Here is an auto repair marketing idea that is working well for my auto repair shop clients. Combines inexpensive print ad with related landing page on your website.
Place a small, 2x1 column ad in local paper with link to a corresponding landing page on your website. Keep the ad simple, consistent layout and design, and run it every issue. Anyone experienced with advertising will tell you the secret to a successful ad campaign is frequency and consistency.
Keep your ad as simple as possible. It doesn't need to include your business name or phone number. They are just a distraction and will just decrease impact of the ad. Limit your ad to three lines: Title, pitch line, and URL to your website landing page. Make the title font size as large as possible with ad size (ad examples below).
Frequent ad publication will get it imprinted on people's memory. They won't remember your business name a month later. But they will remember that auto repair ad that is always there on page 'x'. When they need your services, and only then, they will go looking for your ad... and it needs to be there! People don't save print ads... your ad must be there when THEY need it.
Ads of this size are cheap. You can usually negotiate a great price if you buy the space for 12 months in advance. Just make sure they will allow you to specify the position of your ad. It is even worth paying a premium for this ability. This will also allow you move you ad to test which pages produce the best performance. To get noticed small ads need to be near top of the page and on right side. All too often they will get used as a "filler" and plopped at bottom of the page...
You should create a series of ads for seasonal services. Then you can swap ads to match seasonal demand and make good use of your ad space year round. Examples are summer and winter tire sales, tune-up, oil change, coolant flush, wheel alignment, AC recharge, check engine light, etc. If you have these ads pre-made, and you can get your ad representative to tip you off when competitor is doing a promotion..., you can get your ad positioned beside your competitors ad. Let your competitors spend the big bucks on display ads and then get your small ad onto the same page. People always want to shop around. Make it easy for them!
Many Ads = Success
You can also use small ad/landing page method with post card mailers (must send them frequently to work), sporting event guides, local news fliers, club newsletters, or anything that is regularly published. Just remember that one time ad publications are NOT effective. The ad MUST have frequent, regular publication to work. Having your small ad in many different media publications is far better than a large ad in a single publication! Be seen everywhere possible for your marketing budget.
The secret to success with this small ad advertising is directing people to a web-page that is related to the ad. It will NOT work if you just dump shoppers onto your auto repair website homepage. People won't go looking for information on your website related to what they are shopping for! People are lazy and with so many options today they will quickly abandon your website if the landing page is not directly related to your ad.
Be Mobile Friendly
And make sure your auto repair website is mobile device friendly! People read the paper with their smartphones in their hand... they are not going to go to their desktop computer to check out your website! A Responsive Design auto repair website that displays your landing pages on smartphones and tablets is essential! Remember people are lazy and they won't scroll sideways to view a web-page on small screens... it's very annoying!
Landing Page Contents
The ad landing page should list details of your promotion and general info about benefits of buying from you. This benefit information is your 'Competitive Advantage' and is the only way to emphasize how you differ from your competition... and why they should pay more if you don't have the lowest price of the competition. Give them a reason to buy from you!