Hotrod & Restoration

January/February '13

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pared to the cost of advertising for new ones. And in today's economy, a coupon may just put a purchase within your customer's budget. Make your discounts specific. Avoid a blanket "25% off" coupon that can eat away a lot of profit. Instead, focus on small discounts on high profit products or services. That can also focus your customer on a particular product or brand that they may not realize you provide. But, be aware, when used too often, discounting can erode your profitability without creating customer loyalty. A Hot Rod / Restoration business like yours should discount only a few times a year, if at all. Once a customer experiences your quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service, they'll want to remain loyal — with or without a coupon. If you don't find that kind of loyalty, maybe you should take a good, hard look at improving your standards. Direct Mail: It Just Adds Up Here are statistics on Americans in general and Generation Xers (born 1964 – 1976) and Generation Yers (born 1977 – 1994) in specific along with some tips to help you use them to build better marketing mailings. • 96% of consumers bring in their mail daily. Smartphone users (45%+ of Americans) check email several times a day. • 73% of Gen Y and 68% of Gen X have used coupons from mailer. Put discount offers in your customers' mail boxes and they'll use them. • 70% of Gen X and 82% of Gen Y sort their mail immediately. Use direct mail to reach your customers quickly and be sure your coupons have an expiration date to create a sense of urgency. • 25% of customers will act on a mailer within the first week. Be patient. Don't expect results day one. It can take two or three weeks before you know how effective your mailing was. • 74% of Gen X and 68% of Gen Y actually take the time to read advertising mail. Don't think young people are only interested in text messaging, email and the Internet. • 40 million Americans move each year, 18-36 year olds move most often. Keep your database current. Ask customers to confirm their address each time they make a purchase. Otherwise, 1/6 of your database will be bad within a year. Update your database against the US Postal Service's National Change of Address (NCOA) every 12 - 18 months. Ask your Postmaster or go to For more mail strategies for your business, go to: (Source: United States Postal Service Resources) The Trick Of Turning Old Customers Into New Ones Direct mail to your existing customers can also be a great way to bring in new customers. The idea is simple — guys and gals who are into their car or truck tend to hang out with other guys and gals that are into their car or truck. Try a Tell-A-Friend postcard. It can be a great win-win-win proposition for your customer, their friends and you. Consider a headline like: "Give This Postcard To A Friend. You'll both get $25 off your next purchase of $200 or more." When the new customer brings in the postcard, your current customer's name will be on the mailing side. Make sure you immediately mail or email that customer a $25 off $200 thank you coupon and another referral postcard. Don't think just because they referred one person they won't refer another. One of the benefits of direct mail advertising is that it's measurable. That is, you can crunch the numbers and analyze its profitability. The key to successful marketing is to test your offers until you find the ones that work best for you. It's very specific to you and your location. What works in Long Beach, Calif., may not work in Long Beach, N.Y. Keep trying ideas until several stand out at the best. In the end, the only way you'll know how well email and direct mail can work for you is to try it. Start small. Test different designs and discounts. And be patient. It may take a few mailings before you see results. But with a little persistence you'll find that, one day, your timing will be perfect. Phil Sasso is the president of Sasso Marketing (, an automotive aftermarket advertising, public relations and Internet services agency. He's also a speaker and strategist. Sign up for his free weekly marketing tip email at HRR 35 YEARS ® No Fabrication No Guesswork No Chasing Parts For GM LS Engines You Can Spend All Day Sourcing An Engine Accessory Drive. Or, You Can Order One Part Number And Get Back To Work. Chevy Small Block Chrome & Polished or Black Anodized Finish Ford Small Block Chevy Big Block 800.862.6658 ® Complete Catalog Online At: Quik-Link: 1-800-306-0133 ext. 12129 HRR_Jan/Feb13_Pages1-63.indd 57 HRR0711vintageaircamaro.indd 1 1/25/13 3:44 PM 6/13/11 11:3

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