Direct Mail Advertising |

As the owner of 20 auto repair shops, I, Greg Sands, have tried just about every different method of advertising in the book ? you name it, I have tried it. TV, radio, newspapers, newsletters and even e-mail, but none of them have worked as well for me as direct mail has. For me, the key was finding the right advertising tool that allowed me to target the customers I wanted to target, rather than just blinding mailing and hoping for the best possible return. Direct mail works. I have been using auto repair shop direct mail campaigns to drive business for more than a decade. Auto repair shop owners often confuse direct mail with “marriage mail,” which does allow for some targeting (by zip code, for example) but also throws your offers into the mix with a wide range of other advertisers ? from pizza parlors to chiropractors. That type of direct mail has two problems:

1. The “value-pack” is bound to appeal to bargain shoppers, so if you’re aiming for a middle-to-upper income clientele, this isn’t the way to reach that market.

2. It is very difficult to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack, making it likely that your offer will get tossed.

In contrast, true direct mail allows you to craft your own stand-alone offer and target more specifically. My auto repair shop direct mail success comes from focusing on the highest caliber customers within a two-mile radius of my shops. If you specialize in servicing certain brands, say Audi, direct mail will allow you to target Audi owners specifically. Other benefits of direct mail include:

  • More flexibility. Direct mail allows you to have more control over your sales. Once you’ve done direct mail for a while, you’ll discover which offers are more likely to attract customers and you’ll be able to plan more wisely for increases in business. If your store is short-staffed for a month due to vacations, for example, you can cut back on direct mail to avoid flooding the shop with customers you can’t serve.
  • Easier tracking. If you buy a radio advertisement, there’s really no easy way to track whether that ad drove a customer into your store. By comparison, many customers who respond to direct mail will bring the coupon you sent with them to the store. Some shop owners even staple that coupon onto the invoice, so they can efficiently determine the return on their investment. And even those customers who choose not to use the coupon (which is often the case with upper-income clients) often bring the card with them for directions. Our technicians have found plenty of our postcards in cars.
  • Better returns. If you spend $3,000 in one month on direct mail, you’re likely to see $6,000 in service and repairs from that advertisement. However, a customer may return again and again, after getting educated from that one postcard, which is still a return on that initial investment.

Of course, to experience all the advantages that direct mail has to offer, you have to be consistent. Sticking with a direct mail campaign for at least six months is the best way to see solid results.

direct mail advertising costs

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direct mail campaign cost

Low Carb Diets

Can you smell the meat cooking on the grill? If you want to start on a low carb diet such as the famous Atkins diet program, youll need to consider several things. Diets like this have been tremendously successful for many people in the past, and the appeal of eating as much meat, cheese, and pork skins you want may be enough to interest you in this type of diet. There is a lot to be said for high protein diets, as long as they are followed with some wise decisions.

Understanding that our bodies require protein to build muscle helps us understand why this lifestyle can work. You may get a short burst of energy after eating carbohydrates, but you will get lasting building blocks of growth from protein. So, we know that even all of the bad press surrounding these diets is not entirely true. What is true is that every diet can be dangerous if taken to extremes.

Any person deciding to pursue a low carb lifestyle needs to know that these diets can be dangerous for a person if their food choices remain poor. Choosing to eat only high fat meats as the majority of your caloric intake can have dangerous effects on your heart, arteries, and cholesterol levels. This type of effect can be avoided, though by making thoughtful choices as you continue with the diet.

Protein sources like fish, turkey, lean cuts of beef and eggs are great meal choices to keep your fat intake at a reasonable level within the confines of a low carb diet. Choosing to get fat from protein rich nuts and legumes is also a way to keep your body healthy while still losing the weight that these programs so famously help you lose.

Also, be sure not to overindulge on any one particular food. Moderation is still going to be the best way to keep your body healthy as you shrink your clothing size. It simply shouldnt be okay with you hurt your body in order to look better.

Choosing to use a low carb diet can certainly help you lose weight really fast. And when you lose that weight, people around you will want to know how you did it. Thats when it will be your turn to share a success story with people looking for a change. Use that opportunity to share the food choices that worked for you and explain that a good diet is one that can help you not only shed weight, but get healthier too.

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