Article

Ragsdalecars.com Generates $192,000 Incremental Gross Profit In One Month!

September 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by John Zieglar - Also by this author

Ragsdale Auto Group in Massachusetts has always been an innovative dealer group. However, we always seemed to be unable to harvest the profits that some dealers were making through their Web sites and digital marketing strategies. At Ragsdale, we had to continue to pay for leads because our site was unable to generate the volume needed to support an Internet department. Our dealer site was good and functional, yet it seemed to lack the results needed to truly run a successful Internet department. With the lack of results so evident we decided to make a change and needed to build a Web site that would in turn focus its efforts on driving measurable results. Once, we launched our new site, www.ragsdalecars.com, the results were dramatic. Within 30 days of going "live," we tripled our Internet sales and quadrupled our gross and eliminated half of our third party lead providers. There were many important elements that we took into consideration, and below are just a few important items.

Traffic – At Ragsdale, we realized having just the best Web site would mean nothing until we could generate traffic to it. That has always been a challenge for us in the past. However, we are now on the top of all the major search engines for the most popular search phrases in our market. For example, if you go to a search engine and type in Worcester Chevrolet, Worcester Kia or Worcester Cadillac, you will notice that we appear at the top. This one simple strategy has helped increase our traffic dramatically.

Interactive site - Now that we have driven traffic to this site, we now needed to convert those visitors into leads. As a result, we decided our site had to be world class and feature not only static information but multimedia pieces that built value in Ragsdale and the products we sell. The only concern was that our Web site needed to have the ability to deliver these presentations over low speed modems since over 50 percent of our customers were still on dial-up. We and our customers were blown away at the speed and ease of use of these new multimedia presentations. The most impressive part was the results they obtained. Our site now contains many “buzzmails” and “Virtual Test Drives” that have literally tripled our results.

Process – Fortunately, at Ragsdale we also realized all the leads in the world without the right people and process could actually hurt us more than help us. Therefore, we chose a partner that not only had the digital marketing tools but also understood the car business and could help us with training on how to handle these customers more effective and efficiently. This has been one of the greatest secrets of our recent success. Not only have our leads increased and our third party costs dropped, but we are now more efficient and effective at converting our leads into appointments that show up and hold good grosses. The key has been automating 95 percent of all of our e-mail communication with our Buzztrak tool. As a result, our people have been able to focus the majority of their efforts on the phones versus staring at a screen and typing e-mails all day long.

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