Most dealers would agree that to sell the maximum amount of cars, online marketing is a must. Simply put, dealers need to have their inventory well-represented across the internet. Advertising on lead generation sites is an effective way for dealers to get exposure. These websites allow dealers to post their vehicle inventory and leverage consumer traffic to drive inquiries called leads. The two most common types of lead generation sites are subscription-based and performance-based. There are important differences in the way these sites generate leads and charge dealers, so it’s key to evaluate both.
Subscription-based lead generation sites use the power of a strong local or national brand to drive consumer traffic. They execute aggressive marketing campaigns through multiple channels, such as web, print, television, and radio to make sure the general public is familiar with their names and offerings. This market saturation results in higher traffic to the site, more vehicle searches, and increases the potential for leads to dealers. Dealers that utilize subscription-based sites typically pay a flat monthly membership fee and are offered incremental merchandising options for additional fees.
There are a couple items to know before signing up with subscription-based sites. First, being associated with a well-established site means you can expect to pay more per month. Second, there is typically no guaranteed lead volume promised to dealers. So, dealers are paying as much for advertising as they are for actual leads.
Performance-based sites have the same goal as subscription-based sites, but have a different method of charging dealers. Dealers typically post their entire inventory for free and pay only for the leads they receive. These sites focus heavily on optimizing their sites for lead generation since they are paid on a lead-by-lead basis. Dealers can also set a spend maximum, making performance-based sites budget-friendly, low-risk investments with maximum accountability.
Performance-based sites typically do not have the same level of consumer brand recognition that large subscription-based sites do, so the traffic is often lower nationally. These sites are often very competitive at the local level. In addition, because these sites charge by the lead, they usually allow dealers to “return” duplicate or bad leads.
When deciding which type of site to advertise on, remember your goal should be getting your cars in front of every shopper in your market. Different shoppers go to different sites. One size does not fit all shoppers. In order to get the maximum amount of quality leads, you should have a balanced mix of subscription-based and performance-based partners. The most successful dealerships use both types of sites.
Chris Lewis is the National Sales Manager of www.GetAuto.com & www.DominionPerformanceNetwork.com. He can be contacted at 888-227-670 , or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.