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Historically there has always been a large debate concerning a Targeted Direct Mail piece (TDM). What was the ROI for this particular TDM piece?  Marketing companies and dealerships have their own opinions and methods as to tracking a particular piece and its effectiveness.  Was it really the TDM that brought the customer into the retail establishment or was it the dealership’s reputation?  Was it the offer?  Was it coincidence?

Get real-time tracking

With the improvements in today’s technology, you can track customers’ response to a particular piece.  In other words, you can review what the customers’ reaction was to a particular TDM piece, if they reacted at all.  What did the customer do when they received your TDM?  Did your customers call?  Come in to the service bay?  Come into the showroom? Go Online?  You can track all those actions.

It all starts with the question: “how clean is your database” .  Remember the saying, “Garbage in, Garbage Out”.   Therefore, ensure that your database includes the following for each customer:

  • Name:
  • Address:
  • Telephone:
  • Email:
  • VIN#:

When creating your TDM, make sure you are targeting the correct field.  So ask yourself: Are the above fields the only fields of information for your customers?  Do you have the correct information for your customer?  Is the data you have listed where the customer wants you to market to them ?  Has your customer opted-in  that you can market to them at these locations?  There are multiple answers to every field; you have to make sure you market to the correct field.

These are all very key questions that have to be answered before you can market to your customer and start tracking the effectiveness of your particular TDM.  If you or your marketing company is not verifying the original database information, what are you really tracking?

If you do have good data and you feel confident with your target list, you can target and track your customer effectively.

Top Methods of Tracking

  • Sales Activity
  • Service Repair Orders
  • Website Activity
  • Customer Surveys


Is there a direct match to a field and a sale from your mailer?  How soon after your mail was sent did your customer react and purchase?  When did the customer last come in to your dealership?  How often does that customer historically come in for service or purchase a vehicle?  There are many of questions you can ask… How often have I marketed to this customer?  Did the customer bring in the TDM?  The question is do you have a match and is that match solid with several fields matching…Did your door open with traffic and did your cash register ring?

Repair Orders

Is there a direct match to a field and service repair order from your mail?  Or was it just a coincidence that they came in?  Did they bring a specific coupon in?  Did the car break down or was the repair specific to your TDM piece?  What was the mileage on the car?  Are your records corresponding to the customers actions?  Do your Service Advisors know when you have mailed something to your customers?  Another words, are they noticing the traffic because of your TDM?

Website Activity

Are there direct email matches that correspond to your TDM mail list?  What type of activity did your website have after your TDM was released?  Who touched your website after you dropped your TDM?  When someone touched your website, where did they go?  Did they go to appointments, inventory, and service or about you?  Did you sell a car to someone that has an exact email match that you mailed?

Customer Survey

Based on the activity of your dealership and/or customer can you call or email to follow up with the customer to check on the delivery of your TDM?  Make sure you comply with all DNC laws and make sure your survey is informative, investigative and not sales oriented.  You can use a survey of your customer and find out how effective the TDM piece was.  You can specifically ask if that was why they came into the store.

It all starts with clean data.

If you have clean data you can start tracking…There is so much to track and report…

How do you keep it all straight and report effectively?  Next time I will continue to discuss the Tracking, Reporting and ROI for TDM.

Happy Planning…

~ Paul Ryan, Field Account Manager @ DMEautomotive



Paul Ryan brings over 25 years of experience in sales, sales management, marketing, and client services. He joined DMEautomotive in February of 2008, as a Regional Territory Manager. With proven success as an inside sales representative selling the FullCircle Solutions’ Bullseye program, he was recognized frequently as Sales Person of the Month and received the highest honor of Sales Person of the Year for 2008. In August of 2009, Paul managed, “Direct-To-Dealer” – Mail Division, responsible for overseeing the sales for the “Direct-To-Dealer” Mail Division. Currently he is traveling in the Midwest as Field Account Manager. Paul graduated with a B.B.A, in Business Administration from Iowa State University in 1982.

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