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Cars.com Followup Emails With Other Dealers Inventory

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Bill Simmons, Mar 28, 2013.

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  1. Bill Simmons

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    You may want to send a test lead from one of your Cars.com listings and see if this happens to you. We sent a test lead the other day from their site, and the screenshots below are a follow up email that we received from them the next morning. The "other cars that you may be interested in" are not my cars. And many of them are outside of our market.

    cars1.jpg cars2.jpg

    We also received a similar email from them after we discovered that they are pushing an inventory feed of my used cars to TrueCar used car listings. We submitted a test lead from the TrueCar site and received the same type of followup email. I have heard from another dealer on Facebook that it is happening in his market also. Is this happening with anyone else?
     
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  3. brianpasch

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    Bill, have you contacted Cars.com for an explanation?
     
  4. Linda Bartman

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    Bill, thanks for your question. I believe Casey at your dealership posted a similar question last week on this thread. Since that time, our first round of testing of the email campaign came to a conclusion and now we’ve made tweaks based on insights and feedback. The next phase of our test will include some revisions to the
    campaign, including building in more time for the dealer follow-up process, highlighting the original vehicle at the top of follow-up emails and highlighting additional inventory from that dealer. These revisions will continue to provide consumers the relevancy they want in addition to providing our dealer customers stronger benefits and value too. <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    As I mentioned to Casey, our goal is to help shoppers move closer to purchase, and before instituting the campaign, 58% of email lead senders were already returning to the site after submitting a lead. What that means is consumers require additional information, and our goal is to provide that while empowering our dealer customers to influence the process.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We’re always looking to strike that perfect balance where it’s a win-win for both consumers and dealers alike, which is why we’re testing these campaigns first on a smaller scale before we decide how they fit into our overall consumer acquisition plans. Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.
    <o:p></o:p>
     
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  5. yagoparamo

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    Bill,

    Are you saying that Cars.com is pushing your used cars to TrueCar?
     
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  6. Bill Simmons

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    Brian, yes we have. My internet manager had a discussion with a Cars.com rep in an online forum once we discovered this. Here is the response:

    "Casey, moving to your concerns about our follow up with consumers, we’re continually testing new ways to help shoppers move closer to purchase, one of which is the email you referenced. Before instituting the campaign, 58% of email lead senders were already returning to the site after submitting a lead, indicating that, for most, the process doesn't end after sending the initial lead. This email campaign is meant to provide shoppers who do submit leads the relevant information they need, while giving dealers new opportunities to influence the buying process. As a consumer-driven site, that’s important for us to keep in mind. Note that it goes both ways – consumers who may not have contacted your dealership directly may benefit from being exposed to your inventory during this process as well."

    I also contacted my local rep that handles my dealership and she stated that she had no idea that they were doing this until we brought it to her attention. I have not been given a time-frame on when the practice will end. I can understand part of their reasoning ie. "as a consumer-driven site" they want to be as helpful as they can. But my dealership is their true customer as they are cashing my check each month. I do not feel that I should be paying to have other dealers inventory advertised to my customers in an email from a vendor that I am paying money to.

    Yago, yes they are pushing our inventory to TrueCar. That is how we discovered the email follow-up issue. One of my reps mentioned that a customer saw one of our cars on TrueCar. We don't have an agreement with them, so went to the site to check it out. We did find my inventory there, so sent in a test email lead to see how it would be handled. That is when we received the email with other dealers cars listed. That is when we felt we should send a test lead from one of our vehicles from the Cars.com site, and received the same type of follow-up email.



    <wbr><wbr><wbr>
     
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  7. kcar

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    <legend style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 12px; background-color: rgb(236, 236, 236); -webkit-box-shadow: none !important;">[​IMG] Attachments Pending Approval</legend>
    Can't see! :( Upload them to imgur.com (Where are you Jeff)

     
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  8. kcar

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    Wait a second...

    Cars.com is pushing Dealer's Inventory to TrueCar?

    Without their permission?

    What the heck?! (warranted)

    Just found my inventory is on their site as well, the lead went to us (cars.com customer), but why does True Car have my inventory data in the first place?

    ...

    I never gave Truecar permission to use my COYPRIGHT vehicle photos, nor my COPYRIGHT content (vehicle comments).

    ...

    Am I missing something here? Truecar and Cars.com aren't under the same company right? And.. Why didn't anyone from TrueCar or Cars.com even tell dealers about this?

    ...

    So you're going to rank for all my local terms, with MY own inventory DATA?

    How about NO. All these 3rd party sites charging dealers $$$$ can please go. Give dealers their serp space back. I could see AT doing this but Cars.com? Son, I am disappoint.

    lol, what the I don't even.. in b4 not a single dealer cares.
     
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  9. yagoparamo

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    Bill,

    Until Cars.com confirms that TrueCar could be getting the data from someone else. You may have even signed with a "free site" (free sites are not free) and that's how they get it.
     
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  10. Bill Simmons

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    Yago,myCars rep did confirm that the TrueCar listings were coming from them.
     
  11. yagoparamo

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    Then you got something interesting here.

    Happy Easter Bill.
     
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