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Russ Chandler

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Smart CTA's Your Dealership Should Pay Attention To.

If you haven’t already figured it out, interactive content is something I’m very passionate about. I talk about it all the time. Along with talking about interactive content at a very high level, one of the other things I’ve consistently talked about as of late were “Smart CTA’s."


In case you’re unfamiliar, Smart CTA’s are calls-to-action that change based on a consumer’s on-site behavior. A consumer will be presented with a “generic” or “generalized" CTA when they first visit your website — but as they explore your website and share personal information, different CTAs will be displayed to better cater to what they might be looking for.


One cool thing about Smart CTA’s is that you can do a lot with them. Through dynamic pathing (something I touched upon in my previous post), you can present Smart CTA’s to consumers after they’ve perused your website or completed an interactive form in order to push them further down the purchasing funnel. 


The interesting thing about Smart CTA’s is that, through the magic of dynamic pathing, you have options for what types of Smart CTA’s you can utilize. When I provide dealerships with car sales tips and tricks, there are 2 primary types of Smart CTA’s that I recommend. Some dealers focus their energy on one type, and heck, some dealers focus on both. 


The first option you have are “Targeted Offer” Smart CTA’s. The second option are “Existing Lead” Smart CTA’s. 


I know what you’re thinking: What in God’s name are those? Allow me to explain in more detail what each of these individual types of CTA’s are — because they both have their complexities.


Targeted Offer CTA’s 


Targeted Offer CTA's are buttons and banners that are presented to consumers entirely based on previous website browsing behavior, combined with any captured lead data. While a consumer that initially visits your website will typically be served generic, catch-all CTA's that can basically apply to those in the research phase, consumers might find themselves seeing different CTA’s a few seconds later. These CTA's, as expected, are meant to push consumers down the purchasing funnel from that initial, research phase, and the ads presented are based on what parts of your dealership's website a consumer has looked at. 


For example: let's say you have a new visitor to your website. Although they might have heard of your dealership, this might be their 1st visit to your website ever -- or perhaps in a while. During that initial touchpoint, your website knows NOTHING about this consumer.


As they browse, however, your website automatically figures out what they might be interested in. If a consumer visits the financing section of your website (even without filling out any forms), one CTA that might be presented to them is "Get Pre-Approved." If they're looking at a particular vehicle body type pretty aggressively, they might be served a "Schedule a Test Drive" CTA under several vehicle listings. 


In order to serve a targeted ad, all a consumer really needs to do is visit your website. Now, you might asking "what about consumers who have filled one of the interactive lead forms on my website?" Good question! That actually brings us to the other CTA type.


Existing Lead Smart CTA's


Unlike Targeted Offer CTA's, "Existing Lead CTA's" require that a consumer has already submitted their information in order to become an actual lead in your dealership's CRM. As many of these folks complete these interactive experiences, they're provided with an opportunity to tell your dealership a little more about themselves.


The general consensus with interactive lead forms is that a consumer is providing dealers with their information in order to immediately get something of value in return. Sometimes it's an immediate offer (ex: a trade bonus) and sometimes it's immediate insight (ex: vehicle value). Regardless of what type of information a consumer gets, dealers can use this specific information to present CTA's that provide a CLEAR next step. 


For example: let's say one of the experiences on your website asks if a consumer is or was ever a part of the armed services. If they answer "yes," (assuming they've completed the experience), they might get served a CTA that offers a specific "thank you" incentive for their service. It can be as simple as an additional bonus on their trade-in; or an offer for X number of free services if they decide to come in for a test drive. 


Just to be perfectly clear, there isn't any one type of CTA that is better or worse than the other. Both types of CTA's have their merits; and they've helped tons of consumers get to the final stages of the purchasing funnel.

The point is that you don't have to continue with the traditional mindset that there is a one-size fits strategy that converts the highest. Your goal should be to try to provide a personalized experience and optimize conversion on a one to one level. Imagine the top 5 or 10 type of website visitors and how you would optimize your site differently for each one of them. Smart CTA's and Dynmaic Pathing are just methods available to you that allow you to optimize your site for all of them at the same time. 


What Smart CTA types have been most beneficial for your dealership? Remove the restrictions of what you think is possible and just assume you could present the right CTA, to the right person, at the right time.   Let me know in the comments! 

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