Car Dealer Specials Pages are supposed to Drive Customers – Not Drive Them Away!


Sorry, but Your Special’s Pages Stink… and That’s Costing You Sales!

Let’s agree on a few things before we dive into some very simple steps to growing your sales with working specials pages:

  1. As the article title explained: Your specials pages are meant to drive customers, not drive them away!; and
  2. Your website has just two goals: GOAL #1: Attract visitors; GOAL #2: Convert those visitors into customers.

That’s it. It’s not at all complicated.

Considering the two points above, take a minute and visit your new and used vehicle specials pages on your website. (It’s okay, I’ll wait.)

What did you find? If you’re like most dealers I address at 20 Groups you found one of three things when you clicked-through the specials links:

  1. A few pieces of aged inventory with prices, but no lead forms or lead-generating buttons to drive a connection with the prospect; or
  2. A frame-in of your OEM’s finance offers; or
  3. A mostly blank page with the dreaded: “Sorry, No Specials at This Time. Please Check Back Later!” message.

How will any of these three typical specials pages help you drive sales or even create conversions (leads)?

They won’t, of course.

not so special

Two Rules for Car Dealer Specials:

The key to growing conversions and sales with your specials pages is to follow two simple rules (and none of the typical specials pages I find follow either of them):

  1. You must display actual vehicles (not just two or three aged units) – and this includes on your mobile site.
  2. The specials must provide conversion opportunities. (A.K.A. They must drive leads and sales.)

To simplify this even further: you must have specials and they must convert. None of the three examples I provided met either of these criteria.

Rule #1: Have Specials

There is a basic tenet of consumers that says “what they see is what they buy.” Meaning, that interest and urgency (and even purchase behavior) can be enhanced simply by displaying vehicles on your specials pages. This is important to remember when you’re setting up these pages.

For most dealers (if your traffic is genuine), your specials pages are in the top three to five most viewed pages on your website. They’re also, after the homepage, often the most exited pages on your website.

This should tell you two things: 1) In-market prospects are interested in specials; and 2) They will leave your site if you don’t have any specials relevant to their search.

This means you need to have specials, they must be plentiful and varied enough to appeal to virtually every online buyer, and they need to feel special. (Hint: Your OEM’s finance offers don’t feel special since every other dealer selling your Make has the same offers.)

While we can argue about the right number of specials, I’ve found that having at least 12 and no more than 20 vehicles displayed on your specials pages seems to drive the highest overall conversion rates. This means 12 to 20 new vehicles and 12 to 20 used vehicles.

You will also want to ensure you have a good mix of trucks, sedans, coupes, minivans and SUVs on each of your two vehicle-specific specials pages (New and Used). Providing “was” and “is” prices on these (where legal) will make these specials feel special and also greatly improve conversion rates.

Rule #2: They Must Convert

It’s not enough to show off special deals if you’re doing so for information purposes only. Your specials pages need adequate calls-to-action, buttons and lead forms – a.k.a. conversion opportunities – in order to create greater interest and urgency; and (of course) to generate leads, calls and sales.

Good calls-to-action for generating prospect interest and action range from the simple “call now” and “click here,” to the more direct “claim special” and “check availability.” Each special you display should include at least one good call-to-action that beckons the visitor to connect with you about this particular vehicle.

Finally, having a lead form connected directly to the special will generally drive leads at a rate often 2-4 times greater than requiring the prospect to click-through a link to complete the form.

But We Don’t Have Time to Make Great Specials Like This!

I know you don’t, because there is no ROI in having your Internet Manager build and maintain these pages. Believe me; I’ve seen dealers work really hard at building great specials pages only to watch as the maintenance of these goes away and you’re left with the “Sorry, No Specials at This Time. Please Check Back Later!” messaging. automated specials

That’s why I’ve been recommending automated specials for car dealers since 2008. It’s the only way to be 100% certain that you (A) Have specials; and (B) That your specials convert. More than that, by replacing your non-converting manual specials with automated ones you not only generate more leads and sales, but you’ll do so at incredibly affordable rates (much cheaper than paying someone on your staff to manage these pages).

The company that I’ve been recommending since 2008 is RnD Interactive. For the dealers I work with using their specials we’re seeing an average cost per SALE below $40. (That’s cost per sale, not cost per lead.) Your Internet Team simply cannot manually manage these pages for less than that – even if they were able to create specials that will actually convert into leads and calls.

You’ll thank me later, I guarantee it.

Good selling!