What sets great car dealers apart: key website metrics to track to ensure success

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on September 13, 2018

A website is an essential tool for generating leads, building your subscriber list, and raising brand awareness. But are you sure you’re looking at the right metrics to determine how well you’re doing?

Google Analytics can provide loads of data on all kinds of metrics, but some provide more value than others. Of all the dozens of different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you can look at, it’s best to narrow it down to at least five metrics which give you the most insight into how effective your dealership’s website is at converting visitors into paying customers.

While things like social media Likes and total page views are nice to know, seeing high numbers there might not do much more than stroke your ego a little bit. Here are the five most important website performance metrics for car dealerships that will actually help you grow your audience.

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Topics: digital marketing, metrics, websites

Lessons from companies acing omnichannel marketing

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on September 5, 2018

More than just a buzzword, “omnichannel marketing” represents a significant shift: marketers now need to reach and engage prospective shoppers wherever they are—whether it’s on desktop, via a mobile device, or in-person on-the-go. While shoppers still go to a dealership to see, feel, and test drive the cars they’re interested in, to get them onto your lot, you need to think beyond just the traditional channels of email and ads on radio and television. Implementing omnichannel marketing means using all channels—from social media and online advertising to mobile apps and in-person interactions—to provide a seamless buyer’s journey across multiple devices, allowing for consistency and constant connectivity between your dealership and the customer.

According to a 2017 Bain Automotive Global Survey, 50% of people start their car buying journey online and switch between online and offline modes an average of four times before setting foot in a dealership. For example, someone might research what vehicle they want on their smartphone, and then continue their search on desktop computer. Later on, when they’re ready for a test drive, they might contact the dealership on the phone, or send an email. This multi-device journey full of starts and stops only reinforces the need for an omnichannel strategy.

Here are a few excellent examples of companies out there that are already doing omnichannel marketing.

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Use persona marketing to fine tune messages and target buyers more effectively

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on August 29, 2018

Great dealerships market to someone, not about something

Dealers who speak directly to their audience’s challenges and concerns drive more sales. But to do so effectively, you need to know—in detail—who your buyers are. If you do, you can create organic content and advertising that better answers real questions and meets real concerns. You market to someone, not about something. That’s where persona marketing comes in.

Persona marketing might sound like a buzz phrase, but it’s really just another way of segmenting your customer base, so your content is targeted more effectively.

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A blueprint for a successful lead follow-up process

Posted by Jim Volpe on August 15, 2018

The car business attracts all types of buyers: some folks buy cars on impulse, like a bag of chips in the checkout line, while others spend days, weeks, or even months searching for the right car, deal, and dealership. Regardless of the type of buyer though, life can get in the way sometimes, causing car shopping to get put on the back burner.

In my former life as a BDC Director at a six-store dealer group, I found that timing was one of the main reasons why even our most effective lead sources converted at only 10%-12%. It wasn’t because the customers weren’t serious or decided to buy elsewhere—it was because they didn’t have time, and my dealership was giving up too soon.

Why does that matter to you? If you want to drive more sales from existing leads, you need to optimise your lead follow-up strategy.

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Topics: BDC, follow up, leads, sales

3 simple strategies every car dealer can use to build a customer referral program

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on August 7, 2018

Customer referral programs drive sales and enhance reputations

Over the past several decades, customer advocacy has been a cornerstone of car dealers’ marketing strategies. You might call customer referrals “word-of-mouth” leads or even bird-dogs. No matter what you call them though, referral programs can help you leverage your biggest assets: your customers.

Here are three referral program strategies that help encourage your happy customers’ continued advocacy while increasing your dealership’s profitability and traffic.

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Topics: referral program, referrals

Why every dealership should embrace mobile marketing

Posted by Amylou McBride on August 2, 2018

In 2019, Canadians are projected to spend more time viewing media on mobile than desktop for the first time, according to eMarketer. Mobile puts a wealth of information at shoppers’ fingertips, and it is disrupting the way people find and engage with brands throughout their buying journey.

To connect with these potential customers, your dealership needs to invest in an effective mobile marketing strategy. Mobile marketing goes beyond email marketing—it brings your inventory to your buyer’s mobile devices and makes all of your content easily accessible. If your business is not marketing effectively on mobile, it’s missing its chance to stay competitive and reach shoppers where they feel comfortable.

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Topics: digital marketing, mobile, mobile marketing

Automation makes digital marketing easy and effective for forward-thinking dealers

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on July 27, 2018

Marketing automation turns browsers into potential buyers—while dealers get on with other business

Like other time-pressed small businesses, dealerships naturally worry that running a digital marketing strategy properly might take resources they don’t have, and that doing it badly might be worse than not doing it at all. The answer is to let technology take on the heavy lifting. Marketing automation tools put efficient and effective lead nurturing within easy reach of all dealers, allowing them to boost customer engagement—and ultimately sales—without undermining other areas of business.

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Topics: automation, digital marketing, Marketing tips

Will SUVs and trucks continue to dominate new vehicle sales?

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on July 10, 2018

SUVs outsell small cars 2-to-1 in Canada – Just a detour, or the new status quo?

Conventional wisdom would suggest that in this era of rising gas prices, environmental consciousness, and a millennial-dominated customer base, small cars would dominate car sales statistics. On a global scale, that’s true: small cars continue to outsell light trucks, sport utility vehicles, and crossovers in 2018. But, if you’re like most car dealers and sales managers in North America, you’ll know that conventional wisdom is getting crushed beneath SUV tires as they roll off your lot.

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Topics: trends

See how used car prices change over time with CarGurus’ Price Trends tool

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on July 5, 2018

Whether you need help pricing your inventory or you’re looking for insight into what cars to stock, CarGurus can help! We track the prices of millions of used cars and make the data available in our Price Trends tool. Use it to identify seasonal trends, look up average used car prices, or find out which makes and models best hold their value over time.

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Topics: CarGurus info, pricing, tools, trends

Is your email marketing working? 5 key metrics you should be measuring

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 27, 2018

A good email marketing campaign can drive sales and engagement. But how do you measure how well you’re doing?

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to email marketing. It is a relatively cheap channel that allows you to reach a large number of people, and it’s highly effective at driving revenue—revenue contribution from email marketing represents more than 20% of overall revenue for many companies. By using techniques like segmentation, data analytics, and customized content, you can optimize your email marketing campaigns to greatly improve customer engagement, strengthen your brand image, and reach new potential customers.

As we discovered in our article on email marketing tips, there are many things you can do to make your campaigns more successful. In this piece, we’ll dive into the metrics you should be tracking to measure and evaluate the impact of those changes. Some metrics are more valuable than others and some metrics might sound useful, but on their own, don’t offer much insight. For example, you might think that your Open Rate is a good indicator of success, but just because someone opens your email does not necessarily mean they’re reading it.

Let’s take a look at five important metrics you should be paying attention to when measuring your email marketing efforts.

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Topics: digital marketing, email marketing, Marketing tips