How I used direct mail to negotiate thousands off a new car

Recently, my car popped its clogs.

As in, it was going to cost more to repair than it was worth…

… and there was still no guarantee the problem would be solved.

So, my wife and I decided to cut our losses and buy a new one.

Now, we live in a fairly remote town where there’s only one car dealer for each manufacturer. And the lack of competitor means only one thing: high prices and no room to negotiate.

That, my friend, is not my bag!

No way, Jose.

Well, as luck would have it, we were planning to travel upcountry to see some family for a few days, which meant we would be passing hundreds of dealers on route.

‘Ohhh, this is exciting!’, I thought to my nerdy self…

… ‘I wonder if I could use direct marketing to play the dealers off against each other and save some money. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.’

And that’s exactly what I did.

We figured out what car we wanted, then I wrote to 30 dealers.

And to cut a long story short, we drove home in a new car that was:

  • Newer and higher-spec than those available locally
  • Saved us thousands
  • And included free mud flaps and floor mats

The reason I’m sharing this with you is:

Although I was buying rather than selling, there’s a lot you can take away from the “campaign” and apply to your marketing.

Here’s a good place to start:

Email vs direct mail