In the automotive industry, it’s an extremely common practice for dealerships to integrate plain lead-generation forms onto their website so consumers can request more information. These forms are typically static, with only a few form-fill spaces available for consumers’ name, phone number, email address, and a larger space for them to ask questions.
Just because static lead-generation forms are an industry standard, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good. There are many dealerships that rely on these static lead forms to capture auto dealer leads off their website, but there is a better solution.
Sure, your dealership’s static lead forms capture some data, but is that really the best you can do? Is the data that’s transferring to your CRM even what you need to forge stronger consumer interactions over the phone and in your store?
Even though you may think static lead forms are working for your dealership, you might be surprised to learn how little impact they actually have. Here are a few reasons why your dealership shouldn’t rely on static lead forms.
In general, consumers are hesitant to submit their contact information to businesses. They fully expect to be bombarded with phone calls from your dealership’s salespeople. Given this assumption, many consumers would rather go elsewhere if they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Another thing you can assume from these common interactions: Most consumers like immediate gratification. If consumers are promised a valuable offer or piece of information (say, a trade-in value/offer or e-price) on the spot, they’ll be more inclined to give their information because they consider it an equal exchange.
What interactive lead forms essential do is guide consumers through all the steps they need to take in order to make a purchase. Because options often support decision-making, this is where digital guidance through an interactive experience comes into play.
Lack of opportunity
One of the other issues with static lead forms is that there’s very little room for customization. Most of the forms integrated into dealership websites are templates created by third-party vendors.
The average time it takes to submit information through a static form is less than 10 seconds, while an interactive lead form averages 90 seconds. That’s, on average, 80 seconds longer per submission that you have to influence your potential customer.
This is your opportunity to indulge the consumer about why they should buy from you. It’s an opportunity to help consumers form a positive opinion about you and make decisions that move them forward.
I know what you’re thinking: “Consumers will never engage for that long. And even if they do, it’ll reduce my conversion rate.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, consumer research shows that if interactive lead forms are implemented properly, you’ll actually increase the form-fill rate.
Many interactive lead providers use multistage conversion, which allows you to collect initial lead information even when customers drop off before completing the form. When utilizing an optimized interactive form, 90% of visitors who make it past the first step make it to the end. Information about the remaining 10%, however, will still be collected and sent to your CRM.
Deeper consumer analytics
Along with capturing submitted information from website visitors, another key thing dealerships need to do is track website activity, particularly when visitors select specific options in an interactive lead form. There are a number of interactive lead-generation platforms available that that have this technology integrated into their systems.
This information can be used personalize follow-up. With this type of website activity tracking—or rather, lead-form activity tracking—dealerships can gain an overall understanding of user preferences; and strategize from there.
For example, if several visitors say they’ll be in the market to a buy a car in a month, you can export that information and segment the visitors out for later communications.
The point is that static lead forms don’t have these capabilities. They focus primarily on the individual consumer, and the data these consumers enter is all the data you ultimately receive. With static lead forms, you can’t gain a real overall understanding of a group of consumers because they have no tracking capabilities.
One of the biggest industry misconceptions is that simple ultimately equals better. Although this can be true in many instances, simple often means limited.
There’s absolutely no reason to shun technology that can make things easier and more helpful for the consumer. When you rely solely on static lead forms instead of using interactive lead forms, you’re not seeing the big picture.
With more than a decade of experience in the auto industry as a dealer, Russ Chandler has seen firsthand the problems dealerships face everyday. As a product marketing manager at PERQ, Russ combines his expertise with powerful technology to provide his clients with increased response and conversion on their marketing.
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