With mobile access and interaction undeniably a preferred method of choice for retail consumers, auto dealers must be scratching their heads for ways to enhance their own mobile customer experience. And while the industry as a whole has come far in addressing mobile, there is more to consider than responsive websites and mobile apps.
For instance, after evaluating more than 100 dealership websites in the last 35 days to see how many give visitors the option to inquire via text, it is clear that this option is a new idea. In fact, fewer than 10 of the sites evaluated offered a texting option for inquiry, only two of which were vehicle specific.
Like all new practices, it takes time for new ideas to be embraced, and then more time for dealers to implement them effectively and streamline their business processes around them.
SMS lead generation is no exception. While not the only consideration for mobile, generating leads via text message can be a game changer, because generating leads is critical to your sales pipeline.
As an example, in a recent case study by TextUps, the subject dealer is reported experiencing more than a 200% lift in lead volume today compared to when they first implemented the SMS lead generation capability. To put this into contrast:
The dealership advertises their inventory through AutoTrader, Cars.com, CarGurus, SEM paid search and various micro sites at an average cost of $25.00 per lead. They average 200 leads per month from all of these programs combined.
With the TextUps SMS Lead Generation tool, the same dealer now sees an additional 400 leads per month with an average cost of $1.15 per lead.
3 Keys to Success
SMS lead generation is not just about giving installing a text-in option on your website, giving visitors the option to inquire via text. This is not sufficient. SMS lead generation is about making each and every vehicle uniquely accessible to people via text no matter where they are viewing your vehicles. This means:
- Vehicles on your lot
- Vehicles on your website
- Your vehicles listed on third-party sites
Do you see the difference?
Your website might see 4,000-6,000 visitors a month, of which some small percentage are likely to convert, of which an even smaller percentage will choose to inquire via text, compared to 2-3 times as many views of your vehicles across all potential touch points.
By giving shoppers the option to request more information via text, you rely less on each medium’s limited ability to convert and more on appealing to your potential customers’ growing acceptance of texting with your dealership.
In a recent post on DealerRefresh about the rapid pace of advancement with mobile, the author builds on the reality that mobile is not a fad and that dealers must be questioning their approach with mobile.
This is the right advice, but “mobile” is not a singular problem to solve. There are multiple aspects to consider with mobile which I plan to explore soon in a forthcoming post on DealerRefresh.
By singling out an individual business problem such as generating leads, you can better distinguish how specific technology such as TextUps can be incorporated into your lead-generation strategy.
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Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Future Mobility & Connectivity Podcast, Ryan began working in the automotive industry in 2001, establishing his roots in online vehicle merchandising before expanding into digital marketing and now multi media for Automotive B2B. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.