You probably recall this evolution with the Internet: the first popular metric was Hits, then Page Views, Visits, Unique Visits, and finally, we have funneled down to defining what really matters, “Leads”. Of course the “Sale” is the ultimate goal of any business, but when it comes to marketing, Leads are how advertisers truly measure marketing success, and thus, the advertising value you provide them.
But are you selling your print publication short?
If you are only providing your dealers with tracked phone call or email lead channels, you are missing the boat. AutoConX recently did a case study on lead data for nearly 100 publications that use the AutoConX vertical platform with its integrated lead generation tools.
The study analyzed 3 months of lead data from the top lead-producing dealers across nearly 100 media properties. The lead channels included tracked phone calls, email lead form submissions, and SMS code text messaging. All of the auto dealers studied had their inventory online with their local publisher's automotive vertical platform. Over six thousand recorded leads were analyzed.
This pie chart represents the leads generated from the top 100 lead-producing dealers who had one or more leads from all three channels studied.
Although we were surprised by the large percentage of SMS code leads, the really surprising find was that less than 1 in 5 of the 100 publications studied were even utilizing the AutoConX SMS Codes in their dealer’s print ads! Restated, 32% of the total leads from the top lead-producing dealers were generated by only a handful of nearly 100 publications studied. This study will surely prompt additional studies on the growing effectiveness of SMS Code leads.
It is important to note the source of these leads because SMS Code leads can ONLY be generated in conjunction with a printed ad. Print ad leads are far from dead.
- SMS Lead Tracking: From Print Ads Only
- Email Lead Forms: From Web Ads Only
- Tracked Toll Free Call Leads: BOTH Web and Print Ads
So why are SMS Codes becoming so popular with consumers?
You may already know that email leads as a popular channel with consumers rose and fell very quickly in the evolution of Internet leads. The reason was that dealers did not respond fast enough to consumer requests for more information. Consumers wanted immediate answers, immediate satisfaction. So naturally, tracked phone calls became the most popular form of lead channel.
But now, with SMS Codes, we can also give consumers the option of getting additional information from their mobile device very quickly - without requiring them to actually listen to a sales pitch. While sitting in their favorite chair on a Sunday afternoon, browsing their favorite automotive magazine or newspaper ad, consumers can access more information about a vehicle electronically by simply texting a 4 digit code to the AutoConX short code (27414) and voila! - a link to the details page of this vehicle, with all of its color photo glory is returned to the consumers smart phone. Furthermore, this link links back to the Publisher’s AutoConX vertical website – generating additional traffic and credibility for the publisher.
Simultaneously, the dealer is also notified of this information request (generated from the publisher’s website) via an email. The dealer then has the option to reach out to the consumer via a phone call, or an SMS text in return. (We would strongly emphasize the latter of the two options with a simple, unobtrusive, text message that says they would be happy to visit with them further about the vehicle.)
While SMS Code adoption is still in its early stages, we fully expect the number of leads from this channel to grow significantly. In summary…
- LEADS MATTER MOST - At the end of the day, all your dealers really care about is how your vertical website and publication generates quality leads.
- EDUCATE your dealers on the value of all the various lead channels, and use them!
- PRINT IS DEAD? NOT! PROVE PRINT VALUE with SMS Codes - Analyze the data and choose the right vehicles to profile in print utilizing SMS Codes.
- LEVERAGE the DATA – Use the available lead data reports to create a strategy with your dealer. If they are pleased with the number of leads, great! – if they are not, then discover why the dealer next door is getting so many leads and they are not. Turn a negative into a positive. (We know, “easier said than done”, but give it some thought.)
- PROMOTE your Vertical Site! Just because it is online, does not mean it can be easily found these days.
To find out more information on how you can use AutoConX Lead Data and Reports to prove the value of your vertical to your dealers, contact us today!