How Car Dealerships Get Leads

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Ben Jenkins

Generating leads is essential if you want your dealership to experience continued success. Whether inventory acquisition is your goal or you simply need more sales, getting your marketing right is key. 

Automotive marketing has changed significantly in recent years, which means the techniques have, too. If your dealership is still living in the past, it’s time to up your game, get ahead of competitors, and implement new strategies and tools. Keep reading if you’re wondering how car dealers get leads in this digital age.  

How leads and car inventory sourcing has changed 

Automotive marketing is changing quickly, and as technology advances, so does the way in which we buy and sell goods. The time buyers now spend inside a dealership has declined substantially, with most of the buying process now performed online. This shift doesn’t mean that dealerships should cease to operate, but it does mean that new buying habits should influence marketing techniques.  

Today, buyers and sellers seek information online rather than through a dealership. The dealership itself has become the final stop in the buying and selling process. Therefore, if you’re focusing on old marketing techniques such as cold calling or direct mail, it may be time to switch to digital. How car dealers get leads in the modern age is through a range of options, including digital marketing techniques and tools.  

Buying leads online is one technique that dealerships desperate to increase leads and car inventory sometimes choose. However, this isn’t ethical, because the information is often purchased without the person’s consent. Instead, focus on generating organic, high-quality leads.  

How car dealers get leads – increasing leads and car inventory starts online 

Your leads and car inventory are now dependent on how well you market yourself online. Establishing a digital presence for your dealership is the first step, so if you haven’t launched a website, this should be your first step. The majority of buyers will visit several websites relating to car manufacturers and dealerships when considering whether to buy a new car. This means your presence online is a matter of urgency.  

A well-designed, well-functioning website is essential, especially on all mobile devices. Many people now use their phones to browse online before making a purchase, making mobile optimization crucial. 

You should also make your contact page easy to find. Customers shouldn’t have to search around to find out how to get in touch with your dealership.  

Clear calls to action (CTA) throughout your site can also be a good way to guide your buyers through a process, whether that’s inviting them to search your online inventory, get details on the trade-in process, or welcoming them to take a test drive. 

Getting visitors to your Site with SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is paramount to bringing organic traffic to your website. Your site must be optimized to display in search results when customers search for certain keywords and keyphrases. The SEO process is ongoing, and most businesses will outsource these tasks to content professionals. However, there are many things you can do initially to help your website rank well in search results. These include: 

  • Research keywords relating to your dealership and include them in blog posts and other pages on your website.  
  • Use keywords in metadata. Including them in meta titles and descriptions can be helpful.  
  • Link to other pages on your website (inbound links) in your content or to other well-established websites (outbound links). 
  • Add your website to online directories and take advantage of local search features on search engines. 

These are a few SEO-based methods you can use to increase organic traffic and get better leads and car inventory. Learn how to improve your inventory acquisition process here. 

Remote vehicle appraisal helps with how car dealers get leads 

Lead generation isn’t easy, but you’ll be one step closer to improving your leads and car inventory if you offer virtual or online services. Remote vehicle appraisal is a good starting point; you can speed up your inventory acquisition process and attract more sellers and buyers to your dealership.  

You’ve probably handled many vehicle appraisals at your dealership, and remote appraisal isn’t too different. The first step is to ensure your customer can show you their vehicle remotely with their cellphone or device with a camera. Using Zoom, FaceTime, or any other platform, you can then inspect the vehicle as you typically would during an appraisal.  

With a tool such as the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, you can continue the valuation process. This tool lets you provide a transparent valuation that you can share with your customer. You can even show them a side-by-side assessment of the vehicle.  

Instant Cash Offer is a powerful tool that can be used to attract buyers and sellers to your dealership online.  

How car dealers get leads – automotive marketing tips 

Along with using marketing tools, how car dealers get leads is by implementing marketing strategies. Follow these tried-and-true tips and tricks to increase your leads and car inventory. 

Provide valuable content 

Content is an important part of marketing and lead generation. With people spending a lot of time online consuming content in different forms, the information you provide to your customers must be valuable. Adding a blog to your website is an ideal way to give your target audience useful information while helping your SEO and potentially generating more leads and car inventory. In addition, a blog provides the opportunity to add more keywords to your site, which can improve your overall website rankings.  

When adding a blog, be sure to write about topics that your customers will find helpful. For example, answer questions your customers may have about specific cars, the buying or selling process, and any other services you offer, such as remote vehicle appraisal. Although you should post to your blog regularly, the quality of your posts is more important than the quantity.  

Utilize ads 

Running adverts can also help you reach potential customers and increase your leads and car inventory. Today, there are many ways to run ads online for car dealerships. Two of the most extensive include social media Pay Per Click (PPC) ads and advertising options offered by search engines. These are often cost-effective ways of reaching your target audience, and they offer a good return on investment. You may also benefit from advertising your dealerships through directory sites with banner ads or sponsored listings. 

Maintain a social media presence 

To increase leads, use your social media pages to your advantage. Interacting with customers through your social accounts is an excellent way to keep your dealership fresh in the minds of your followers. Also, don’t forget to answer customer questions and interact with posts from other local businesses in your area.  

These are just a few automotive marketing tips to get you started. Read 5 marketing tips for local dealerships for more information on marketing your dealership. 

Improving your leads and car inventory with Kelley Blue Book 

Now that you know more about how car dealers get leads, take action. Utilizing Kelley Blue Book’s automotive marketing tools, such as the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool, is one of the best ways to increase your leads and car inventory. The Instant Cash Offer tool makes lead generation and inventory acquisition simpler, and when you simplify processes and invest in digital marketing tools, you help your dealership thrive.  

Would you like to hear more about how Kelley Blue Book can help you increase your leads and car inventory? Contact us for more information or to request a demo.

Written by:

Ben Jenkins
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Ben has written content and copy for 8 years and runs his own content marketing business. Over the years he has written hundreds of articles, blog posts, web pages and adverts for a range of companies. Ben is highly experienced in many areas. These include business, marketing, finance, travel, health, manufacturing, construction, beauty, online gambling, recruitment, legal, training and sales. His qualifications include PGDip, PGCert, BSc (Hons), Dip.
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