Most successful businesses are all about driving and converting leads, especially with the rapid rise in digital marketing efforts. The quicker and easier the purchasing experience, the more likely you are to convert a potential customer into a sale. The automotive industry; however, prefers to have customers work for us versus us working for them.
Follow this exercise to see for yourself! As a customer, how long does it take you to find the price on a specific unit on your lot? For most dealership websites, the experience looks like this:
First, you’ll have to dig through my website and find a specific vehicle you like.
Want the price? Click this button and fill out the form.
Do you want the sale price and not a crossed out MSRP? You must come in to find out—we won’t give it to you over the phone or via email.
If you want to increase conversions, you need to change your mindset and your strategy. You can do this by increasing transparency and lead form submissions with a few tweaks. As consumers get pickier about who they give their information to—thanks to privacy breaches and third parties selling our information—you may receive the traffic but not the conversion.
Start improving your conversion rates by looking at your form fields—this can be the greatest source of friction for many customers. I’ve listed a few proven ideas to help boost conversions on your website below.
This is an idea that many dealers aren’t using and may not be aware of when or how to use. Consider utilizing a browser plugin that stores values for common field names and inserts them into the form with one click. Nothing is easier for a customer than submitting a form with one click!
Reduce Number of Form Fields
Next, reduce the number of fields you require customers to complete on each form. This may seem like common sense, but you can increase your conversion by 50% when you reduce the number of fields from 4 to 3. Why? Because shorter, simpler forms are easier to fill out.
However, reducing the number of form fields can also reduce lead quality. To remedy this, we suggest always requiring customers to include their phone number. You will, I repeat, WILL get less leads but you will get HIGHER QUALITY leads. Recently, a client of mine made this transformation, and when pulling CRM data from June 1 to July 31, I noticed leads with a phone number closed at 13.5% and lead without a phone number closed at 7.4%. Sure, this is only one dealer, but that data is compelling! Keep in mind that form position is essential to good results. As the phone number will decrease the number of leads, you may want to move it lower on the form to minimize this effect.
Keep your comment box optional! Yes, this still needs to sit in your form because it allows your prospective customer to ask a question, which will give your team the ability to stand out with a personalized response. Optional comment boxes can save your customer time and frustration.
Another thing to consider is creating a single column in your lead form. This practice works because the form is easier for customers to digest than multiple columns. The key is to make it look organized in a way that’s easy on the eyes. The more cluttered your forms looks; the less likely people will fill them out.
Call to Action
Lastly, you may need to rethink your call to action. Don’t fall into the trap of sticking with “submit.” Submit is boring and doesn’t always have enough power to convince people to take action. Use targeted words or phrases and make sure it feels like a low commitment. For example, “check availability” or “make an offer” doesn’t make the customer feel locked in on the vehicle in comparison to a call to action like “buy it now”. If your customer is simply looking for information on a unit, these types of call to actions feel like less of a commitment.
Now, I have a challenge for you! Head to your website and evaluate the forms your team is using. Ask yourself—what must stay and what must leave? Find some additional opportunities to improve your conversion rate!
Join Chelsea for Kain Automotive and NCMi course, Mastering Digital Marketing, for more actionable insights and strategies for digital marketing.