Experienced chefs know the importance of a vital ingredient and just how that ingredient affects the overall success of the food they serve. They know which ingredients to add, omit or interchange to create new and unique flavors. They also know that, in some cases, there are ingredients that must never be tampered with. Those in the direct marketing industry should have the same attitude toward customer data. If the vital ingredient of a properly targeted mailing list is omitted from a direct mail campaign, you can surely predict a disappointing result.

Tailoring the creative strategy to fit your specific mailing list criteria is the best route to success in any direct mail campaign. Here is an example of the lists you should be targeting and the goals attached to utilizing each type of list (in no particular order):

Conquest Vehicle List

Goal: Grow market share by reaching outside your database

The best conquest list uses filters and suppressions to find buyers with highly sought after trade-in vehicles and are in a positive equity position. These vehicle lists are targeted by year, make and model that fit within the dealership’s pre-determined criteria. See Market Opportunity Reports.

Dealer Database List

Goal: Stay in front of those who already know you and your dealership

This is the “golden” list of prospects who you have done previous business with. Filters and suppressions are used on this list as well to find your ideal customers who have a desirable trade-in and are in-the-market to buy. This list should be cleaned, CASS certified, postal verified and de-duped to one household only.

Credit List

Goal: Reach out to credit challenged prospects to attract higher gross transactions

This list is taken directly from the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, Experian) and is intended to target “near” prime buyers who are in a position to purchase or lease a vehicle. A Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy list is another option that would fall under this category.

Saturation List

Goal: Blanket a particular zip code to increase overall dealership foot traffic

This is the least targeted approach compared to the lists above. A saturation list is compiled based on a geographic criteria with more of a focus on quantity over quality.

These are the most common mailing lists used to increase sales at the dealership level. The circumstances of each dealership will dictate which type of list is right to use at any given time. Matching the right prospect to the right offer is a skill that should not be overlooked by anyone looking to utilize direct mail. The direct mail agency that you choose should have a thorough process in place for finding the right buyers for your campaign… It’s the vital ingredient!


If you would like to learn more about automotive direct mail marketing or the importance of a targeted mailing list, please visit www.acceleratedmktg.com.