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lead scoring

3 Ways to Rev Up Revenue This Tax Season

By David Metter

April offers a month of renewed optimism for car dealers everywhere as spring comes into fruition and pockets become heavier with a little cash back from Uncle Sam. Tax refund season has arrived, and with it, infinite profit opportunities for both vehicle sales and your fixed operations. I fondly remember April 15th back in my car-selling days as the “real” beginning of the month. 

With that in mind, the following have the potential to be the three most lucrative areas to focus your strategy on during this season of budding opportunity:

1. Increase Show Rates. Okay, this is obvious - but here’s how. We all know the probability of closing a deal skyrockets when a customer is physically in front of you in your showroom. The challenge is getting them there. This is where lead scoring comes into play. If you had the ability to instantly score leads based on their level of buying intent wouldn’t that make the time you spend chasing leads drastically more efficient? Wouldn’t you then know which leads to focus your attention on first and foremost? I recommend implementing technology that has the ability to score all your site, mobile, and third party leads simultaneously and in real-time, so that you know where to focus your efforts.

One way to increase your odds of getting buyers in the showroom is to offer an incentive just for coming in for a test drive, or for a vehicle inspection if their car is a potentially desirable trade-in. The higher the lead score, the more you should offer in exchange to facilitate heavier foot traffic, both on your showroom floor and in your service drive.  

DealerRefresh just published an article advising dealers to have their sales staff “put the phone down!” Customers who call your store are not looking to be sold. In fact, they are already sold on which vehicle they want down to the year, make, model, and even and trim level. Therefore, all calls should be managed by your BDC, or your appointment setters as the one and only goal should be setting the appointment to get them in the door.

2. Reclaim Your Fixed Ops Revenue. The service and parts department of a dealership is easily the revenue engine with the most powerful horsepower. The potential for profit opportunities is greater than ever before in a market infested with disloyal service goers. According to DME Automotive, service center loyalty is remarkably low. “Fewer than 1 in 4 drivers are loyal to their service center type, leaving 88.2B up for grabs.” Yes, you read that right. Eighty-eight BILLION. That is how much money is at stake in the market for service and parts. So, who’s going to claim it?

Cars.com agrees and points out, “We in the industry know that dealerships provide fair, competitive prices on quality service, but service shoppers don’t because we aren’t telling them, and it’s squeezing dealership profitability.” National repair chains take business from dealerships either because their digital marketing is more effective, or they offer a smoother digital experience – or both. A better experience includes superior visibility and more transparent pricing models. “All things that are within a dealership’s power to control, improve upon and use to influence service customers,” says Cars.com.           

3. Deploy a Millennial Marketing Strategy. As you’ve probably heard, the Millennial market of vehicle buyers is rapidly accelerating – and it covers a wider age group than you may realize, spanning the ages of 18-34 years old. The differentiating factor in this generation is that the dealership experience is rated much more heavily than the actual price of a car. According to a recent DrivingSales study, “While finding the right vehicle at the right price is important to everyone, our study shows that most younger consumers want a positive customer experience at the dealership and are willing to pay a little more to ensure they get it.”

Edmunds.com also offers insight as to what the mobile experience in particular looks like for Millennials, reporting that 60% of Millennial visitors come through their mobile site. These shoppers are most active during evenings and weekends when they are out and about, implying they’re using their phones while on the dealer lot.

Tips for Appealing to Millennials:

·      Mobile Focused Ads

·      Fluidity of Setting Appointments

·      Up Front Pricing

Time and convenience are perhaps the greatest hurdles to overcome when competing for millennial attention, with price following closely in third place. People don’t have time to sit and wait. Often, they are willing to pay slightly more for a faster, easier experience. Wouldn’t you? Quite frankly, time is money.

There is no time to waste. Spring has sprung, and there are billions of dollars to be claimed!  

70% of all vehicle purchases come from leads scored 7 or higher - Free Download

Last year Polk and HookLogic worked together on a pilot program with a dealer group to test the concept of combining Polk Lead Scoring with HookLogic’s incentive program. As part of the test, HookLogic passed copies of the email leads it received from the dealer group and gave them to Polk to be scored. Leads that scored 7 or higher were sent an email with a test drive incentive that could be redeemed when the shopper visited the dealership. The pilot test yielded the following results:

  • Nearly twice as many people opened the email and printed the coupon vs. previous dealer group emails (23% for the pilot test)
  • Polk became a finalist in the DPAC (Digital Publishing and Advertising Conference) Awards 2010 for Best Digital Direct Response Campaign
Polk_Lead_Scoring_HookLogic
Polk_Lead_Scoring_HookLogic

Because Polk has a record of every vehicle transaction in the U.S. Polk can track all automotive purchases. Based on Polk Lead Scoring, Polk sees that about 70% of all vehicle purchases come from leads scored with a 7 or higher.

The question then becomes not which leads are most likely to close but WHERE will they close? At the dealer that received the lead or somewhere else?

Polk looks at specific information in the lead itself coupled with Polk’s proprietary database information associated with the lead (e.g. address, demographic and vehicle information). This combined information is used to determine the score. Each element in the model is weighted for its ability to predict likelihood to purchase a vehicle.

Last month a webinar was held where Polk walked attendees through the lead scoring process and how HookLogic is working with Polk to drive these shoppers into the showroom.

Those that attended the webinar already received a free copy of the presentation deck but if you are interested in receiving your free copy of it then fill out the form below and we will send you a link. Upon doing so you can also expect to receive invites to other upcoming webinars and events sponsored by or in partnership with HookLogic.

Subaru Dealerships Using HookLogic – Performance and Results

2014 was a great year for our Subaru dealer clients. Take a look at the Performance Analysis Reports we put together in partnership with IHS / POLK. Below is a quick overview summary, but then continue to read below for more specifics and to download the Mazda Performance Analysis Report Inf0-graphic. These are some AMAZING results.

Subaru Performance Summary

  • 22,830 Hooklogic Incentivized Leads
  • 8,686 Walk-ins
  • 38% Lead-to-Show rate
  • 68% (7 out of 10) Purchase Rate
  • 26% Internat Closing Ratio
  • 69% Loyalty / Defection Rate
  • 73% Conquest Sales Rate

Purchase Analysis Report for Subaru dealerships:

 

Subaru 2014 hooklogic performance

22,830 Hooklogic Leads were generated and incentivized for our Subaru dealer clients during the months of  6/1/2013 – 5/31/2014

Of those incentivized leads, 8,686 walked into a Subaru dealership that utilizes HookLogic’s suite of products after engaging with either Wed2Show or Lead2Show. That makes for a 38% Lead-to-Show rate. This is more than twice the national average of 17%.

Subaru Sales Match Data

Of the 8,686 leads that were incentivized and walked into this group of Subaru dealers for a test drive, 68% (7 out of 10) purchased a vehicle.

*This group of Subaru dealers are closing HookLogic incentivized showroom ups at 68% with an overall Internet lead closing ratio of... 26%. Do you currently have a lead source that's closing at Twenty six percent? Do you have a tool that allows you to incentivize your existing 3rd Party and 1st Party leads - allowing you to close those leads at a higher ratio

Here is another quick review of the Performance Summary..

Subaru Performance Summary

  • 22,830 Hooklogic Incentivized Leads
  • 8,686 Walk-ins
  • 38% Lead-to-Show rate
  • 68% (7 out of 10) Purchase Rate
  • 26% Internat Closing Ratio
  • 69% Loyalty / Defection Rate
  • 73% Conquest Sales Rate

Loyalty/Defection and Conquest Sales

The Loyalty/Defection rate for our Subaru dealer's is 69%. Meaning, of those customers that sent in a lead for a Subaru, bought a Subaru. Our Subaru dealers also have a 73% Conquest Sales Rate. 

*A conquest sale occurs when a consumer purchases a Subaru and did not already have a Subaru vehicle in their garage. Subaru average conquest sales rate: 36%. 

Whether it’s a lead originating from your dealer’s website, 3rd Party Lead, Online Chat lead or HookLogic Web2Show, when more in-market shoppers show up at your dealership for a test drive, you sell more cars.

If you're a Subaru dealer and looking to increase your website leads, internet closing ratio or your lead-to-show rate and overall sales opportunities, Call 855-LEAD-2-SHOW or contact us to learn more.

Mazda Dealerships Using HookLogic – Performance and Results

So far we have introduced the 2014 Performance Analysis Reports for Volkswagen, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Kia. Who's next? How about Mazda? Here's a quick summary:

Mazda Performance Summary

  • 9,609 Hooklogic Incentivized Leads
  • 2,423 Walk-ins
  • 25% Lead-to-Show rate
  • 61% (7 out of 10) Purchase Rate
  • 15% Internat Closing Ratio
  • 64% Loyalty / Defection Rate
  • 70% Conquest Sales Rate

Purchase Analysis Report for Mazda dealerships:

Mazda 2014 Hooklogic Performance

9,609 Hooklogic Leads were generated and incentivized for our Mazda dealer clients during the months of  6/1/2013 – 5/31/2014

Of those incentivized leads, 2,423 walked into a Mazda dealership that utilizes HookLogic’s suite of products to test drive a vehicle after engaging with either Wed2Show or Lead2Show. That makes for a 25% Lead-to-Show rate. This is more than twice the national average of 17%.

Mazda Sales Match Data

Of the 9,609 leads that were incentivized and walked into this group of Mazda dealers for a test drive, 61% (6 out of 10) purchased a vehicle.

*This group of Mazda dealers are closing HookLogic incentivized showroom ups at 61% with an overall Internet lead closing ratio of 15%.

Most dealers do a good job at measuring their lead closing ratios and closing the customer once they’re in the showroom. What dealers miss out on measuring is their Lead-to-Show.

Mazda Performance Summary

  • 9,609 Hooklogic Incentivized Leads
  • 2,423 Walk-ins
  • 25% Lead-to-Show rate
  • 61% (7 out of 10) Purchase Rate
  • 15% Internat Closing Ratio
  • 64% Loyalty / Defection Rate
  • 70% Conquest Sales Rate

Loyalty/Defection and Conquest Sales

The Loyalty/Defection rate for our Mazda dealer's is 64%. Meaning, of those customers that sent in a lead for a Mazda, bought a Mazda. Our Mazda dealers also have a  70% Conquest Sales Rate

*A conquest sale occurs when a consumer purchases a Mazda product and did not already have a Mazda vehicle in their garage. Mazda average conquest sales rate: 38%. 

Whether it’s a lead originating from your dealer’s website, 3rd Party Lead, Online Chat lead or HookLogic Web2Show, the more in-market shoppers showing up at your dealership, the more opportunities and more sales you'll get.

If you're a Mazda dealer and looking to increase your website leads, internet closing ratio or your lead-to-show rate and overall sales opportunities, Call 855-LEAD-2-SHOW or contact us to learn more.

Ford Dealerships Using HookLogic – Performance and Results

Yesterday we posted our Performance and Purchase Analysis results for all our Kia dealer clients in 2014. Today we are posting the results with our Ford dealer clients. Remember, we partner with IHS / Polk to acquire and validate lead to close performance. IHS/POLK allows us to track lead attribution from lead conception all the way to the sale. Not just a sale at your dealership but a sale all-together.

Purchase Analysis Report for Ford dealerships:

 

FORD 2014 hooklogic performance results

 

32,155 Hooklogic Leads were generated and incentivized for our Ford dealer clients during the months of  6/1/2013 – 5/31/2014

Of the 32,155 incentivized vehicle leads, 9838 walked into a Ford dealership that utilizes HookLogic’s suite of products to test drive a vehicle after engaging with either Wed2Show or Lead2Show. That makes for a 31% Lead-to-Show rate. This is more than twice the national average (17%) Show Rate on internet leads.

Ford Sales Match Data

Of the 32,155 leads that were incentivized and walked into this group of Ford dealers for a test drive, 68% (nearly 7 out of 10) purchased a vehicle.

This group of Ford dealers are closing HookLogic incentivized showroom ups at 68% with an overall Internet lead closing ratio of 22%.

Most dealers do a good job at measuring their lead closing ratios and closing the customer once they’re in the showroom. What dealers miss out on measuring is their Lead-to-Show rate. A very important stat.

This year we've added 2 new sections to the Performance Infographic: Loyalty/Defection and Conquest Sales.

The Loyalty/Defection rate for our Ford dealers is 71%. Meaning, of those customers that sent in a lead for a Ford, bought a Ford. Our Ford dealers also have a  57% Conquest Sales Rate.

*A conquest sale occurs when a consumer purchases a Ford vehicle and did not already have a Ford vehicle in their garage. Ford's average conquest sales rate: 26%. 

Whether it’s a lead originating from your dealer’s website, 3rd Party Lead, Online Chat lead or HookLogic Web2Show – By getting more in-market shoppers to Show Up at your Ford dealership, you get more opportunities to make a sale.

 

If you're a Ford dealer and looking to increase your website leads, internet closing ratio or your lead-to-show rate and overall sales opportunities, Call 855-LEAD-2-SHOW or contact us to learn more.

AutoUSA Dealers Performance using ShowPro

AutoUSA Performance Infographic
AutoUSA Performance Infographic

After all the amazing feedback we received around our latest Purchase Analysis Report, you know - the one we published last week that drilled down on the performance dealers using HookLogic on their Dealer.com websites, it only made sense to continue on by comparing and calculating additional/other groups of dealer clients utilizing our Web2Show and Lead2Show products.

Some of you may know that early on we built a product called ShowPro for AutoUSA. ShowPro is based on our existing Web2Show and Lead2Show products. The included Purchase Analysis Report was originally put together for AutoUSA and HookLogic internal performance meetings, but we figured why keep all this great performance data and results to ourselves?

Lets get to the good stuff…

The results in the below AutoUSA Purchase Analysis Report could potentially have you re-thinking your current position on 3rd Party Lead acquisition.

Too often, industry consultants and online marketing/Internet sales managers are quick to dismiss the potential and performance of new vehicle 3rd party leads. A majority of the time dealers only measure the closing ratio of their leads, while missing out on measuring the Show rate of their leads – that’s an article for a other time.

Before we get too far, allow me to clarify how I view what a 3rd Party Lead is. 

To me, a 3rd Party Lead is a lead that is NOT associated to a particular vehicle in your inventory (new or used). It’s a new vehicle lead you purchase through a new car lead aggregator such as AutoUSA, Dealix or AutoBytel.

These leads typically derive from a “get your price quote” or  “configure your next vehicle” call-to-action, where a customer chooses or configures a new vehicle of their choice on a vehicle information website like Edmunds.com, TrueCar, AOL Autos, or one of the other million websites designed to capture "in-market" leads.

Click here for more specifics around my views and opinions of a 3rd Party lead vs vehicle classified leads.

Al-l-l-right – that’s enough talk around the difference in 3rd party leads. In the end, we just need to get more of your leads to show up at your dealership.

Getting back to this AutoUSA Purchase Analysis Report; starting from the top, you see “Leads Generated“. During the months of  1/1/13 – 6/30/13AutoUSA ShowPro generated 20,990 leads for their dealerships clients.

Of the 20,990 incentivized vehicle shoppers, 5,985 customers walked into a participating AutoUSA ShowPro dealership during this time frame to test drive a vehicle after engaging with ShowPro.

Of the total amount of leads submitted or engaged, 1 in 3 showed up at the dealership for a 29% Lead to Show Rate. Considering the average national lead to show rate is around 17%, this is outstanding!

Now lets get to the SALES Data.

Of the 5,985 that were incentivized and that walked into this group of 119 dealers for a test drive, 58% purchased a Vehicle.  

Let’s agree, HookLogic / ShowPro nor any other marketing / lead generating feature has a direct correspondence to how well your sales floor can close deals. However let’s consider this - J.D. Power studies show that consumers are visiting LESS than 2 dealerships before purchase. That equates to a 50% show to close ratio on average by default.

This group of dealers are closing incentivized ShowProshowroom ups at 58% with an overall lead closing ratio of 16%.

Are you tracking your dealers Lead to Show Rate?Without shows, there's no test drives, no writes up and no opportunity for sales.

As I have pointed out before, most dealers  do a good job at closing the customer once they show. What dealers need to be measuring is the customer Lead to Show rate.

Whether it's from a lead originating from your dealer’s website, 3rd Party Lead, Online Chat lead or HookLogic Lead2Show or AutoUSA ShowPro – if you can get more in-market shoppers to Show Up at your dealership, you get more opportunities to make more sales. 

Polk to Discuss Passive Lead Scoring in March Webinar

Last month we wrote about passive vs. active lead scoring here on our blog. In this post David Metter explained how the practice of lead scoring was co-created with Polk and that while somewhat controversial, the practice of scoring leads is ultimately a smart choice for most dealerships. The part that is controversial is more about the idea of assigning a score to a lead for your sales reps to size up potential customers, and not so much about the importance of knowing the real potential of each lead coming in to your CRM. We agree that it does not behoove the dealership to know the score that each person has been assigned, after all, the score is only temporary. We do believe however that it is important to know each person's real potential to become a customer. Thus the practice of passive lead scoring was born.

To score leads, people coming in to your CRM are evaluated based on certain criteria using an algorithm that helps identify where about in the buying process a person might be. With passive lead scoring, an action is taken that is appropriate to their current situations as opposed to blanketing everyone with the same message.

This action is not a conscious or deliberate action that a sales rep takes because of the person's score, but an action that is automatic and unknown to the sales rep all together.

In our case, this action is an automated email offering the recipient an incentive for coming in for a test drive, something that a person with a low score is not likely to be interested in whereas someone with a higher score might be.

The result is that more qualified buyers appear in the showroom for your reps to work with, less time is spent courting people (or annoying people) that aren't ready for the showroom to begin with.

Lead Scoring Discussions Led by Polk

To talk about this important topic, we have invited our lead scoring partner Polk to lead discussions this month on the significance of lead scoring and the process that Polk goes through to score dealer leads. Representing Polk will be Senior Solutions Consultant Mark Pauze.

Since starting with Polk, Mark has worked closely with clients to understand their diverse business, research and analysis needs, developed solutions to meet those needs and directed teams to deliver customer solutions. He works with clients to help focus their consumer and industry intelligence efforts and develop integrated solutions that will address their needs. Mark has been focusing his efforts most recently on lead marketing at Polk and has worked with a wide range of customers on diverse lead marketing solutions.

Webinar Registration Link

A webinar will be held on Friday March 16 in our Advanced User series for auto dealers. To register, click the link below. For more information about the AutoHook Webinar Series, visit our post titled, AutoHook Webinar Training Coming in January.

Friday March 16 at 11:30am EST (For Dealers) - REGISTER HERE

Passive vs Active Lead Scoring...What’s the Difference?

Before we get into the difference of active vs. passive lead scoring, it is important to set the stage of how lead scoring was born in the retail automotive industry. Five years ago, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time when I participated in a RL Polk meeting with my previous dealer group. We had given a year’s worth of internet leads to them to bounce against their registration data. Our dealers knew what we had sold but now we wanted to see how many of these customers had bought from someone else. This exercise had been done before but this meeting would end with a different plan of action.

Like previous meetings, I saw that up to 40% of our total leads bought a car but in most cases, a typical dealership only sells 11-15% of them. That meant that more than double what we sold went to other dealers in our market area. This frustration got the best of me during the meeting when I blurted out “Why do we always have to look at old data to know we are failing? Why can’t we know if these customers are true buyers BEFORE they go somewhere else?”

Luckily for me, the right people from Polk were in this meeting. They shared that they were working on a lead scoring platform and were looking for a test partner. Taking hundreds of strands of data that included registration data, lifestyle info, household status, etc, Polk was betting that they could score a lead in near-real time and pass that score along to the dealers so they would react differently. It was suggested that a 10 was better than a 9 and a 9 was better than an 8 and so on. This was radical thinking at the time but it was a better idea than how salespeople had cherry-picked leads in their current process.

Sell More Cars Faster

As we started testing, the data proved that the higher scoring leads purchased more and faster than the lower scored leads. At least the registration data showed that. What we realized was if the salesperson changed his behavior for the higher scoring leads, we sold more cars. If they didn’t, the score didn't matter. We later named this active lead scoring. It took action on part of our dealership to drive a higher conversion.

As lead scoring was socialized in the automotive community, it was highly controversial. OEMs started scoring leads but chose not to pass this along to dealers for fear that they wouldn't know what to do. Dealers were afraid of scoring because it was something new and went against what every trainer had told them previously; handle all leads the same. As someone who helped co-architect and test the lead scoring platform, I found myself defending the practice ad noisome, even though the data showed it worked. Then, one day I woke up and the idea of passive lead scoring was born.

I decided to take the great data that Polk provided and create a new executable for our dealership teams. Instead of asking the internet salespeople to change their behavior, I thought it might be easier to change the behavior of the customer. We knew they were buying, they just weren't always buying from us. What if we scored the lead, didn't share it with the dealership, and created a reason for the customer to give us the opportunity over our competitors? That was the introduction of passive lead scoring.

Taking some of the great components of HookLogic‚s industry-leading Web to Show 1.0 tool and marrying it up with Polk‚s lead scoring, we created Lead to Show 2.0. When a customer submits a lead to a dealer, no matter if it comes from the website, an OEM, or a third party lead, the lead gets scored and based on the score, the customer is incented to come into your showroom instead of going to a competitor. All of this happened without changing any of the processes at the dealership level. It was like putting the chocolate in the peanut butter.

Once we turned this on behind the scenes for dealerships, we instantly saw an increase in show rate and closing ratio. Some dealerships experienced a closing ratio as high as 38% during the test. It only made sense. Drive the highest intent to buy into your showroom and your internet team will sell more cars...and your competition will have no idea what you are doing because it is behind the scenes. It quickly becomes a secret weapon.

Passive Lead Scoring is a much easier decision for a dealership to make. It allows an internet team to use great data to drive the highest quality at-bats into the showroom without changing the lead follow-up process at your dealership. Adding Lead to Show 2.0 allows you to motivate action while lead is still hot and stand out from the competition.