40 Efficient Automotive Lead Generation tactics to fuel your sales

Once upon a time, selling cars depended entirely on the dealership experience. Brands, salesmanship, and the driving experience determined success. While these all still play a part in driving sales for today’s OEMs, the modern customer operates far more online than ever before. And dealerships must follow.

What separates those businesses who succeed with their digital outreach from those who don’t is automotive lead generation. Every OEM must ask themselves how to generate leads for car sales but also how to prepare themselves to follow up on their opportunities as effectively as possible. Those are big, open-ended questions, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to walk you through the many proven methods you can incorporate to encourage and optimize customer engagement.

1. Requests for a vehicle brochure

When looking into how to get more car sales leads, there are any number of potential tools. While we have focused largely on the ways your organisation can reach customers through digital channels, it’s useful to be prepared to go analog as the need arises.

Download a brochure from Jaguar’s website

Download a brochure from Jaguar’s website

One way this happens is when early stage leads request a physical brochure or pamphlet. While similar information might already exist on your website, this is a way for your customer to engage on their terms and in their own time. A brochure is a more tangible learning method that lets a reader remain separated from any other prompts or redirects, which results in a more relaxed experience.

But even though this would seem to support a certain level of detachment between an OEM and its car sales leads, it in fact provides another chance for you to reach out and connect. By requesting the brochure, the customer has provided mailing information and indicated the potential for interest in further engagement in the form of additional written material or a transition to email. Don’t mistake your window for further developing an early-stage lead who’s looking for a temporary disconnect from their screens.

2. Valuable Content in Exchange for an Email Address

As much as many people and companies have shifted their focus from email to social media for lead generation, the former remains an incredibly effective and cost-efficient method of identifying and nurturing sales opportunities. How you convince potential customers to share their email address is a huge question that any automotive company needs to answer.

To get this kind of information from someone, we’ve seen time and again that it’s important for them to receive something in return. Whether it’s a premium e-book, a quiz to help them start their search for the ideal car, or a complimentary test drive, the offer of tangible value will make your audience far more likely to take that important first step to engage.

And once you have this critical piece of information, you have both a statement of interest as well as an avenue to develop the lead further.

3. Responding to a Quote Request

This is a major step for any customer to take as part of the purchasing journey. A request for a quote represents a transition from thinking about a car as a potential commodity to a more practical and realistic investment. So when a dealership gets a request, it’s essential to understand the importance of this moment in converting an automotive lead and send the right response.

With a purchase as impactful and expensive as a car, you want to eliminate as many questions as possible before they arise. By sending more details about the specific model the quote pertains to, potential payment models your company offers, test drive options, or potential maintenance options, you provide a customer with a level of clarity that will make the decision to buy the car less risky.

Honda’s Request a Quote
Honda’s Request a Quote portal

The more you engage the customer proactively as part of providing a quote, the more comfortable they will be with the process and the aftermath of their purchase. As an additional benefit, a potential buyer who receives this extra information is far more likely to consider your company as a reliable partner they can reach out to for additional information without worrying about hidden catches.

4. Give Customers a Hands-on Experience with a Test Drive

Nothing is going to give your customers greater reassurance in a car and a purchase than the chance to actually get behind the wheel.

Of course, this is an inherent part of the experience that drivers will expect, whether we’re talking about used or new car leads, so it is essential to provide and highlight the option. But on an entirely different level, the test drive is a chance to make the purchasing decision as much about an emotional experience as practical considerations. It’s going to be easier for someone to buy a car if they love the ride rather than just finding a model that fulfils their transportation needs.

The Lynk & Co test drive reservation portal

The Lynk & Co test drive reservation portal

This is your chance to take the purchase from the page to the road, to transform horsepower from a number to a feeling that resonates through a driver’s leg. So make sure that it is readily apparent how a customer can schedule a test drive, where they can find the model they hope to experience, and if you offer any unique elements that will make the drive a novel experience.

The sooner and easier your audience can find this information on your website, the sooner they’ll feel comfortable in the driver’s seat.

5. Provide a Car Configurator

No matter whether a person is shopping for a car, a phone, or a pair of shoes, they want to feel that they are buying something special, something that is unique to them and their needs. They also want to know the options available to a specific product or a specific retailer. Car configurators are a great tool for scratching this itch while also providing a more personal connection between driver and vehicle.

This is another way to merge practicality with emotion, as a customer using a car configurator is no longer thinking about a generic vehicle but their dream car. Rather than considering only what they need to get from home to the office, your customers can instead imagine the numerous additions that transform driving from a function into an enjoyable and exciting experience.

A car configurator also provides yet another channel for generating auto leads. So once they’ve built a car they would love to buy, a clever OEM will detail how long it would take for their personalised car to be built and where they might find a similar model to test drive.

Jaguar Car Configurator

How Jaguar communicates information relevant to a car build

6. Stock Locator for New and Used Cars

Stock Locator (also known as Automotive eCommerce or online marketplace) is a great place for showing available cars and collecting leads interested in buying a particular car.

For Google, it means more fresh content (each car with its description and specification creates new web pages). It contributes to generating more relevant traffic and more time spent by users on the web page. This serves as a signal for Google that the web page delivers valuable content and Google is more willing to show it higher in organic search.

Most often a stock locator is used to show new cars in stock. It can, however, be used much more broadly to cover things like:

  • cars in production
  • cars coming soon
  • used cars
Jaguar Stock Locator in Croatia

Jaguar Stock Locator in Croatia

7. In-house Credit Check and Financing Options

Here is another opportunity to help your customers overcome any anxiety that stands in the way of purchasing the car of their dreams. Such a major investment can naturally inspire nervousness about the way in which payment will be made. Many people can’t be sure about dropping tens of thousands of euro at a time, no matter how important or exciting the purchase may be. Particularly anxious customers might even ask for their credit score.

By making sure you can fulfill this request, you can quickly provide reassurance while also demonstrating the reliability and preparedness of your business. In addition, including potential payment options for the customer to consider answers more questions before they arise. Simply showing how a large number becomes smaller through monthly instalments can go a long way towards removing lingering hesitations.

BMW finance planning tool

The BMW finance planning tool in action

The more flexible you can be on this point, the wider the variety of customers you can support. Remember that auto leads come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life, so be ready with this kind of critical information and prepare a variety of options in advance.

8. Car reservation with a deposit

Some people hardly need convincing to buy a new car once they find a dealership that will offer a future model they already have their eye on. By nurturing this kind of automotive lead, you can secure commitment in the form of a deposit by encouraging their existing enthusiasm and giving them ample reason to remain excited about the future.

Seems like an easy day in the office, doesn’t it?

But any dealership that thinks this way is missing out on a golden opportunity, because this is your prime chance to upsell. Just because a customer knows about the model and is eager to get their hands on it doesn’t mean they know about every customization or enhancement that could take their ride to the next level. Throughout the process, stay communicative, keep an already-engaged customer informed about the model’s release or any unexpected delays. Remaining engaged beyond the initial commitment can lead to exciting developments for you and the customer.

Toyota reservation page

Toyota’s informational page for reservations

9. Help your lead find a dealer

In the end, no matter how potent the digital customer experience you offer, most drivers are going to want to stop by a physical dealership. This could be for a test drive or because of a preference for face-to-face interaction prior to making a substantial purchase.

Whatever the reason behind it, at this point your job is to get that lead to a convenient location where they can get whatever information or experience they’re looking for.

Chevrolet’s dealer locator

Chevrolet’s dealer locator

Whatever information you can share at this point is incredibly useful. Directions, an address, and contact information are obvious, but also try to communicate the various actions a customer can take at the dealership, such as a test drive or a sit-down with a sales representative. The more the customer knows, the more value they get out of the trip and the more you instil trust going forward.

10. Supporting trade-ins

In keeping with the sheer variability of automotive customers, let’s turn our attention to those leads who want to exchange the car they currently own as part of the process for making their next purchase. While this has often been seen as an afterthought among car dealerships, in reality this is an ideal moment to build trust with your customers and even make a profit.

Porsche Trade-in Calculator

The Porsche Trade-in Calculator

Rather than using informal trade-in processes that can leave your automotive leads feeling that they’re going to receive an initial low-ball offer, make sure that they have a standardised tool to generate an initial estimate that works as a solid and reliable starting point. Afterwards, make sure that the process is personalised, with a sales manager actually performing a review of the vehicle together with the customer so that they feel involved in the evaluation and aren’t caught off-guard by the impact of wear-and-tear or permanence issues on the final offer.

Doing this will open the door to new avenues for auto lead generation, reduce pre-existing concerns about the sales process, and can actually prove more profitable than the sale of a new car alone.

11. Short-term rental

Sometimes a test drive isn’t enough to get a customer over the final hump. Or perhaps someone only needs a car for a limited period of time. Or it could be that the individual in question just wants to experience their dream car when they know that a purchase isn’t viable for them at that time.

Whatever the reason behind the request, short-term rentals are incredibly common within the industry and offer another tool for a smart dealership to earn goodwill while unlocking a different approach to car sales lead generation. Providing rentals in addition to complete ownership and leases prepares you to be as flexible as possible and respond to your customers no matter what they’re looking for out of a car.

Jaguar’s The Out rental booking service

Jaguar’s The Out rental booking service

Of course, the wide variety of potential motivations behind a rental request makes it hard to know how to follow up with a renting customer. So make sure to learn the reason behind the rental, which can be accomplished with a simple question or even a survey. The answer will give your dealership a better idea of what kind of marketing fits the customer so that when you follow up in the future, you’re providing relevant information and engaging in a way suited to that particular lead.

12. Sign-ups for future car release updates

Not every driver with interest in a future car model is ready to put money down ahead of its official release. In those cases, you need to have some methods for taking the seed of their curiosity and helping it grow into full-blown excitement.

The simplest way to start is by giving your leads an easy option to sign up for updates about an upcoming car. This way, your customers have a way of tracking the model without making a substantial commitment while you gain numerous chances to make contact with more information or marketing material.

Sign up follow updates on the Mercedes AMG C 43 Sedan

Sign up follow updates on the Mercedes AMG C 43 Sedan

In what is quickly becoming a theme, a huge advantage of this method of lead generation for car dealers is that you are expanding the options your customers have to engage and consider future purchases. That sets you up as a reliable partner concerned with more than making a sale and puts the car buyer more at ease.

13. Virtual appointment

When considering engaging with customers in a digital space, it’s useful to look at how to take traditionally in-person steps to the purchasing journey and see how you can shift them online. One relatively simple step is to offer virtual appointments that cut out the need for a lead to make the trip into a dealership and instead allow them to make contact from the comfort of their own home.

Chrysler Car@Home Experience

The Chrysler Car@Home Experience

With so many businesses making the shift to become more digital and remote already, this is already going to be an expectation for many customers. Virtual connections make the process of gathering information easier, put your leads in a more relaxed mindset, and ultimately accomplish everything that would otherwise be done in-person.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to feel comfortable and in control of their journey towards buying a car. Digital touchpoints are a great way of making a connection on your leads’ terms.

14. Online booking for car service appointments

Obviously, a great deal of focus is placed on how to generate car sales leads. But the customer journey doesn’t end once someone takes that first drive with their new car. Instead, maintenance requirements await in the future, a process that you can make easier by offering your leads a way to make appointments online to have their car serviced.

This tool can work for existing or potential customers. Whether it helps build on the foundation of a relationship that is already in place to open the door to more business in the future or represents the first step that could lead to a new buyer farther down the line, at a basic level digital appointments for car maintenance is another source of profit for your dealership and helps maintain or form connections.

Aston Martin’s online car service booking portal

Aston Martin’s online car service booking portal

15. Have a mobile-friendly and responsive website

With the near universal spread of smartphones, more of your audience than ever before will be visiting your site on their mobile devices rather than via a computer. To make sure that you’re engaging those visitors, you need to make sure that when they log in, the experience is tailored to this medium.

A vision of a mobile-friendly automotive website shared by Dealer Lab

A vision of a mobile-friendly automotive website shared by Dealer Lab

Doing so means undergoing development to ensure that your website will fit a smaller screen while keeping in mind how images and text will translate. It’s worth it to check the formatting of each page on multiple devices so that you can adjust the length of paragraphs, size of font, and orientation of any visuals. Finally, sticky headers and footers are a great way to maximise your chances of converting leads by keeping prompts for further engagement on the page at all times.

16. Take care of your website's Core Web Vitals

A fast website means a good user experience, higher positions in Google ranking, and higher conversion rates. If you want to generate leads on your website it just needs to load fast.

There are several metrics to assess how well your website performs. The most common and well-known are Core Web Vitals. These are a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience. They include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

For more information on Core Web Vitals go to our Report Catching the Wave of Automotive eCommerce Trend Report with Best Practices in Online Car Sale.

17. Make it easy to collect leads on every page

While customers are navigating your website, it’s important to provide constant access to prompts and offers that will encourage users to engage with your business. Ultimately, you want your marketing content and digital experience to produce leads that you can follow up on and ultimately convert into car purchases. Since this is the main goal of your website, each part of it needs to be designed to support that objective.

Make sure contact information is available on every page as well as clear options for your audience to reach out for more information, such as a prompt to receive an exclusive e-book in exchange for an email address. The inclusion of a chatbot ensures easy access to immediate answers followed by the opportunity to connect with a live expert.

Audi dealer’s website, complete with a chatbot and contact prompt
A West London Audi dealer’s website , complete with a chatbot and contact prompt

18. Optimise your website for lead generation

So how do you set up your website to make sure it has the desired impact?

Start by thinking about where to position a prompt or engagement tool so that it will be clearly visible, easily understood, and declare a clear intent. Traditionally, this works best at the top of a page, where it will be sure to appear on screen for your leads regardless of how far they scroll or how intently they read your content.

Honda web page

Part way down a Honda web page, prompts for a car configurator and feedback remain visible

However, some prompts are best left lower on the page. If your call-to-action is connected to a particular message or builds off of key information shared by the page, it could be more appropriate to position it nearby so that the call-to-action is visibly tied to the core message.

And keep in mind that the prompt needs to be short and clear, something which is most effectively achieved with action-oriented words. Make it obvious what your lead needs to do and what compensation they will receive as a result.

19. Offer online chat support through your website

As we’ve already said, if your leads are going to initially engage with your brand online, then you have to follow them to the web to drive lead generation for car dealerships. That doesn’t just mean having an effective website with automated tools and offers; you need to have an active presence with online chat as well.

This kind of 24x7 support goes a long way towards preventing leads from cooling on the prospect of buying a car due to a lack of information or lengthy turnaround times. Providing a live chat option ensures that the human element valued by many customers is always available without the need for scheduled appointments or visits to a dealership.

Chevrolet offers chat support

Chevrolet offers chat support on its home page

For simple queries, a chatbot is a great tool for providing rapid responses without requiring constant availability from your agents. Automated chat systems can very effectively provide key information that will help develop leads while providing information about a car model or the purchasing journey. And, if a question proves too challenging, it is simple enough for the chatbot to reroute a lead to a live agent or provide a prompt for further contact.

20. Use high-quality photos

Your website shouldn’t just be easy to use and optimised to suit its purpose. It also needs to provide an appealing and insightful look at the cars your customers are hoping to buy.

High-quality photos are a necessary resource that lets shoppers visualise your products. But they also give you a chance to create an idealised image that puts your vehicles in the best light possible.

So when you’re gathering a collection of car photos to place online, make sure to capture diverse shots from angles that tell the story you want your audience to experience. Use a backdrop fit to the car, which typically means outdoor imagery that provides a sense of realism and action that will allow potential drivers to imagine themselves behind the wheel.

Ford’s gallery for an electric-powered truck

Ford’s gallery for an electric-powered truck

21. Create high-quality walk-through videos

Imagine that you’re considering the purchase of a car. You’d like to be able to learn everything you can about the car, right? Naturally, your leads feel the same way.

And while having all of that information written out is great, it’s even better to provide a visual walkthrough in the form of a high-quality video. This medium shows the car in action, clearly highlights its unique selling points and safety features, and guides your audience on a review of the exterior, interior, and mechanical design.

With a charismatic enough representative, a video of this sort creates an entirely different way for your leads to learn about their potential future car, one that is more visually stimulating and exciting than text on a page.

A New Jersey Jaguar dealership’s video reviewing the F-Type R

A New Jersey Jaguar dealership’s video reviewing the F-Type R

22. Optimise your website for SEO

No matter how impressive your website is or how well you’ve set it up to support car dealership lead generation, it won’t matter if nobody can find it. Potential leads will only navigate to your website if it is built strategically in order to reliably appear on search engines.

As a starting point, use unique titles, sub-headings, and meta descriptions to ensure that they will fit search topics relevant to your target audience. Then, consider what keywords you want to include, as they provide critical points for search engines to latch onto in the hunt for relevant content - though be careful not to overforce their inclusion and undermine the quality of your website.

Nissan stories

Nissan keeps the title of its web page short and sweet

Finally, once you’ve set up the individual pages of your website with search engines in mind, you should include links to valuable external sources as well as include internal redirects so that leads will be encouraged to continue engaging with the topic and, ideally, your company.

23. Write SEO-optimised blog posts

There’s a lot of information to cover with regard to car purchases and many different ways to communicate it. Blog posts represent a great tool for showing potential and existing customers the extent of your expertise and ability to answer critical questions.

But just like the rest of your website, these pages must be written to appear as part of online searches if you want anyone to see them.

When you’re considering a topic and a title, think about exactly who you’re trying to attract. To drive attention to a particular location, include a city name in the title or sub-heading. Similarly, work a primary keyword into the title and opening paragraph before repeating it throughout the rest of the text. And it goes without saying that these blogs need to answer common questions for which your desired audience will likely search.

Do all of this effectively and you will have a new and compelling tool for generating automotive leads.

24. SEO-optimised Stock Locator

Having Stock Locator on your website brings a lot of benefits. But having it SEO optimized brings the results to a different level. Taking care of Search Engine Optimization contributes to:

  • higher organic traffic meaning your vehicles gain better visibility,
  • positive influence on ad budgets (which means lower CPC),
  • evergreen, long-lasting results.

For more information on how to approach SEO in the automotive marketplace go to our Report Catching the Wave of Automotive eCommerce Trend Report with Best Practices in Online Car Sale.

25. Use a local SEO to take advantage of nearby relevant searches

Unsurprisingly, people tend to make purchases at businesses relatively close to home. So, when someone decides to purchase a car, it’s extremely common to search for a car retailer in their area, which often results in a visit shortly afterwards. As such, optimising your website to appear on relevant local searches is massive.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to set up a Google Business profile, where you should then add your address as well as critical information such as your business category, the services and products you offer, your hours of business, and contact information. After this is in place, it’s very helpful to encourage customers to leave positive reviews, which will raise your rating and visibility in future searches.

Polish BMW dealership’s Google Business profile

The result of a Polish BMW dealership’s Google Business profile

Doing this effectively will help an automotive retailer draw in those customers most likely to follow up online engagement with an in-person visit.

26. Collect leads with Facebook strategies

Social media is one of your most potent tools for generating awareness about your business, car models, and services. Among the many useful platforms, odds are that Facebook is your best bet for generating new leads, which means that it’s time to talk about what an effective Facebook strategy looks like for your OEM.

What exactly should you post? Just like with your website, you need to use high-quality photos and videos to support your message and draw attention to a clear call-to-action.

Asking your audience questions or sharing polls are particularly effective approaches for driving engagement with your Facebook posts. Not only do these kinds of posts make your social media strategy interactive, they can even lead to valuable information about new leads, such as the kind of car they’re looking to buy, why they’re interested, and when they’d be looking to make a purchase.

UK-based Toyota dealership

A UK-based Toyota dealership begins a post with a question for its audience

27. Utilise Facebook Marketplace

Facebook also offers an alternative way to market and sell cars: Facebook Marketplace.

This platform allows automotive retailers to list offers without any additional charge involved, after which users can refine a search by price, location, model, and any number of other details that will distinguish one vehicle from another. As with any other post or piece of content, you need to use a high-quality photo in order to properly interest potential leads.

A used car dealership’s listing on Facebook Marketplace

A used car dealership’s listing on Facebook Marketplace

Not only does this create another avenue for generating awareness about your stock, it also allows you to reach secondary targets, such as the friends and family of your actual lead. Even if they lack interest in buying a car themselves, Facebook users might share your listings with those who have communicated just such a desire, which means you can market on multiple levels simultaneously through Facebook Marketplace.

28. Take advantage of Facebook lead ads for automotive

Car dealer lead generation through social media can be tricky and difficult to organise effectively in spite of its potential. Fortunately, Facebook offers a service specifically tailored for OEMs: lead ads for automotive.

Through a simple form, you can design an impactful marketing campaign that will drive engagement around your particular lead generation objective. It includes features that help users find your business, reach out for more information, and submit contact details for follow up.

Facebook lead ads for automotive reduces the steps standing between your potential customers and making first contact, which will increase the hit rate of your ad campaign. And when you do see outreach from those users, it’s easy to respond and further develop your fresh lead.

Facebook lead ad by Mercedes Benz

A Facebook lead ad produced and published by Mercedes Benz

29. Get Referrals from LinkedIn

While Facebook provides the widest selection and greatest access to potential customers, it is not the only social media platform that you should be using. LinkedIn supports a clientele that has the highest average income of any social media audience, making it an ideal option for car retailers who sell luxury vehicles.

Get started by making a request to join the LinkedIn member’s network, after which you can start offering exciting incentives, such as cash bonuses or vouchers for a local restaurant, in exchange for customer referrals. When you reach out on the subject, keep the headline of your message short and simple and make sure to offer an easy way to reach your business for more details or with referrals.

Like with the Facebook Marketplace, LinkedIn allows an OEM to engage an otherwise unavailable audience while creating a network to reach those who are looking to buy a car even more effectively.

30. Use pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns

For those OEMs who have a specific target audience in mind, PPC campaigns offer a particularly effective marketing tool.

Rather than casting a broad net, platforms such as Facebook and Google allow you to target specific geographies, interests, and online behaviours. For example, if you’re trying to promote a new release to people who have expressed interest in your business before, you can set the campaign to focus on individuals of a particular demographic who have interacted with your posts or page before.

targeted ad for a Dodge dealership in Google search

A targeted ad for a Dodge dealership resulting from a Google search

Additionally, consider hiring a dedicated PPC specialist, who will be invaluable in determining how to generate car leads with a more targeted campaign that will more effectively reach the ideal audience.

31. Retarget lost customers

Just as a customer goes through various steps along the journey towards purchasing a car, your marketing campaign must evolve with them. Despite all the work that goes into getting a lead to visit your website, most are going to leave without making a purchase or making a commitment.

Automotive retailers need a remarketing campaign ready to target those customers who temporarily engage with the company, and that campaign needs to be tailored to different stages of the sales process. Having such a plan in place will simplify the process by which you mature a lead no matter how close they are to buying a car and will prevent their interest from cooling.

For example, leads who have only just begun to consider a potential car purchase should receive targeted marketing explaining how to speak with an agent or schedule a test drive. Once they have taken a ride in your vehicle, the emphasis should shift to ads communicating special offers or additional information about the model.

32. Live auto shows

In the end, it’s all about the cars. The ultimate goal of all of your marketing and all of your digital tools is to get a customer to experience a vehicle tangibly and in-person.

Mercedes Benz live auto show Munich

Mercedes Benz participates in a live auto show in Munich

Auto shows are a great way of exposing leads to your products without the pressure of needing to interact with an agent or a salesman. You can make this a fun, exciting atmosphere. Host a proper event, complete with food, drinks, and music. The goal is for your customers to enjoy themselves, be comfortable, and check out the cars. In fact, a well-managed event can even improve your reputation among those who attend and make it more likely that they will want to reconnect afterwards.

At these shows, have informational material handy. If it fits the atmosphere you’re hoping to create, set up a booth or kiosk where your attendees can provide contact information or sign up to receive special offers and news.

33. In-person tours

Cars can tell a story if you let them. Many customers would love to know more about how their car is built, the work and materials that go into the assembly, and the technology involved in producing the vehicle they might one day drive.

tours of Volkswagen’s Poznan factory
The portal through which tours of Volkswagen’s Poznan factory can be booked

Like Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, pulling back the curtains with in-person tours of a factory further connects leads to your cars. These experiences can also make your business more relatable as well. To this end, tour guides should discuss the story behind the company’s founding or the factory’s origin.

Once the customer knows how their car is built, they’ll be able to imagine how their own customised vehicle will be built and follow it throughout the journey, building excitement and personal investment in the purchase.

34. Unique driving tours

Every OEM and dealership is going to be promoting similar offers and services and it’s safer to assume that they will all do this effectively. One way to distinguish yourself from the pack is the offer of exciting driving tours that take the car from the road to a more unexpected environment.

By making this experience unique, you provide leads with a taste of something that goes beyond everyday transit and instead transforms the purchase into an adventure. During the tour, you can give your passengers key information about buying and driving the model.

Of course, to properly tailor the ride to the interests of a particular lead, you need to understand their intentions and goals. Once you’ve got this information, it’s time to get the show on the road and have some fun!

Book a driving experience for Aston Martin
Book a driving experience for Aston Martin at an iconic site

35. Use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform

As we’ve emphasised numerous times, there are many different kinds of automotive customers with many different levels of interests and reasons for purchasing a car. When you’re thinking about how to get car sales leads, you also need to consider how you manage them effectively.

Using an effective CRM platform will allow your agents to track the preferences and behaviour of individual customers so that every interaction is tailored to the experience they want. It will also help adjust your marketing so that the right messages are sent to the right customers in order to continue developing leads depending on where they are in the purchasing journey.

SAP’s automotive CRM
SAP’s automotive CRM page

36. Use direct mailing with a strong offer

As we discussed earlier, email remains an incredibly valuable communication tool for OEMs looking to follow up with leads. So, once you’ve gotten an email address, a customer has given you the opportunity to use direct mail containing strong offers in order to take the next step along the purchasing journey.

When you reach out in this way, be sure to include high-quality photos, ideally of a specific model in which that lead has expressed an interest. In addition, make sure that the copy is well-written, informative, and contains a notable offer that will maximise your chances of eliciting a response.

Whether you are informing your customers of a seasonal sale or engagement-based discounts, you are delivering value in exchange for further interaction with your business, thereby opening the door to additional opportunities to convert a lead.

37. Run re-engagement campaigns

After a sale is complete and your lead has driven a car off the lot, it’s time to think about how you can eventually reconnect with your existing customer. That car owner has a pre-existing relationship with your business and has demonstrated trust in your product and services, which means that they are more likely to return in the future and refer you to friends and family if they are properly re-engaged.

After a suitable period of time, reach out to your existing customers via email to share information about additional services or discounts for returning shoppers. The point is to remind them of the positive experience associated with their previous purchase so that the next time they need maintenance, another car, or know of someone who needs to buy a vehicle, yours will be the first name that comes to mind.

Volkswagen’s web page

Volkswagen’s web page for existing drivers

38. Run a referral campaign

The question of how to generate car leads has a multitude of answers depending on your location, car models, and the myriad interests of your customers. However, no matter where you operate or how, it is always easier to complete a sale when a shopper interacts with your business after a referral from a friend or family member.

This kind of reassurance makes a lead warmer right off the bat, as they are more likely to extend a certain amount of trust and enthusiasm your way when someone they know connects them with you.

Just like with other tactics, referral campaigns are driven by incentives. Offering special deals in exchange for connections with potential clients will increase your chance to benefit from word of mouth. In addition, previous customers who benefit from this sort of programme become even more likely to return when they have an automotive need in the future, thereby doubling the impact of the campaign.

39. Partner with a third-party site

Similar to the travel and hospitality industries, third-party websites are a common tool automotive shoppers use to find cars and dealership offers. For an automaker, that makes these sites a window into an expansive audience that can go a long way towards solving how to get car leads.

Autotrader’s UK website

Autotrader’s UK website

Rather than coordinating with every third party under the sun, it’s much better to choose those that best suit your goals and provide access to your ideal audience. Once you’ve selected these sites, partner with them to come up with ways of driving traffic to your own website and to support sales.

Of course, third-party sites naturally feature cars from numerous dealerships, meaning that you still need to put the work in to differentiate yourself and stand. That means high-quality photos, engaging videos, and powerful descriptions that will set your cars apart.

40. Cross-promote with local businesses

As an OEM, your services are potentially relevant to an incredibly diverse clientele. That means that customers of other local businesses can easily become new automotive leads with a bit of clever marketing!

Audi partners with the Aspen Ski Company
Audi partners with the Aspen Ski Company

Partnerships with other organisations in your area can raise awareness of your dealership among an audience that you might not have naturally reached otherwise. Promotion codes or discounts associated with your partners will nurture the relationship between your businesses while also incentivizing engagement by shoppers that might not have reached out otherwise. Plus, building these connections can lead to partners who will more actively promote your OEM to their customers after enough time has passed.

Final thoughts

How you go about generating automotive leads through digital mediums is an essential question facing every automotive brand. It’s also a complex, open-ended topic, as evidenced by the 40-point-long list of potential strategies that we’ve put together.

Choosing the correct path that is best-suited to your business can pose a major problem. Fortunately, we have a 41st suggestion of sorts: find a partner to help. Reffine offers dedicated solution for automotive brands, Content Management System (Reffine Light DXP) as well as Reffine Stock Locator to support generating leads and ultimately sales.

Reach out today to take the first step towards effective building of your digital presence!