Built on the principles of trust and transparency, CarGurus launched in Canada in 2015 with the mission of connecting more Canadian consumers with the right car dealers. Since then, site traffic has increased and we’ve become the fastest growing major automotive shopping site in the country. Our Diego Sanson heads up international business development for CarGurus, and in this article in Auto Remarketing Canada, he shares some insight into key initiatives that are driving our growth, including our partnership with AMVOQ and plans to launch more products. Check it out:
Effective dealership websites aren’t just lists of inventory. They’re full of useful information and advice, which attracts web traffic and ultimately generates more sales leads. The best way to create worthwhile content is through consistent and up-to-date blogging.
Here are a few blogging tips you can use to increase traffic to your dealership website—and boost your sales!
Ever wonder which cars sit at the top of shoppers’ wish lists? Millions of car buyers visit CarGurus every month in search of their next vehicle, so we decided to dig into our data to find out. We looked at which makes and models were the most searched in each Canadian province, and, after analyzing all of the car searches on our site in 2018, we found that when it comes to sought-after vehicles, Ford and Toyota lead the way.
Carefully measuring the performance of your email newsletter leads to better content and more engaged customers
As a car dealer who wants to engage customers and nurture loyalty, you probably send a regular e-newsletter (and if you don’t, you really should). But too many customer newsletters are bland, self-serving, and easily ignored. Great dealers set their newsletters apart by using key metrics to continually fine tune everything from core content to the time of day they send them. Customers value their newsletters, which makes them a potent weapon in your marketing mix.
Refining your own newsletter isn’t complicated, and it will never be wasted effort. Email marketing—of which an e-newsletter is an important component—remains an extremely effective marketing channel. According to Campaign Monitor, every $1 spent on email marketing earns $44 in return.
In other words, an effective e-newsletter is a key part of your marketing strategy. But measuring that effectiveness and tweaking it accordingly is vital. Newsletters that offer no value annoy consumers, who are increasingly prepared to report irrelevant emails as spam and unsubscribe from contact lists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.