This Direct Mail Package Hurts Direct Marketers' Reputation

True JUNK mail continues to persist in this economic environment.

Note the terrible letter below I just received from a local car dealer. (If you are a car dealer or car salesman, please stop abusing direct response advertising polluting direct mail with double meanings and outright lies.)

I can't figure out if it's caused by bad advertisers, unwary consumers, or both.


Sabaru promotion from local dealer

 The highlighted area in the letter shown above reads as follows on the first line of the offer.

We will buy back your current vehicle at 100% of the ORIGINAL FACTORY BASE MSRP when your car was new.

Wow! Taken at face value, that seems pretty clear. If your car had an MSRP of $30,000, then your trade in value based on this comment is $30,000. The deception continues.

SUBARU OF PLANO has been provided by the National Automobile Dealers Association the original price for your vehicle. Any 1999-2007 vehicle traded during this event will receive this offer. Obviously your vehicle must be in safe operating condition, with normal wear and tear & free of paint or collision work.

 That last sentence above sounds like a warning. And sure enough it is. Finally we get the truth about the real "offer."

Adjustments will be made for mileage, excessive wear and tear and reconditioning costs.

 Now the reader should know that this is a non-offer. They will simply give you the trade in value of your car since mileage is taken into account. It also leaves room for them to deduct costs for the vehicle's age since the title of the offer says it all. "100% trade value."

Let me ask you. After getting this in the mail, would you ever trust this dealer with your $20,000 plus for one of his cars?

Posted on April 22, 2010 and filed under Direct Response Creative.