If you’re an automotive dealer looking for an inexpensive way to increase your sales, you might want to consider “saturating” your market. A saturation mailing is a targeted offer to the true customer base of a business. It’s inexpensive both in preparation and postage, and can reach customers very quickly.
But before you begin, make sure you understand the rules. A saturation mailing needs to meet certain requirements set by the United States Postal Service (USPS). For example, the mailing must be directed to more than 90 percent of a carrier route, which is defined as the entirety of addresses to which a single postal carrier delivers. Usually, a carrier route consists of about 450 addresses.
The other main requirement for a saturation mailing is that the mailing has to be sorted in “walk sequence,” the actual sequence that the carrier walks the route. For efficiency purposes, every day each postal service carrier in the US delivers the mail in a specific order. That route never varies, day in, day out, rain or shine.
When a direct mailing effort is organized in walk-sequence order, it significantly lowers postage costs. The Postal Service offers saturation mailing rates as low as 14 cents per piece for businesses as an incentive to presort the mailing before bringing it to the Post Office. Compare that 14 cents to the First-Class rate of 42 cents, and you’ll see the large savings.
For many dealerships, a saturation mailing can mesh perfectly with customer growth efforts or retention pushes. Those companies that are in the automotive industry –can, without a doubt, profit from saturation mailings.
Indeed, any car dealer that utilizes direct mail, can benefit from experimenting with these mailings. Offers like “50 percent off” an entree or “$5 off an oil change” can be magnets for new customers – and can also bring back lapsed ones. Most important, the unique business proposition that your business offers will be reinforced in the minds of vital neighborhood shoppers.
This is where location comes into play. The clients of auto dealers generally live within fifty miles of the business. A good saturation mailing gives you instant name recognition throughout your neighborhood. Imagine potential customers receiving your saturation mailing piece and, later that day, driving by your dealership, They think, “Oh, yes, I know that place…” That dealership has kicked it up a notch – and is on the mental map of newfound customers.
Saturation mailing lists also offer car dealerships greater value per name/address purchased than the more costly resident lists. Unquestionably, resident lists can be pulled from a wider range of criteria. For example, many list brokers or managers offer resident lists that can be selected by age of individual listed; total household income; length of residence; mail-order buyers; and many other selects. If those demographic points dovetail well with a company’s customers, then a resident-list mailing may make sense.
But for a car dealer, the price of a saturation mailing list is minimal and its effectiveness per piece can be substantial. List costs are considerably lower for saturation mailings, so you can send out more pieces. For example, you could send out 10,000 pieces in a saturation mailing for the same price of 1,000 pieces with names on a resident’s list.
That’s where choosing the right carrier routes, trying those within fifty miles of the business, will allow the success of the saturation-mailing campaign to take off. And it’s worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, you are not limited to a “Dear Occupant” tagline. You can use individual names as part of the address. There is a cost factor to consider, but the added distinctiveness of the piece can be worth it.
An inexpensive list, carefully chosen from local carrier routes with addressee names, has success written all over it. In fact, saturation mailings are so efficient that newspapers are experiencing a noticeable loss of advertising space to direct mailers. Saturation mailings offer an environment without competition, plus a much greater opportunity for branding, since your ad won’t be buried deep inside a newspaper.
Don’t be intimidated by the scope of a project like saturation mailing. Direct mail designers and mailing companies know the steps and can help along the way. Many list brokers have self-serve, online products and services (and specialists to help) that range from free simple queries to instantaneously downloadable saturation mailing lists. Just enter in your ZIP Codes and the lists will be ready in less than a minute.
And, finally, we’re back to location. The location where the saturation mailing is dropped off does matter. To ensure the fastest delivery, the mailing needs to be brought to the carrier route DDU (destination delivery unit). The DDU is the Post Office that actually delivers your mail pieces to those routes.
The rewards of saturation mailings can be many. The key is to be ready to capitalize on the three L’s: Location of the business, Location of the all-important neighborhood customers, and Location of the Post Office. It’s really that simple. The rewards will deliver themselves