Increasing leads is another facet of your online dealership that may be a challenge. How do I increase leads but better yet, how do I increase my leads for the best ROI? At the first glance, you may believe that buying leads may be your only option. Well it is not. It is an option but not the only one. You can increase your leads through building a lead generating virtual dealership, driving qualified traffic to the site, as well as utilizing your database more efficiently.
Having a website is not enough. It needs to differentiate your brand from your competition. It needs to be informative and easy to use. You probably have already noticed that your website leads close at a much higher rate, ever wonder why? In today’s marketplace a new car lead, takes on average, 94 days to close. Well here is the breakdown on that number, 94+ days your prospect is on your manufacturer’s website, 90-30 days your prospect is visiting the 3rd parties of the world (i.e. Kelly Blue Book, AutoUSA, etc), and finally the 30-0 days they are on your site. You will need to design your virtual dealership to accommodate these market trends.
Once your lead generating virtual dealership is in place, your second opportunity to increase your leads is to drive more traffic there. We already know that the majority of your visitors to your virtual dealership are in the last stage of the buying process, but what about all the other lost opportunities that went to your competition? Wouldn’t it have been nice to drive them to your site earlier so they could have used your site in their information gathering stage? Your dealership needs a search engine marketing program that will cover the entire marketing lifecycle. This will, in turn, create a sustained online presence that will increase traffic and leads to your dealership as well as optimize your advertising spend.
Last but certainly not least, is your own database. You have potential leads just sitting there in your own customer base. Just think, when was the last time you bought anything online? What did you have to do? Give them your email. You are now getting, at least, weekly broadcast emails. These emails were designed to help build brand awareness, keep them on the top of your mind. They were not designed for you to read them every time but when you are in the market the next time for that particular item, you automatically think of that brand. The same should go for you and your dealership. You need to be on a weekly basis sending out a broadcast email to your ENTIRE database. This email should be designed with a picture, a call to action, a human interest or recipe, and an automotive offer. So when your customer from any side of the business has any automotive needs they will automatically think about your dealership.