Are You Missing A Marketing Opportunity On Your Website?

dealer website thank you page

Lately I have been digging into Google Analytics to leverage the data and insights provided by Multi-Channel Sales Funnels (MCSF). If you ever wanted more insights into which digital investments are influencing website traffic and leads, you need to setup MCSF. It’s free and takes about 10 minutes to setup.

In order to use MCSF you need to setup what Google calls “goals” for your website. (Read Tutorial) One of the four types of goals can be setup is when you visit a specific website page. If you wanted to set a goal that counted visits to your Service Appointment page, you would you set the goal to that web page URL.

Then you can use MCSF to see which digital paths are influencing people to visit that page. This insight is exactly what dealer principals have been asking for years!

Checking For Unique Thank You Pages

However, if you want to set a “goal” for when a consumer submits a lead, it gets tricky. I’m finding that many website platforms used by car dealers have decide to move away from presenting a new “Thank You” page after a lead is submitted.

Here is an example of what I mean by NOT having a new Thank You page. The first screen capture shows a lead form that is located on a used car Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) and I filled out the information:

Once I clicked on the Submit Message button, the page URL did not change. The consumer is kept on the VDP and only the text in this region of the VDP is changed:

The Impact Of No Thank You Page

After much thought, I think that NOT having a Thank You Page is a mistake for two reasons.

The first reason is that you can’t get a Google Analytics “goal” when a lead is submitted. This will prevent you from seeing which digital investments in your budget triggered a consumer to submit a lead using MCSF in Google Analytics. There are some third party software solutions that have work arounds to this issue but not for Google Analytics.

The second reason is that dealers may be missing a great opportunity to encourage the consumer to continue engaging with their website or visit their social media sites. Think about it for a minute. After a lead for a new or used car is submitted, wouldn’t a targeted “Thank You” page more effective than just leaving them on the Vehicle Detail Page (VDP)?

Building a Better Thank You Page

What could be on your Thank You page is up to you but here are a few suggestions:

  1. A presentation of your online reviews. Give them a reason to buy from you.
  2. Consumer video testimonials. Their peers comments speak louder than you.
  3. A list of “popular” internal website links to get them digging back in. Specials, Incentives, Directions.
  4. Links to your Social Media sites. Why not connect if they are active users of social media?

You get the idea. Why not enhance your brand advantage once they submit a lead?

I suggest that dealers reading this article put in a request to their website providers add this feature BACK into their website.

Who Has Unique Thank You Pages?

Of the more popular website providers Cobalt, Dominion Dealer Solutions, and DealerOn have unique thank you pages. The elimination of separate Thank You pages is a result of website programming languages like Ajax, which allow only sections of a web page to be refreshed.

In the past, leads always had a Thank You page and it’s up to you to consider if you should have them back. I am convinced that if you have an attractive Thank You page, you will increase engagement. What do you think?

Check Your Thank You Pages

If you are fortunate to have unique Thank You Pages, please check that they are optimized to increase ADDITIONAL click traffic. I visited two websites that had Thank You Pages and this is what I was presented with after I submitted a lead.

Two City Honda’s page simply said “Thank You.

Preston Ford included a friendly graphic and set an expectation.

Could you see how much more effective a well designed Thank You could be for the hundreds of leads that get submitted each month? If you have a great Thank You page designed, share it with the community.

In any case, consider this challenge and opportunity to re-engage or educate your consumers who have taken the step to contact you at the First Moment of Truth (FMOT).

What ideas might you have to add for re-engaging the consumer with your “Thank You” page?

Brian Pasch

Brian is the founder and PCG Consulting Inc. Brian offers consulting services to assist car dealers develop the strategies, processes, and reporting needed to operate profitability in an Internet centric business climate. His latest book "Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing" is the automotive industry's first true textbook on digital marketing. Visit: Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Are You Missing A Marketing Opportunity On Your Website?

  1. Brian,

    Great timing (for me) !

    I was in the middle of re-writing an article that I had written awhile back titled “Where would you like to go next?”. The article referenced this same topic.

    http://www.dealerrefresh.com/where-would-you-like-to-go-next/

    No need for me to re-write the article now :) – thanks!

    This IS a Best Practice for dealer websites, but yet one I would bet over 90% of dealership websites and vendors take NO advantage of.

    Dealers / readers – Brian and I would LOVE your feedback on this idea.

    – What are you doing to re-engage consumers that have already engaged by filling out a form on your website?

    – Does your dealership website provider offer and Thank You page that allows you to customize it? If not, lets ask why!

    – Are you currently tracking your Thank You page in Google analytics as a conversion goal?

    What is the best practice for your Thank You page… Is this the perfect time to show off and invite the customer to join you socially?

    Is this the perfect time to highlight your dealer reviews?

    When I had written “Where would you like to go next?” – there was no mention of social media sites like facebook and twitter and review sites were not wide spread in popularity like they are today. When I had written that article, I was more interested in getting the customer to take the next step in doing business with my dealership and showing up in person.

    ..or something like; “Thank you for your request, someone from our Internet Sales Team will be in contact with you shortly. Where would you like to go Next?

    • Visit our Specials Page

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    • Learn about our Discounted Extended Warranties

    • Enter to Win a ……

    • Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

    • Sign Up for our Monthly Specials Email

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    I would question if this is a good place to introduce the consumer to my dealers social presence and at this point would I be wasting real-estate highlighting reviews since the customer has already opted in giving my dealer the opportunity to possibly earn their business.

    The Thank You page IS a landing page, and landing best practices teach us to have one or a few as possible conversion points / call to actions.

    What’s more important.. “Like us” or persuading the already converted customer down the path of lead to show?

    One of the most obvious steps would be getting the customer into your 1-4 step online credit application.

    Another possibility (one I’m currently working on) would be to incentives the customer to SHOW up at the dealership. How about a persuasive video on your Thank You page? This is something that I had used on the past with some nice success.

    Dealer group? How about diving into your cross sale and or lead analytics to registration data and find out what your consumers second and third vehicle of choice might be. Many new Honda Accord buyers second choice is a certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz C-Class. If your a group that carries both, maybe allow the customers click path to find it’s way over to your Mercedes-Benz dealers website? I know – I know, sounds great in theory BUT even dealers that are part of a larger group are never crazy about this idea – but would be fun to test out.

    What about you? What ideas do you have for your dealers Thank You page?

  2. Brian,

    Great timing (for me) !

    I was in the middle of re-writing an article that I had written awhile back titled “Where would you like to go next?”. The article referenced this same topic.

    http://www.dealerrefresh.com/where-would-you-like-to-go-next/

    No need for me to re-write the article now :) – thanks!

    This IS a Best Practice for dealer websites, but yet one I would bet over 90% of dealership websites and vendors take NO advantage of.

    Dealers / readers – Brian and I would LOVE your feedback on this idea.

    – What are you doing to re-engage consumers that have already engaged by filling out a form on your website?

    – Does your dealership website provider offer and Thank You page that allows you to customize it? If not, lets ask why!

    – Are you currently tracking your Thank You page in Google analytics as a conversion goal?

    What is the best practice for your Thank You page… Is this the perfect time to show off and invite the customer to join you socially?

    Is this the perfect time to highlight your dealer reviews?

    When I had written “Where would you like to go next?” – there was no mention of social media sites like facebook and twitter and review sites were not wide spread in popularity like they are today. When I had written that article, I was more interested in getting the customer to take the next step in doing business with my dealership and showing up in person.

    ..or something like; “Thank you for your request, someone from our Internet Sales Team will be in contact with you shortly. Where would you like to go Next?

    • Visit our Specials Page

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    • Learn about our Discounted Extended Warranties

    • Enter to Win a ……

    • Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

    • Sign Up for our Monthly Specials Email

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    I would question if this is a good place to introduce the consumer to my dealers social presence and at this point would I be wasting real-estate highlighting reviews since the customer has already opted in giving my dealer the opportunity to possibly earn their business.

    The Thank You page IS a landing page, and landing best practices teach us to have one or a few as possible conversion points / call to actions.

    What’s more important.. “Like us” or persuading the already converted customer down the path of lead to show?

    One of the most obvious steps would be getting the customer into your 1-4 step online credit application.

    Another possibility (one I’m currently working on) would be to incentives the customer to SHOW up at the dealership. How about a persuasive video on your Thank You page? This is something that I had used on the past with some nice success.

    Dealer group? How about diving into your cross sale and or lead analytics to registration data and find out what your consumers second and third vehicle of choice might be. Many new Honda Accord buyers second choice is a certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz C-Class. If your a group that carries both, maybe allow the customers click path to find it’s way over to your Mercedes-Benz dealers website? I know – I know, sounds great in theory BUT even dealers that are part of a larger group are never crazy about this idea – but would be fun to test out.

    What about you? What ideas do you have for your dealers Thank You page?

  3. What’s more important.. “Like us” or persuading the already converted customer down the path of lead to show?

    One of the most obvious steps would be getting the customer into your 1-4 step online credit application.

    Brian,

    Great Timing (for Me).

    I was in the middle of re-writing an article that I had written awhile back titles “Where would you like to go next?”. The article referenced much of the same topic.

    This is a Best Practice for dealer websites, but yet I would bet over 90% of dealership websites and vendors take NO advantage of.

    Dealers / readers – Brian and I would LOVE your feedback on this idea.

    – What are you doing to re-engage consumers that have already engaged by filling out a form on your website?

    – Does your dealership website provider offer and Thank You page that allows you to customize it? If not, lets ask why!

    – Are you currently tracking your Thank You page in Google analytics as a conversion goal?

    What is the best practice for your Thank You page… Is this the perfect time to show off and invite the customer to join you socially?

    Is this the perfect time to highlight your dealer reviews?

    When I had written “Where would you like to go next?” – there was no mention of social media sites like facebook and twitter and review sites were not wide spread in popularity like they are today. When I had written that article, I was more interested in getting the customer to take the next step in doing business with my dealership and showing up in person.

    ..or something like; “Thank you for your request, someone from our Internet Sales Team will be in contact with you shortly. Where would you like to go Next?

    • Visit our Specials Page

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    • Learn about our Discounted Extended Warranties

    • Enter to Win a ……

    • Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

    • Sign Up for our Monthly Specials Email

    • View our Pre-Owned Inventory

    I would question if this is a good place to introduce the consumer to my dealers social presence and at this point would I be wasting real-estate highlighting reviews since the customer has already opted in giving my dealer the opportunity to possibly earn their business.

    The Thank You page IS a landing page, and landing best practices teach us to have one or a few as possible conversion points / call to actions.

    Another possibility (one I’m currently working on) would be to incentives the customer to SHOW up at the dealership. How about a persuasive video on your Thank You page? This is something that I had used on the past with some nice success.

    Dealer group? How about diving into your cross sale and or lead analytics to registration data and find out what your consumers second and third vehicle of choice might be. Many new Honda Accord buyers second choice is a certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz C-Class. If your a group that carries both, maybe allow the customers click path to find it’s way over to your Mercedes-Benz dealers website? I know – I know, sounds great in theory BUT even dealers that are part of a larger group are never crazy about this idea – but would be fun to test out.

    What about you? What ideas do you have for your dealers Thank You page?

  4. Excellent article Brian -providing incredibly helpful tips for all dealer websites. The greatest opportunity for new customers is right under the dealer’s nose – it is their own website. Anything dealer’s can do to increase conversion on their site will have a better return on investment than other alternatives.

  5. Good observation Brian. To take it a step further, I would even suggest that rather than a nice-looking thank you page, use it as an opportunity to drive another conversion, specifically, an email subscription. Thank you pages and confirmation pages are some of the best places to prompt people to join your mailing list, considering that the person just gave you his or contact info, which is a demonstration of some level of trust.

    Jeff, as you know, we just implemented HookLogic into the blog subscription process for a Lexus dealership, offering people a reward card for signing up. This is an entirely different approach to a confirmation page, but unique nonetheless and in the same line of thinking. You have to complete the double opt-in sign up process to see it in action, but you are welcome to try it by going to http://blog.lexusofchestersprings.com/signup/. I plan to do a blog post about it this week explaining it more in detail.

  6. If your thank you page is a big success, would you say that the website sucks? I see a lot of what is best for the dealer but not necessarily the consumers..Thank you pages, I don’t read them, I X them out….food for thought

  7. Brian good article.

    We actually choose not to display a standard thank you page as not to disturb the momentum of the shoppers experience. We believe they may go on to search for more vehicles and submit leads for those as well…and they already know where they are at in regards to their website navigation. By changing the page entirely, you potentially confuse website shoppers who then end up having to start from the beginning…especially if they have spent time filtering down to the model or vehicle type.

    I think you will find that most “big box” ecommerce stores follow that same rule by either showing a pop-up or an message that doesn’t dramatically disturb the visitor’s nav.

    I do like the idea of showing similar vehicles, or even warrantys or special pricing on similar cars.

    In regards to Google Analytics, we load an unseen page that has it’s own URL which Google recognizes as a thank you page which we provide to our website clients if they want to setup Goals.