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The 20 Best Automotive Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas

Need a better strategy for getting leads in the door? Take your automotive lead generation to the next level with these 20 tips and tricks!

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Many aspects of the car business have changed, but one principle remains the same: quality leads are king. You know car buyers do their research online. You know that traditional marketing doesn’t target younger audiences. Here’s what you might not know: your automotive lead generation strategy needs a refresher, and AutoRaptor is here to help!

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments regularly. Investing your time, money, and energy into automotive lead generation is crucial to sales growth. There are numerous tips and tricks to try, and now is the time to get started. Diversify your marketing, reinforce your sales pipeline, and turn leads into customers at a higher rate. Stay organized by using an automotive CRM software like AutoRaptor

The top 20 automotive leads generation tips, tricks, and ideas to boost your sales

1. Stick to the tried and true marketing basics

Regardless of the marketing strategy you use, there are three essential basics to cover: a valuable offer, putting that offer in front of the right people, and giving them a reason to act. If you can instill those qualities into all of these tips, you’ll find success in your automotive lead generation efforts.

01-The 20 Best Automotive Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas-012. Make ten sales calls a day

Take control of your automotive lead generation! Don’t sit around and wait for the leads to come in. Your marketing team is doing their best to drive more traffic to the dealership, but your salespeople need to pitch in. Have them make at least ten calls every day for a week. Those combined 45 minutes of work could deliver you thousands of dollars in new business a month.

3. Offer definitive content in exchange for email addresses

You’ve heard about the “freemium” strategy for creating email lists. While this has worked in the past, it’s getting harder to catch interest in your content. Create something that offers a “definitive” answer to your prospect’s questions. They will never need to read, study, or research the topic again. Make the content engaging, thought-out, and well-written.

4. Re-engage your lost prospects

Every dealership has promising leads that have dropped off the map. They came into the dealership, checked out the inventory, showed interest, but then left and never came back. Get in contact with them through an email or a phone call. If you follow-up with a great offer, they (or someone they know) might be interested.

5. Create a mobile-friendly website

Automotive lead generation starts with a perfect website. It’s the digital doorway to your car dealership, where most of your prospects will visit before getting in touch with a salesperson. Mobile readership is becoming the norm today. Make sure your website is fully responsive to mobile browsers and formatting. Without it, your dealership misses out on the web traffic it deserves.

6. Use conversion architecture on your website

What’s the point of driving web traffic to your site if you don’t have a way to qualify and convert them into leads? Every page should have a simple way to contact the dealership, fill-out web forms, respond to promotions, and receive follow-ups from salespeople. Make it easy for prospects to get in touch.

7. Make virtual walk-through videos

High-quality video content drives engagement and shares. Hire a video specialist to create presentations of vehicles and promote them on your website, social media channels, and third-party websites.

02-The 20 Best Automotive Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas-018. Publish and promote SEO’d blog posts

Blogging is a useful tool for car dealerships. Publishing content consistently offers several benefits:

  • It showcases your dealership as a resource for customers looking for information.
  • A blog gives share-worthy content for readers to engage with over social media.
  • It optimizes locally-targeted keywords to get in front of precise viewers.

9. Run a comprehensive PPC campaign

Driving targeted traffic to your website is an effective strategy for automotive lead generation. Use Google Ads, Facebook ads, Twitter, and more to advertise your offer. Make sure your marketing team has a quality copywriter, so you get the best ROI for your advertisements.

10. Re-vamp your referral program

The best leads are referrals. That has never changed, and never will. Invest your time and energy into building out a referral program that works. Giving your delighted customers (and you must delight them!) a reason to send over a referral will increase your bottom line sales. Renew your offers and give better incentives.

11. Cross-promote with local businesses and organizations

Exchanging promotions with local organizations helps spread the word about your dealership and keep it on top of people’s minds. Find a few businesses or charities that are open to the idea of sponsorships and cross-promoting marketing material.

12. Invest in a dealership-centric CRM tool

Give your salespeople the tools they need to follow-up with leads and keep track of their daily workflows. CRMs designed for car dealerships offer features tailored for those sales processes. They provide a central hub of communication for managers and salespeople so they can assign, follow-up, and connect with every lead. AutoRaptor has all the tools independent and buy-here-pay-here dealerships need to succeed.

13. Pick the best third-party sites for your inventory

You’ve used them many times before: AutoTrader,, Edmunds, and several more. One of the issues many car dealers run into is listing in too many places. Figure what third-party sites deliver the best results and double-down on those sites. Increase your advertising, include better photographs and descriptions, and record your results.

14. Send out direct mailers with a strong incentive

Leaflets, brochures, and print letters with strong offers still work. If you know how to make print material stand out, there is an excellent chance to see a high return on investment (ROI). Make your print material stand out with beautiful photos, well-written copy, and a call-to-action that gives the reader a reason to respond quickly.

15. Give customers plenty of opportunities to share with others

Make it easy for customers to share their experiences via social media. When you send out that congratulatory follow-up email after a purchase, include buttons for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also include these share buttons on your website, blog posts, videos, and emails.

16. Hire a copywriter to give your offers an edge

Copywriting is a skill that professionals develop over years of practice. Don’t assume that you can do what they do—hire an experienced freelancer to give your marketing material the edge it needs. Copywriters know how to appeal to the emotions, pain points, and interests of your audiences. They can help boost ROI on automotive lead generation projects above what was possible before.

17. Attract, entice, and engage your Facebook supporters

If you want Facebook and other social media channels to drive leads, you have to work extra hard to promote. Getting followers interested in your dealership means you have something valuable to offer them. Engage audiences with relevant content through blogging, videos, shared links, and opportunities to connect.

18. Ma03-The 20 Best Automotive Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas-01ke your pictures stand out

Vehicles are visual candy. You can write about them all you want, but it’s the picture that will capture the attention of your prospects. Make sure your images are professionally done. The right angle, lighting, backdrop, color balance—these qualities make a difference for the visual experience.

19. Engage referral sources on LinkedIn

Salespeople have an opportunity to build relationships with customers on LinkedIn. It’s a platform that makes it easy to network and get introduced to new people. A LinkedIn message is an excellent opportunity to turn your customers into referral sources. Ask to be added to his or her network and offer something in return for their support.

20. Get listed in Google Places for local searches

Cover all the bases for getting listed on Google search results. Step one is to verify your business on Google Places. When someone types in “best car dealership near me,” who will he find? Is it your dealership or the one down the street? Local SEO practices matter for car dealers.

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Ty W.
Ty W.

Ty was born and raised in the automotive world. He's an enthusiastic expert who writes exquisite content about cars, automotive sales, and dealership best practices. When not writing for AutoRaptor, you'll find Ty on the golf course.