How To Use Neighborhoods: Map Your Way To Success

Before we can talk about neighborhoods, there’s one thing we absolutely must get straight.

Direct Marketing at the resident level has always been a numbers game.


Time and time again, it’s been proven: you can stack those numbers in your favor.

Yet again and again, people who are sure they’re going to succeed…fail to do this.

If your marketing isn’t working, it’s almost always for one or more of three reasons:

  1. You’re not marketing often enough.
  2. You don’t really have good data – your names, addresses and contact information isn’t up-to-date.
  3. You really aren’t targeting your market with enough accuracy.

It’s amazing how many times people and companies buy bad data – from sources that are really unethical. Sadly, many of these unscrupulous sources are big industry names and are still regarded as having high standards.

They often tout their products as “new” and “best.” However, the proof is in the response you get from their lists.


No wonder some data buyers have given up and speak of the “death” of direct marketing.

The good news is, this means there’s less competition for those of us who really know how effective direct marketing still can be.

To succeed, you must market often to keep your brand and offers in front of customers and prospects.

And of course, you must use up-to-date data.

Finally, you must target the right people.

One of the most powerful ways to target the right people is…neighborhoods.

Most companies let you create lists by zip code boundaries.

But is this always a good way to find your prospects?

Remember, zip codes were invented for the postal worker, not the people living in the neighborhood.

Zip codes can include everything from multi-family, to tract homes, to mansions and everything in between.

If you drive through some neighborhoods, you’ll see.

Just when you see a few modest homes, suddenly you see the neighbors have homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions more.

Imagine a row of homes along a golf course. There’s probably at least someone in each home interested in golf, right?

What if this row of homes was, (as it often is), split down the middle by two zip codes.

One of these zip codes has mostly homes along a lake, and they love boats.

The other zip code has a lot of slums.

Also keep in mind: some of those who collect data guess at and model people’s interests and income.

How accurate would their guesses be if they based these guesses on zip codes?

What if your company spent money doing a saturation mailing, advertising golf items…to the zip code containing mostly slums?

Granted, in some cases you might be able to avoid wasting money like this by choosing the right demographics – that is, if the data provider happened to model their data right.

Ask anyone, but it seems no one knows where their zip code boundary is. However…

Everybody knows where their neighborhood is.

Imagine, now, since you know the neighborhoods – you could draw a line around just the homes you know have a certain interest. Or in a certain exact location.

You instantly get a list of contact information about just those homes.

And, the contact info was updated that same week. (After all, old neighborhoods change and new ones spring up all the time.)

How would this boost your marketing efforts?

Well… and you knew this was coming, right? 🙂  …you CAN do this.

This is why we, at National Auto Data, are passionate about providing you with the right marketing solutions – and proving that you and your marketing can succeed with the right data.

Contact National Auto Data for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

We’ll examine every inch of your marketing goals, look at your competition and tell you something new.

Call us today at 866-363-9578 to get things started.


How Do You Get More Happy Customers? Buy Compliant Data

How Do You Get More Happy Customers? Buy Compliant Data

With consumer privacy, there’s a profound and glaring gap between what people want and what they’re getting.

More than ever, knowingly or unknowingly, consumers give out their personal data in their daily activities. Credit and debit card transactions, ATM visits, web site browsing and purchases, even mobile phone use.

All of which generates data that people and machines download for analysis and customer profiling.

Yes, this info may possibly be used to enhance the customer’s experience.

However, many of these data collectors could care less. They know this data brings a profit and they’re not about to lose out.

This kind of data company could be compared to the poachers who kill rhinos. They don’t care whether it’s right or wrong. There’s simply a great demand and they’re not going to lose out.

Then along come the unscrupulous or naive marketers who simply want to get the next prospect.

They buy the illegal data and blast out another email or direct mail flier.

Here’s the problem with that:

People these days can more easily tell that the offers they receive were obtained with ill-gotten data.

The result? It’s the unscrupulous/naive marketers’ customers and profits that may soon become extinct.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that 80% of adults are concerned that third parties (like advertisers) will misuse their data.

What does this mean for you, the marketer and business owner?

A full 91% of people avoid companies that don’t respect their privacy. That’s what the 2015 TRUSTe US Consumer Confidence Index reveals.

Some people argue that if you put your data online, you’re allowing people to take it and do whatever they want with it.

However, unethical use of personal data can quickly destroy trust, undermine customer relationships and expose your company to brand damage.

Do you collect people’s data on your website? Fine. Give people clarity about why, what and how you’re collecting data.

This puts your public in the driver’s seat. And that’s just where they want to be.

Do you buy data for use with your marketing? Great. Just make sure the company who collected and/or sells you that data is ethical too.

Too many are not.

So check out your data company. Make sure they comply with the law.

It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s about your profits and happy customers too.

Do you know about your own marketing data?

Contact National Auto Data for a free, no-strings-attached consultation.

We’ll examine every inch of your marketing goals, look at your competition and tell you something new.

Call us today at 866-363-9578 to get things started.

Gambling With Your Data

How Automotive Dealers Gamble With Their Mailing Lists: Protect Your Investment

Some people will take great automotive mailing lists and drive them straight into the ground.

One way to do that is simply to send once and then stop marketing for a couple months. Regular contact with your target audience is crucial.

Another way to gamble is to use the list for snail mail only.

Let’s rip the band-aid off right away.
Some people hate direct mail. For them, it’s almost as disruptive as putting your brand on a blimp and driving it through their kitchen window.

Other people feel that way about email.

If you search Google for email and direct mail in the same search, you’ll see dozens of articles on which one is best. This kind of misinformation is absolutely great for your business. Why?

If everybody else uses only one of these media channels, but you use both, you’ll take their customers and come out as the winner.

Be Where Your Customers Are

You must be where your customers are. They are everywhere. You should be too. Studies show that customers reached via multiple channels spend between 3 and 4 times as much as those who only respond to one channel.

You’ve heard the old saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” The concept certainly applies to marketing. That’s why it’s so important to use a variety of methods to reach the customer.

Your e-mail should include the catch phrases, brand name and other identifying marks used in the print piece, and the channels must reference one another. Similarly, the e-mail subject line must repeat the envelope copy or a dominant line in the postal piece.

Keep it short. Perhaps 30 to 40 characters. Make it action-oriented, brand-specific and benefit-driven. The “from” line in the email should match the name used in the postal piece. Each channel has different strengths. Direct mail confers legitimacy. Email is interactive and easy to use.

The message should be the same in both. You should invest in both.

Protect your advertising dollars, send both emails and direct mail.

Don’t Lose On Tax Season

Warning: Don’t Lose On Tax Season, Profit From Your Car Buyers!

The key to success for any car dealer is getting your automotive data updated early, often, consistently and effectively.

These following ideas produce repeat business. Why? We all need to file our taxes every year and everybody sooner or later needs to buy another car. Whether or not they purchase this year or next, when it’s time, the buyers will know where to go if you’ve marketed the right way.

Did you know that a good half of all taxpayers who get a refund will spend their whole refund within 48 hours? Yes, it’s true. Of this group, studies reveal that a vehicle purchase is the number one way they will spend their new chunk of change.

Where do you begin?

To begin ramping up your dealer marketing so that it really works, you want to display your tax refund banners and indoor advertising materials immediately.

You’ll also want to freshen your vehicle owner data as soon after or before the new year. If you’re still mailing people using an old list, you’re bound to fail. Those people moved and sold their cars, which means you’re no longer relevant. Avoid this and pick up the best list.

Obviously, not everybody who visits your lot is really ready to buy. The down payment is often one of the biggest obstacles. No matter what time of year it is, let people know that you can file their taxes. They’re far more likely to come back to you during tax time. Whenever shoppers leave your lot, salespeople should remind them (no matter what time of year it is), that you give tax refunds.

Your dealership is already doing some kind of advertising. Why not piggyback your current advertising with a new marketing list? If your current efforts aren’t getting the results you want, why not try something better?

Keep this in mind: over 80% of your first quarter sales due to tax returns will occur between January 15th and February 15th. Almost all of the other 20% is going to be from February 15 to April 15. So be ready! Customer volume throughout the fourth quarter closely follows the holiday buying season that spikes around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Use all three of the following steps for the best results with your tax refund sales. One of these items might help a little, but a blend of all 3 is what really works.

Take Action

Step One: Get people to your lot with whatever you can – use print ads, postcards, direct mail, email, radio, and TV.

Step Two: Tell your customers once they reach your lot – remind them that you can help them with tax refunds. (use such things as: banners, hood signs, realtor signs, table tents, posters and hang tags) The point is take action!

Step Three: Educate your sales staff – answer phones, and ask your walk in people if they have filed their taxes. “Bring your W2’s, drive out today!”

Catch your customers’ attention with this, and increase your sales today!

Why & When You Absolutely Must Follow Up

Auto Marketing – Why & When You Absolutely Must Follow Up

Sales departments and automobile marketing people waste insane amounts of money. It’s all for one ridiculous reason – fear of overwhelming or annoying prospects.

Granted, you don’t want to do either of these. This begs the question: How often should you be sending out a campaign to your potential buyers?

Consider these two powerful facts:
1. Each time you communicate, you’re gaining influence or traction – even with people who don’t respond.

2. Each one of your campaigns should build on the previous ones – the effect of each should be cumulative.The vast majority of businesses send out one email, one letter or postcard and then stop. This is great news for you. You know better than this. If you send the pieces so far apart (or never again), you lose both influence and the cumulative effect. Not to mention, you’re wasting money you can’t afford to lose.

Many messages over multiple months makes money!

Dan Kennedy, recognized as one of the greatest marketers of all time, says “one” is the worst number in marketing. You absolutely must use multiple steps and multiple media. Nothing has changed and this truth has been around for a long time. John D. Rockefeller said, “Perseverance…overcomes almost anything, even nature.”

Each message can stress a unique advantage of your business. If one approach doesn’t create as much response, you go back to the prospect with a different pitch. Go ahead and refer to the previous message within the verbiage of your new campaign – it works.

Magazine publishers and credit card companies are decimating forests and clogging email servers. They go on and on, begging, hounding, cajoling, until the 87th message says, “Okay, we give up. You’ll never hear from us again.” At which point, of course, a ton of people respond!

You don’t need this many campaigns to create urgency. Is it corny to show a clock ticking that says, “time is running out”? Of course, but it keeps on working!

When you send your campaigns, make sure to freshen your data. Every week people transfer vehicle titles. Every month, a good data source makes millions of updates to their auto owner records.

At this point one thing should be clear. You need to contact your public every single month. Would it help to reach out to them even more often?

Split your list in two and try two different campaigns. Send the exact same message – the only thing that changes is how often you contact them. Perhaps one half of your list gets reached every two weeks; the other once a month.

After that, all you have to do is sit back and see which one worked better. Which got better responses? Which yielded more qualified leads?

Continue to tweak and fiddle with your intervals until you have a plan that really works for you and your business.