Direct Mail Retargeting for Auto Dealers

Discover how leveraging retargeted direct mail can differentiate dealership from the competition and help you convert customers at a lower cost

In a competitive market like Automotive Retail (Auto Sales), where dealerships not only compete with other franchises in-market, but now are faced with companies like Carvana and Vroom stealing customer attention and circumventing the traditional dealer-to-customer experience, dealers need a way to differentiate and convert customers. One way to turn prospects into customers is through retargeted direct mail and email.

By observing the actions of prospects on your website or mobile app, you can trigger personalized direct mail and email that is sent out within hours of the interaction.

Direct Mail Retargeting Has a Huge Impact

Reaching people in their mailboxes can impact growth.

In fact, one publicly traded auto group found that roughly 36% of new customers were acquired through offline channels—the largest of which was direct mail.[1]

Compared to Social and display ads, direct mail:
  • Generates 10% more customers[2]
  • Has a 90% or higher open rate (compared to social 30% view rate)[3]
  • Drives 60% of consumers back to the website[4]
  • Has a house-list response rate of 5.1% (compared 0.06% click-through rate on digital ads)[5]

Mail is also secure. There are more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service to protect Americans from fraud.[6] This assurance, as well as the less intrusive and more tactile experience of direct mail, leads 76% of consumers to trust direct mail when it comes to purchasing decisions.[7]

Retargeted Direct Mail Converts Prospects

When you use data gathered from digital channels to inform direct mail pieces, you get the best of both worlds. You can understand what a visitor to your website or mobile app is interested in based on what they looked at, then send a personalized piece of direct mail to help convert them from prospect to customer.

7 Reasons to invest in Retargeted Direct mail
  1. Combining the scale of digital and the efficacy of direct mail yields close to a 40% conversion rate.[8]
    • In a space as competitive as Auto Sales, where customer acquisition costs are high, conversion rates matter. When a company sends a personalized email, conversion rates hover between 1% and 5%.[9] A physical direct mail piece is 8 to 40 times more effective, converting close to 40% of prospects into customers.[8][9]
  2. Used together, digital and direct mail can result in 20% or higher response rates.[10]
    • That’s 10 times higher than the response rate for all digital channels combined and more than 200 times higher than the click-through rate for digital retargeting.[10] To get prospects to call, chat, or fill out a form on your website, consider using retargeted mail to translate digital behavior into an opportunity to engage and ultimately convert prospects.
  3. Multichannel campaigns saw a 37% increase in response over single-channel campaigns.[11]
    • On its own, direct mail outperforms other marketing channels. But combining direct mail with other digital media, such as email, gives you a greater chance of reaching your customer with the right message at the right time. A site visitor may not be ready to sign up today; if you send regular reminders to their inbox and mailbox, response rates could see growth.
  4. One study showed that using direct mail and digital media together increased customer purchase intent by 10x.[12]
    • Auto dealerships need a sustainable customer base to survive. When digital media and direct mail are used in conjunction, one large study of a telecommunications advertiser showed a brand-to-customer connection that is 10 times stronger than digital-only campaigns.[12] This translates to greater rates of consideration or intent to sign up and could mean a strong opportunity to capture and convert consumers in search of automotive deals.
  5. Research has shown that campaigns that use direct mail and digital together produced 10% higher brand recollection than single-channel digital campaigns.[13]
    • Brand recognition is vital for Auto dealerships solidifying their place in the market. Using well-branded content across digital and direct mail channels has been shown to increase a customer’s recollection of a business: Brand memorability in one study was 5.5 times higher after an omni-channel campaign than that of a digital-only campaign.[12] When a person recognizes a brand in a competitive market, they are more likely to give that company their business.
  6. Recipients of omni-channel campaigns paid 39% more attention to the messaging than to that of single-channel campaigns.[12]
    • Messaging helps differentiate your dealership from competitors. When you use a mix of digital media and direct mail to communicate a consistent message, people will pay more attention than they would if you were using just one channel or the other.
  7. Research has shown that integrating digital and direct mail in campaigns resulted in 5% higher emotional intensity than single-channel digital campaigns.[13]
    • Ninety-five percent of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, based on emotional connections and brand recall.[14] It’s possible that positive emotions could correlate to an increase in a prospect’s buying a car or servicing a car with you instead of your competitors.
Key Takeaway

Combine your rich digital data with effective direct mail communications to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that works. You can convert prospects visiting your site into customers at a higher rate and build a strong, loyal customer base that will help your dealership stay ahead of the competition.

Wedrive Automotive Can Help

Looking to learn more about retargeted direct mail? Wedrive sales representatives can help you find the best solution for your business needs.

Author, Ryan Quam, Account Services Director
Wedrive Automotive | (800) 940-5579 |


  1. [1]Todd Wasserman, “Direct Mail Meets Digital, to the Delight of Brands,”, Jan. 6, 2017. 
  2. [2]Rachel Wedlund, “Beyond Marketing Automation: Direct Mail Tactics Digital Marketers Should Try,”, Jan. 2, 2018.
  3. [3]Alan Sherman, “How Digitally Automated Direct Mail Makes the Best of Digital and Physical Marketing,” IWCO Direct, Mar. 2, 2018. 
  4. [4]Rachel Wedlund, “Retargeting Website Visitors with Direct Mail,”, Feb. 6, 2018.
  5. [5]Debora Haskel, “Know Your Customers or You’re ‘Just Talking,’ Says the 2017 DMA Response Rate Report,” IWCO Direct, Jul. 25, 2017. 
  6. [6]“Security. Law Enforcement. Preserving the Trust.” USPS, 2018. 
  7. [7]Dennis Kelly, “5 Reasons Why Customers Trust Direct Mail,”, Feb. 6, 2017. 
  8. [8]Al Urbanski, “Will Programmatic Direct Mail Be the New Growth Channel?” DM News, Mar. 3, 2016. 
  9. [9]Johanna Rivard, “Email Marketing Conversion Rate Comparison,” Pure B2B, Feb. 26, 2018
  10. [10]Tara Johnson, “Programmatic Direct Mail Retargets Online Shoppers,” CPC Strategy, Jul. 19, 2016. 
  11. [11]Varda Tirosh, “The Numbers Are In: Multi-channel Campaigns Are 37% More Effective,” Optimove, Jan. 12, 2017. 
  12. [12]“NPF Keynote Presentation,” Brainsights, May 2018. 
  13. [13]Canada Post/Ipsos Connecting for Action,” Canada Post, Sep. 2016.
  14. [14]Logan Chierotti, “Harvard Professor Says 95 Percent of Purchasing Decisions Are Subconscious,”, March 26, 2018.