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This is the second article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your auto body shop and make it a success. Many small auto body shops make the mistake of printing their own marketing materials. They view marketing as an expense, rather than the investment that it is. All marketing is intended to turn a profit, and you will be better positioned to do so if your message is delivered with the utmost professionalism. High-quality printed materials are relatively inexpensive, so send your printing jobs to a state-of-the-art online printing company such as PsPrint for best results.
A little bit of marketing savvy can go a long way. Use these marketing materials to help your auto body shop race ahead of the competition. Business cards - No business is complete without them. Literally your calling card, business cards should be sent with all other materials, handed out at networking events, and distributed to happy customers so they can pass them along to other potential customers. Postcards - Postcards are one of the most cost-effective ways to market an auto body shop. Send them out seasonally - such as before the winter ice and the spring rain - so customers already know where you are when they need you. Posters - With the right message and graphic elements, well-placed posters can motivate tons of response. Flyers - Flyers are perfect marketing materials for placement on bulletin boards, windshields, direct mail, storefront windows and more. Auto body booklets/guides - Booklets are a unique and profitable way to give your prospects value. Use a booklet to explain auto body care techniques and to highlight your work. Think "How to protect your paint job for decades." Catalogs - If you sell auto body care supplies or equipment you can compile your products into a mail-order or leave-behind catalog for upsells. Add value with unique anecdotes, tips, and tricks; and watch the orders pile up. Brochures - Brochures are service industry staples, but that doesn't mean they have to be boring. Add pop and pizazz to your brochures with die cuts and oversized printing. Calendars - Not only will almost anyone take a free calendar, they'll also use it. Print calendars that highlight key automotive milestones, such as when tires and oil should be changed, to drum up business. Theme your calendar to highlight your best work. What better way to put your message in front of potential customers 365 days a year? Greeting cards - Thanking your customers for their business and commemorating their special moments with greeting cards will earn you a special place in their hearts. Remember that most purchasing decisions are based on emotion, and then justified with logic. Stickers - Sticker marketing lets you shatter boundaries. Affix stickers to anything: ceilings, floors, magazines, notebooks, windows, cars - anywhere your target audience is likely to find them. Newsletters - A well-written and informative newsletter that adds value helps you stay connected to your customers year round and supplies the perfect medium to market new and ongoing services. Vinyl banners - Banners are an affordable way to draw attention to your business. Place one on the side of your building or on a prominent building and have it point to yours. You should also consider producing a website, door hangers and a corporate identity package with letterhead, envelopes, brochure, flyer, business cards and pocket folder. A website is a central online marketing tool, a corporate identity package is perfect for marketing your services to upscale businesses, and door hangers help you reach residential neighborhoods without the added expense of postage.