Here is what’s called a conundrum: someone calls your dealership or submits a lead on your dealership’s website or a third-party auto shopping website. Then…nothing. The shopper will not “re-engage” or respond to your calls, texts or emails. This person who is clearly in the market for a vehicle and wanted information doesn’t respond to the first, second or third attempts from your salesperson. Why did they contact you in the first place?
Perhaps the shopper wants to know a vehicle’s price without talking to a person. Or maybe they’re not quite ready to buy or they fear they will be pressured when a salesperson calls. Or perhaps that person submitted leads to several websites and they are being bombarded with similar calls and emails from your competitors.
How can you get this car shopper’s attention, assure them there is nothing to fear, truly stand out from your competitors and help to bring them down funnel by providing them with the answers or information they need?
With lead follow-up videos.
Lights, Cameras, Action!
One day I expect the use of lead follow-up videos to be ubiquitous; but right now not many dealerships are consistently doing this. Which means that those who are have a significant competitive advantage.
For most people, getting a video email still generates a ‘surprise and delight’ factor. Imagine how you would feel if a business took the time to email you a video with a personal message just for you. Its no wonder that emails with the word “video” in the subject line have a 20 percent higher open rate.
Listen, people buy from people they like and trust. The fact is, “trust” is one of the biggest “sales” that your dealership has to make. Using videos in your lead follow up process will dramatically impact the trust factor and you will get significantly more of your leads to re-engage with you and set an appointment.
Instead of paying for more leads, dealerships can generate a higher response rate from their current leads by incorporating video emails into their lead follow-up process. The three types of videos they’ll want to create are:
1) Initial Lead Response
When a person submits a lead they should immediately get a response. Look, we all hate auto-responders. I don’t like them either; however, receiving an auto response message via a video will get you a better response from the shoppers. In addition, it can provide you with some amazing benefits that a generic email could never provide. This video features a pre-recorded general greeting from the GM or a salesperson, whichever the dealership prefers. The video thanks for the person for their interest and lets them know they will be receiving another video soon.
Ideally this auto-responder email will bring the car shopper to a landing page to view the video (as opposed to viewing the video inside the email body). The landing page should feature other videos that are critical to your message of “We are different,” “We are better” and “You can trust us” at this point in the buying cycle. Additionally the page can display several other recommended videos to watch, such as your dealer value proposition video, customer testimonials, staff introduction videos or inventory videos of cars similar to the one they’re interested in.
If the lead is submitted during business hours and a salesperson is notified, the initial lead response could be sent from the salesperson. This video email could feature their Personal Introduction video and a general or personalized video greeting.
Now here’s the best part. As soon as the shopper watches the video, you can capture and match their video viewing data. This will provide you with a history of all other videos that the shopper has watched (inventory, value proposition, service, etc.) along with a detailed report for each touch-point that they watched the video on (AutoTrader, Cars.com, KBB, etc.). You can also have visibility into ever video that the shopper watches from that point forward as well.
2) Re-engagement Videos
For these videos you can create personalized lead follow up videos for each of your shoppers, or create a library of generic lead follow up videos (that don’t say the shopper’s name) that follow your regular lead follow up process. Some dealerships utilize a hybrid strategy and utilize a generic library for their first and/or second lead response videos, and then personalized video messages for their third, fourth, etc.
No matter which of these processes you choose, there are a couple of rules to follow. The first rule is that the videos should complement your current lead follow up process, not change it. Whatever your message is for the shopper at each stage will remain the same. The only thing different will be that you are delivering the message as a video (by an actual person) and not just an email with a bunch of words on a page.
Rule number two is to use the word “video” in your subject line and to utilize a video landing page as described above. Having complementary videos that include a salesperson’s Personal Introduction video along with the dealership’s Value Proposition and Testimonial videos will play a big role in getting the shopper to re-engage with you.
3) Appointment Confirmation Videos
I recommend that salespeople send out an appointment confirmation video in addition to having managers call to confirm. Ideally these are quick, personalized video emails featuring the salesperson sitting at his or her desk or in front of a car.
The key here is to “make it personal” and leverage the power of the Theory of Reciprocity. Use information that you have obtained in your discussions with the shopper to personalize their expectation of their test-drive visit. If they’ve mentioned their favorite drink in your conversations, let the person know you’ll have their favorite drink waiting for them, as well as their car ready for a test drive. Always say the date and time of the appointment.
If they are bringing their kids, let them know that you will have a fruit snack ready for them. The more you can personalize the experience for each shopper, the more likely they will feel obligated to keep their appointment. This time your landing page should also include some Personalized Testimonials for that sales person, with some of their previous customers talking about the great experience that they had during their visit to the dealership.
If you’re thinking to yourself: “This is all great but making all these videos sounds very time consuming,” don’t worry. Much of the video production process for all of these types of videos can be automated. Salespeople can easily record custom voiceovers for an existing video of a vehicle walkaround.
Using videos in your lead follow-up process is a great way to increase the ROI on your current lead spending. Videos will surprise and delight your customers, while making you stand out from the competition.