the post card in his hand when I called him, so very good timing. So I feel good about 2 leads on the first day, and hopefully once we start calling tomorrow we will grab a few more.

    My one complaint is that the printer/mailer we used ended up cropping off the landing page ... so instead of domain.com/fuso it just showed domain.com on the postcard... so hard to get some good data on how many visit our website because of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author wsands
      That's great to hear! Strike while the iron is hot! Get them on the phone while they have the postcard still on their desk. I hope your campaign goes well, keep us updated!
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by jtr8178 View Post

      My one complaint is that the printer/mailer we used ended up cropping off the landing page ... so instead of domain.com/fuso it just showed domain.com on the postcard... so hard to get some good data on how many visit our website because of it.
      My friend, that gives you a great reason for your call. "Oops, my printer cut off the rest of the website address, so I'm calling..."

      BTW, my commission checks can be sent directly to my private account in Bermuda.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    Sounds like you've done what most don't - take action. Well done.

    If your only complaint with direct mail providers/suppliers is a cropped URL you are lucky!

    It sounds like you've also done a decent job in picking WHO you sent your cards to.

    Well done!

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vrs
      In addition to what others have said I'll add this - be willing to give $50 for a test drive even if they don't intend to purchase - because that's the offer you made. What I mean is not to have anyone walking out the door feeling they were pressured to make a purchase. Genuinely. While you want and need to make sales you also need the integrity to honor the terms you gave in your offer.

      Your offer is "test drive = $50". Period. So don't be surprised or upset if or when someone takes you up on exactly that. If your goal is to give everyone who responds the best experience possible when they come in - regardless of the outcome - then genuine prospects will come back. And others will provide good word of mouth about your dealership.

      When you do the right thing it always comes back to you. Even if not immediately at some point you'll profit.
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      • Profile picture of the author jtr8178
        I'm running short on time, so I'll respond to some of the other comments later.

        Results after our first full day of calling:

        Total Customers looking to buy NOW: 7
        Total Customers looking to purchase in 3-12 months: 3

        We also found a total of 7 trucks that customers have purchased in the last 6 months that we didn't get a chance to quote... so it just re-enforces to me that I need to keep sticking our name out there with prospective clients on a regular basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author jake244
    Originally Posted by jtr8178 View Post

    I work for a truck dealership, and we are try to drive some leads to our sales people. This one is a bit more narrow focused, as we sell a product from Mitsubishi Fuso. These are the commercial, smaller cab-over trucks found around the world. We are in the USA.

    The game plan:
    1) Send out 2,000 post cards offering customers (other business owners) $50 to come test drive a truck
    2) Special landing page listed on postcard, along with 1-800 # that has call recording and such (Using CallFire that someone else on WF recommended)
    3) A week after mailing the postcard, I have 5 people at our business who are going to call each of the recipients and ask when they would like to schedule the appointment. I have good names for about 50% of the 1,000 we are mailing, not the other half.
    4) On this call, our people will be scheduling appointments for the test drives.

    Customers get the $50 Amazon gift card when the salesperson emails me their contact info, and I then email the customer the $50 gift card.

    What am I missing? Any tips/tricks/traps that I should know about?

    Any expectations I should have for # of leads generated?

    We've never done anything like this before, so I'm trying to cover all bases.

    Here is the postcard, it will an oversized one (6" x 9"): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...tcard%20v2.pdf

    Our mailing list is very focused from our CRM software & previous customers we've had.
    Okay.. I can tell you that several dealerships in my area are doing something similar but with a twist.

    They are approaching Schools and offering this as a fundraiser.. They pay the school like $50.00 for each parent that test drives a car and it has been successful. They sold several vehicles this way.

    Just thought I would share that with you.. It might be an approach you can add to your existing plan.

    You can do the same with Churches and civic organizations.

    I promise you right now if you approach a nice sized Church with 500 - 1,000 members and offer to donate $50 bucks per test driver and you will be swamped.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Something else you might want to consider is getting feedback from people that actually buy your trucks, maybe call them at 1 month after the sale, 6 months after sale (example). Ask them about their new truck, what do they like, what would they have changed about the truck, sales process or maintenance.

    Follow up phone calls will show your interested in helping them, which also gives you feedback for tweaking your current sales process for future customers.

    Also, If they bought one $50K work truck it's only a matter of time before they'll be in the market to buy another similar truck considering most work trucks get abused on job sites, etc...

    If your dealership also handles the maintenance, check out the condition of the truck. Is it time for a new truck? Maybe it's time for another test drive?

    If your not the one doing the scheduled maintenance for the work truck, offer them a free oil change ($50 value, or whatever) about 3 years after the sale to get them back to the dealership, & look at the condition of the truck. Is it time for a new truck?
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