You have heard me say Internet is the most “measurable” form of advertising. By that I mean it is possible for you to track every step an Internet shopper takes from the beginning of the buying cycle to the end. Unlike radio, newspaper, print and all other forms of advertising, you can determine the customers’ wants well before you ever meet them. You can track what led them to your site, what pages of your site they visited, what vehicles they are most interested in, and even determine if they are a cash or finance customer. If they came in as a result of a radio or newspaper ad, though, you have no real way of knowing what it was that they heard or saw that motivated them to come into your dealership. Today’s technology allows you to track each Internet shopper from the time they first saw any of your online advertising to the time they walk into your show room.
One loop hole in this Return On Investment (ROI) measuring has been with regards to how many phone leads your website, and all your other forms of online advertsing for that matter, produces. When you post your inventory on www.VAUsedCarDealers.com (VUCD) for instance, you can get a total number of times someone asked for your phone number, but until recently you had no idea whether or not those who requested your number actually called it. That has now changed!
JTZ Enterprise not only hosts car dealer sites, we also host many regional classified magazine sites all across the country. These sites often belong to a company who sells magazine classifieds advertising to car dealerships in their area. Like any other advertiser, our classifieds site owners need to prove ROI to their customers. For this reason, JTZ Enterprise recently developed a new tool to help our classified magazine site owners measure ROI for their car dealer customers.
It works like this. First, JTZ Enterprise is able to purchase land line phone numbers that are local to each dealership and forward the calls made to them to each dealership’s existing land line numbers. Then, the classifieds magazine (and the website) advertises those forwarded numbers instead of the dealership’s usual numbers. Then, when car shoppers pick up the magazines or visit the website, find a car they are interested in and decide to call the selling dealer, their calls are automatically tracked and recorded. Now our classified website clients are able to tell their dealer clients how many calls they generated, when those calls were made as well as who made them.
This new service does not stop there because JTZ Enterprise has taken phone tracking into the 21st century! We not only forward these calls to one number, but in fact, we can forward all calls to up to five different numbers. If you want, we can ring your dealership’s line a couple of times and if no one answers, we can forward it to your Internet Sales Manager. If he/she doesn’t answer right away, we can forward it to one salesperson after another until someone picks up the phone. Instead of forwarding to one number at a time, we can even make all five numbers ring at the same time, creating a sort of “jump ball” with each phone lead! At the same time we are forwarding these calls, we can also send an email. Let’s say you are a small operation and you have to be away from the dealership to attend auctions or do DMV work, but you want to be sure your calls are getting answered by your staff while you are gone. We can send you an email telling you that your dealership’s phone is ringing so you know what is happening back at the lot.
All calls made to these forwarded numbers are recorded. This gives you a chance to be sure your staff is answering the calls in the manner you would want them to. It also provides excellent sales training for you to review these calls with your team on a regular basis.
Another cool feature with this modern phone tracking service is the ability for it to also accept text messages. Our classified magazine and site owners also use these forwarded numbers to send vehicle specific text messages to their dealers. For instance, they can advertise to the magazine reader that if they want to get 12 images and all the information on a specific listing that could not be crammed into the print advertisement, then simply text the last 6 of the VIN to the forwarded number and in return, the shopper will get a URL to that vehicle sent to their phone. The best thing is that the caller’s name and address (when available), phone number and what car they are interested in are all getting recorded and emailed to the selling dealer at the same time the consumer is getting the vehicle information.
Following up on these leads is as simple for the dealership as logging into the classifieds site. In fact, if you are a participating VUCD dealer, you can see this new service in action by logging in and clicking on the Phone Tracking link. This phone tracking service is included for all dealerships and is something each dealer can opt out of at any time.
It wasn’t long after we rolled this new service out to our magazine clients that we had our dealer clients asking if they could take advantage of it. Starting this month, any car dealer can purchase their own tracking numbers and assign a unique number to each of their various advertisers. For instance, if you have a website and you are using Cars.com as well as a local classifieds magazine, you would get one number for each advertiser and when someone calls from your website you would hear something like, “This is another quality lead from your website” or “…from Cars.com” or “…from Auto Truck Marketplace magazine”. All calls are tracked and recorded and at the end of the month, you will be able to see which advertiser produces the most calls.
Knowing your ROI on advertising is important. Knowing where each of your leads comes from helps you determine where your advertising dollars are best spent. If you want to learn more about this new feature, contact us today.