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Why Are We Sending Mobile Consumers Email Responses With Broken Links?

Today over 20% of visitors to dealership websites are coming from a mobile device, and this number is growing.


Google estimates by the end of 2013, 39% of automotive related searches will be from mobile devices.  With this in mind, isn't it time to create new logic in CRM systems to identify the device a customer used to submit a lead and to respond them via email based on their device type.


Would you agree that if the consumer has submitted a lead from an iPhone, their ability (or interest) in reading a five paragraph detailed email with PDF attachments, images, etc. is much less when  compared to viewing the same "loaded" email from a desktop device?  


Would we be better off sending an email formatted specifically to address a smaller screen size?


Comparing Southwest Airlines Websites

A recent conference keynote presentation on mobile marketing asked attendees to compare the website experience on http://www.southwest.comfrom a desktop device with the mobile experience, shown below:

It is clear that someone inside of Southwest decided which were the TOP tasks that consumers wanted to execute while on the mobile site.  The navigation was significantly reduced for mobile users.  This simple mobile menu of choices and links makes the consumer experience very efficient on a small mobile screen.


Taking This Concept To Mobile Optimized Emails

With this mind, shouldn't our first response emails be optimized for mobile devices and provide links to additional information that can be found the dealer's MOBILE site?  If the consumer gets an email minutes after lead submission, we can assume that the first email should be presented in a mobile readable format.


Most email responses have linked to pages on the dealer's desktop site.  In many cases, the pages referenced in the email WILL NOT display on a mobile device because the page is not on the mobile site!  


Do all emails have to stay mobile formatted?  No, but the first one or two might be best formatted for the device of choice used for the initial lead.


2013 Chevrolet Silverado Inquiry

For example, a customer submits a lead for a 2013 Chevy Silverado from an iPhone.  Wouldn't it be great that the CRM would know that the lead came from an iPhone.  


The CRM process tree would then decide to send an email response formatted with answers to their inquiry and links to the mobile site for more information.  Makes sense, correct?


Those links could send consumers to mobile optimized online videos, trade-in estimators, financing applications, etc.  Dealers know the top five main "clicks" on their website so why don't we simplify our mobile email responses to create links to their mobile equivalent.


The first companies that provide this type of granularity on CRM workflows will surely be giving mobile consumers a better first response and communication experience.  Will a better communication experience help dealers sell more cars to consumers that use their mobile device as their primary research tool?  I think so!


The three links at the bottom of this mobile formatted email would give the consumer a mobile formatted experience on every click.  Dealers can play with additional link choices, and track the utilization of mobile optimized emails using free services like


Is it time to push our CRM and website vendors into creating a better mobile first response?



Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting

Views: 196

Tags: crm, dealers, mobile, templates, wemails


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Comment by Len Ostroff on November 14, 2012 at 6:04am

@TomGorham - Point well taken. Text is not truly dead (but it got your attention :-)), but if you look at the stats, the gross majority of people prefer watching to reading.

It sounds like you really understand the power of video with your 2,800 videos on YouTube. My only caution with YouTube is that if not properly configured, your competitors are advertising against you. Plus, the 'recommended videos' after your video plays can be anything but professional (dancing babies?). YouTube can be great for helping with SEO, but it is not a magic bullet, especially when creating personalized video responses for prospects.

And yes, I am a vendor (sorry, should have stated that up front...) We do have a text fall back in all of our video emails so that even if the prospect doesn't want to watch the video, they still get a personalized response (which they can read). If you're interested in seeing what we're doing, check out Thanks!

Comment by Thomas Morris on November 14, 2012 at 5:20am

Great post Brian.  We are definitely behind the learning curve with this technology.  Current technology is not mobile user-friendly and needs to adapt.  Not having this mobile friendly experience totally eliminates the impulse (ready to purchase) buyer since they cannot get the experience they need, nor the information, on a non-friendly mobile interface, to feel comfortable enough to make that buying decision.  Great opportunity for someone to capitalize on.  

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 13, 2012 at 6:31pm

Brian thank you for a wonderful post. I'm speaking as an Internet Sales & Marketing Manager, not a vendor. You can't (yes, I see that you can) imagine how much this could help us in communicating with our customers. Internet and sales reps want to talk to their customers in the way that is most likely to accomodate them and influence them. You nailed it.

Len Ostroff, no offense but text is not dead. I agree that videos are great and wonderful but not all people are as enamored as you state. I, for one, prefer to read rather than listen. I may be in the primitive minority but I am not the Lone Ranger.  People are different.  That has to be acknowledged.  That said, my dealership has over 2,800 videos on YouTube, our website, and our newsletters.  I think your suggestion (are you a vendor?) is great but not exclusive.

Comment by Brian Pasch on November 13, 2012 at 2:33pm


A video with additional links to mobile resource pages would be very cool to test.

Comment by Len Ostroff on November 13, 2012 at 1:13pm

Hey Brian,
Great post! But wouldn't it be even better to respond with a personalized, dealer-branded video email that is formatted for email clients, webmail clients and mobile devices? Text is dead. Nobody reads anymore and the auto-response emails usually don't provide any real information for the prospect.
Check out and discover what lots of our clients already know. In less than 5 minutes, a dealership can respond with the most engaging, personal medium Contact me for a demo of our app and platform. It's amazing for sales and absolutely awesome for service.
Len Ostroff
(410) 402-1037

Comment by Brian Pasch on November 13, 2012 at 12:23pm

Yes George, adaptive websites fix the broken link problem. However we still want to have an email template specifically designed for readability on the smaller device, which needs to be a solution with enhanced data file formats and integrated products. 

Comment by George Nenni on November 13, 2012 at 11:32am

Great points Brian.  Would it be correct to say, if a dealer had a Responsive or Adaptive web site, this worry goes away?  The measurement in the CRM makes sense either way, but the need to pick the right link disappears.

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