How My Bad Email Advice Almost Ruined a Friendship

A friend of mine called to pick my brain on email marketing. His company has about 70,000 subscribers and their open rates were getting WORSE with each new campaign.

Inbox behaviors have impact

In his testing, he saw that a lot of their emails were getting delivered to the spam folder. He was looking for changes they could make to improve their deliverability.

I explained that consistently getting into the inbox was based on their email reputation. Their email reputation is based on their subscriber engagement. In a nutshell, when a company sends out an email, the email providers (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) consider the following behaviors, which negatively affect your reputation:

Wanna Chat? What about Now? Now? Now? How about Now?

Is your website turning into the Times Square of today’s website homepage?

too many dealer chat invites

A constant barrage of invites to chat blinking away, distracting your attention. Is it noise? Is it just smart conversion tactics? Chat is getting a bit gratuitous.

While speaking at a NADA 20 Group last week, I was live reviewing dealership website experiences, along with mystery shopping results, as I get called on to do. One thing became abundantly clear…

Your website wants to chat with me, and it won’t take no for an answer.

Like a needy significant other, they are constantly trying to steal your focus away from your core objective. Research.

Even some of our own dealer clients are guilty of this. And yes, I know it is more the chat providers themselves implementing these in-your-face tactics, but I digress. I see some websites that have an offer to chat…

Are Wearables Providing a Competitive Advantage to Early Adopters?

According to, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity of wearable technology and more specifically the opportunity to track and improve workplace productivity.


As more and more innovative tech products emerge into the market place and have the potential to change the competitive landscape, businesses are left trying to decide when to adopt and when to ignore. In early 2015 a study by published that close to 8 out of 10 US businesses believe that wearables will remodel the future success of their businesses.

How’s Your Site Post-Mobilegeddon?

The purpose of this article is to provide information to automotive dealers about Google’s new indexing changes and the technology and opinions related to them. The article has links to all my research for you to expand in the topic.


It is safe to assume that by now we have all heard that Google rolled out a “mobile-friendly update(1) on April, 21 2014. It is important to understand these changes as they are the beginning of the way our websites will be accessed by our customers. We are moving from desktops to mobile devices and the way Google works for mobile changed.

The update will begin to change how Google ranks and indexes website content for mobile searches. This is an update to force website owners to improve their websites so they are mobile compatible. You can no longer ignore mobile traffic. Period.

Do you TRUST your 3rd Party Lead provider?

Dealers are always questioning the quality of 3rd Party Leads the Lead Providers they come from – OEM programs are NOT excluded.


WE KNOW – we (dealers) get sold duplicate leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold recycled leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold straight-up FAKE leads sometimes.

It happens, it’s the lead business.

BUT CAN the quality of 3rd Party Leads be IMPROVED? The better question might be, does anyone WANT TO IMPROVE THEM?

My guess is NO. But let’s assume it could be. But HOW?

I’ve been an advocate of Lead Scoring for years now. I’ve used Polk (IHS) Lead scoring with good to great success when applied at the dealership and vendor level. But let’s face it, lead scoring for whatever reason has never really caught on.leadid-logo

There’s possibly another solution that I stumbled upon several months ago – LeadID.

To summarize: LeadID provides a script that resides on the same page as the lead conversion form. Their script/technology not only records the user form fill session but also appends a unique ID to each lead. So if you can imagine:

comScore Smartphone Penetration-Mobile-Subscribers by Age May2015

Smartphone penetration reached 77% of the US mobile subscriber market (13+) during Q1 (the 3-month average ending in March), up from 74.9% in Q4 2014 and 68.8% in Q1 2014, according to the latest comScore figures. Compared to that ~8-point year-over-year increase, penetration growth has been strongest for subscribers aged 13-17 (up 10 points to 85%), 45-54 (up 10.7 points to 63.7%) and 65+ (up 11.6 points to 49.1%).

It’s worth remembering that the data is limited to mobile subscribers rather than the general population. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center, for example, found that just 27% of adults aged 65+ own a smartphone. – MarketingCharts

TV’s Not Dead. Our Imaginations Are.


A curious byproduct of the data age is that, despite our access to technology that lets us segment, dissect, and analyze like never before, we tend to talk about marketing in sweepingly broad terms, often limiting our discussions to the platforms themselves.

You’ve heard this conversation, I’m sure—“What’s your Facebook spend? Are you doing any print?” And so on. The sheer number of different platforms is partially to blame, but there’s also a false equivalence at work here that could be costing your dealership a legion of opportunity.

False equivalence #1: All advertising on a given platform is equally effective, therefore the platform itself should be the main consideration when making advertising decisions.

Let’s take TV, for example.

The ONE Must Have Feature You NEED to Advertise – And How!

CarStory gave a random pool of participants, ages 18 to 65 years, a list of the top 25 used car features as identified by their data science team as being high in consumer demand. Each participant selected their “must-haves” from among the list.

Used Car Must Have Features according to CarStory

What did they choose?

Music / Media connectivity!

TIP: HIGHLIGHT  the media connectivity features on each of your Used Cars (New too)! Bluetooth, iPhone/iPod, MP3, USB – mention any iPhone and Android compatibility!!

  • Take additional close up photos of the iPhone/iPod/USB connections or adapter.
  • Get a close up photo of the Bluetooth icon.
  • Another photo and highlight any mention of iPhone and Android connectivity.
  • Mention these features in bold & CAPITAL text in your vehicle descriptions.
  • Start your vehicle descriptions highlighting mobile connectivity.
  • Don’t forget to mention it in your Walkaround Video.

You’ll have to give up some information, but you can download the full CarStory White paper here.

What other way could you highlight your used car feature(s) around music connectivity? Comment below