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consumer privacy laws in automotive

Consumer Privacy in 2020: The New Age of Data Ethics

Welcome to the new decade and the age of data ethics. We’ve entered a time where consumers are warier than ever about how companies use their personal information—and with good reason. The risk of inadequate data security and lousy privacy practices has skyrocketed in the last few years. 

Since 2013, 9.7 billion data records were lost or stolen globally. Almost 64% of the total stolen data records occurred in the United States.

And, may we never forget the Cambridge Analytica revelations of 2018 that also sparked what some reports call the ‘great privacy awakening.’ Times are tough for businesses when it comes to consumer privacy, and it could get a lot harder from here.

Data Regulations Around the World

In May 2018, Europe set a precedent heard around the world: data is no longer a business asset…it is consumer property. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in Europe, and enforcement has been swift and merciless. Just last year, Google was fined €50,000,000 for GDPR noncompliance. To date, the total amount of GDPR fines is at over €116,000,000. 

It was only a matter of time before this shift reached the US. In January 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect and set in motion what businesses now call “America’s GDPR.” The CCPA has already inspired 11 other states to introduce privacy legislation. 

Note to our Customers: If the CCPA applies to your business, we have compliant processes in place. For more information, contact Support.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom, if you are proactive about consumer privacy. 

Leveraging Consumer Privacy Ethics

Consumer mistrust is at an all-time high. Only businesses that build privacy into their customer experience will gain more trust and better access to data. The main reason your dealership should want this information is to market to those consumers better and sell more cars.

Your customers already want personalized experiences. Two out of three consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that sends relevant promotions (Accenture). And, they will exchange personal data for personalization. But, like with every human relationship, it’s a give-and-take. 

Data Ethics 101:

  1. Be transparent about how you use the data.
  2. Give consumers control of their information.
  3. Use the data consumers give you to serve them better.

Creating a Privacy-Focused Model

The begin practicing data ethics you need to start from within the organization.

Get Strong Handle on Privacy Requests: Make sure you have the infrastructure in place to support and manage consumer privacy requests that can come in with the CCPA.

Build Out a Privacy Program Roadmap: Expect more federal privacy laws enactments, and plan accordingly. Create a quarterly privacy roadmap for the year to keep you on track.

Create a Culture of Privacy Awareness: Connect privacy to your existing values. Have an internal champion of all things privacy that can keep the organization accountable.

“If businesses lose their customers’ trust, it’s likely that the customers’ journey will end abruptly. With the adoption of recent privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, consumers are empowered to request and control their data. To maintain trust, businesses must comply with these regulations, even though implementation can be difficult and expensive. “

Dave Sazama, Director of IT & Facilities Operations
Champion of All Things Privacy at ActivEngage


Although it may seem like data regulations mainly target technology companies, auto and truck dealerships should remain vigilant. Assess your data security, acknowledge the privacy gaps in your current processes, and be prepared to make changes.

Remember that privacy is a journey, but it’s one you must embark on now. Achieving 100% compliance won’t happen in a quarter, but meeting consumer expectations is attainable. More importantly, it’s something that companies should continuously strive for and evaluate.

Customer Journey Optimization for Car Dealerships

Customer Journey Optimization for Car Dealers: Part 1

Making the customer experience personal, seamless, and relevant is the new battleground. Studies show that for most of your customers, this is now a table-stakes expectation. 

According to PWC, 59% of people will walk away after bad experiences, even when they love a company or product. 

Your dealership might be feeling the harmful effects of a bad customer experience right now: dead-end leads, low ROI from digital marketing, poor reviews, etc. How do you turn negative interactions into positive ones you can reproduce for future car buyers? 

The answer is customer journey optimization.

What is customer journey optimization?

Customer journey optimization (or CJO) is the process of mapping and connecting customer interactions across touchpoints to influence the end-to-end experience. (Source: Genesys)

At first glance, a customer’s journey is simple. You offer something; they buy it. But once you get into the nitty-gritty of things, customer journeys are quite complex. Customers can come into contact with your dealership in many ways, from marketing to referrals to search to social media. And, according to McKinsey, the number of digital touchpoints is increasing by 20% per year as younger consumers enter the ranks of buyers.

While dealerships have done an incredible job of going omnichannel, consumers are still disappointed with their experiences. With so many disconnected channels, the customer journey has become fragmented. CJO is the only way to bridge the customer experience gap.

Why should a car dealer optimize the customer journey?

When customers have confusing or frustrating interactions, you risk losing them to the competition. And that’s across the entire journey, from awareness to purchase to brand loyalty. 

Customer journey optimization helps you get to grips with the real story of how a customer interacts with your business, so you can:

  • Break the silos that divide customer touchpoints and your dealership
  • Re-evaluate how you measure success using a customer-centric approach
  • Create customer journeys that convert – time and time again

Moreover, if you prioritize creating seamless customer journey, you’ll reap the rewards. Studies show that great experiences can lead up to a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty.

I want to offer a better customer experience. Where do I start?

You know more about your buyers than you think. From your CRM to your reputation management tool, you have access to tons of valuable information you can use to optimize the customer journey. You just have to ask the right questions.

Here are a few questions to set you on the track to offer a better customer experience:

  • Who is your audience?
  • How are they entering the buying process? 
  • Where are they in the buying journey? 
  • What are their needs, and what messaging resonates?
  • How will you evaluate their experience at every touchpoint, both individually and holistically?

Optimizing the customer journey also takes help from your vendors. Talk to your providers to ensure they have both the technology and processes to help you offer a seamless experience throughout the ENTIRE buying journey. Know that CJO can be easier and more effective when you partner with vendors who are already focused on creating the best experiences for your customers.

Want to learn more about customer journey optimization? Download the ActivEngage Market Report:

car buyer trends 2019

3 Easy Ways to Keep Up with Car Buyer Trends in 2019

It’s important for businesses in all industries to stay on top of consumer trends. But, for the car dealer, it’s crucial to understand the underlying values that drive car buyers towards certain businesses and away from others. 

Simply put, a dealership that aligns with its car buyers’ values and behavior will win their business. And to keep ahead, first, you need to keep up. Car buyer trends are a moving target. Read on for ways to track not just where your shoppers are, but where they’re going.

1. Set Up Google Alerts for Car Buyer Trends

The hardest part of market research is getting started. Luckily, this hack cuts down on some of the legwork you’d have to do to find relevant, quality articles. Get industry articles right in your inbox using Google Alerts. All you have to do is type in a topic, and Google will send relevant, new articles from around the web to your email. Here are a few topic ideas to get you started:

  • Automotive news
  • Automotive marketing
  • Car buyer trends

You can even customize how often you’d like to receive alerts and let Google optimize your results, so you only receive the most relevant news. It takes less than a minute to set up Google Alerts, and doing so saves you hours of legwork you’d spend finding these articles.

*** BONUS *** 

You can also get the latest and most interesting industry news right in your inbox when you subscribe to the ActivEngage blog! We’re bringing back the Top Ten, so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the car biz without lifting a finger (because we compile it for you!). Subscribe here.

2. Attend at least ONE Automotive Conference 

If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an automotive conference, you understand the value of connecting with peers, learning from leading automotive experts, and discovering some of the latest automotive technology and car buyer trends. If you haven’t been, this is the year to go! Here are just a few fall conferences you don’t want to miss:

Digital Dealer Conference & Expo, August 19-21, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada

DealerSocket User Summit, August 21-23, 2019, Anaheim, California

DrivingSales Executive Summit, October 21-23, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada

3. Ask Your Own Dealership Customers

Customer feedback is becoming more and more important in today’s landscape. With the advent of social media and dedicated review sites, consumers are much more open about sharing their experiences as well as their wants and needs. If you have a reputation management tool, you could be using it to understand your shoppers better. 

Here’s an example. One of our Honda dealership customers received the following internal review about one of our Chat Specialists:

“Jordan was great; he did his best as a salesman to try to bring me in, but understood that I was only interested in information at this time. A+” – John 

As you can see, John enjoyed his online interaction and appreciated that Jordan (our Chat Rep) didn’t pressure him into coming in — he was there to help. And, as you can see, John was happy to share his feedback on the conversation even though he hadn’t made a purchase yet. 

Is your dealership in the market for a 5-star reputation? We can help. AcceleRater, ActivEngage’s reputation enhancement tool for car dealerships, helps dealers gauge consumer perception not just after the sale, but throughout the entire purchase process. Click here to learn more about AcceleRater!

Make the Time to Be Your Best

The industry is evolving faster than ever, but keeping up with the business and car buyer trends doesn’t have to be tedious. With these 3 tips, you can easily make 2019 the year you carve out time for professional growth. Take 20 minutes a week to read articles on the latest in car buyer behavior. Invest in the development of your team by attending conferences. Take a deeper dive into your own customers’ buying behavior by simply asking.

And, while you’re at it, make sure you align with vendors that keep up with consumer trends, as well! After all, they’re an extension of your dealership. At ActivEngage, we monitor online car buyer trends to make sure our digital retailing solutions meet the demands of today’s shoppers. It’s also why we launched our latest products, like ActivSEO and ActivTarget. 

In the age of the customer, knowing what your shoppers want from the buying experience is vital to your business. Give consumers what they want (an excellent consumer experience), and they’ll keep coming back.

Want More Quality Leads? Start Talking About Finance in Chat

“Stop wasting so much time on leads that won’t close!”

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever screamed internally when you watch your BDC repeatedly follow up with crappy leads, it’s because you know that the quality of your leads determines the quality of your showroom traffic—and if this month’s sales quota will be met.

With today’s shoppers visiting less than 2 dealerships before making a purchase, your digital marketing strategy needs to be optimized for quality lead conversion. But how does your team discern high-funnel leads from ready-to-buy shoppers?

Offering to pre-screen shoppers during chat conversations can help your team close opportunities that are ripe for the picking. But before I explain how, let’s clarify what makes a QUALITY chat lead.

PSA: All Chat Leads are Not the Same

Yes, you can have chat leads with only a first name and email address. But you can also get quality leads from chat—and it’s easy for your team to tell the difference. Quality chat leads have rich customer information, like:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Possible trade-in
  • Purchase intent and timeframe

…and other good-to-know information. Now that we’ve established that you can have good and better leads from chat, I will see your quality chat lead and raise you an enhanced chat lead.

Pre-Screen + Chat = Enhanced Lead

Imagine never hearing the words “I’m just browsing” again. When you pre-screen online shoppers in chat, you drive more qualified car buyers to your dealership.

Recently, ActivEngage partnered with 700Credit to offer an innovative approach to soft credit pulls: QualiFi. With just a name, email, and home address, our team can facilitate pre-screens through one of our credit service partners and drive more prequalified customers to your store. And our data shows it’s exactly what your customers want.

In a pilot with Sloane Automotive, over 70% of shoppers who converted into a lead agreed to a pre-screen.

These enhanced ActivEngage leads included live FICO scores and auto tradeline information, which is a game-changer for internet leads. Why? Because our expert chat team can have finance conversations through multiple channels, like Facebook Messenger, Craigslist, Google search results, and SMS text. Wherever your customers are looking for cars, we’re there to empower them to buy from you.

Check out a short clip of QualiFi in action below:

Why YOUR Sales Team Will Love Enhanced Leads

Your team benefits the most when you pre-screen shoppers before they set foot in your dealership. It allows your sales team to filter through leads, and work the opportunities with the highest ability to close first (enhanced leads)—which stops them from spending time on every lead hoping everyone they talk to is financially able to buy a car.

Additionally, you could create lead scores based on the financial information received. Dealerships with high lead volumes can use lead scoring to easily prioritize leads and increase lead follow-up efficiency. With this rating system, your sales team can know what vehicles to match to a person before they step foot into the dealership.

Here’s an example: Erica is looking for a 2018 Corolla. But your enhanced chat lead shows her FICO score, and she’s financially able to buy or lease an Avalon. We also know she has always wanted a moonroof from the transcript of the conversation. Your salesperson can have a list of potential vehicles ready to show Erica — and use the rapport from the transcript to close.

Finance Conversations…for Service Customers?

Have you considered what this can do for your Service-to-Sale process? When service customers are coming up on the end of their warranties, chat can help open them up to the possibilities of buying a new car from you.

For example, because ActivEngage integrates with major service scheduling platforms, our team can set appointments in chat (and other channels). With the right customer, we can suggest getting them into a newer car by offering a no-hassle, soft credit pull.

Closing the loop on the customer lifecycle in the aftermarket stage is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Neither does separating okay leads from enhanced leads that get your team excited to sell and boost your ROI. Chat, and specifically chat about finance can turn automotive shoppers into buyers, and buyers into lifetime customers.

Want more qualified car buyers on your lot? Fuller service bays? More ROI from your marketing spend? We can help. Chat with us!

dealership live chat rescue feature

Does Your Dealership Live Chat Team Need Rescuing?

You know that dealership live chat feature vendors are raving about? The one where you can ride in on a horse and shining armor to ‘save the day’? Yes, that one — the live chat feature that allows you to take over your provider’s conversation. It’s absolutely terrible.

Rescuing your live chat provider is ridiculous. Here are three reasons why you need to avoid doing it at all costs:

1. Your Customer Experience Suffers

“Why am I talking to multiple people? Why do I have to repeat myself? What is happening?!”

– A Confused Online Shopper

So many things can go wrong during a chat when your team has the power to jump into conversations. To name one example, the conversation length doubles during these chat transfers.

More often than not, your salesperson is going to play catch up in a chat transfer, or they will have to explain to the customer why they were talking to Jennifer one minute and starting over with Stuart the next. This is neither fun nor efficient for your shoppers. In fact, it can really hurt their experience and your chances of getting a sale.

The goal of every dealership interaction with consumers is to get them excited to visit your store and buy from you. Your dealership live chat solution needs to provide seamless, consistent interactions to get people in the showroom. Don’t let these seemingly ‘hot’ opportunities ruin your chances of getting the sale.

2. You’re Wasting Time and Money

Tying into the previous point, if your chat provider needs rescuing, what exactly are you paying for in your solution?

You’re paying to create more work for your team.

Because you’re paying a provider to get you POTENTIAL leads instead of actual leads, you’ll need more staff focused on helping your chat provider, which will lead to more multitasking. Fun fact: multitasking is shown to cause 50% more mistakes and 40% less productivity in the workforce — and it costs our economy around $450 million per year. The odds of closing these potential leads are slim, which means you’re paying more money for less return.

So how do you protect your commission without doing your chat provider’s job? Hire a provider who can set appointments and drive shoppers to your lot. At ActivEngage, we get online shoppers to your store. In fact, our largest auto group customer boasts a 26% closing rate from ActivEngage leads — proof that a dealership live chat solution can and should help you sell more cars with less effort.

3. It Says So Much About Your Vendor

Most other chat providers in automotive won’t talk about their managed chat service because they don’t have the necessary processes or expertise to represent you. Those that do tout having ‘messaging experts’ don’t include their team’s conversion results. Why? Because they want to entice you with shiny, new features that won’t take the place of effective conversation and won’t drive customers to your store.

Unfortunately, some vendors perpetuate the misconception that a chat provider cannot represent your dealership and hold its team to standards of excellence—which is simply untrue.

At ActivEngage, we have been representing car dealers for over a decade. Our best-in-class chat team is trained in customer service, chat, the automotive industry, and most importantly, your dealership. That’s why our average results are unmatched in the industry, even by dealers themselves:

  • 80% chat-to-lead conversion
  • 75% leads with phone numbers
  • 20% leads with sales or service appointments

In Conclusion…

If your vendor offers a service that encourages you to watch over them, it’s a clear red flag.

Look, I get it. Your dealership’s website is a digital extension of YOUR dealership. But there are managed chat services out there that can represent your business professionally and effectively. Why would you pay for anything less?

Are you looking for a chat provider with a reliable team that actually gets shoppers into your dealership? If so, chat with us.

ActivEngage Launches Finance Tools for Car Dealerships

ActivEngage Integrates with 700Credit Finance Tools

Exciting news here at ActivEngage! We’ve integrated with 700Credit finance tools to offer car dealers even better leads from live chat. The new online finance tools in our digital communications suite will change the game for the automotive industry. Here’s why:

The Power of Finance Conversations in Chat

Your customers are NOT satisfied with the tedious car buying process at the dealership — particularly the finance part. According to a recent Autotrader study, new car buyer satisfaction declined from 82% to 69% when interactions with the F&I department were factored in. Of the 3-hours customers spend at the dealer buying a car, they spend over half of it doing paperwork.

A slow process just won’t cut it anymore. Consumers want faster, more comfortable experiences in the buying journey. That’s why they increasingly depend on the Internet and their smartphones to give them answers. It’s why more and more car buyers click to chat.

By offering chat for finance, you empower online shoppers with information and give them the confidence to take the next step. Having finance-related conversations in chat will ultimately drive more qualified shoppers to the dealership. As a result, dealers will close more sales faster at their store.

The Integration with 700Credit Online Finance Tools

At ActivEngage, we believe that people, not technology, sell cars. That’s why we designed our platform to help dealers connect with in-market buyers wherever they’re looking at cars. Naturally, we added cutting-edge 700Credit tools to strengthen these interactions and give both dealers and consumer what they want: a better car buying process.

700Credit online finance tools

With the new integration, we can help automotive businesses:

  • Get more test drive appointments from chat
  • Receive enhanced customer information (i.e., FICO score)
  • Offer customers relevant inventory options at the dealership
  • Streamline paperwork in the F&I process
  • Make the car buying process faster

Transform the Car Buying Process at Your Dealership

Like you, we’re excited about the future of the car business and the role technology will play in it. As the authority in automotive live chat, we look forward to diving deeper into the world of F&I and leading the way in how your shoppers will buy cars. Stay tuned because we have more in store!

ActivEngage customers interested in offering 700Credit finance options in chat, please visit 

Live chat data for dealership marketing

Is Your Dealership Taking Advantage of Live Chat Data?

In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of using live chat conversations to build rapport with your online shoppers, and how it can help improve your dealership’s follow-up processes. But what about the live chat data acquired beyond the conversation — such as consumer clickpath and the browser they’re on?

This live chat data, also known as behavioral intelligence, can be very beneficial to your dealership. But before we get into how it helps your business, let’s talk a bit about what behavioral live chat data is and why it matters to you.

What is behavioral intelligence?

In a nutshell, behavioral intelligence is data that reveals the buying behavior of online shoppers on your website. Some live chat providers can track a significant amount of consumer information both inside and outside of a chat conversation. But only an excellent live chat provider will analyze this information and use it to assist you and your customers better.

For example, some live chat data your team can gather and analyze using ActivEngage’s web-based console includes:

  • Number of visits to the website
  • Number of pages seen
  • Geo-location
  • Last page they visited
  • Click path through the site
  • Browser they are using
  • Device shopper is using (Desktop computer? Mobile phone?)
  • Referral information – i.e., through which search engine did they find your website? Did they come from a third-party listing site?

Note: The amount and types of live chat data available can vary depending on the provider you choose. Remember to ask what information is available before you sign up for a live chat solution.

Why is live chat data important to my dealership?

Consumer behavior is continuously evolving. Having access to behavioral data on your site will help you keep a pulse on what your car buyers want. By collecting and analyzing visitor data, you’ll be able to predict and follow consumer trends on your website such as:

  • What the most visited VDP pages are
  • The percentage of online shoppers returning to your site
  • Whether more shoppers are chatting via mobile or desktop

From there, you can use the data you’ve analyzed to test and improve engagement techniques with online shoppers, and ultimately increase conversion on your dealership’s website.

How can I leverage it to improve my marketing?

1. Tailored Ad Campaigns

Digital advertising in today’s market is a science, and successful dealers use tangible research to invest in ads. Live chat data can help. ActivEngage customers, for example, have access to valuable information, such as what the top requested models are in chat conversations. You can use this kind of visitor data to advertise a popular vehicle or service. Then, further tailor your ad messaging by region based on location data.

Ads can be expensive, and having data to back up your advertising strategy is essential to your dealership’s marketing success. Leverage the behavioral data you get from live chat to optimize your advertising dollars.

2. Targeted Specials on Your Website

At least 64% of today’s shoppers prefer to receive offers relevant to their specific interests. Using behaviorally-driven messages that highlight your online specials is a great way to use visitor data to personalize your shoppers’ browsing experience.

Here’s a scenario: Let’s say Sally is an online shopper who is on your website for the second time, has seen 6 VDP pages of new VW vehicles so far, and has been looking at a white 2014 Jetta for about 3 minutes now. Three vital pieces of information we can infer about Sally are that she:

  • Is engaged on your website
  • Wants a new Volkswagen
  • Is interested in a white 2014 Jetta

If you’re currently offering a cash bonus, low lease with zero down, or any other special on this vehicle, LET SALLY KNOW.

Having a tailored special offer pop up on your website based on your shopper’s clickpath, time spent on a particular page, or the vehicle they’re looking at can help guide your shoppers further down the purchasing funnel. By customizing your online shopper’s browsing experience, you’ll enhance the effectiveness of your website and improve the consumer experience.

Speaking of behavioral targeting, CDK Global recently joined forces with ActivEngage to launch Concierge Chat for CDK Next Gen websites. Concierge Chat leverages behavioral technology, audience intent data, and much more!

3. Personalized Chat Conversations

Once a shopper clicks to chat, if the software is robust, your team can use behavioral data to personalize the conversation further. ActivEngage’s chat console, for example, has Co-Browse — an exclusive feature that allows chat representatives to share the screen with web shoppers in tandem. So if Sally navigates to a 2014 Passat VDP page during the chat conversation, the rep can ask:

“Sally, were you interested in learning about another vehicle in our inventory?” or “Have you considered the new Passat, Sally? It looks great in white as well!”

Upselling becomes easier and conversations more useful when your team can leverage live chat data. By using behavioral intelligence to establish rapport with online shoppers, you can then build a better follow-up process and start building relationships with your prospects.

Your Chat Provider Needs to Step Up

Most of the data you gather from live chat can be very beneficial to your business. But in order to reap the full benefits of behavioral intelligence data, your chat provider needs to work with you to get the most out of the consumer information available.

Does your live chat provider send you useful live chat data to help you improve your dealership processes? Are they using visitor data to improve the quality of their chat conversations and the consumer experience on your dealership’s website? Can they offer you tips and advice on how to get the most out of their service?

Remember, your live chat investment is only profitable if your provider works WITH you to improve your bottom line.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Facebook Messenger Ads with ActivEngage

How to Use Facebook Messenger Ads with ActivEngage

Since the inevitable death of organic social reach, dealers’ opportunity to reach and engage Facebook’s 2 billion users rests on paid advertising. Now that it takes a little more effort to promote your dealership on Facebook, those dealers who DO advertise will rise to the top. You can be one of them.

If you’re familiar with Facebook Advertising, you know that most calls-to-action drive shoppers to your website pages (i.e., VDPs, home page, landing page, etc.). Unfortunately, more times than not, these Facebook users who click don’t convert into a lead.

But, what if you could engage intrigued Facebook users clicking on your ad, in real-time and right on Facebook?

Spoiler Alert: You can.

Driving Social Car Sales with Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook recently rolled out ads that send people from the social network’s News Feed into a conversation. Now, when a person clicks or taps on your Facebook Ad, a conversation with your business can immediately open inside Facebook Messenger.

This innovative ad-to-conversation opportunity allows savvy car dealers to transform their dealership’s Facebook into an interactive tool that:

  • Drives brand awareness inside one of today’s most-used platforms
  • Converts in-market shoppers into lead opportunities
  • Builds deeper relationships with social customers.

Looking for some Facebook Ad inspiration? Check out these Facebook case studies from automotive brands and dealerships that have grown their business with Facebook Ads.

Power Your Facebook Ads with ActivEngage Live Chat

Thanks to our latest integration with Facebook Messenger Ads, you can combine ActivEngage’s live chat technology to run compelling digital advertising campaigns that directly connect customers to chat.

Whether you manage social conversations at the dealership using ActivEngage’s software, or you leverage our highly-trained live chat team to convert social car buyers for you, you can now get closer to your business goals and increase ROI, one conversation at a time.

ActivEngage Facebook Messenger Ad example

If you’re an ActivEngage customer and have ActivEngage’s Facebook Messenger feature turned on, running ads that drive conversations is easy:

  1. Create an ad campaign. Set your target audience, time period, and location settings within the Facebook Business campaign editor.
  2. Use graphics that transition into a conversation. In the image above, a model is shown in front of a vehicle showroom with a chat bubble. The user expects to speak to a representative when they click the ad.
  3. Set “Call To Action” to “Send Message”. The Call To Action setting in an ad campaign determines what happens when an ad is clicked. A “Send Message” Call To Action will launch a Facebook Messenger conversation with your business page. If you use the ActivEngage Facebook Messenger integration, an ActivEngage Chat Specialist will respond to the customer’s chat request.
  4. Save and run your campaign. It’s that simple. Your ads will allow real customers to reach real people chatting for your dealership.

If you’re an ActivEngage customer and want to turn on the Facebook Messenger Integration feature, you only need a few minutes! Contact the AE Support Team or chat with us now to get started.

Interested in trying out our Facebook Messenger Ads feature to engage car buyers on social media? If so, chat with us now for a quick demo!


Google Click-to-Message: Your Secret Weapon for Mobile Ads

You may have heard that Google launched Google My Business Chat, a new feature that allows you to chat directly with customers on Google Search. But did you know you can also leverage today’s most popular form of communication for Google Ads, too?

That’s right, thanks to the Google Click-to-Message ad extension, you can start SMS text conversations that will drive more traffic into your showroom.

Benefits of adding Google CTM to your Ads strategy include:

  • More bang for your buck. You can add the Click-to-Message extensions to your ads at no extra cost.
  • More sales opportunities. By essentially opening a new channel, you have more chances of engaging and converting shoppers.
  • Apply extension across ad groups or campaigns. You can customize how you use Click-to-Message according to your needs.


But, Will Shoppers Use Google Click-to-Message?

Absolutely! Give them a chance to, and your automotive shoppers will use the SMS texting option on your Google Ads. Especially if a good portion of your traffic comes from mobile.

Consider the user experience: When a shopper clicks on a mobile Google Ad, there’s a higher level of intent than just browsing. They could be stranded with a broken down car somewhere and find you’re nearby thanks to your Google Ad. Or, they could be ready to test drive a new vehicle and you have the winning bid at the right moment. Why not engage them right then and there?

When you invite shoppers to connect with you via texting, you’re reducing the number of clicks it would take to get answers. And the easier you make it for a customer to reach you, the better chances you have of winning their business.

And sure, you also have the Click-to-Call option. But let’s be honest. As consumers, we are all getting more and more call-phobic by the day. Car shoppers would love to text you if you let them. In fact, according to Google:

“65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service or to schedule an in-person appointment.”


Let Our Messaging Experts Connect with Your Shoppers

ActivEngage recently launched our Google Click-to-Message feature, which allows our expert chat team (or yours) to text with shoppers clicking on your ads using ActivEngage’s innovative chat software.

With impressive features like PreRead™, rich media sharing, and Lead Form Auto-Fill, our chat platform has the ability to transform SMS conversations into conversions. And our highly-trained chat team is there to provide your customers their undivided attention, freeing you up to do what you do best: close the deal.

If you’re an ActivEngage customer, and you want to turn on the Google Click-to-Message feature, let’s get you set up! It’s quick and simple. Contact the AE Support Team or chat with us to get started.

If you’re ready to rock and want to know how to set up message extensions from your Ads account, check out Google’s step-by-step instructions.

Have you checked out our new digital communications suite? Discover what it can do for your dealership today!