Archives for January 2017
Overthinking Your Emails and Email Templates?
Between prepping for 20-Group presentations to serving our regular clients, we mystery shop scores of dealers each month – reading their emails (mostly templates) and texts, and listening to their voicemails – and while we’ve seen definite overall improvement over the years, one aspect of the internet sales process that is beginning to creep in the wrong direction is the automated email response.
It’s become clear that someone on your team is overthinking this whole “email thing.” [Read more…]
Rick Buffkin Jr. Refresher
- First Name:
- Beaman Automotive Group
- Nashville TN
I saw a post on some other website today about Store Visit Conversions and now being able to track them in Google Adwords. Basically it helps you keep track of how your ad click’s influence store visits. I called Adwords support this afternoon and then gentleman on the phone told me that it’s been available for roughly 6 months. There are some requirements you have to meet in order to have it activated though. Just curious if any of you guys have activated it.
Quick Blurb from the Google Adwords Help page:
If visits to your physical locations—like hotels, auto dealerships, restaurants, and retail stores—are important to your business, you can use conversion tracking to help you see how your ad clicks influence store visits.
Store visit conversions are only available to certain advertisers. Review the requirements below and talk to your account representative if you think you’re eligible.
- See which campaigns and devices drive the most store visits to your business
- Understand your return on investment (ROI) and make more informed decisions about your ad creatives, spend, bid strategies, and other elements of your campaigns
Link to Google for details and how to see it once activated
eddyshaf Getting Refreshed
- First Name:
- Loving Honda - Loving Auto Group
- Lufkin, TX
I have asked several industry “experts” this question many times over the years and have never received a satisfactory answer…so I thought I would bring it to the floor for discussion. Engagement Rate with Ghost Internet Leads…first I need to establish a few definitions:
- Internet Lead = email lead from any source which hits your CRM and has valid contact information – either in the form of a good email or good phone number
- Engaged Internet Lead = any Internet Lead who responds to an email or connects via phone/text etc. In other words a two way conversation has been established
- Engagement Rate = the rate at which you are able to engage with internet leads
- Ghost Internet Lead = any Internet Lead who has not engaged despite multiple high quality attempts (phone, email, text, Facebook, IM, you name it, etc…) to contact over a 14 day period
- Ghost Rate = the rate at which Internet Leads are not engaged within the first 14 days
- Intermediate Follow Up = any follow up attempted with a Ghost Internet Lead after day 15
- Long Term Follow Up = any follow up attempted with a Ghost Internet Lead after day 45 or perhaps day 60 or day 90
So – hypothetically lets say that a dealership gets 400 Valid Internet Leads each month – and has an Engagement Rate of $75%, or 300 leads, and therefore a Ghost Rate of 25% or 100 leads.
The Questions Are:
- Of these 100 Ghost Leads, what engagement rate are you able to achieve by conducting Intermediate or Long Term Follow Up?
- Is anyone tracking this metric?
- What engagement rate would you rate as worthy of devoting resources to these Ghost Internet Leads?
- If you are performing this Intermediate and Long Term Follow Up, is it causing any unforeseen negative impact on either productivity or morale of your team?
- Are you even tracking Engagement Rate?
Back again for my annual car dealership predictions post for the retail automotive industry.
This year will be defined by a new level of awareness surrounding relevant marketing, the state of accountability and performance, and understanding mobile consumer behavior. I believe we’ll reach a higher consciousness of execution, operational excellence, and results that every level of the dealership can understand. No more shell games.
Are we beginning to understanding the seemingly endless flow of data flow as it relates to quantifying marketing results? Or, quite possibly, have solution providers finally been identified as not providing the results other industries demand as a standard? Whatever the reasons, there are significant events the professionals in our industry must be aware of to collectively raise the quality of the solutions our industry uses.
2017 Car Dealership Marketing Predictions
I’ve placed the key marketing items into five categories.
Mobile – Search engine results will be disrupted
Last year I predicted the death of SEO as a stand-alone tactic. (Rather, a single product that agencies and consultant sell) The largest portion of traffic a dealership website receives is from their branded organic traffic. Anyone still paying excessive amounts of money to optimize pages for long-tail search traffic and compete with more authoritative content is misinformed. Also, be extremely cautious of any solution which doesn’t provide proactive management and is 100% transparent with their strategy.
This year we’ll see local SEO become even more important for marketers. Why? [Read more…]
Nick Spolec Getting Refreshed
- First Name:
- Schimmer Auto Group
Anyone know of a third party vendor or service that offers a tool/app/widget for dealership websites to display the Retail Book Value for used vehicles and when asking price is less than, highlight this?
I like to think of strategies for online marketing in one of three categories:
- Increase Interest
- Increase Leads
- Increase Buyers
I always come back to two points that hit all three – uniqueness of vehicle, and price of vehicle.
So, stealing from CarGurus, which advertises vehicles with the Book Value being heavily displayed, putting this feature on our website SRP/VDPs would be awesome, and would tie into my whole strategy.
Today’s consumers have a lot of the answers they need before they ever contact your dealership or set foot on your lot, but they don’t have ALL the answers. Your organization’s processes and talk tracks must adapt to this ever-changing reality, which means you should be training your team constantly with the most up-to-date lessons you can find.
Sure events such as NADA, Digital Dealer, the DrivingSales Executive Summit and the likes offer helpful resources for savvy dealers, but they aren’t cheap to attend and they aren’t on-demand for your team when they need specific training. DealerRefresh can be a great free online resource, but when individual team members need the best training on specific subjects, your options are limited.
Say “Hello” to 24 Free Online Training Resources
At SteveStauning.com you will find a diverse array of online dealer training content and videos, and on this page in particular you will find more than 24 free online training resources that you and your team can access absolutely free anytime you need.
To make assigning and watching these free videos even easier, they are organized by job title and dealership function as follows:
- Sales Managers; General Managers and Internet Managers
- Floor & Internet Salespeople and BDC Agents
- Receptionist Training
After your team members have indicated they’ve completed the video training, you can have them complete the two tests that are also available on the site – Creating an Appointment Culture and Appointment-Driven Communications.
Steve’s Guarantee: By focusing your team on this curriculum and holding team members accountable for learning and applying what they’ve learned, you will have gone a long way toward improving your sales, market share, gross profits, employee turnover and customer satisfaction.
About Steve Stauning
Steve Stauning [LinkedIn] is a respected automotive ecommerce industry veteran, and is the founder of pladoogle, LLC., a leading mystery shop, ecommerce and automotive consulting firm providing cutting-edge products and in-store sales consultation to automotive dealers, industry vendors and media companies. Prior to his involvement with pladoogle, Steve served in various automotive ecommerce leadership roles, including as Asbury Automotive Group’s Director of Ecommerce, the Director of the Web Solutions division of the Reynolds & Reynolds Company, and as General Manager for Dealer Web Services at Dealer Specialties. Steve is also an extremely popular automotive industry speaker and writer.
Forward-thinking dealerships can prioritize the low-funnel buyer while building a lead nurture infrastructure to engage potential buyers still high up the funnel. A balanced approach to these two types of customers will lead to the best results.
Many dealerships, and for good reason, have tunnel vision when it comes to leads. They seek a particular type of low-funnel buyer who will close within 30 days, or at most 60, and spend little to no time nurturing higher-funnel leads. This makes sense because most BDCs aren’t designed to spend months nurturing leads who aren’t ready to buy, when low-funnel leads require immediate attention. It’s not smart to divert attention away from paying customers.
But rather than focusing exclusively on one type of lead, dealerships should also be looking for ways to reach all of them. Why? Because nontraditional leads are important. They are your future customers, and they will eventually buy from you and not your competitor IF you build loyalty with them now.
The good news is that it’s possible to nurture earlier stage leads without gutting your BDC resources. In fact, you can engage most early-stage leads with nearly zero day-to-day effort on the part of your BDC. With smart planning, you can set up a nurture cycle that engages all your leads but keeps your energy focused on following up with the ones that pay off the most.
When shoppers on your website inquire with your dealership, the expectation of hearing from you is at its highest, be it a phone call, email, or text. But when they inquire with you indirectly by way of third-party automotive sites, sometimes their association with your dealership can be fuzzy, or in some instances, completely unexpected or unwanted.
Why do some shoppers forget why you are contacting them, or outright deny they ever asked to hear from you?
To address this, we’ve laid out five free car sales training videos in a series titled, “Turning Leads Into Engagements.” In these videos we address the following topics:
- Understanding the Mystery Car Lead
- Online Car Buying Behavior and the Value of Leads
- How Loyal Are Your Car Leads?
- Tips to Best Manage Your Car Leads
- Car Buyers Rely on Third Party Information
When I think back to the days of running an Internet department, I have many fond memories. I loved the hustle and bustle of the dealership and the smiles on the faces of people driving away in their new car.
My BDC was set up so that I was in the same area as my team and one thing I often heard from my team was the dreaded, “This person said they never submitted a lead and wants to know how I got their information.”
These “mystery leads” frustrated me. I felt like I paid for an opportunity that was now deemed useless to my dealership. As I learned more, I realized this thought process doesn’t make sense and, dare I say in most cases, is a more often misleading statement from the consumer.
Let me share ways you and your team can work the third-party lead smarter to avoid frustration and ultimately help you win the sale.