Responding to Internet Leads

It’s ingrained in most of our DNA to answer a lead as soon as possible and for good reason! With the lead unanswered, every minute that goes by decreases your chances of getting in touch with the customer. But make no mistake, the quality of the response – especially the email – is just as important given that our first impression can make or break the deal. When answering an internet lead, it’s essential to check a few core items. Ones that can help you get a response that can help sell the vehicle!

Read the Lead (my personal favorite)

In most cases, the customer might complete a generic form on the website they inquired on. But it’s important to know where the lead came from! If the lead came from a third-party site, the customer might not be expecting a response from your dealer directly. That’s why it’s so important to read the lead and know where the source came from. In doing so, you can identify that you are a partner with “x” lead source and assist them with their inquiry.

If the customer did ask a question, be sure to answer/address it before pressing send. Taking the time to answer the customers’ questions shows that you are paying attention and are willing to assist them! Not to mention, if the customer were to get a generic response that does not answer their questions, you could be starting off on the wrong foot.

Subject Lines

Email still remains effective when corresponding with customers. According to Oberlo, in “2019, global email users amounted to 3.9 billion users (Statista, 2020). This figure is set to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023 (Statista, 2020). That’s half of the world’s population. This statistic clearly shows that email marketing is an opportunity that you shouldn’t be missing out on.” So, to stand out, you have to have core elements that attract your customer to your email. One of the best ways to combat email fatigue is by offering a relevant, attention-grabbing subject line. One thing that stands out the most is using the customer’s name in the subject line.

“[customer name], Important information on your [vehicle]!

By using the customer’s name, and “your” (which refers to the vehicle as theirs) can easily grab their attention vs. using something to the effect of “thanks for your inquiry at [dealership]”

Out of the two options, which one would, you most likely open?

Brand Value Statements

With so many options out there from which the customer may choose, it’s essential to have attention-grabbing brand value statements that set your dealership (and you) apart. One of the best ways to offer your dealership’s value is by showing the potential customer what your current customers are saying about you. There are tools out there that allow the customer to review you personally. By including testimonials from your existing customers, it can help you stand out from the competition.

Even if you take just one actionable item away from this, such as the email subject line, it can increase your open rate. Increasing your open rate means you have a better chance of working with the customer to sell them a vehicle!

Helpful Hints

Whether or not the “experts” agree, pay attention to links, pictures/images and attachments on initial emails. One article says the word to link ratio is “x” and another says it doesn’t matter but at the end of the day you don’t want to end up in spam.

Does your signature line have your company Facebook link, your picture, your rating site, a map site link and maybe a redundant email link in it? Sometimes they’ll get through, sometimes they won’t and sometimes your audience is trying to open that email with a poor signal on a mobile device. So, be mindful of these things and adjust accordingly.

What other things have you done to help make your emails stand out from the competition?

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