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Russ Chandler

Russ Chandler Product Marketing Manager

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Just How Helpful Are Smart CTAs?

Your website is arguably the most important component of your dealership’s overall marketing and sales strategy. The reason I say this is because, outside of your physical dealership and showroom, your website is another place that car buyers visit in order to learn more about your inventory, pricing, financing, etc. If you think about it, the only real difference between your showroom and your website is that one is something you can physically go-to, and the other is online.


If your website isn’t able to provide its consumers with what their looking for — whether it’s a certain type of vehicle, financial information or something else — they’re going to view this as a negative experience and go to another dealership’s website. Another obstacle is that your online consumer likely has hundreds of dealerships within a reasonable driving distance. Unlike when someone takes the time to visit your dealership in person, there is very little investment to visiting you online. This makes it easier for consumers to quickly leave if it’s not EASY to find out what they want. In other words their attention span high and level of tolerance to have to search for what they want is extremely low.


Now, regardless of whether your website is impeccable or a complete mess, let’s call out a few of the most common pitfalls that MANY dealership websites succumb to in poor use of Calls-to-Action or CTAs.


  • Overloading CTA’s
  • Linking CTA’s to off the site or new tabs
  • Using the same exact static form with multiple CTA’s
  • Not optimizing for mobile and tablet


So what can dealerships do to improve their website’s Calls-to-Action? Use dealer website solutions and technology that is available and be SMART about your CTA’s. Did you know you can optimize your CTA’s to automatically determine the right call to action to display? That would solve loads of problems right? Instead of 12, you can display just few, relying on the consumer’s behavior and lead data to individually optimize their CTA’s.


Smart CTAs 


The key to the smart CTA’s strategy is trying to get the right message, in front of the right person at the right time. How do you figure that out you ask? This technology reads your website visitors onsite behavior and lead data to help determine the anwser automatically and then executes in real time. 


Onsite consumer behavior

  • New or returning visitor
  • How many pages have they visited?
  • What pages are they on?
  • Are they shopping new or used?
  • How long have they been on the site?
  • Are they a lead yet?


Lead data

  • Where are they at in the shopping process
  • What’s the next best step for them?
  • Are they trading in? What vehicle? How much do they owe?
  • What’s their credit score?
  • What type of incentives are they most interested in?
  • Have they bought from you before?
  • How can you ensure you earn their business?


Sound familiar? It should. This list looks a lot like the same questions you would ask if the customer just walked into your showroom. You can enable your website to take the same strategy. Now that you know your CTA’s can change based on behavior and lead data, you and adjust that strategy as well. Leave the phone number on the back burner until you’ve captured some lead data that will help you provide a better experience.


Behavioral based CTAs are buttons or banners that generate based on consumer behavior and lead data captured on your dealership’s website. Depending on what experiences or actions a consumer completes on your website, certain buttons/banners will be displayed; linking them to pages that would logically be of the most interest to them. For example if you have a new visitor, non-lead customer. It might be smart to start with something less committing than a test drive or credit app strategy. Lets engage them with a trade-in calculator and shopping assessment. N


Like targeted and retargeted advertising, behavioral CTAs are becoming extremely popular with automotive dealers. With competition becoming fiercer and fiercer by the minute, dealers need to come up with even more intricate ways to keep consumers consistently engaged on their website, in order to keep them consistently interested. 

How would you use smart CTA's? Share your thoughts on what you could do with smart CTA's on your dealership website below. 

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