Lead Conversion

DealerOn wins 5th DrivingSales Satisfaction Award


Derwood, Maryland – February 24, 2016 – DealerOn is the recipient of a “Top Rated” Website award in the seventh annual DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards.

Upon hearing the news, Ali Amirrezvani, DealerOn’s CEO and Co-Founder responded, “We are extremely proud DealerOn was able to take home the Top-Rated Website Provider Award, for the fifth year in a row. Our goal has always been to provide the very best support to our dealership partners and this award further validates that our continued commitment is paying off”. Ali continued, “Because the DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards are chosen by the very partners we aim to please day-in and day-out – our dealer customers – this award is particularly meaningful. If anything, this makes us want to work harder and we can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.”

This award further validates DealerOn’s status as a top website provider in the automotive industry and showcases why they are the only company in the auto industry that offers a Guarantee that dealers will see an increase in leads when the move their website to the DealerOn platform. DealerOn’s website customers have seen a documented lead volume of 250% on average, across nearly 1,000 websites.

In addition to their award-winning dealership websites, DealerOn’s new offerings in automotive SEM and SEO are quickly becoming industry standards. As a Google AdWords Certified Partner, dealers that combine their Paid Search with the power of a DealerOn website see complete integration and optimization of the AdWords efforts. Dealerships that opt for their Elite SEO package reap the benefits of a Google-Optimized website architecture as well as Advanced Reporting, Custom Content, On- and Off-Site SEO, Social Media and Reputation Management.

“We congratulate DealerOn on being a ‘Top Rated’ Website Award recipient and for being recognized by its dealer customers for high levels of excellence and customer satisfaction,” said DrivingSales CEO and Founder Jared Hamilton. “For seven years, and through over 25,000 validated reviews, DrivingSales Vendor Ratings has helped dealers make smart, more informed decisions, leading them to outstanding service providers such as DealerOn.”

The DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards are based on cumulative ratings tallied and verified over the calendar year (January–December) at Vendor Ratings. DrivingSales Vendor Ratings is the industry’s only neutral, comprehensive vendor rating forum featuring real-time peer reviews and honest competitor comparisons, and provides dealerships with important information from actual customers who have hands-on experience using vendor products / solutions in their stores. Each rating is verified as coming from an actual dealership employee.

Full award results are available online here.

Mobile Lead Conversion Presentation from Digital Dealer 20 [VIDEO]

Download the slides here

We wanted to share a recording of Jeff Clark’s popular session from Digital Dealer 20 last week, so here’s the video! Tons of dealers were asking for the slides or a recording, so we wanted to share it on the blog so everyone has access.

As always, if you have any questions, just give us a shout or fill out the form to the right.

Check out our other DD20 presentations:

Local SEO by Greg Gifford

Targeting Mobile Shoppers by Mike DeVito

Can psychology really help you sell more cars?


I’ve always been intrigued with how the brain works, especially when considering the psychology behind decision-making. Whether it’s using psychology to push an agenda, persuade people or utilized to sell, it’s fascinating.

Arizona State Professor of Psychology and Marketing, Dr. Robert Cialdini, wrote the book Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion and it truly opened my eyes. I credit his book with revolutionizing how I sold cars and taking me from a truthfully awful salesman to one of the top guys on the floor.

I’ve always had a desire to learn and test my own theories and hypotheses. My newest obsession is with the psychology of pricing and using human nature to guide customers to the package a dealer wants them to choose.

For a lot of businesses, and this is especially true for auto dealers, the amount of choice a customer has can be crippling. Sure, they know the type of car they want, but which model? Which trim? How many options can be added? Is there a better deal somewhere else? Paralyzing decisions.

You know which package you hope they decide to buy; now it’s just a matter of letting them think they are choosing it themselves.

The Experiment

Let’s dive into this a little more. First, this TED talk from Dan Ariely is a great primer and the inspiration behind this post. He’ll explain further, but in case you can’t watch the video below, he focuses on simplifying the pricing process and using a “useless” price option, otherwise knowing as “decoy” marketing, that can send conversions through the roof.

Intriguing, right? Give it a view:

Pretty great stuff.

Practical Application

I’m sure some of you have already thought about how to put this into play at your dealership. Be it service, retail or fixed ops, this type of pricing can really work. Car shoppers are all bargain hunters. Pander to that and give them an option that really is “a great deal”.

Here is an example of how they put this in place at The Economist:

  • Utilize a dedicated landing page focused on your special.
  • Either expand your options if you don’t have enough (2 to 3) or simplify the choices (3+ to 3).
  • Price #1 – Set the stage. Don’t go crazy low, as it is human nature to take the lowest price. Instead, make it competitive.
  • Price #2 – Implement the “useless” price option.
  • Price #3 – The one you want the customer to select. The best deal.
  • Drive traffic to the page.

With every experiment, testing and re-testing are key to being successful.

  • Consider A/B testing multiple landing pages, each with different price options.
  • Split the traffic 50/50 or 33/33/33 to determine which is more appealing to a customer.
  • Give it time and don’t give up too early. Patience will pay off.
  • Once you find the magic combination, repeat, repeat, repeat.

If you already do or have done something similar, we’d love to hear your results. Good luck.

How Expedia’s A/B Test Could Increase Your Leads by 25%

I think that everyone in a dealer’s internet department would agree that their most important digital asset is their website, and the most important factor in their website’s success is its ability to convert visitors to leads.

When I saw that Expedia had published an A/B test in which they dramatically increased conversion rate using the same principals and best practices I’ve been advocating in the automotive industry for years, I was excited to share it.

I am a firm believer that the forms on your dealership website should only ask for the basic information you need to schedule an appointment. Once you bring them into your dealership, where you can actually sell them a car, it becomes worthwhile to ask for more information, like their home address. Any unnecessary information that you request (even if you explicitly mark the fields as “optional”) on a website lead form, simply limits the number of opportunities your sales team has to set appointments and sell cars.

As a part of the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) mentality in website design, asking for (even if not requiring) unnecessary information can deter the potential customer from supplying any information to your dealership and lowering your lead volume.

Here are the A and B versions of Expedia’s form from their A/B test. They removed “Company Name”, a field they weren’t requiring, from the billing section of a form:

Apparently, this field may have been confusing visitors who began entering their bank name and address, instead of their billing address. It definitely generated a higher bounce rate than the shortened form on the right. Simply removing a field THAT THEY WEREN’T EVEN REQUIRING, increased their site’s annual profit by $12 million!

So, let’s apply this learning to our industry. Take your dealership’s online credit application, for example. Two reasons that most online credit apps aren’t completed are: 1) the length of the form and 2) the detail of the questions. If a customer doesn’t readily know even one piece of information, or is reluctant to share it, they’ll abandon the process and you won’t have any of their information. Try streamlining this form to only require data that is absolutely necessary to begin the finance application process and start a dialogue with the customer.

What about vehicle lead forms? Below is an example of a typical dealership website lead form. Even though many of the fields in this lead form below are actually “optional” (note that they don’t have an “*”, so they aren’t required), they also complicate the form, distract the user, and lower conversion rate. So as we consider this form we want to ask ourselves – “Are any of these “optional” fields are going to help us sell a car?” Clearly, we’re better off getting many more leads than knowing each customer’s zip code.

Your lead forms simply need to capture a name, phone number, and email address. The rest of these fields only limit the number of leads your site produces. That’s why so many websites in our industry under-perform – the dealers expect that their providers are delivering high-quality, optimized sites, but their vendors may not be any savvier about website optimization than they are.

We’ve repeated this experiment dozens of times on our platform, and I can tell you that every time we streamline a form, our dealer’s conversion rates increase. So, over the next few days, I suggest that you audit your website and identify any fields that aren’t necessary on any form on your site. Send these examples to your website provider and see if they can help you increase your conversion rate. If you can’t get your provider to do this, give me a call. I’ll see what we can work out.

3 Psychological Techniques that Can Increase Conversion

I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a dealer that didn’t want to increase the conversion rate on his/her dealership website, but many seem to leave most of the “how” to their website provider. Lead conversion, the act of turning a website visitor into a known contact, essentially boils down to psychology. Knowing how people think and what motivates them to interact with your dealership website can help you create a site design that will help facilitate more lead conversions.

To get you started, here are some of the basic website visitor biases. Keep these motivations in mind while looking at your website. What can you change to help lead website visitors into your dealership’s sales funnel?

All My Friends Are Doing It: The Bandwagon Effect is one we’ve all dealt with since childhood. The more people that do something, the more likely others are to follow along. One way to use this motivation on your dealership website is to add positive dealership reviews to your VDPs. Show potential buyers that others have had great experiences buying from you, and it can increase the chances that they will want to do so as well.

Highlight It: Things that stand out from the background are more likely to be remembered, according to the Von Restorff Effect. As long as you maintain an esthetically pleasing look to your website, go for contrasting colors on your Call to Action (CTA) buttons and any specific information you want to be remembered. Just be sure to use this technique sparingly – if everything “stands out”, nothing will. This is a great area to A/B test, if your dealership website provider allows you to do so.

Pictures Are Better: A picture is worth a thousand words – this old saying isn’t too far off. The Picture Superiority Effect means that images are more easily recognized, recalled, and powerful than text alone. Not only are your pictures giving information to potential customers before they read your content, they will stay with them long after they leave your site. This alone makes it worth a second look at your inventory photos, especially the first image you show. Does it present that car or truck the way you want it to be remembered?

These seemingly simple psychological biases, when applied to your dealership website, can have a huge impact on the lead conversion rate. Check with your dealer website provider – are they taking any of these into consideration when giving you best practices?