Avoid Direct Mailing These Automotive Coupons

You probably know the important role coupons play in marketing your auto shop to new and existing customers. But are the coupons you’re currently mailing getting the results you want? Offers that are too technical can confuse people who don’t know much about cars. And being too specific with your coupons limits the number of prospects who can use them. We’ve pinpointed several common automotive coupons that could be hurting your response rates, along with some alternatives you should use instead. Let’s take a look.

Which Auto Coupons Should You Avoid Mailing?

You might be tempted to offer discounts on specific replacement parts, like serpentine belts, shocks and struts, or timing belts. In fact, it’s quite common to see these kinds of offers on direct mail pieces. These aren’t necessarily your best option, though. Most timing and serpentine belts last 100,000 miles, and shocks and struts are typically good for at least 5 years. With this in mind, how many people on your mailing list do you think will actually be able to use these coupons?

Mailing discounts for specific replacement parts is also problematic because a lot of your customers don’t know what specific parts are or when they need to be replaced. This might make them hesitant to cash in on a specific offer because they’re unsure if they even need that part or repair.

Which Auto Coupons Should You Send Instead?

Coupon Example: Save on any serviceInstead of mailing coupons for specific replacement parts, offer your customers a tiered dollar-off coupon. For example, you might offer $25, $50, or $100 off any repairs or maintenance costing over a certain amount of money. Because they’re not limited to a specific part or service, these coupons appeal to a much broader audience.

Your customers will get the same discount with a tiered dollar-off coupon as they would with one for a specific service. However, you’ll get far more redemptions (and make more money) because more people can cash in on them.

Other Automotive Coupons with Broad Appeal

Tiered dollar-off coupons aren’t the only offers that can boost response rates and make you more money. Try incorporating the following coupons to appeal to an even broader audience.

Oil Change Special

Depending on the age of the vehicle, most manufacturers recommend drivers change their oil every 3-12 months (or every 3,000 to 12,000 miles). So, an oil change coupon is very useful to the average driver because it’s something they have to do frequently, as opposed to a service they may only need once in the lifetime of their car.

The oil change special also gives you the opportunity to build long-term relationships with customers. Everyone who owns a vehicle will need an oil change at some point, so this coupon is one of the best ways to drive new business to your shop. Provide people with top-notch work and great customer service and you can earn their future preventative maintenance and repairs. You may make a bit less profit upfront, but you gain the opportunity to vastly increase the customer’s lifetime value. Remember that today’s oil change is tomorrow’s broken car.


Warning Light Scan

Coupon Example: Warning Light ScanMost vehicles have at least 15 different dashboard warning lights your prospects could be seeing at any given time. That’s 15 opportunities to get new business. The free warning light scan coupon allows you to diagnose any problems a vehicle might be having, rather than limiting you to the check engine light.

This coupon can be incredibly valuable because it gets prospects through your doors and starts a conversation. Once you’ve diagnosed the cause of the warning light, you can fix the problem and earn the customer’s future business. Ultimately, this simple coupon can help you turn prospects into loyal customers with high lifetime value.


As you can see, you have to be selective when choosing automotive direct mail coupons for your shop. Offers that are too specific can confuse recipients and may not be useful to them. On the other hand, coupons with generic offers appeal to a wider audience and help you get more new and repeat business. Generic coupons also make it easier for people to understand the great deal they’re getting, which increases the chances they’ll cash in on your offer.