Over 2 months we mystery shopped over 1,000 dealerships to see how well they’re handling new leads. We did this by submitting a lead 1) on the dealership’s website and 2) through CarGurus. We used real names and local phone numbers with functioning voicemail.
Well it's simple, really. I work for Matador.AI and we’re the first SMS marketing automation platform for dealerships and we wanted to know how well dealers are communicating with inbound leads.
We asked some basic questions: did the dealer send a text message? How long did it take to send a text? Was the SMS personalized? Were there redundant double opt-in messages? ...and Was there any follow-up after the initial SMS?
When we submitted a lead directly on the dealership’s website showing interest in a new car only 50% of dealers sent an SMS!
Luckily most dealers that cared to respond by text personalized their messages. Unfortunately, only about half of all those dealers did any follow-up after the first text. It’s crazy! Why would you not follow-up?
On a more positive note, nearly 80% of dealers using CarGurus sent us a text message but, once again, we saw a huge drop in the number of follow-ups.
Also, we’re seeing a lot of dealers sending redundant opt-in messages. If the form someone submits includes permission to receive a text message, why ask again? It ruins the conversational flow.
Time and time again, SMS has proven to be one of the most effective communication channels to engage with existing customers and people who are in-market to buy a vehicle.
The stats don’t lie: dealers are consistently dropping the ball when it comes to texting with customers and leaving money on the table as a result.