THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER...
AUTOHOOK® + SERVICE SMARTS®
LAUNCHES AUGUST 1, 2017
What is AutoHook?
AutoHook specializes in proving sales attribution combined with their untouched ability to increase showroom and service drive traffic. Through their 100% DAS-Eligible incentive solutions, AutoHook supplies true, incremental sales, new to brand buyers, and service appointments to KIA Dealers. Powered by Urban Science, AutoHook proves ROI with the fastest, most accurate sales and service data in existence.
What is ServiceSmarts®?
ServiceSmarts® is an online tool that allows all KIA Dealers to identify and target their best Service opportunities.
What Happens When Two Superpowers Combine?
After establishing a proven track record for driving sales and new to brand buyers to KIA stores, it was only a matter of time before AutoHook brought our high-converting incentive solutions to the service drive! With the all-new AutoHook + ServiceSmarts integration, KIA dealers can improve the effectiveness of every service campaign and TAKE BACK service revenue by isolating, targeting, and incentivizing the customers with the highest level of opportunity. ServiceSmarts data identifies any potential missed opportunities and AutoHook incentives allow you to create campaigns to convert those opportunities into service appointments.
Target inactive or at-risk customers using your ServiceSmarts data.
Identify and incentivize your greatest areas of service revenue opportunity.
- Deploy AutoHook's custom email incentive campaigns to secure more service appointments without compromising your price integrity.
How Does it Work?
SIGNING UP IS 100% FREE.
YOU ONLY PAY IF A CUSTOMER SHOWS UP IN YOUR SERVICE DRIVE TO REDEEM THEIR EMAIL INCENTIVE.
SIGN UP NOW TO START TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS PROGRAM!
*CAUTION: Dealers using AutoHook Incentives have been known to experience outrageously high levels of ROI.
AutoHook Releases Purchase Analysis Reports for Current Clients
As of May 2017, AutoHook released an all-new dealer sales match report, further solidifying their place in the industry as the true definition of automotive attribution. Current clients will now have a 360-degree view of their dealership’s sales, conquest, and defection trends based on data only hours old, as opposed to 90-day old registration data used in previous reporting.
The Closest to Real-Time Data in Existence
This is no joke. Urban Science has the only Shared Sales Database that allows our clients to see sales effectiveness across multiple car brands in near-real time. Thus, we can report back on the numbers faster than the OEMs themselves, giving dealers:
- First-time visibility into sales and defection to other dealerships and brands.
- The knowledge required to take control of your dealership’s marketing and operations.
- Names of defectors to like-brand dealers as well as competitive brands.
AutoHook’s current dealer and OEM clients will have a significantly more actionable snapshot of their market conditions. Urban Science’s new vehicle sales matching data is now being directly pulled into AutoHook’s private offer and redemption platform for the generation of weekly reports.
Your Total Lost Sales by Competitor
This is a big one! Prior to this release, dealers could only see how many total sales they lost to competitors. Now, you have complete visibility into competing dealerships in your market (by name) that you lost sales to. This is what is known as “actionable data.” If you are a Hyundai Dealer and you’re losing the most sales to Hometown Hyundai down the street, you can then work with AutoHook to deploy a targeted conquest incentive campaign to reduce pump-in sales. OEM clients receive even more in-depth reporting on the number of new to brand buyers AutoHook delivered to their stores.
Customize Your Report View
Your AutoHook Client Service Specialist (CSS) can also generate a custom Purchase Analysis Report to show sales match data from any date range of your choice.
Each dealer’s Purchase Analysis Report will include their previous three full months of sales data in addition to their metrics through the current month to date. Reports are updated and reran each week, guaranteeing the most current metrics as well as sales lost to other brands or dealers in the market. Your CSS will review these reports with you on a one-on-one basis and offer recommendations as to how AutoHook can help you grow your market share and reclaim lost sales from competing stores.
REAL PURCHASE ANALYSIS REPORT EXAMPLE
An example of the new Purchase Analysis Report from an actual dealer is shown below. (The dealership’s name and competing dealer names have been changed to protect their privacy).
Starting Summer 2017, AutoHook Purchase Analysis Reports will be automatically sent out weekly to all dealer clients. In the mean time, please reach out to your CSS or DealerSupport@UrbanScience to access your sales report based on your AutoHook test drive incentive redemptions. Or please contact us with any questions. Enjoy!
A How to Guide for Dealers
Why Social? Marketing 101 says if you want to effectively reach your customers you have to be where they are, or “in the right place at the right time.” Social media represents the most widely utilized communication channel in existence. Salesforce reported 66% of all Internet usage occurs on social sites. Facebook takes the cake as the most widely used platform with 80% of Americans using it on a regular basis (talk about being where your customers are).
Why AutoHook Incentives? That’s an easy one. In order for a customer to redeem an AutoHook incentive, they have to physically walk into a dealership. We all know the chances of selling a vehicle drastically increase when you’re able to get shoppers off the Internet and into your store. But what AutoHook does that’s even more important than driving more showroom visits (yes there are more important things), is we use the most up-to-date sales match reporting to prove exactly which incentive offers resulted in a sale.
Below are 10 ways to boost the revenue driving opportunities already available to you as an AutoHook customer. Simply reach out to your AutoHook Client Service Specialist (CSS) to implement any of the examples listed below. They will help you set up campaigns and make sure these efforts convert into sales or service appointments.
1. PLUG INCENTIVES INTO YOUR EXISTING SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS
Plugging in an incentive into any social campaign is very simple to do. All AutoHook needs to know is the URL of the landing page you want to drive traffic to - whether it’s a specific vehicle, model, service offer, or special. We then provide you with a trackable link you can drop into any Facebook or social campaign. We attach a unique identifier to every offer so we can prove sales attribution for your store. Furthermore, we source out every link separately so that you can differentiate which specific AutoHook campaign converted into a showroom visit or sale in your CRM.
- Customize Time Frame & Offer Amount: All we need from you is the landing page you’d like to promote, the value of the incentive you’d like to offer and the time frame in which you’d like the campaign to run.
- Ex: Boost your new vehicle specials with a $50 offer.
2. USE YOUR CRM DATA TO CREATE CUSTOM AUDIENCES
We know no two dealers and no two markets are the same. Therefore, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Despite what vendors try to tell you, no one knows your pain points better than you. The most valuable data you have at your fingertips is your own customer data. Use this to pull targeted lists that address your unique needs and then work with a Client Service Specialist (CSS) to implement the campaign on social.
Here are a few examples to get the wheels turning:
- Pull a list of customers who are in equity and provide an incentive for them to get into a new vehicle for the same monthly cost.
- Consolidate a list of all active leads across all your 3rd party sources and retarget those individuals all in one place.
- Use equity-mining software such as AutoAlert to identify all customers in your market who have upcoming contracts ending on a lease or purchase.
- Target customers who visited your service drive but did not purchase from you.
3. ELIMINATE WASTED TIME & MONEY
Wouldn’t it help to know which leads in your CRM have already purchased so you don’t waste time and money trying to sell them? A high percentage of car buyers are only in market for a relatively short period of time. Through near real time sales data from Urban Science, AutoHook can help you identify which customers are no longer in market for a vehicle. No one (not even the OEMs) has access to this data within DAYS after sales transactions occur (rather weeks or months). Work with your CSS to create a suppression list of all the customers currently in your CRM that have already purchased a vehicle elsewhere.
4. INCREASE CUSTOMER RETENTION
This is a HUGE and often undervalued aspect of the car business. Retention is half the battle. We know 30% of people will defect to a different brand after their lease is up. Use an incentive to ensure they come back to your store to test drive the newest model or any other vehicle they might be interested in. Mine your CRM data to find consumers who are “in equity” or who have a lease coming to term in the next 3-6 months.
5. TARGET UNDERPERFORMING MODELS
Real Dealer Case Study: Germain Ford of Beavercreek
- Using the data found within the MarketMaster tool and Urban Science’s shared sales database, AutoHook identified specific areas of opportunity for Germain Ford of Beavercreek to grow their market share by targeting the top three models they were losing to competitors (including the Ford Focus, Fusion, and Edge). We then implemented a $50 test-drive incentive on all Focus, Fusion and Edge VDPs and SRPs, while running social campaigns to drive traffic to those pages. The result was a 47% reduction in overall lost sales (pump-in). Click here to see the complete case study.
Can’t move a VIN off your lot? Try increasing the dollar amount of the test-drive incentive.
6. TARGET UNDERPERFORMING AREAS
Utilizing Market Master, AutoHook can help you identify the zip codes in which you’re losing the most sales opportunities. We can also show you the areas with the highest levels of pump-in sales and increase the incentive offer to come in for a test-drive in those underperforming areas. This will help you take back market share from the top brand competitors in your market.
Never heard of Market Master? A lot of dealers don’t know this powerful revenue driver exists. Market Master is an Urban Science tool that uses near real-time sales data to identify the biggest areas of opportunity within your market. It’s typically located within your dealer portal through your OEM (currently available for Ford, FCA, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan).
7. CONQUEST TOP COMPETING BRANDS
Go after the models you know you’re losing to competitive brands in your market. Tailor the creative and messaging in your social ads to express why your brand is the better choice. For example, “Before you go back into a new Ford F150 here’s a $50 Visa Gift Card to come in and test drive the Dodge Ram at Hometown Chrysler.”
8. PLUG INTO VIDEO PRE-ROLL
Custom links can be embedded directly into your video ads on Facebook. Need to move more of a certain model, try offering $25-50 just for coming in to test-drive the featured vehicle. Chances are, if they’re watching the video, they’re already interested.
9. SECURE MORE FIXED OPS APPOINTMENTS
Running service specials? Why not promote them on social to get more exposure? Use incentives in your service and parts campaigns on social sites. Here are a few examples:
- Schedule a service appointment and get a $25 Visa gift card.
- Buy 4 tires get a $50 Visa Gift Card.
- Get a $10 Amazon Gift Card just for getting your oil changed with us.
10. BOOST HOLIDAY SPECIALS
Memorial Day is coming up! Lift the performance of your limited time holiday offers with a $25 gift incentive (or an amount of your choice). Dealers spend countless amounts of money to get customers in the door. Why not spend another $25 to ensure the sale? This same idea can be deployed throughout the year to increase sales around the holidays and give wings to your current specials and holiday sales events.
To conclude, the opportunities in which you can leverage AutoHook to boost the performance of your social campaigns are limitless. Plus you have the attribution reporting that goes along with it, so you know we’re delivering results in the form of sales and service revenue.
In January of 2017, AutoHook opened up our API so that other best in class technology vendors could tie in our incentive offers to their own existing solutions. SOCIALDEALER is the latest partner to join in our open API initiative. Current and future clients of SOCIALDEALER will see even higher form fill conversion rates on social due to their integration with AutoHook’s API. To learn more about the new capabilities of this partnership, click here.
A Tale That Proves 2 Technology Leaders are Better Than 1
By David Metter
Too many companies these days suffer as a result of being close-minded. They think innovation means constantly developing new solutions to better service dealers and OEMs. I’d like to challenge that mindset. What happened to sticking with what you’re best at? I’m not saying don’t dream big, but I am recommending you dream a little smarter. Too often vendors attempt to do things they’re never going to be good at. For example, I know AutoHook will never be great at social advertising. We could do it, and we could do a decent job, but what’s the point of doing anything if you don’t do it right?
Great solutions are a result of knowing what you’re best at and holding on tight to that. In my opinion, strategic partnerships might just be the new and improved form of innovation within the automotive space – and here’s why. AutoHook’s core competency is securing our private offer and incentive rail system within dealerships and directly proving the source that led to a sale or a new to brand buyer. We’re great at attribution reporting because of the data we have access to through Urban Science. We’re never going to be great at Facebook ads, but we know SOCIALDEALER is.
To provide some color, AutoHook opened up our API in January of 2017 so that reputable partners could access our redemption platform and proven attribution engine at no cost to them or their dealer clients. SOCIALDEALER is the latest company to join in our open API initiative to advance actionable data and simply deliver a higher ROI through these types of technology integrations.
SOCIALDEALER’s core competency is in converting customers through social media advertising. Now that they have tied into the redemption rail system AutoHook has already put into place, they can prove exactly which social campaigns resulted in an incremental sale or service appointment. Having the ability to tie in what we’re best at with what another vendor is best at and execute on that to sell and service more cars (and prove it)…now that, that is innovation.
By integrating with our private offer and attribution API, SOCIALDEALER can do more than just show conversions from their solutions to more showroom traffic. They can validate to their dealer clients if a vehicle was purchased as a direct result of their own existing ad platform. This open and unified approach presents countless opportunities for innovation that benefits all parties involved. Most importantly, it benefits the dealers and OEMs that no longer have to pay the integration fees vendors typically charge to work with other vendors.
Here’s a breakdown of how this whole open API thing works. SOCIALDEALER can now use AutoHook’s redemption rail system to serve inventory-specific test drive offers to highly targeted audiences on Facebook. For example, if a customer views a vehicle details page on a dealer’s website and later goes on Facebook to post a picture of their cat, SOCIALDEALER will then retarget that shopper and strategically plug in an AutoHook incentive to visit XYZ dealer to test-drive the vehicle they previously viewed or showed interest in. Through a vast network of data partners (yes more vendor integration) SOCIALDEALER will plug a test drive incentive offer directly into their Facebook ads AND with prepopulated form fields. All the customer has to do to redeem their incentive is hit submit and show up at the dealership. No one else in the space can do that.
We know conversion rates decrease when a customer is asked to fill out an online form with several fields of their personal information. Adding incentives to forms absolutely lifts conversion, but having the form already filled out with the customer's name and contact information, that’s just a no-brainer. That’s why this partnership defines innovation (along with all the other vendors in our API Partner Program).
Think about Salesforce and what happened after they decided to open up their interface and allow third party providers to integrate, for free. Their revenue grew exponentially and their adoption rates blew up. Now you can have video conference calls, send emails, post to social sites, and sign contracts all within Salesforce. Their AppExchange literally has 1,000 different apps available to their customers. That’s beyond valuable, and that’s exactly what being a little more open-minded can do for automotive. I mean heck, look what it did for Apple!
To learn more about AutoHook’s API Partner Program visit DriveAutoHook.com/Partners.
Here are 10 different ways to use AutoHook incentive offers to boost your service campaigns. A July 2016 client survey revealed some interesting insights from AutoHook’s dealer and OEM subscribers. The study’s strongest finding confirmed: What AutoHook customers want, AutoHook customers get.
Incentivize Your Service Drive
By David Metter
It’s time for a reality check. I’d like to begin with pointing out the fact that more often than we realize, the correct solution to a problem is both obvious and simple. We live in a common sense world, but I think people forget that sometimes. From a young age, we’re programed to be “critical thinkers” and to look at a situation from all vantage points. Our encoded mental paradigms tell us we should analyze, overanalyze, and overcomplicate every possible variable that may contribute to a desired outcome. On the contrary, according to Ockham’s Razor, a scientific theory dating back to the 14th century, “the simplest solution is usually the correct one.” Spending my entire career in the auto industry, with much of it in a dealership, we skip most of this (thankfully) but there should be a happy medium. It’s where common sense meets analyzed data.
Paid search, or pay-per-click, while it may appear to be an affordable form of advertising, there is a significant breakdown in the attribution no matter how transparent and detailed the reporting. Plain and simple, paid search is complicated. As one of the first automotive marketers to use paid search over 10 years ago, I have “complicated” scars. Yes, you can see the amount of clicks your campaign received. You can see the impressions. You can see the engagements. But can you see, validate, and know that a paid click led directly to a showroom visit without any other factors involved? Absolutely not. People looking for information doesn’t in any way translate to a sale. So, how do you measure the true ROI?
Think about how much you spend driving people to your website each month. Thousands upon thousands of dollars are devoted to driving potential customers to your site in hopes of converting a click to a sale. As of today, the vast majority of customers cannot and will not purchase a car on your website. Therefore, dealers depend on leads to attempt to convert web traffic into showroom traffic.
The stats speak for themselves. There is no arguing that well under 5% of website visitors will complete the standard dealership lead form. Specifically, WardsAuto, DealerRefresh, and other industry leaders report 3-7% of automotive shoppers actually submit leads. CDK’s Digital Business Intelligence study shows only 1% of auto shoppers submit email leads from dealer websites.
It’s time we stop chasing imaginary attribution lines. If something isn’t working 95%-99% of the time, we need to do something about it. We need to direct our attention towards something we can quantify without a shadow of a doubt that led to a sale. We need to change the game – or more specifically, change the average lead form.
Let me provide you with a real life example. Just a few weeks ago, in February, 2016 (with only five days left in the month), a leading OEM came to my team asking what we could do to help push them to a stronger close. Typically, OEMs will rush to spend more money on search or display to increase traffic and then hope and pray that web traffic will convert to leads and showroom visits before the month ends. Unfortunately, that’s tough to do in five days. Its tough to do in 10 days, but manufacturers and dealers chase this same avenue month after month. But this particular OEM knew they had sufficient site traffic. What they needed was to see it convert in the showroom. AutoHook’s incentives generated more than 1,800 showroom visits in just five days and these customers were directly attributed to nearly 800 sales in the same time period - something I would challenge any digital effort to perform and validate.
In the Bounce Exchange’s latest Guide to PPC they acknowledge the tremendous waste potential of paid search. “Whether you’re a do-it-yourself small business or an agency managing hundreds of thousands of PPC dollars, you are leaving money on the table right now. Guaranteed.” Even worse, you could unknowingly be creating more opportunities for your competitors or just tossing money straight to Google. Their advice? “Move your budget into something that works.” More importantly, make sure that you have better and bigger nets to catch the fish.
Let’s be clear. I am not saying don’t do paid search. It can be a great tool for driving traffic to your website, however it’s not ideal for converting actual sales or showroom visits. The reality is, paid search is not simple, and you can’t draw a straight line from your search campaign to a vehicle sold. A smart PPC provider, and more importantly a smart marketer, knows the difference between “researcher” and “buyer” search terms and online actions. Which do your campaigns target? What about your inventory? Are your search efforts boosting aging units or wasting ad dollars on high demand vehicles that will sell on their own?
Buyer search terms are specific and measurable. Buyers know what they want down to the year, make, model, and color. Most will not contact you before coming in for a test drive, UNLESS your website provides an experience that gives them something in return for submitting their personal information. Yes, I’m referring to offering incentives just for coming in for a test drive. It’s so simple. Give something to get something. If you are willing to pay for a click, why wouldn’t you be willing to pay for a showroom visit? Heck, they probably would have clicked anyway.
At the end of the day, you can empty your pockets in attempt to drive the world to your website. But the real question is, does your website convert once they arrive?
For Those Who Suffer from Stuck in the Box Syndrome
Offering incentives to your customers is one of the best ways for both parties involved in any business transaction to get something they want. According to Verve Wireless, 85% of consumers say they are willing to visit a local dealership to test-drive a new vehicle if they were to receive an incentive on their smartphone or tablet. Targeted, incentivized promotion offers have also been proven effective in increasing showroom traffic, inventory turnover, and most importantly, dealership revenue throughout multiple departments.
At AutoHook, we push outside of the box thinking. The following are ten ways to use AutoHook’s Suite of Solutions to your benefit that you probably haven’t thought of yet – because unfortunately, you may be suffering from SBS (which of course stands for Stuck in the Box Syndrome).
1. INCENTIVIZE YOUR SERVICE DRIVE. Have a service appointment? Who wouldn’t want to get paid to take a spin in a vehicle that peaks their interest while they wait? There are several ways to utilize AutoHook’s incentive offers in the service department that dealers are just beginning to catch on to. For customers who already have an appointment scheduled, use our Bulk Coupon Generator to push appointments already on the books to test-drive one of your cars instead of sitting around waiting for their vehicle to be serviced.
Dealers can maximize the benefits of offering gift card incentives in the service department by pulling a list of vehicles within a specified mileage range, or a list of vehicles that meet certain criteria to increase your probability of conversion. If you didn’t plan ahead, you can use Issue Coupon Code or Instant Reward to customers sitting in the waiting area that may not have received a pre-generated offer to test-drive a new vehicle.
In addition, dealers can use incentives for customers who schedule service appointments directly on their website, especially for those customers who abandon the online service scheduler process. You can also offer the Issue Coupon Code to encourage customers to schedule their service appointment online, or add a test drive link to your confirmation page and email.
2. AMPLIFY YOUR SERVICE CAMPAIGNS. Another idea is to utilize AutoHook’s solutions to give your service campaigns a needed boost. Dealers can offer incentives to recent buyers who need to come in for their first service appointment. According to Automotive Digest, “The first service appointment is step one in the retention process that leads to future vehicle purchases.” Advertise a generic gift card offer and use Issue Instant Reward or Issue Coupon Code.
If you utilize Urban Science’s SSO (Service Smarts), or MMO (Market Master) contact your AutoHook Customer Service Representative to see how you can execute on that valuable service data.
3. GET MORE QUALITY TRADE-INS. Your equity mining software can help you target customers with an incentive to get them to trade in their desirable car and purchase or lease a new one from you.
4. BOOST NEW MODEL LAUNCHES. Piggyback on OEM launch campaigns and drive those intenders into your showroom with customized offers.
5. MOVE AGING INVENTORY. Depending on your brand, we know certain models move faster than others. Use AutoHook incentives on the particular details pages of the vehicles in your inventory that need “a little help.” Target and boost any model that may be underperforming.
A few years ago, AutoHook ran a campaign for an OEM that nearly doubled the amount of cars they typically sell within a certain model. Why did that happen? Because we more than doubled the amount of customers that physically walked into the dealership. Don’t underestimate the power of getting someone past the lead form and into your showroom so that your sales team can do their job and get them excited about making that purchase.
6. GET MORE REFERRALS. Use Issue Instant Reward to customers who refer your store to their friends and family. Issue Coupon Code can be leveraged to lock in referrals over the phone in those states that allow referral payments. Check with your state Dealer Association for more information.
Actual Dealer Example:
Central Kia of Lewisville runs a strong referral program and uses our Issue Instant Reward as their fulfillment and measurement tool. We noticed a trend in multiple $25 gift cards being issued to the same people and the dealership had a very high ratio of issued rewards to their other products. After speaking with their Internet Sales Director, AutoHook built a set of special Issue Reward placements that range in value from $25 to $200 and marked each as a Referral Gift.
Central Kia loves having the ability to have the fulfillment process completely handled for them. They can also track the specific placements to see who refers the most people to buy and how much they need to offer to incent the best referrals. Additionally, this will make your accounts payable department very happy, in that they only have to write one single check for all of the output in a given month.
7. COMMUNITY OUTREACH. The LaFontaine Automotive Group used Issue Instant Reward for a local grassroots program they sponsored. Dealers have the opportunity to get creative with this, especially during the holidays or just to give back to those less fortunate in their community through different programs throughout the year.
8. IMPROVE SOCIAL & DIGITAL ADVERTISING CONVERSIONS. Dealers can use triggered links on custom landing pages and send incentives for generic social advertising. Social also allows for many retargeting opportunities to reactivate and re-engage lost clicks. This tactic will add substantial conversion to your social and digital advertising campaigns. With AutoHook, you can provide your customer with the industry-best attribution; from ad click, to form fill, to showroom visit, to sale.
9. SAY “THANK YOU” FOR A GOOD REVIEW. Issue an Instant Gift Card as the perfect way to say thank you for writing a positive review on behalf of your dealership. You can also use AutoHook as an enticement for customers to leave reviews, testimonials, or feedback of their experience buying or servicing their vehicle at your location.
On the flip side, you can use the Issue Instant Reward feature to any customer who complained or had a poor experience at your dealership. Not that that would ever happen at your store…but know it’s available for you to have in your back pocket, should that problem ever arise.
10. TIME OF PURCHASE PUSH. Utilize Issue Instant Reward for advertised offer with purchase. Some AutoHook clients have this turned on at the OEM level to boost last minute sales. Dealers have leveraged our incentive platform to help achieve various stair-step programs launched by their manufacturer. Customers will love the added bonus of leaving your store with a new ride and a gift card as a token of your appreciation for their business.
So there you have it. Incentives provide infinite opportunities around the various departments of your dealership and the ROI proof is in our attribution reporting.
Don’t be a victim. If you suffer from SBS please contact your healthcare provider or AutoHook Customer Service Representative before it’s too late.
Dealer websites today are filled with conversion widgets. In most cases, customers will choose only one form or call-to-action (CTA) to convert on. If the CTA that they chose was “value my trade,” then you can be pretty sure that the value of their trade-in is their hot button. Or perhaps they filled out a credit application. Those may be pretty low-funnel customers who, in most cases, will have some credit challenges that they may need help with. Most conversions, however, are from price-based CTAs. Whether the conversion happened because there was no price and they clicked “Get price.” Or, whether a price was present and they wanted more information, the majority of the leads any dealer gets will begin in this manner. That being said, we also know that many dealers have pop up specials or incentives they offer their website visitors. It could be a “$100 off coupon” towards a vehicle. Or it could be “Get a $25 gift card with test drive.” What does it tell you, however, when the same customer converts on both forms, one right after the other?
The customer’s intent when converting on your website is to move further down the funnel towards a new vehicle. Some may be simply pricing out vehicles and doing research. While others may be planning to go buy a car tomorrow… or even today. If your dealership has a special offer pop up on the website and you get a lead from a VDP, then immediately after get a conversion on the pop up, the sirens should go off. These customers want information and have taken the next mental step towards buying a car from you. Not only are they prepared to take you up on that $100 off or gift card offer, but they have, at the very least, narrowed your dealership down to one they plan to visit.
Most dealerships have canned templates for online inquiries - some better than others. I would suggest, however, that if you see conversion activity as described above, you should have a completely different process in place for handling these leads. Just think about what this consumer’s actions tell you about their intent. They came to your website, browsed your inventory, landed on a vehicle that interested them enough to give away the one thing that they control -- their information. Consumers don’t give this up easily. They understand that the moment they input their information and hit the submit button, someone at your dealership will be e-mailing and calling them. So, they decide to leave your website and are presented with an incentive. They’ve already filled out a form indicating interest. If they then stop and fill out a second form in order to claim an offer, they’ve just told you that they’re interested in the vehicle and doing business with your dealership AND, very likely, that they’re considering doing it SOON.
It is important to have concrete processes in place and consistent follow up with all of your internet leads - and I certainly don’t recommend cherry picking and ignoring any leads. However, the lead that comes in with a message that says “I want to buy a car from you tomorrow” will definitely perk up some ears and initiate some serious action by a dealership’s ISMs or managers. If you show offers and incentives to your customers and experience 2 conversions in a short period of time, one being your special offer, treat that lead exactly as if the customer had told you they were buying a car from you soon… because that’s exactly what their behavior told you, regardless of whether they typed it into the lead form.