15 Stellar Auto Repair Advertising Ideas (And Strategy Suggestions)​

Supplementary customer generation? Rebranding? Positioning? All of this and more in Conceptual Minds' article on 15 auto repair advertising ideas.

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Conceptual Minds | August 3, 2023

15 Stellar Auto Repair Advertising Ideas (And Strategy Suggestions)

Advertising is unpredictable.
Whether it’s traditional or digital, new customer-focused or retention-based, mass market or local, dozens of nearly invisible choices impact your advertising’s effectiveness.
In this guide from the auto repair coaches at Conceptual Minds, you’ll encounter 16 expert auto repair advertising ideas designed to amplify your existing auto repair advertising efforts.

#1. Aim Your Ads for Auto Repair Customers at Premium Drivers

What’s the only thing more exciting than car count growth? 
Getting higher average repair order (ARO) from each driver.
If you’re beginning to feel your auto repair ads are reaching a tapped market—or your shop is close to capacity—grow ARO by targeting a higher-income local audience. 
It may be intimidating to vie for a new customer segment, but it’s achievable by focusing on the following:
  • Targeting high-income neighborhoods
  • Cross-selling premium services 
  • Include more modest discounts to avoid the highly-price sensitive crowd

#2. Consider NOT Competing On Price in Your Auto Repair Advertising Strategy 

This auto repair advertising idea  concerns your broader strategy.
While branding is a modern term, businesses have cemented reputations with creative language, ideas, and imagery since trade began. 
Investing resources in such work may appear like a waste to many, but differentiating your shop is a tactical decision that helps you avoid the pitfalls of competing on price.
Which pitfalls?
  • It leads to price wars you’re not guarenteed to win
  • It locks you into low margins for the foreseeable future
  • Low prices often communicate very low quality
  • The price-driven crowd is flakey and low spending
Instead, branding helps you compete on value, not price. Your competitors may offer similar services for lower prices, but you can offer far more value by better addressing your shared customers’ needs, wants, and disappointments.

#3 Auto Repair Advertising Idea: Spend While Everyone Else is Saving

It looks like the long-forecasted 2023 recession might not occur this year. Regardless, it’s worth filing this auto repair advertising idea in the memory bank.
Typically, a business’ first post-recession move is immediately and drastically cut advertising and marketing activity. Because so many businesses go this route, it impacts the price and effectiveness of advertising. 
When fewer ads are bought, ad prices go down. With less competition, ad performance goes up. 
Scores of businesses have come out of the recession far stronger because of this tactic; keep it in your back pocket.

#4. Run Better Auto Repair Print Ads With These Metrics

Print’s old-school appearance confuses many into assuming the format isn’t very trackable or accurately trackable, but nothing can be further from the truth.
That’s why we’re devoting the number four slot of our auto repair advertising ideas to these metrics. While print isn’t capable of the reporting depth of digital ads, the metrics you can track can still help you improve auto repair ads with each additional campaign. 
Be sure you have a reliable method of tracking who responded to your mailers, and pay attention to the following success indicators:
  • Response rate (ex: # of calls, website visits, QR code scans)
  • Average revenue per order (ARO)
  • Customer acquisition cost (how many leads v. how many customers)
  • Return on investment (how much revenue vs. how much was spent on that advertising medium).
Once you understand how your latest campaign went, it’s much easier to pick up on what you’re doing right and where you have room for improvement.

#5. Auto Repair Advertising Idea: Stick With One Message At a Time

Few decisions in auto repair advertising are as tough as this one: knowing which aspects of your business are worth advertising.
The pressure to fit any and all relevant information and messaging often results in ads for auto repair businesses with muddied or confusing messaging.
As an alternative, stick to one core message for each ad for your auto repair business. All aspects of the ad, from visual design to wording and offers, should be created to support and enhance that core message, whether it centers on accessibility, affordability, or trustworthiness.

#6. Google Ads is About Standing out From Other Search Results

Our sixth auto repair advertising idea deals in the competitive aspect of search advertising with Google Ads.
Since your Google Ads will always appear next to other Google Ads–if not other organic search results. As such, your best shot of getting clicks is to top the ads and organic results published by your competitors. 
The next time you approach Google Ads, imagine you’re stuck in a room with numerous prospects and a few competitors. What do you say to stand out?
Search for your competitors’ ads and examine them.  As you review, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Does the wording feel natural?
  • Is it exciting?
  • Do they make use of special characters?
  • Does it create an emotional reaction?
  • How well does it stand out from other search results?
Then place your new ad next to your competitors. Ask friends and colleagues which ones they’d be more likely to click, and you should land on a highly distinctive and clickable ad.
[Check out our Google Ads for Repair Shops Guidebook to learn how to structure campaigns for success]

#7. The Success of Your Direct Mail Assets Depends on The 30/30/30 Rule

USAG- Humphreys

What is it that makes direct mail ads effective?

According to the 30/30/30 rule, it goes like this:
1/3 of success is derived from the targeting
1/3 of success is derived from imagery
1/3 success is derived by drive from the included offer
Evaluate your ads across these dimensions. Correct future ads if little thought has been put into one element.

#8. Coupon Books Work Well as Supplementary Customer Generation

Coupon packs like those from Valpak and Valassis (now Vericast) are a lower-cost, highly valuable direct marketing channel, but their use is narrower than traditional direct mail. 
Since any coupons you submit will likely appear next to competing businesses, your offers must be extremely competitive to win out. Moreover, you only have their attention for a few seconds at most.
As such, coupon books are especially effective for auto repair shops with extremely low prices. And since it’s also far more affordable than other direct mail campaign types, it’s a solid choice for supplemental car count boosts. 
Be aware, though, value-oriented customers like these are far less likely to become long-term repeat customers.

#9. Want Cost-Effective Awareness Generation? Mass Market TV and Radio is the Answer

In this auto repair advertising idea, we’re pushing an oft-ignored channel: TV and radio.
Mass market TV & radio are by far the most cost-effective methods of creating mass awareness of your company. 
Starting costs may be high–making the medium too costly for many single location shops–as you’ll have to run weekly spots for between six and twelve months. 
Still, If you’re a multi-location business and you want locals to know your name, there’s no better—or more cost-effective—medium.

#10. You Need a Mix of Direct Marketing Channels and Branding-Oriented Channels to Make the Most Impact

In the hunt for the best possible marketing channel, many overlook the results that can be achieved by offsetting the weaknesses of one channel with the strengths of another. 
 For instance, neither TV nor SEO will bring quick results. So, if you’re still hoping to pursue those, you can offset the short-term loss with high-volume direct mail, reputation management, and Google Ads.

#11. Showcase Real Customer Feedback and Positive Reviews

Whose word do you trust? A salesperson or a customer.
Positive customer reviews greatly influence sales and frequently boost response rates and conversions. 
Thankfully, their use isn’t limited to living on reputation sites like Yelp and Google my business. Research has shown that positive customer reviews can enhance all kinds of marketing mediums.
The next time you begin an auto repair advertising campaign, make your reputation clear. 

#12. Consider a Brand Upgrade: a New Logo and Identity that Distinguishes Itself 

If you’ve been around for a bit and you’re worried your brand is grabbing enough local attention, it might be time for a full-fledged brand refresh.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around; if you’re worried that people either can’t identify your brand or look right past it, you might need to start cultivating a different image—one more in line with what people want.
As design and marketing specialists, we’ve seen brand refreshes help auto repair companies reach new audiences and establish themselves more firmly in their region.
For more information, check out our auto repair logo and brand refresh for Wiygul Automotive Clinic.

#13. Auto Repair Advertising Idea: Sell your shop’s convenience in ad copy and design

Convenience is a race toward giving consumers the most value for the least possible effort.
Compared to other retail industries, auto repair shops are far behind in implementing convenient enhancements to the customer experience. 
Focus your advertising on the convenience and benefits of being a customer. If you haven’t already adopted digital appointment-setting software, consider doing so.

#14. Auto Repair Advertising Idea: Play Against Type in Branding

The public has their own thoughts about auto repair shops—and not all of it is encouraging. 
It’s unfortunate but unavoidable that consumers hold less-than-stellar opinions about auto shops (Even though many say they trust their auto shop).
One of the best ways to combat this image—in addition to shoring up your customer experience—is to present an image and experience that’s meaningfully different from that of the “standard” shop. 
How can auto shops stand out? Be an auto shop that’s:
  • Convenient
  • Has elegantly designed interiors
  • Highly accessible online
  • Friendly, welcoming, and accommodating to women
  • Conscious of consumer’s auto repair fears
  • Feature accommodating customer benefits

#15. Remember the Three Golden Rules of Marketing

If you or your marketing agency is finding that messages and offers that once worked don’t any longer, it might be time to take another tactic.

According to three foundational rules of marketing:

  1. What once worked will likely change
  2. There’s always something brand new that works
  3. There’s a LOT of misinformation about both

The things that draw people to business change; consumers age out of driving, move away, purchase a car with dealer-dedicated repairs, and new generations start getting behind the wheel. 

Not to mention the much larger changes that shift cultures,  economies, nations, and the world. 

Marketing works best as a cycle of learning, executing, and re-learning. Understand what you know and don’t know about your customers, competitors, and industry, and set out to answer them one by one.

‘Practice, Practice, Practice’ Works for Ads, Too  


In an ideal world, ads would just work. In our world, however, advertising is a distinct field with its own intricacies and detractors. By staying aware of your limitations and strategically choosing channels, you can advertise better than the vast majority of your competitors.

Learn About Conceptual Minds

As veterans of the automotive industry, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and would like some guidance, contact us today at 877.524.7696.

Need help implementing winning auto repair promotions?

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