Four ways to boost your online lead engagement starting right now

The Four Ps.

Promptness, personalization, persistence and performance.

They are the way into your online prospect’s heart and “crucial to the success of your dealership,” according to Conversica, a sales-and-marketing software company.

“There’s an abundance of research on the importance of these Four Ps for lead engagement, but we wanted to find out whether dealers were putting this information into practice in the field,” wrote Alex Terry, Conversica CEO, in the introduction to its latest Sales Effectiveness Report.

033017 IL Time to move on from tax season and plan for May-hem (and summer)To accomplish that, Conversica commissioned researchers to visit the websites of 538 companies across nine industries – 59 of which were from the automotive industry – for a “secret shopper” survey.

The good news for the auto industry was that of the nine industries examined by the researchers, “automotive had by far the highest proportion of top-tier scores, with nearly four in 10 dealerships (38 percent) receiving an overall ‘A’ grade,” said Conversica. “For comparison, the real estate industry had the second-best proportion of overall ‘A’ grades at 14 percent of respondents.”

Here is the company’s take on the Four Ps:

  • Promptness – “You need to be fast if you want to be first … This is the single most influential variable in the study, and even a few minutes can make a big difference.”

“The likelihood of conversion drops significantly during the first three minutes after the lead’s inquiry,” the company reported, but less than half (49 percent) of the dealerships contacted responded in five minutes or less, and nearly 20 percent took more than an hour.

TIP: “In a category where minutes matter, even small improvements can have big impacts. Automated delivery solutions can make improvements in promptness relatively painless.”

  • Persistence – “One or two [follow-up] tries are rarely enough … The bottom line is that maximizing contact maximizes the likelihood of response and qualification.”

“Attempting contact just three times instead of once will double response rates; companies with the fastest growing revenues were most likely to attempt contact with a lead five to eight times, [and] overall response and conversion rates continue to grow at the eighth attempt and beyond.”

TIP: “Increasing the number of attempted contacts does not have to dramatically impact the cost and effort involved in follow-up efforts. Research has shown that even a few more attempts can significantly improve the odds of conversion.”

  • Personalization – “Prospects want conversation, not promotion … Personalization scores represent the degree of customization employed in email responses.”

Response rates improve when prospective customers receive an email from an address associated with an individual rather than a company name (31 percent), that includes a signature (22 percent), or that resembles a personal letter (137 percent) rather than appearing graphics heavy.

  • Performance – Email follow-ups that land in a prospect’s spam or junk mail folder look like non-responses to the recipient.

TIP: “Personalization and performance go hand-in-hand. Personal design factors not only make leads more receptive to the message, but they also increase the likelihood of it getting past spam filters … Performance grades suffer if emails aren’t frequently updated and adapted.”

Underscoring the significance of the Four Ps, Conversica said that 90 percent of all companies in the survey receiving an overall “A” grade received an “A” in personalization, while 80 percent scored an “A” in promptness, and almost 60 percent received an “A” in persistence.

None of the companies surveyed received an “A” in performance although 95 percent scored a “B”.

“Simply put, no matter how well a dealer scored, there is always room for improvement,” said the Conversica report. “Agendas and priorities can vary greatly from organization to organization; however, incremental improvements … can have a disproportionately positive impact on the bottom line.”

How well would your dealership score on the Four Ps?

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