Years ago, craigslist made a change to its posting system that shook up the landscape of the "cars & trucks - by dealer" section. They started charging $5 for every vehicle ad that you wanted to put up. While this news was originally frowned upon by many dealers, they quickly came to realize there was a very positive side effect: gone were the days of dealers spamming the same vehicles hundreds of times a week. The "cars & trucks - by dealer" section was transformed over the next 30 days, as spam posts were moved down the list, to the more user friendly ad space it is today.
We work with a lot of dealers and deliver effective, measurable marketing for them on a variety of platforms. As a matter of course, we recommend and configure different tracking numbers for each type of advertisement that we run regardless of the platform or the delivery mechanism. Every so often a dealer asks if they can just publish their primary phone number on their advertising. I think the request goes back to the day when having a cool, memorable phone number was a worthwhile marketing tactic. Today though, connections are instant and consumers don’t remember phone numbers; they click to call or text. And so whatever number you put on your marketing efforts should support both calling and texting. And it should be tracked. It should likely not be your primary dealer phone number. In this article, I’ll give you a few examples of what we do and why it’s important.
In every ad, we make our tracking phone numbers prominent and visible in every part of the ad. And importantly we configure numbers that are able to be called or texted. You really need to let a consumer reach you the way that they want and you should provide texting, phone calling and emailing as options for them to interact with your dealership.
It’s interesting to note that 65% of the leads we generate are from phone calls, about 25% are from text/chat and 10% are from email. Consumers, especially the low funnel consumers that we drive from classified ad channels like craigslist, letgo and Facebook Marketplace, like to call and they like immediate answers. We also track all of these interactions, so that you can follow up with them, review your staff’s interactions, and use them for Return on Investment (ROI) reporting.
Having multiple numbers for each of your marketing efforts is especially important to help in measuring ROI. The AutoSweet platform lets a dealer deliver marketing on classified platforms like craigslist, letgo, and Facebook Marketplace, or SEM ads on platforms like Google Display Network, Facebook or in-app advertising, and through email marketing. So a lot of marketing channels. And because all marketing should be measured, we ensure that we have different tracking for each channel. You should too. And you should measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Having separate tracking numbers is essential to being able to spend your money wisely.
Lastly, I’d like to point out the importance of phone number rewrites on your website. We drive a ton of traffic to dealer websites, over 3 Million clicks a year, so we know dealer sites and how they perform. When someone comes to your website, it’s important to track where they came from so that you can measure your marketing effectiveness. We assist with that by rewriting phone numbers on your website so that they match the advertising channel. Every time someone visits your site from an ad, we track where the ad was from, and ensure that the number presented matches the advertising channel. Our service is proprietary and customer written for dealer websites, but I’m pointing this out so that if you’re doing advertising be sure to look for a tracking system that allows this.
I hope this gives you a good picture of our use of tracking numbers and some ideas about what you should be doing. If you are in the Automotive, RV, trailer, marine or power sport markets and you want to work with someone that can do all the heavy lifting for you, feel free to give us a call.
Dave Lemmon introduces some of the newest information on one of our strongest channels, letgo. As the trial period and beta tests come to an end, find out about pricing and the latest on lead delivery in this video.
Topics: Product Updates
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Special thanks to Sean Welsh and Steve Funk for this conversation. There are lessons here for the large, franchise stores. Steve has accomplished that thing I talk about all the time...making A customer HIS customer, with more than half his sales coming from retention and referral. Enjoy!
Paul Potratz tells the story of a dealer who broke all the rules. When he stops spending on paid video and creates his own show, promoting it on social, he not only sees amazing engagement but saves thousands of dollars. This is revolutionary digital marketing.
By now we’ve all gotten used to the fact that artificial intelligence machines are watching our every move. It’s not even that we’re resigned to it– we welcome it. Most people would probably admit that if they’re buying a cellphone on Amazon, suggestions for a matching case and screen protector are actually really helpful. And think how much time you save if an online grocery store remembers your last order and can automatically fill your cart with the items it predicts you’ll want.
I get asked at least daily now, "can you post our inventory on Facebook Marketplace?" (spoiler alert: no). Today, I was thinking about what that question really is: "Can you post my lower priced, used inventory on a market style website with tons of visitors local to my store?". Yes, yes I can. The problem is, too many dealers don't think the original marketplace has value. Here's the thing...they're wrong.
Dane Saville is a Founding Partner and Brand Manager for Reunion Marketing in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he has continued to develop the craft of content creation with a focus on automotive digital marketing. Reunion Marketing is a full service digital marketing agency with a focus on automotive dealerships and healthcare professionals and specializing in SEO, SEM, Social, Content, and Re-Targeting.
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