10 Outside the Box Ways to Use AutoHook

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.


Cracking the Conversion Code

By David Metter

Behind every screen, device, or smartphone in today’s consumer economy resides something that has perhaps gotten lost in the unstoppable avalanche of digital noise. Are we as an industry starting to focus too much on the device, and not enough on the person behind it? All we hear today is ways we can target better on mobile and that we need to use the latest in mobile tracking and mobile marketing technologies. When it comes to selling cars, or converting leads into buyers, let’s begin the New Year with an emphasis on the customer behind the device in order to connect with them better and resonate with them in a more positive way. This is the first step towards improving conversion for your dealership.

The second step is understanding the digital roadmap, or digital learning path that leads to a buying decision. If you want to increase your overall conversion rates, start by only spending money on the consumers that are ready to make a purchase and identify those in-market customers using proper attribution methods. Spend your precious ad dollars on the people that have demonstrated ready-to-buy behavior.

Buying a car is a huge decision for the average consumer – the second largest purchase of their life after buying a home. It’s a really big deal. In 2016, it is imperative that we remember there is a human being on the other side of that screen – complete with thoughts, skepticism, and emotions that come to define their shopping experience, and more importantly, their probability of converting.

So how can we increase conversion and increase the number of buyers we send into our showroom? First, let’s define what conversion means to the average dealership. Then let’s set the bar higher. Conversion is simply the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, whether that’s filling out a lead or incentive form on your site, or their final signature on a new lease. Techopedia defines conversion rate as, “An equation that online advertisers and marketers use to compare the total number of visitors to a website to the number that become paying customers, subscribers or users.”

According to a November, 2015 Dataium study, the average dealer website gets roughly 6,109 unique monthly visitors. Of those 6,109 people, only 1.5% completed a lead form, or in other words, only 1.5% converted. This is our industry’s standard, and we can absolutely do better.

Average should not be an acceptable word in your vocabulary when it comes to your conversion rate. Make it a goal, or a new year’s resolution to demolish “average” and demand to rise above. Write down your goal, and then commit to knocking it out of the park!

So what should your conversion goal be? Many dealers make the mistake of leaving their conversion rates up to their web provider, or placing blame on their website platform for lower than desired conversions. Progressive dealerships see a conversion rate of 6% or more compared to the average dealer’s 1-4%. The truth however, is that dealers themselves hold much more power than they think they do. Do you want to be average or do you want to have upwards of a 6% website conversion rate?

The power dealers have when they’re face-to-face with a customer is vastly underrated. Thus, using incentives to get customers in the showroom may be the most obvious solution to increasing your conversion ratio. If your objection is, “The customer is going to probably come in anyways so why should I spend money to incentive them?” then you should probably stop advertising all-together...which would be a bad move.  Hopefully, you get my point.  If not, stop reading now. 

Sometimes we have to change the way we sell in order to sell better. In the year ahead, our processes should involve taking a step back from “targeting” consumers on their devices, and really focus in on how to connect with low-funnel buyers through the benefits that accompany being a knowledgeable sales person and providing a superior in-showroom experience. Keep in mind that conversion happens at a much higher rate when a customer is physically in front of you than it does online with the standard lead form so be different than your competition.

Behind the screens we hide behind that track our every move, search and click lies a conversion opportunity that can be better accomplished when you focus more on consumers themselves and how they behave while researching their next vehicle. To be clear, I don’t want to downplay the importance of mobile. You have to be where your customers are and they are most certainly on mobile – however if you’re going to ask them for their information you better be positive their experience filling out their information on their mobile device is seamless.

Think about the design of your mobile site and ask yourself, is it optimized for conversion? This means you have to consider things like your call-to-action button and its placement, or if it’s consistent with the average person’s thumb size. According to Apple, “The human fingertip is around 46 pixels squared, so size your buttons accordingly.”

If you’re making digital advertising decisions and you’re not seeing the connectivity into the showroom, and more importantly, sales, you may be either spending your money unwisely, or you have a breakdown in your data that doesn’t allow you to connect these things. When you have great data you can tell a great story. It’s also not just about big data, it’s about good data. Leveraging third-party data partners like IHS Polk we can build a much stronger attribution model and thus determine what exactly led to the conversion of a lead.

Knowledge is power. Knowing which actions along the road to a purchase led to that sale vastly increases your probability of conversion, and more importantly, makes the most out of your ad budget.