How to Get More Leads via Mobile for Your Auto Dealership

I was recently a new car shopper myself. And I’ll admit, at the start of my research, I was all over the place as far as where I did my searching. Top level, I was at my laptop on the manufacturer’s sites building my to-be dream ride. But as my search narrowed, I found myself—drumroll please—more on mobile. I quickly realized that many dealerships’ mobile sites could use a tune-up.

If you’re looking to get more leads from your website via mobile for your auto dealership, check out the four tips below.

Mobile Lead Gen Tip 1: It’s Mobile’s Way or the Highway

In my case—and in the case of many others—car shoppers who go to their phones to search dealerships in their area are usually closer to buying than postulating. This makes having your site get found on mobile devices incrementally important. It puts your dealership in front of highly qualified leads that, should they find what they’re looking for via your mobile site, are more likely to pursue a test drive at the time of or shortly after their search.

On what I like to call Test Drive Day, my dad and I did a marathon of test driving, three models back to back, at three different dealerships. Basically, I was using my phone between stops to track down the next dealership I’d visit. Once I was content with what I saw on mobile, I copy/pasted the dealership address into Google Maps and away we went.

Going Mobile

I can tell you now that I didn’t wind up going to any dealerships that didn’t have a mobile-friendly site. That’s because I didn’t see them. One of Google’s most groundbreaking ranking updates, which went into effect last April, changed the way in which websites appear in results on mobile devices.

The takeaway here is, if your website isn’t responsive for cross-device viewing, it won’t show in search results unless your dealership’s exact name is searched (aka you’re missing out on a big chunk of these ready-to-buy leads).

Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Drop your URL into Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.

Mobile Lead Gen Tip 2: Creating a Frictionless Site Design

Fast cars are aerodynamic, weigh less, and are more appealing to the eye. You want to make your mobile site a turbocharged, fast-car version of your desktop site.

For those who have buying on the tips of their tongues, a dealership’s mobile site is where they go first for quick information. With less screen room to roam, you want to make sure that you feature your dealership’s vital, need-to-know categories front and center. These were the musts in my book:

  • Inventory: It was of top importance that the next dealership I headed to had the model I was after in stock. Having a good variety got bonus points.
  • Reviews: If I couldn’t readily find reviews from other customers, I was a little turned off. What could I expect once I got there? What were the chances that I'd get a good deal?
  • Contact Info (address, phone number, hours)
  • Current Offers: If a special deal caught my eye, I was inclined to engage more with the dealer, even if their inventory didn't reflect quite what I was looking for.

Ask yourself, what might a customer who’s ready to test drive be looking for when they get to my website? How fast a potential customer can find the information they need from your mobile site largely dictates whether they become a lead.

Mobile Lead Gen Tip 3: Making Sure That Your Inventory Is Up-to-Date

You'll notice that inventory was the first section I listed in my suggestion for a friction-free site setup. In the minds of new car shoppers, the status of your inventory (accurate or otherwise) directly translates into how you do business. There are two downsides to the inaccurate online inventory coin:

Scenario 1: Your inventory lists a model that was already sold. I decide to come to your dealership and find out you don't have what I'm looking for.

Outcome: I'm more likely to become a lost lead.

Scenario 2: Your inventory doesn't list a model that's on your lot. I don't know that you have it just from your site and decide not to come out.

Outcome: I'm a lost lead.

As you can see, for lead gen on both desktop and mobile, making sure that your current online inventory reflects that of your showroom and lot is paramount.

Mobile Lead Gen Tip 4: Optimize Emails for the Mobile Email Checker

Then there's the whole issue of email on mobile: fat fingers, small screens, cinched in subject lines. Litmus Email Testing and Analytics estimates that mobile opens have increased 400% since 2011. To get in front of your on-the-go audience more often, you need to take some serious measures. Here are a few things you can do to increase those qualified clicks that could drive subscribers all the way to your dealership sales floor:

  • Make subject lines as clear, concise, and short in character length as possible (aim for a max of 40 characters).
  • Write multiple email versions and test for greater opens and impacts.
  • Save time by automating your responsive email campaigns while still keeping things the way your mobile openers like them: quick, clean, and to the point.

Go Get Those Leads

Leads via mobile are more attainable than you may think. You have to get out there (make your site mobile friendly), provide your searchers with what they’re looking for (by cutting out friction points), be honest (make refreshing your inventory a priority), and make sure that you’re doing the same with your email campaigns.

If you’re not sure where to get started to ensure your website is optimized for mobile, we can help. Click here to schedule a website evaluation.

Over and out,


—Jenny Prikockis is an Inbound Marketing Copywriter at FullThrottle


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