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O.K. Please don't "jump my thread" telling me how great your company is or rail on how "organic leads is all you needs" :)

I use a mix of traditional media and on-line in my advertising and I am moving ever more the Digital direction. I use Google analytics AND have VinLens to show me all my traffic and it even re-activates "dead" leads when they re-visit my site...

BUT I still miss some so I DO buy some 3rd party leads.

I just recently tried some secondary Finance leads from and have not had great results.

We have a robust secondary Dept. as well as an in-house Buy Here Pay Here so I have an avenue for most ANY customer but the stuff I got from them is GARBAGE, GARBAGE, GARBAGE!!!

I'll deal with this current mess later, but is anyone using a GOOD provider or have an idea to bring MORE opportunity to SPECIFICALLY my "Fresh Start" Dept.?





Tags:, generation, lead, leads, secondary-finance, traffic

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Bryan - You should check out the new "Dealix Quality Pledge" lead program from Dealix... Not to be confused with the Dealix lead programs of as little as 2 years ago, their new program allows you to tailor the exact demographics and sources that your leads are routed from, and then if you get bogus information, the lead is credited and you do not pay. I was very skeptical at first, but then was treated to a peak under the hood and came away very impressed.

Basically, the Dealix propeller heads built a system of accountability to the actual websites producing the leads so that when you log in and take credits for bad leads, then Dealix automatically deducts the lead from their wholesale supplier invoicing. What this has done is ensure that these producers do not send Dealix their bogus or duplicated leads... Accountability works!

Anyways, it is not just the credit for bogus leads that matters, it is a lot more expensive to apply resources to lead management and follow-up than the initial cost of purchasing a lead. That's why I like the way Dealix is training their original source wholesale producers to only send them the "Good Leads". The rest get sold off to the second and third tier lead suppliers. Although Dealix won't say that, if you were a publisher generating leads, what would you do? Sell the crappy leads to, and the other guys. You can get more money from Dealix as a lead producer, but the leads better be the real deal or you get hammered with credits and clipped invoices. If Dealix were not the largest volume lead aggregator, none of the website publishers that generate leads would put up with this. But they are, and so Dealix gets to command quality.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Ralph Paglia (ADM founder) works for ADP, who purchased the Cobalt Group, owners of Dealix a couple of months ago. But, Ralph will not risk his industry credibility by promoting or recommending anything that he has not seen work on a first hand basis. And, the Guaranteed Quality program from Dealix works very well for process driven professionals like Bryan Armstrong and dealerships like Menlove Toyota who have their act together and will actually take the time to log in and mark any bogus leads they get, so they are replaced with good leads.

The most important part of all of this is that Dealix now gets the best leads in the business, because they reward the publishers who send them the good stuff and put the slap-down on the publishers who send crappy leads, thanks to the help of about half of the dealers using Dealix, who actually enter the data so the bogus leads are deleted and replaced with good ones.

We would love to have you try the Dealix program for 90 days and then tell the ADM Professional Community about your experience... Because if there is one thing I am CERTAIN of, it is that Bryan Armstrong knows how important it is to work leads!

Press Release
Dealix Introduces The Quality Pledge™ with Hassle Free Lead Return™

Innovative Program Boosts Auto Dealers’ Sales and Profitability by Increasing Number of Opportunities Available Each Month

Redwood City, CA, September 2, 2009 - Dealix, the leading provider of automotive customer leads for new and used cars, today became the first automotive marketing company to back every one of its new and used car sales leads with a quality pledge. The company, a division of Cobalt, announced today that it will only charge its customers for leads that meet a specific set of criteria for leads that can turn into sales. The company also announced Hassle Free Lead Return, a new feature that allows dealers to effortlessly return a lead that does not meet Dealix’s Quality Pledge criteria, and to have that lead taken off their bill and replaced with a new one.

The Dealix Quality Pledge defines the characteristics of a valid lead as one that:

* Have a working phone number for the person who submitted the lead
* Represent an active, in-market consumer
* Originate from an adult who is 18 years of age or older
* Not be a duplicate of a lead provided by Dealix in the last 30 days
* Not be a duplicate of a lead previously delivered by a source other than Dealix in the last 30 days

"The Dealix program is unique in the market," said Kim Clouse, CEO of I Auto Consultants, an automotive training and consulting firm. "The program is dealer-focused and quality-driven, which should enable Dealix customers to have greater confidence in their lead supply. That, coupled with the time factor saved, will allow dealership staff to focus more on their sales process, which will create more sales and increase return on investment."

With Hassle Free Lead Return, dealers are encouraged to identify and return any lead that fails one of the Quality Pledge criteria within seven days of receiving the lead. Dealix provides all customers with access to its Dealix Dealer Extranet through which they can identify a lead for return and specify the reason for the return. Dealix’s Lead Quality Team then follows up with every lead returned, personally contacting the consumer to validate information and confirm whether they are actively in the market for a vehicle.

The return confirmation process takes three business days. If the Dealix Quality Team is able to confirm that the returned lead represents an active, in-market buyer, the dealer is notified immediately with detailed information so they do not miss an opportunity to sell a vehicle to that consumer. If the Dealix Quality Team confirms that the lead does not conform to its Quality Pledge standards, the return is accepted and the charge is immediately removed from the dealer’s invoice. In addition to the Dealix Dealer Extranet, dealers may use most customer relationship management (CRM) tools to return a lead with Hassle Free Lead Return.

"The goal of the Quality Pledge is to align Dealix directly with our dealer customers and their goals," said Anna Zornosa, general manager of Dealix and executive vice president of Cobalt. "Dealix leads the industry in technology and supply investment, but it’s still hard to guarantee that every lead will be good 100% of the time. With this new program, we are the only marketing company in the auto industry who is saying to dealers, 'In the event you get a lead that does not represent a real opportunity, return it to us hassle free, and we will not charge for the lead."

Other benefits of Dealix’s Quality Pledge include:

* Enabling dealers to optimize sales every month. By encouraging them to quickly identify and return leads that can’t be sold, Dealix creates an opportunity for the dealer to receive more good leads immediately so they can hit monthly sales goals.
* Encouraging dealers to contact their leads quickly. The seven-day lead return window motivates dealers to contact each lead promptly, preferably upon receipt. Research repeatedly shows that dealers who launch a fast response upon receiving a lead have a much higher rate of selling a car to that consumer.
* Allowing dealers to understand whether less than expected sales results are attributable to poor lead quality or a flawed sales process, as 100% of leads returned undergo follow-up verification by the Dealix Quality Team.
* Giving Dealix valuable information on lead supply quality in order to provide dealers with superior products.

The Dealix program has been available to 30 franchise dealers in a beta test for four weeks. "We became a pilot dealer for the Quality Pledge because we like the goals of the program: to help us get more good leads each month," said Merick Sherline, fleet and Internet director for Stokes Brown Toyota in Beaufort, South Carolina "So far we have found the program to be straightforward and useable. We’ve gotten a speedy response about the status of the leads we’ve submitted, with about half of them being accepted as valid returns. I’m optimistic this program will help us turn more leads into sales."

The Quality Pledge is only the latest in a series of enhancements that Dealix has made to its new car and used car lead programs. In the last 12 months, the company has improved new car lead supply through exclusive agreements to power the dealer selector and price quote platforms of Yahoo! Autos, MSN Autos, and AOL Autos, as well as improving its used car lead supply with the re-launch of its flagship portal In April 2009, the company announced a major overhaul of the Dealix Leads Platform, including technology upgrades to deliver leads faster and the addition of lead verification through an agreement with TARGUSinfo.

"Dealix can offer this Quality Pledge because we have the strongest lead supply network in the market, comprised of the top auto sites, and the most powerful lead sourcing, verification, and delivery technology. This, combined with our decade of experience delivering over 300,000 new and used car sales leads monthly to dealers and OEMs, gives us total confidence in the value our products bring to dealers," continued Zornosa.

The Dealix Quality Pledge with Hassle Free Lead Return is available now. For more information, visit or call (800) 903-1965.

About Dealix
Dealix, a division of Cobalt, is the world’s leading provider of quality leads for new and used cars for dealerships, dealer groups, and automotive manufacturers. Dealix is the only Internet marketing company that backs its new and used car leads with the Dealix Quality PledgeTM: a distinct set of criteria that defines a quality lead and an invitation to use Hassle Free Lead ReturnTM if a lead lacks any one of those criteria. The company can offer this Pledge because it has the broadest reach and the highest quality lead supply network in the industry, including Yahoo! Autos, Kelley Blue Book,, AOL Autos, MSN Autos, and others. Dealix powers the dealer selector and price quote platforms on Yahoo! Autos, AOL Autos, MSN Autos, and NADA Guides; represents Edmunds’ Premier Dealer Program; and places dealers’ used inventory in the Kelley Blue Book Trusted MarketplaceSM. Dealix connects dealers with the millions of car shoppers who prefer independent Internet sites when shopping for new cars and used cars online. Dealix’s all new Leads Platform quickly matches thousands of serious new and used vehicle buyers to the most appropriate dealers daily, delivering a quality car buying experience for consumers and providing dealers with one of the most efficient methods available today for marketing and selling cars.

Amy Hatch
Marketing Manager, Cobalt
Phone: 206.219.8132
Manny, we're friends on FB, here and several other places. Would be happy to look at your program message me here or on FB and we'll set a time to chat.
Amy- Thank you and I already use Dealix as my sole 3rd Party provider and I am the Edmunds Preferred program Dealer for Utah through them. Scott Stecklein is my Rep and has been for years. I love the changes Dealix has made and have sang their praises for years. Please don't tell Scott I said that, I beat him up constantly. :)
We close an average of 18% of ALL leads (and yes I include all phone and e-mail contacts). Dealix has averaged out for me at 12.7% with approximately a 53 day cycle. However, I'm re-capturing approximately 3-4% after 90 days with some well-tailored C.P.O. inventory e-mail templates.
With a stand alone secondary F&I and the unique opportunity of a BHPH tied in, I was trying to generate MORE credit challenged clientele. Our BHPH is at only 12.95%, and reports bi-monthly. So in 1 year I can bring back that 400 score with a good job and have him reporting 24 on-time revolving auto payments. CapOne, Americredit, CUDL...lots if places to go then.
But primarily, having helped that customer into not one but TWO cars, I now have loyalty, gratitude and great word-of-mouth (and mouse) testimonials.
I'm looking, as odd as this seems, for secondary finance leads. I'm a big picture guy and I want the ones everyone tells "NO" as it fits a long-term business model.
Hi Bryan .... I'm with ACE (Auto Credit Express). What works for us is generating our own traffic and making the application the customer fills out very in depth. Combining the two helps provide real customers; and that is our goal. The credit on our leads is tough (very tough) because all the key words we are bidding on is a combination of "bad credit" and "financing / car loan" and when you ask for bad credit, you get bad credit.
However, we don't promise anytype of credit score. A typical dealer who is very successful with my leads does not fear credit score, can cash contracts through your heavy discount lenders, offers CAC or some type of BHPH, and has a seperate subprime department. This video link will show you our SEO efforts:

We've also got a BHPH specific lead program that is very affordable. Approach is the same except leads are coming from BHPH type of key words and off of our BHPH websites:

I'm happy to elaborate and can be reached at


Ryan Coe
Auto Credit Express
Ph: (248) 370-6615
Have you tried Blue Sky Special Finance Leads?
No John, but looks interesting. Thank you.
Thanks Ryan. I'll check it out.

Here is what I know from the last 30 years of the car business.

As you mentioned, a first party "organic lead" is the best, but they are very random. They are not the only thing you need. But make sure that you include them in your mix.

Third party companies fill the void, but they lack process. Most of these guys have never desked a sub prime customer in their life. So they don't understand the difficulty that we face of turning a name into a sale.

So here is my advice.

Research your market - I use Denny Long's company DBD Communications to do my market analysis. Then I know what to expect. His market analysis costs about $ 300 and JD BYrider loves it. They do not sell internet leads so they are not biased.

If a company says there are 200 leads in your market, cut the number in half and buy 100.

Never pay up front for any leads.

Never pay set up fees.

Never do the pay when you sell lead programs.

Return bad leads the same day.

Always have in writing what is a "BAD" lead is, based on the company you use.

Define your market. Its not always a circle ( radius ) from your store. Use zip codes where the people are.

Define minimum income. Base it on your lenders. Stay in your lenders buying market.

Define minimum credit score. There are currently no "live "up to the minute scores, so you have to base it on credit information that may be up to "60"days old. You know how a customers credit score can change in 30 days. He may be a 600 last month and a 500 now.

I have always used this math. 50 leads = 4 sales , so if I spend $ 1000 on leads , I need to gross $ 4000.
That's the 1 to 4 mentality.

I do have specific companies that I recommend. Please e-mail me at for those details.
Thank you. Sound advice and a great, simple formula. I like it.
I also like this reply by Spro...good post.
I can tell you that a very large percentage of our secondary customers come through chat. Once we start a dialog, we offer to get them pre-approved saving them time. We send a link to our dealertrack credit app through the chat window and walk them through it if necessary.
Thanks Rob. Funny how people will "open up" about and bare their issues in a "safe" forum like chat or posts on-line.


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