Car dealership marketing: 4 quick wins to improve conversion rates

With UK sales of new cars nosediving to their lowest level since 1998, the recovery of the auto market still has a long way to go.

In April 2022, Car Dealer Magazine reported that fewer than 243,500 brand new ‘22’ plate cars were sold, down 14.3% from March 2021’s figures. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has described these numbers as ‘massively disappointing’.

Despite the doom and gloom, car dealership marketing teams have a job to do and must continue to prioritise lead generation and conversions. Consumer demand for new cars is higher than ever, and there’s still plenty of opportunity for dealers to ramp up conversion rates.

Car dealership marketing conversion rate quick wins

So, without further ado, here are four quick wins to help you improve your dealership conversion rates.

1. Enter all calls into your lead management system

Research shows that up to 45% of unique calls into dealerships don’t get entered into an LMS. This is a big issue because it means you won’t have reliable data for sales and marketing reporting. And when it comes to those monthly and quarterly performance reports, you need all the data you can muster to prove the value of your efforts.

Entering phone calls into your LMS doesn’t need to be a laborious, manual task. What’s more, with call tracking software, this process can be entirely automated – every time a phone lead comes in, their details are automatically logged.

It means there’s no chance of phone leads being missed from your performance reports and your figures will always be accurate.

And if there’s any follow up required from your team, they’ll have all the information they need in a central system, right at their fingertips.

2. Respond to enquiries quickly

A speedy response to phone enquiries is going to increase your odds of a conversion. In fact, according to Vendasta, if you don’t follow up with new leads within five minutes of their initial enquiry, there’s an exponential risk of you losing them as a prospect.

If you’re finding that enquiries aren’t being responded to quickly enough, monitor call response times and make procedural changes to improve performance.

Ask yourself how many leads come into your dealership by phone each day. How long does your team take to respond? How many times is a further follow-up required?

3. Make sure your marketing is efficient

As with any aspect of business, your car dealership marketing activity needs to be as efficient as possible. Marketing budget is notoriously easy to waste – poorly targeted paid ads alone can rinse through vital funds very quickly.

You need to set your campaigns up for success from the start, and rectify any poorly performing ones. Call tracking allows you to track and analyse every inch of your online and offline campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t. Simply by switching off ineffective campaigns and reinvesting budget, you’ll see improved conversion rates.

What’s more, using call analytics tools you can dig deeper into customer behaviour. The insight you get means you can build campaigns that truly target the needs of your prospects.

4. Get a holistic customer view

By linking up your systems and bringing together your marketing campaign data, you can build an ever-clearer picture of your customer base.

Everything from demographic data, customer preferences, current vehicle information, dealership visit history (both in-store and online via your website) and any marketing touchpoints can all be logged.

Over time, you’ll build a rich history of customer behaviour which you can use to better inform your car dealership marketing. You’ll also be able to develop more personalised marketing strategies – for example, providing targeted calls to action for every stage of the customer journey.

So there you have it. Four quick and easy ways to supercharge your dealership’s conversion rates.

With all four of these tactics in the bag, you’ll see a marked improvement in your marketing performance, with very little additional effort required.

About the author - Harry Bott

Harry Bott, Director at Mediahawk, has over 20 years of experience helping marketers generate a better response from their marketing. He has enabled businesses to improve their conversion rates through his consultative approach and deep understanding across various sectors, including automotive and care homes.

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