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Zed Daniels, Author of Auto Repair Marketing Articles

Zed Daniels is President of Motor Service Marketing an auto repair service direct mail marketing company and web site development company for auto repair shops, since 1984. A BBB member with A+ rating. Zed is also president of DMVLists.com selling direct mail marketing DMV mailing lists for independent auto repair service shops who need to find exactly the right make, model and year of vehicles they like to work on.

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Motor Service Marketing
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How An Honorable Man And A Secretarial Service Postcard,
Got Me Started In The Auto Repair Marketing Business
In 1984

By Zed Daniels, August 19, 2012
This is a very interesting story about a new friend, a man of integrity, who was a life-long shutter company expert that had recently gotten into the printing business.

As some of you know, I came out of Chicago advertising. My Dad, Zed Daniels Sr., (who passed away Oct. 2011 at the age of 86), was the man who introduced Mr. Coffee and the La Machine food processor. I was there for the ride and that is where I learned about advertising and marketing. To see a short biography on me click here: Zed Daniels Bio. And YES, we worked with Joe DiMaggio and captured 50% of the coffee maker market in the first year. Dad always said we had up to 80% of the market at one point.

Anyway, this man of integrity, Ron Guidry - who had never met me, called me out of the blue one day because he had a customer come into his print shop asking if they could duplicate a postcard for them. It was a postcard mailer I had made for a secretarial service, looking for new business from sole proprietorship men. This is the card… and it worked like a charm!
Auto Repair Service Marketing
This is one of my first Ad-Cards back in 1984. This character on the front was my barber, but had a face with more expressions than you could find in a circus.

Ron Guidry got this card and the lady that brought it in wanted him to copy it and run it for her. Ron Guidry's Integrity badge #1. He refused to do it, but took my phone number off the back and called me because he loved the way it was done.

I went down to meet Ron, he explained what happened, but wondered how we might be able to get together on some advertising for his shutter shop.

So I went through my presentation of how most small business advertising is nothing more than 'ME ADVERTISING', that doesn't attract customers at all, with too much meaningless copy and poor photos - if any photos - and I specialized in getting into the customer's head and heart, and putting on the direct mail marketing postcard, exactly what was needed to get them to call or come in.

To my shock and surprise, Ron jumped up shouting, "Hold on just a minute! I have got to stop the printing press!"

Close on his heels, I followed him into the print room. He flipped the switch and stopped a printing run in progress. He took one of the two color postcards he was printing off the stack and handed it on to me saying, "What do you think about this?" It was a direct mail marketing postcard he was printing for, not only a client, but also a good friend in the auto repair business. This was going to be his direct mail marketing post card program.

I looked it over quickly and said, "Yep - That's exactly what I am talking about. This is completely worthless to your customer. It will accomplish nothing for him.

"That's what I thought," Ron said. "That's why I stopped the press." Ron Guidry's Integrity badge #2.

Next, Ron suggested that we call up the owner of the business and go out to see him. He called and the next day we were sitting in the office of a little 3 bay auto repair shop.

The shop owner listened do Ron's explaination as to why we were there and why, in good conscience, he could not continue printing the direct mail postcard. (A little knowledge can sometimes really mess things up - huh?)
Then the owner looked at me and said, "Here's my problem. I send out these auto repair postcards all the time and all I get in here is people with no money. I do their oil change, inspect their car and when I present them with the additional auto repair or maintenance that is needed on their car, they say NO!"
He continued, "I need customers with money in here. Customers who care about their cars and have the money to repair them!"

Without hesitation I answered, "I can help you with that!" and the Ad-Card direct mail auto repair marketing program was born.
So, there it was, my first auto repair direct mail postcard. To make a long story short, we took his RO average from something like $67 to $286 (in 1984 that was pretty good). In fact the Ad-Card program worked so well, within about 3 years, he moved from a little 3 bay shop to a 10 bay shop (that he has now added another building with even more bays.)

Well, with that kind of success, you would be a fool not to go into the auto repair service marketing industry full time. So I did!

The rest is history. Now we do auto repair service marketing clients all over the nation. Even did a little job once for a client in the Cayman Islands. My wife Betsy and I were there on a dive trip and saw his European auto repair shop. I stopped in and told him what I did and he hired me on the spot to shoot photos and do a shop profile article which was run in the ASA magazine.

We especially like auto repair specialists. European auto repair service marketing, or Japanese car repair specialist advertising, or even a general service shop that prefers certain car makes, or loves to do pickup trucks and 4 wheel drive vehicles.

And, even better for the specialist, we have the legal DMV mailing list by car owner, make, model and year in 22 states. There is no better list for your direct mail marketing than the DMV List. Get more information at www.DMVLists.com.

Most auto repair service marketing mailing lists are as low as 70% accurate by their own admission, and on top of that are missing from 30% to 50% of the cars you are looking for in your market area. So, if you are an auto repair specialty shop in one of our 22 states, you seriously need to have us get you a count and give you a free market analysis. You will know, maybe for the first time in a long time, exactly how many of the cars you specialize in are actually in your market area. In most cases, the shop owners are shocked at the larger number of cars and the larger number of responses they get off their direct mail programs.

Back to Ron Guidry for a moment. He got out of the printing business quite a few years ago, but stuck with the business he grew up in - Shutters and Blinds. I did the video for him on his web site. In fact it was shot in my living room.

Ron is a true master in shutters and blinds - the best and most honest in the business, with proven integrity. We have been good friends for 28 years and I stand behind him all the way in whatever he does. Thanks Ron, for helping me get started in the auto repair service marketing business. It has been a wonderful life for me and my family!

I can't help but give my good friend a plug. You can find Ron at www.PricedRightBlinds.com.

If you are looking for shutters or blinds, at least listen to his 2 videos on the subject. He will set you straight on what is and is not good quality, even if you can't take advantage of his services.

Anyway, auto repair specialty shop owners, I would love to talk with you about direct mail marketing, your web site, Google places local positioning or just getting an auto repair direct mail marketing mailing list - a DMV list - to seriously increase your auto repair marketing response rates.

And we offer exclusivity. We will work with no other auto repair client in your market area for our Ad-Card direct mail program. I was the only one in the auto repair direct mail marketing industry to offer exclusivity for many years. A few others tried it, but I think once they found out how hard it is to track and that you actually have to turn away almost as many sales as you get, they gave it up.

To learn a lot more about our strategy and procedures, take a free look at my little online book, "The Art and Science of Selling Auto Service". Click Here There are 29 years of experience in auto repair marketing on every page without obligation.
You Can Call Me At (800) 428-0286.