Many marketers will define your auto repair shops trade area as a 3-5-mile radius around your shop. I agree this can be a great place to start. However, every auto repair shops market and demographic makeup is going to be different. For example, In urban areas going out 3 miles can yield a few hundred thousand prospects and in rural areas you might need to go out 10 miles to reach 5,000 prospects. Therefore, there isn’t a one size fits all strategy when it comes to defining your specific repair shops target market.
In addition, customers will travel further for a quality, transparent and trustworthy auto repair shop so you don’t want to limit your trade area based on an arbitrary starting point. With that in mind, the most strategic way to define your shops ideal trade area, is to run a penetration map and report. With a penetration map, we take your database of current customers and visually plot them on a map. Next, we draw a radius around your location in order identify how far your current customers are willing to travel to visit your shop.
From here, we can append the number of customers you have down to the postal mail carrier route level to define your potential trade area. This will give you a very transparent picture with regards to which postal carrier routes are yielding the most customers.
Here is an example of a penetration map and report:
If you are a general auto repair shop you can now use this new data along with key demographics such as median income, % of vehicles per household, age, etc. to strategically choose the areas and carrier routes that should theoretically yield the best return.
If you are a Euro, Asian, Diesel, Specialty Repair Shop, etc. that is only targeting specific makes & models, etc. although you won’t be targeting every address in a specific carrier route, you can still use carrier routes to help choose the areas you would like to target the specific makes & models that your service.
Using the carrier route strategy allows you to more strategically identify the areas that you want to target as opposed to having to mail an entire radius for example. Mailing a radius may not be a good strategy as there may be specific areas within that radius that you want to avoid.
This could be due to traffic patterns making it difficult to access your location from certain areas, too much competition from other shops, or quite simply there may be some very low-income areas, etc. that you want to stay away from. In these instances, its best to select the carrier routes that you want to target and then from their purchase the list of only the makes, models, etc. in those specific carrier routes.
Pro Tip: For General Auto Repair Shops Executing Carrier Route Mailings: Choosing the areas is only half of the equation. It’s equally as critical that you understand the types of addresses within the areas you have selected. There are all sorts of things that could diminish your return if not discussed and potentially removed. Addresses such as PO Boxes, Businesses, Drop Address Apartments, Seasonal Addresses, Trailers, College Addresses, etc.
Give us a call today to learn more about how Mail Shark helps auto repair shops grow their car count.