Why Page Engagement Is More Important Than Lead Form Fills - AutoSuccessOnline

Why Page Engagement Is More Important Than Lead Form Fills

The premise is simple: If someone is willing to provide you their information on a lead form, then they are obviously interested in the car on your lot and this automatically makes them a lead.

The premise is simple: If someone is willing to provide you their information on a lead form, then they are obviously interested in the car on your lot and this automatically makes them a lead.

Score one for the dealership marketing team!

This may have worked back in 2005 and perhaps even in 2010, but today’s buyers have proven that they are much more wary of forms and this wariness has been reflected in their online behavior.

Why Lead Form Submissions Are No Longer Good Indicators of Intent

As Ward’s Auto states: “Many shoppers were put off by filling out forms asking personal questions. And the people who did go through the exercise and submit leads didn’t get much in return.”

The article goes on to quote Jared Rowe, former president of the Cox Automotive Media Group: “Half of [the people who filled out price quote forms] didn’t get called back, and the other half didn’t get a price quote. They figured, ‘What’s the point?’”

Recent statements from top marketers from some of the largest dealer groups in the country have echoed this statement. Their sentiment: Even when we (marketers) are able to generate form filled leads, only 50 percent of them get followed up on in a timely and effective manner.

Is the lead form really as valuable as we’ve been lead to believe? Many studies suggest that car buyers will find the car they are looking for online and only visit one or maybe two stores before making a purchasing decision.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Fewer than 10 percent [of car shoppers] will fill out an online contact form or communicate via email.”  However, the article goes to state that “Nearly 75 percent of buyers had not contacted the dealership before visiting.” So, are they calling, using chat, texting or something else entirely?

What these two findings imply is that digital indicators of a showroom visit are there, but they are just not as apparent as form leads.

This directly contradicts what digital marketers are relying on as their primary metric. If this metric is not lead forms, then what is it?

The New Indicators of Interest

Shoppers will still go to dealerships’ Websites to view inventory, but they are just not filling out forms. What we need are new metrics to gauge interest.

Time on VDP — The longer a car shopper spends looking at the cars you have on your lot, the more interested you can assume they are. If you have not set up any goals or events in your Google Analytics, the “Time on VDP” metric can easily be calculated using standard Google Analytics fields.

VDP per Session — The more cars an online shopper views per site visit, the more interested they are in the cars you have on your lot. Like Time on VDP, this is yet another metric that can be seen even if you have not set up any Google Analytic Goals.

Photo/Video Gallery Engagement — Like many complex purchases, scrolling through the photos is a high indicator of interest. Think about an apartment you want to rent or a house you’d like to buy. It’s easy to infer that the more pictures you view in the gallery, the more interested you are.

Return Visit Performance — We all know car buying is a complex decision that requires a significant amount of consideration. As a result, it’s likely that the buyer will return to the car multiple times. This means that one of the best indicators of interest is the car shopper returning to the site to view the car again.

Dealerships Need to Move from Explicit to Implicit Measurements of Interest

Dealers need to understand that looking at the wrong metrics can have unintended consequences on their results.

By shifting measurement from explicit interest indicators (like form fills) to implicit behavioral metrics (like those mentioned here), dealers are aligning their measurement with the way their buyers are interacting with their Website. This will allow dealers to better invest into products that help drive more traffic and, ultimately, more sales into their stores.

Renold Lio – Director of Marketing For Speed Shift Media

You May Also Like

Skip the Stip: Lending Without Stipulations

New AI-powered technologies are creating more access to credit opportunities without the need for these stipulations and lengthy supporting documents.

By Adine Deford, vice president of marketing at Informed.IQ

While everyone wants a faster, more digital loan application process, those with less money and bad credit often must wait longer and submit more paperwork. Customers with credit scores below 620 are frequently in this group; they apply for subprime loans. As a result, dealers and lenders are losing out on these crucial borrowers, who are more likely to give up on their loan applications because of drawn-out, cumbersome processes.

EV Credits — Are They Worth It?

The industry brings with it environmental benefits, economic opportunities and infrastructure development, but are EV credits the way to go?

Utility Audit: More than 80% of Companies Overpay on Their Utility Bills – Are You One of Them?

Are you paying too much for your utilities? A utility bill audit by a trained professional can uncover errors and overcharges.

Unmasking Double Brokering in Automotive Transport: A Quick Guide

Transport and logistics is not immune to fraudulent practices such as double brokering. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

autosled - double brokering
Dial in the Details: Preserving Vehicles and the Profitability of Dealership Inventory

Making cleanliness a priority of each car will all but guarantee to lead to a more profitable season ahead.

Rob Harper - Ziebart blog

Other Posts

Vendors vs. Partners

Bringing in vendors to help manage today’s problems can save money and be a great asset in running a smooth operation. You want a partner who cares about your business and wants to help grow it as much as you do.

Conferences & Connections 

Attending an industry conference offers numerous benefits, from access to expert speakers and educational seminars to networking opportunities and personal growth. The knowledge gained and connections made at these events can have a lasting impact on both individual careers and the industry as a whole.

How To Build an Unstoppable Dealership in a Bad Economy

Dealers’ challenges seemed to flip overnight. Here’s how they can use this period to get ahead of the curve.

Dealer-Branded Loyalty Programs

Your customers can feel comfortable knowing the trusted brand they are already familiar with is providing them with extended protection options.