• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.
Visit Generations Digital

Text Us message conversion from Website and VDP?

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,684
1,272
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
Anyone offering the ability for shoppers to text from their VDP or Website?

There are quite a few texting solutions in the market now that allows the customer to text inquire from the dealerships website with more emphasis (buttons) located on the VDP. I'm seeing and hearing so many mixed review and results from dealers.

texting_works_yes_no.jpg

Do you offer Text Us on your dealer website? What kind of results are you seeing?
 
Get Podium

BHavican

Refresher
Jan 11, 2013
117
40
28
Illinois
First Name
Bill
2 leads in the last 30 days. Our site is fairly new and it's still a work in progress, so maybe not the most telling stat.

We text frequently with both sales and service customers, but as a lead generating tool I'm not sold on the impact it can make. Technically it's not all that much different than any other lead form, just a perception thing.
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,684
1,272
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
2 leads in the last 30 days. Our site is fairly new and it's still a work in progress, so maybe not the most telling stat.

We text frequently with both sales and service customers, but as a lead generating tool I'm not sold on the impact it can make. Technically it's not all that much different than any other lead form, just a perception thing.
Thanks for the feedback Bill. Do you think initially a text communication is to "personal" and causing the average consumer to shy away? Or could it be that some are too afraid of being "over communicated" to?
 

BHavican

Refresher
Jan 11, 2013
117
40
28
Illinois
First Name
Bill
Upon further review, I found that our "Text Us" option was not displaying on our VDP correctly. Though it has been prominent on our SRP, that may have skewed our results. I'm having that fixed now and will update in 30 days to let you know if there's an increase.

That said, I think it's more of an over communicated concern that prospects might have. Once we've made contact on the sales side, a good portion of our guests appreciate our willingness to communicate via text and it's a great tool for us when confirming appointments. On the service side, customers absolutely love being able to get updates on their car via text. So long story short, we don't encounter many people that have an issue with it being too personal.

I just don't see it as more engaging than any other form based call to action, "give us your name and number and we'll be in touch." In fact, it gives less opportunity for the prospect to express what they want than a traditional form that allows for comments. Maybe instead of having two separate call to actions, we can include a check box on the traditional contact us/check availability/get e-price button to allow the prospect to opt in for texting.
 
Last edited:
  • 1
Reactions: Jeff Kershner
Apr 14, 2010
8
8
3
Baltimore MD.
First Name
Bruce
Anyone offering the ability for shoppers to text from their VDP or Website?

There are quite a few texting solutions in the market now that allows the customer to text inquire from the dealerships website with more emphasis (buttons) located on the VDP. I'm seeing and hearing so many mixed review and results from dealers.

View attachment 2714

Do you offer Text Us on your dealer website? What kind of results are you seeing?
We tried the Edmunds texting tool and we were very disappointed (not with edmunds) with the lack of people who wanted to text with us. Our Nissan and Kia sites average around 15,000 visits a month and in the 2 months we tried it we got a total 5 or 6 texts. The quality of the text were worse than poor with only one person replying to us.
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,684
1,272
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
We tried the Edmunds texting tool and we were very disappointed (not with edmunds) with the lack of people who wanted to text with us. Our Nissan and Kia sites average around 15,000 visits a month and in the 2 months we tried it we got a total 5 or 6 texts. The quality of the text were worse than poor with only one person replying to us.
Bruce, great hearing from you. It's been too long my friend.

I can personally vouch for the traffic your Nissan dealer website receives. I'm confident that you had all the best practices in place in order to get a fair assessment on its effectiveness.

Question: were you offering your service customers the opportunity to text with their service representatives?
 

derrickwoolfson

Getting Refreshed
Sep 10, 2014
77
24
8
Maryland
First Name
Derrick
Our Nissan store finally got around to texting. While it is a brand-new concept for the store. It is a valuable one. As far as the "Text Us" button goes on the VDP's it is not something we use at the moment. Instead, we have the customers in service (upon dropping their vehicles off) give us their written permission to text. In sales, we will text them via our CRM, which is often before s/he has opted to text us.

We have to remember, flashing a "text us" sign is a bit more personal vs. a customer clicking the "chat live" feature. Hence, when we do text the customer we give him/her a reason to text us back. Such as offering them a $25 gift card for coming into the store.

Sure, it is a different tactic. BUT, here are two reasons it is a strategy worth trying:

1. Even if the sales customer opt's out after the first message they still got the message. Statistics show that nearly 92% of texts are read.
2. Customers want offers that stand out. $25 gift cards stand out. Even if they do not end up coming in chances are (and I can muster up some statistics) they will follow the link and we will get their info.

My last piece of advice is we have to also be careful with how many boxes we have flashing & floating on the home screen. I mean for real, it cries our desperation. You can call me. Text me. Chat with me. Email me. HELLO!!!!
 

kevinfrye

Sr. Refresher
Apr 7, 2009
250
164
45
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
First Name
Kevin
We have had great success with our texting tools. I hear some concerns about the amount of texts received, but remember, you are providing another preferred channel of communication for your shoppers. For those folks that use the text tool, the closing rate on these leads are well above average - and that makes sense. A phone call comes in and you look, do you take it? A text comes in, do you read it immediately? Who texts with you? Friends text with you, and I believe that if you can get a shopper to text with you, they will treat with you a higher level of trust like they do with other folks they text with. Hmmm. if the ABC of a sale is to get the shopper to like you and trust you so that they will buy from you, and this helps you with the first parts of that.... maybe that explains why these leads close so well.
 
Apr 14, 2010
8
8
3
Baltimore MD.
First Name
Bruce
Kevin, We have used Vinsolutions opt-in text tool with good success and your right if we get a shopper to text with us the appointment/close rate rockets. But getting 2 or 3 text a month from the little red “text us” button was not worth the real estate on our mobile sites. How many new incoming texts do you get from your mobile “Text” buttons on average? Let’s hear form anyone following this forum.
 

Rob McCartney

Getting Refreshed
Feb 23, 2016
35
13
8
Storm Lake, Iowa
First Name
Rob
Hi guys. Its been about 2 months since this post was updated. Was wondering if anyone had any updates? Seeing an increase of texting?

Just curious, because I'm at a small dealership (probably much smaller than most of you are from) and this seems to be a reasonable option for us. Much better than trying to staff a person to use the "chat with us" option. Though I have never used it, I really can't see having someone sit in front of a terminal just to wait for someone to "chat". At least in my head that's how I picture the process.