The automobile industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the recent economic recession. However, automobile dealerships have proven time and again over the past one hundred years to be incredibly resilient and capable of changing with the times. Embracing new technologies such as email and mobile marketing is one of the reasons for this resiliency.Many dealerships have had great success over the years with traditional direct mail but are looking for ways to increase the results they are getting with their campaigns. Response ratios have been slowly eroding and although still confident in the medium, dealership managers want to stem that slide. Today those same dealerships are finding ways to increase direct mail response rates by combing direct mail with a new mixed media approach.The New Multimedia EventConsumers today have access to computers at home and work and are never without their cell phones. They constantly check their text and email messages throughout the day. That is the basis for a new formula for success – the Multimedia Event.Like all successful campaigns, a direct mail piece must be developed that contains a powerful, time sensitive offer. However, it also needs to include a unique additional “call to action”, such as:”The first 100 people that pre-register by texting the letters DEALER to 3xxxx on their cell phone will receive an additional $250 off the purchase of a new vehicle and be automatically registered to win a 42″ plasma TV.”The direct mail piece is then sent to the customers and prospects in the dealership’s database as well as emails messages to the same in house list, prior to the scheduled event. Additionally, emails can be sent to a specific local opt in email database supplied by an email list vendor in order to increase the local market penetration.Strategic Text Messaging WorksA series of follow up text messages are then sent to every customer and prospect in the dealership’s database that has a cell phone number. These text messages must be short, concise alerts reminding recipients not to forget the sales event.What dealerships who have implemented this approach have learned is that contrary to reports, direct mail is anything but dead provided you deliver your message through a mixture of media. By combing a traditional direct mail campaign with an inexpensive email and text message campaign, new life can breathed into an old medium, one that is becoming ever more costly with continual postal rate increases.By developing the right creative and using the right technology, direct mail can still work when combined with email and mobile marketing and this new multimedia event formula can work for your automobile dealership.