Okay, vehicle wrap printers/installers, how do you turn prospects into new customers to grow your business? Employing integrated and multichannel strategies, wrap firms market their services via numerous means, from printed direct mail and optimized websites to paying relatives to decorate their cars with company logos plastered on them. And why not, asks Troy Downey, founder and owner of A.P.E. Wraps Ink, a 10-year-old firm situated in Chula Vista, CA?
“Pay your nephew to drive it everywhere!” he asserted. And Downey is not kidding, citing killer return-on-investment (ROI) numbers measured as cost per thousand impressions. When it comes to mobile ad views, eyeballs are eyeballs, he contends.
But before reaching into your wallet to fork over spending money to 20-year-old Johnny, make sure your firm has a wrap that you’re proud to display around town. “There’s no doubt that your [own] car or vehicle wrap needs to be well designed and well executed,” Downey added. The same holds true for customer wraps that include your logo on them as part of the agreement.
“We typically offer a $50 credit for clients to run our logo on the lower rocker panels on each side of the vehicle, or in front or back of the rear wheels,” explained Downey. “Fifty dollars sounds tangible,” he noted, and is a much better tactic than offering a seemingly small percentage discount to a plumber or other mom-and-pop business that he considers his bread-and-butter customers. During slower times, Downey even has had rear windows tinted for people and “given them 50 bucks to drive around” with his logo.
To the east in Millville, NJ, owner and certified wrapper Sean Tomlin of Designer Wraps has made his firm’s logo placement a part of the formal contract with customers. “When they do business with us, they agree to ‘tag’ their vehicle with our two-by-three-inch sticker,” Tomlin said. There’s an opt-out clause, but “95 percent of our customers are okay with it,” he pointed out. Design taste is subjective, of course, and there are times when giving customers what they desire may mean not wanting your firm’s name associated with it.
Like A.P.E. Wraps on the West Coast, the New Jersey shop also promotes itself by driving its own wrapped vehicles around the area. “One of us may run out to grab coffee and when they come out, there will be people waiting by the car to ask them about it [the wrap],” Tomlin said. “It’s a great opportunity to introduce ourselves.”
Both locally and regionally, this is the number-two form of marketing for Designer Wraps, which is situated 45 miles from Philadelphia. “We market any way we can and use a mix of everything,” he said, including direct mail and distributing email newsletters. “They’re solicited, not blasts,” Tomlin clarified. Its own website’s photo gallery pages generate a decent amount of traffic, and the firm also obtains leads from its listing on Avery Dennison’s carwraps.com site. It even posts quarterly Craigslist online classified ads under “business communications,” “color changes,” and “roof wraps” categories, Tomlin revealed. But what’s its number-one marketing method?
“Google search is number one by far,” shared Tomlin, who owned a website company 10 years ago and knows the basics of search-engine optimization (SEO). Top keywords earlier this summer, in addition to the firm’s actual name, included “car wraps,” “bass boat wraps,” car wraps New Jersey,” “vehicle wraps,” “car wrap Philadelphia,” and “car wraps colors,” he reported. “Pay-per-click [advertising] is sure-fire but costly, he warned, adding that a well-organized, optimized website can yield powerful “organic” search results.