Lead generation (and attribution) tactics for auto dealerships

Without a way to properly analyze leads across multiple channels, you can be left with attribution blind spots that put a serious dent in your automotive marketing efforts — leading you to possibly double down on channels that aren’t effective at driving business, or even fail to capture some leads entirely.

Multi-channel lead attribution is vital to conversions

Making effective digital marketing decisions is difficult as our day to day lives change in unexpected ways. Think with Google suggests that trends in the auto industry are accelerating at a breakneck pace. 18% of auto shoppers would purchase a car sooner if they could buy online, and “U.S. search interest for “dealership near me” dropped more than 20% in March 2020 versus February 2020.

Generating digital leads is an important step on the customer journey to create conversions. A report commissioned by Forrester Consulting found that those who place an inbound phone call convert to a paying customer 30 percent faster than those who did not make a phone call. Google also found that 61 percent of mobile searchersconsider click-to-call to be the most important feature of the online-shopping process.

Forrester also reports that customers who make a call spend 28 percent more than those who do not. However, dealerships still need to draw customers in to make that call. Other dealerships have recognized the importance of customer recommendations, new VR technologies, and Facebook’s ‘Products Shown’ postings to move customers through each stage of the buying process.

Ways to generate more leads

1) Website optimization

A user-friendly and effective website can contribute greatly towards your auto lead gen goals. SurveyMonkey found that only 18 percent of survey respondents had ‘a great deal’ or ‘a lot’ of trust in a company that did not have a website on top of social media accounts. The website should also reflect sophisticated branding. Two thirds of adults claimed that website design influences their trust in a company.

CallRail offers a number of integrations with website builders to make this task simple.

2) Interactive web forms

Collecting information from customers means you can follow up with them and stay at the front of their minds for when they’re ready to purchase. According to research by the analytics firm V12, 90 percent of dealerships collect basic contact information, while 80 and 52 percent gather vehicle preferences and purchase history, respectively.

Forms can be a bit of a balancing act, because you must avoid unqualified leads or inadvertently lowering your conversion rate. Make sure to research how to [optimize your forms](https://www.callrail.com/blog/optimize-forms-earn-more-leads/, carefully consider the questions you include, and understand what the data says about your leads.

3) Email marketing

After you have customer information, use it! Email marketing can help boost a business and build a customer community - when it’s done right. There are lots of opportunities in email marketing, like letting customers know about your holiday sales, personalized emails, welcome emails, follow-ups, and thank you emails that will keep customers coming back.

Email subscription is a great way to keep in touch with customers and engage them remotely. Of course, you’ll have to make sure your emails are compliant with CAN-SPAM laws.

4) Touchpoint mapping

When 92% of consumers visiting a retailer for the first time aren’t there to buy, you’ll need to gain a deeper understanding of how customers are interacting with your various marketing channels. A ‘touchpoint’ occurs any time you interact with potential car buyers. Knowing how customers interact with your business is vital to connecting with people who need your service.

5) Service and repair content

Speaking of service, today’s customers are holding onto their vehicles much longer than in previous years, and much like how the car buying process is primarily conducted online, the same is true for service and auto repairs.

The online sale of parts and services is now more common than ever before. By creating savvy guides and video content around repair services, you’ll have opened up another potential channel for auto lead generation.

6) Targeted facebook ads

Facebook ads enable dealers to search for audiences, filter searches by targeted information, and create retargeted ads for those who may have visited your Facebook dealership page. Facebook has a variety of targeting options: location, behavior, demographics, connections, interests, lookalike audiences, and custom audiences. Building off of this specificity can help you target specific segments of your customer base with the right content to generate leads.

You can also use Facebook to promote your inventory, and boost the promotion of specific vehicle models based on search algorithms and customer data.

The click-through rates for auto ads are shown to be twice as high on Facebook when compared with other mediums. In other words, Facebook marketing is a great tactic for getting users onto your dealership page and into the sales funnel.

How CallRail can help

It’s important both to generate leads and properly attribute them. You might be overwhelmed by the thought of adopting another analytics tool, but it’s less complicated than you might think.

To better understand how customers are finding your business, you can use unique tracking numbers to clearly identify online and offline channels that are generating inbound calls. Whether it’s Google Ads, a billboard, Bing, a radio ad, or a social media profile page, call tracking numbers help you understand which sources work best to help customers find your business, so you can optimize the channels that are best at bringing in qualified calls.For online sources, Dynamic Number Insertion displays unique call tracking numbers to website visitors, while also ensuring that users will continue to see their specific tracking number every time they visit your site.

Are certain search engine keywords attracting customers? And if so, are they giving your business a call? Visitor-Level Call Tracking reveals both the keywords a site visitor searched for and the pages they visited on your site. CallRail’s Conversation Intelligence suite includes additional features like Automation Rules and Call Highlights to dive deeper into conversation analytics and enhance keyword bidding strategies. Assigning unique tracking numbers to various traffic sources allows you to see which of your marketing efforts are most effective in driving customers to call your business.

Call Tracking for Dealership Marketing