In this article, we’ll discuss the ROI (return on investment) print marketing offers for growing your auto shop business.
Conceptualminds | March 25, 2022
Auto Shop Print Advertising
Digital is the new print, right?
Digital marketing is the fundamental must-have for almost any business. For most businesses, digital is the new and improved shiny marketing toy that’s driving the most ROI-return on investment, also known as profit.
But does the same strategy work for the automotive repair industry? The short answer: not always.
While auto repair shops generally enjoy a positive ROI from digital advertising, print advertising can also hold its own in certain situations. In fact, most of our automotive clients at Conceptual Minds continue to attract a measurable volume of their customers with print ads.
But not just any old print advertising strategy can get your auto shop these same results. You must be strategic about the way you target your current and future customers and how you track both failure and success.
Attract New Auto Shop Customers
Direct mail – putting flyers, postcards, etc. in the mailboxes of potential customers is a great channel for reaching new customers via print. To successfully target people who will convert from your print ads and come into your shop for repairs, you’ll need to target people who match your current customer base.
This might involve getting feedback from your customer service staff or going through past customer profiles in your POS.
The things you want to identify are any commonalities including age, gender, job/occupation, parental status, hobbies, etc.
Some of these descriptors might not exist in sales records, like job/occupation, but that’s where your customer service folks and/or service techs can probably provide insight from their one-on-one interaction with customers.
Your typical customer for your shop could be a thirty-something soccer mom, or a forty-something businessman.
Location, Location, Location
The next step is to look at the geographies where your customers live.
You’ll typically only want to send out mailers to communities within a 3 – 5-mile radius of your shop, but there could be two or three zip codes near your shop that drive most business already, so you might just want to target those instead.
Always test to see what works best.
The third step is to pick a targeted message that will attract these potential customers.
Coupons are usually a winner for getting people in the door. Who doesn’t love a good deal?
In addition to the coupon, you need a message that will stand out above the competition—because let’s be honest, coupons aren’t a revolutionary idea. They just work which means every other auto shop in your area is probably using them too.
If possible, you should use messaging that highlights your unbeatable customer service with customer testimonials or star ratings from a local directory, like Yelp.
Also, consider what values your ideal customer has and appeal to those. That thirty-something soccer mom probably loves her kids very much, so having messaging that appeals to family and safety could hook her.
Try not to put everything on the same coupon. Limit your offers and pitch to a few things you know will likely connect with that specific audience.
At the end of the day, design really does also matter!
Last Step - Track!
How do you know how much ROI your print ads are driving or if they’re driving anything at all if you’re not tracking?
But you can’t track print, you say? Not so fast!
Marketing technology is smarter than ever, and there are solutions for tracking print advertising. The best way to track whether those coupon mailers you sent out are resulting in sales is to use coupon codes that your employees must type in for the customer to receive the discounted service.
It also might be beneficial to use multiple coupon codes—one per coupon so you can get even more in-depth data that will inform how you put money into different locations in the future.
At Conceptual Minds, we use coupon codes with our clients and they’ve been monumental in helping our clients not only zero in on their ideal customer, but also knowing which print ads are winners.
Retain Current Auto Shop Customers
So now that you have a bunch of new customers, how do you keep them coming back?
Well, direct mail is also a great channel for keeping customers and there’s a very cool tactic, called remarketing you can use.
What if your customers could be reminded 30 days before they’re due for wheel balancing that they should plan to come into your shop?
Or maybe they could use a reminder that their VA state safety inspection is coming up, or that they only have another 750 miles before they need to replace their fluids?
And you can just imagine the massive ROI a campaign like this can drive since you know you’re targeting everyone who’s “in-market” (ready to buy).
If you’re looking for some guidance on how to get the most from a print marketing campaign, get in touch with us! We’ve got 12+ years of automotive marketing experience and would love to help take your auto shop to the next level.
At Conceptual Minds, our team helps automotive businesses get the most from their marketing dollars with tried and tested methods backed up by regular testing and research.
We equip our clients with the tools and knowledge to eliminate the guesswork from their marketing efforts and get top ROI through our tailored services.