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Why Blue Horseshoe Loves Automark Solutions

In our travels looking at various vendors to recommend to our clients, we came across and started telling dealers about Automark Solutions. They do widgets. They do plugins. They do buttons. It sounds simple, but it's so much more than that.

Let's get something out of the way right off the bat. We are not a reseller. We are not a referral partner. If a dealership were to call up the folks at Automark and say, "JD Rucker told me to hire you guys and so I'd like to sign up," I wouldn't accept anything, even a Starbucks gift card, as payment for the referral (and anyone who knows me well enough knows how hard it would be to pass up on free espresso). We are transparent about what we resell to clients; if anyone were to ask about LotLinx, for example, you bet that we're a partner and we'll gladly take the commission. With Automark, we have no such agreement.

It should also be noted that we did not do exhaustive research into their segment of the industry. I've seen a handful of lead optimization services and widgets out there and none of them were impressive, but we haven't made it through all of them. Unlike what we did with chat and gift card incentives, we will not claim to have been comprehensive in this segment. We didn't have to. Automark was impressive enough.

The compelling argument they made when Ken Lees and Anne-Marie Baumann showed me their product was that they had data to back up their claims. I was skeptical. It seemed pretty darn unlikely that they would be able to increase lead conversions on websites at the rate that their website claimed, but the numbers panned out. Once I took a demo, I understood why they worked so well.

Unfortunately, I'm not the first to this party. My friend Brian Pasch recognized the potential in Automark a almost two years ago. For better or for worse, I hadn't really heard much about them until I started researching for clients who wanted to improve lead conversions.

Traffic is going up. Sales are going up. The industry is in great shape. The only thing that seems to be going down in our industry is the volume of form leads. A lot of that can be attributed to more phone calls, chats, and direct showroom visits, but another good chunk of it can be attributed to the way that dealers websites have, for whatever reason, not advanced in the way that they convert leads. I really don't know why this is the case, but Automark seems to fill the gap that's being left by most website providers.

From "Daily Deals" to real "Instant Lease Quotes" (emphasis on real), the team has put together an extremely impressive series of lead-generating plugins that work on the majority of dealers' websites. Look at your website. Your buttons probably stink. Your contact forms or resource pages probably do not encourage contacts, nor do they really provide a resource to your customers.

Think about making a change.

Blue Horsesh... I mean Dealer Authority loves Automark Solutions.

Views: 136

Tags: Conversions, Lead Generation, Leads, automark, dealer authority

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Comment by Manny Luna on July 10, 2014 at 8:15pm

Anne-Marie Baumann I agree and like you stated. "All available statistics clearly show dealership website traffic is at an all-time high, yet lead conversion rates are declining precipitously." 

But why? The auto industry is paying billions in PPC and display ads with Google not seo.(high bounce rates!)  

Content, duplicate content on every dealer website. 

The end user in not getting the friendly online experience they deserve (content).

Dealers must focus on content and when I say that I mean tons of content the end user will find onsite and offsite to convert shoppers into buyers.

Take a look at this site, it generates over 300 leads and produces car deals that average 3500 a car deal.

Look at it real good and look at all the content it has. This is not including offsite seo:)

http://carloansinhouston.com/

Thanks 

Comment by Anne-Marie Baumann on July 10, 2014 at 5:43pm

For years I’ve been “Lurking” on ADM reading the comments and posts from members and SME’s in their respective fields. Although I’ve often been tempted to chime-in I’ve always opted to take these highly opinioned points of view at their face value and remained anonymous or as ADM would say- a “Peeping Tom”- UNTIL TODAY THAT IS.

JD, thank you for your post and response.  It’s great to see our conversion technology and their results being recognized by someone who’s objectivity I admire.  

James, thank you for your input.  It’s great to hear that your leads have increased in less than a month!  

While Mr. Luna’s observations warrant merit, and I fully acknowledge the importance of effective SEO & SEM as a means to driving website traffic, these activities are the MEANS to an end, not the end itself.  In fact, all available statistics clearly show dealership website traffic is at an all-time high, yet lead conversion rates are declining precipitously.  Automark’s exclusive focus on the latter point has consistently shown that it can quantifiably increase the quantity of engagements, a.k.a. “Leads”, from dealership websites anywhere from 50% - 300% with, as a recent Polk study indicates, a Buy Rate in excess of 45%.

So if you’re dealership is generating traffic to your site but your financial statement and/or pay plan are based on unit sales and/or profitability, please take a closer look at these conversion tools.  Thanks!

Comment by James Klaus on July 7, 2014 at 8:12am

Hello JD and Hello Manny,

We have been live with Automark for about 3 weeks.  So far we have seen a nice little bump in conversions but nothing to scream about yet.  The company is easy to work with so far so that is a plus.  I will report back in a few months when I have compiled enough data to have a solid opinion.  Always interesting when you can get a lot of good feedback.  Anyone out there use Automark who is a raving fan?  Did you have automark and cancel? Why?  I would love some insights.  Thanks!

Comment by J.D. Rucker on July 7, 2014 at 2:15am

Hi Manny,

There's never anything wrong with a disagreement as long as there's mutual respect and you definitely have mine!

One of the luxuries I have in doing what I do is that I can look at things through a lens of "mine". In other words, I always look at tools, resources, assets, and strategies from a perspective of what I could do with them for my clients or what another trained and aggressive dealer (or vendor) could do with the tools if they know what they're doing.

Nearly all plug-and-play tools are inefficient out of the box. Even the best website providers in the industry are often ineffective without input from the dealer, while some of the popular OEM websites that most on ADM (including you and me) complain about can be made to rock and roll when we, the dealer, or another vendor takes advantage of the tools.

Automark's products plus strategic placement/selection plus proper SEO on the landing pages they're placed on (as compared to the landing pages from the clicks to the buttons themselves) can be extremely effective. Their landing pages don't have to rank well if the website itself is drawing traffic through optimized custom landing pages, PPC, or even (gulp) traditional advertising. The numbers I've seen have been exceptional because the widgets truly do generate clicks on pages when the previous buttons simply did not.

All of the issues you brough up are valid, but again I believe you're looking at it assuming that the dealer has no optimization of their own. There's nothing Automark's products could do to hurt a properly optimized website. Then again, I've only seen examples of savvy dealers that are on top of their game utilizing the service.

At the end of the day, I suppose it comes down to this. Dealers that want to get aggressive and have put in the effort/investment into strong SEO for their website can benefit from Automark. Their solution is definitely not the first step. If a dealer's website is failing at things like proper SEO or valid PPC, then Automark is something to consider later. If they're already doing the basics and have a website that's ready for better conversions, they should look at Automark as a next step.

Comment by Manny Luna on July 6, 2014 at 11:38pm

J.D. Rucker I'm one of your biggest fans, but I have to disagree.

Reasons?

Bounce rates on their framed in widgets pages are way way to high.

The pages that are added on to the dealers websites are all duplicate title, discription and keyword pages to the search engines and can hurt the sites keyword density.  

All the landing pages are all duplicate content copied from the dealers own content.

To many call to actions with no researched custom content to convert the dealers organic traffic!

I can go on and on why dealers should stay away from this product. 

Please call me if you need all the data.

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