How Timing Can Affect These 3 Elements on Your Dealership Website

Written By Eric Schlesinger

“You don't have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it'll go.” - Yogi Berra

Three American League MVP awards, 10 championships, and 15 All-Star Games -- Yogi Berra is arguably one of the best catchers in MLB history and knew a thing or two about the importance of timing.

It got me thinking about today’s post and how lead generation can be the equivalent to your online at-bat. So taking Yogi’s wisdom into consideration, what are some dealership website elements where you have the opportunity to hit a home run if your timing is right?

Lead forms

Getting your online shoppers’ information on a lead form is tricky. Understanding that many of your shoppers are concerned about privacy -- how can you proceed?

I’ll start with a don’t -- don’t put lead forms on your dealership’s homepage with an overwhelming number of fields. Consider where most of your shoppers are in the sales funnel when they are on your homepage.

Why occupy precious space there with trade-in, test-drive, and appraisal forms?

HubSpot compares your contact forms to dates. Just as you wouldn’t grill someone for personal information on a first date, doing so in a lead form too soon could also be a turn off. If your shoppers haven’t considered buying from you just yet, odds are they aren’t ready to hand you their personal information.

NOTE: Like many components on your dealership website, lead form timing is not a “one size fits all” element. Understanding what’s important to your dealership (quality vs. quantity of leads) will be important when deciding the right placement of your lead forms. More importantly, testing your efforts is always the best way to know when and where most of your customers are filling out your lead forms.


Promoting your dealership’s specials is a great way to entice shoppers and encourage them to buy or receive service from you. However, over-promoting on your webpage can be overwhelming and actually distract your shoppers from your specials.

At least 64% of today’s shoppers prefer to receive offers relevant to their specific interests. Timing your sales and service specials can be a great way to present your shoppers with an additional reason to buy from you AT THE RIGHT TIME.

For example, let’s say you are offering 0% APR on a 2014 Toyota Tundra to qualified buyers. Having a behaviorally targeted offer appear when a shopper is on a 2014 Tundra VDP page could be a good way to coax your shopper to fill out that contact form (or at least point out that you have sales specials on vehicles).

I am in no way, shape, or form saying that you should ONLY target your inventory and service specials. In fact, think of it as a supplemental way of reminding the customer what your offers are once they’re closer to making a decision.

Chat invites

Before you pick up those torches and pitchforks, believe me -- I get it. Pop-ups are annoying! But there is substantial evidence demonstrating that pop-ups show an average increase in chat conversion of about 23%.

However, too many times we see dealers who are so put off by chat pop-ups that they take them off indefinitely, thus hurting their lead conversion.

What about targeting your chat invites?

Having the option to deploy a chat pop-up invite based on what page your shoppers are on, their time spent on a particular page, and their behavior is a good way to send assistance to shoppers who have shown a more serious interest in your inventory!

DISCLAIMER: Let’s not get timing-happy with pop-up deployment options! Having a live chat provider who can recommend the best practices for targeted chat invites on your dealership website will be an important factor in your success.

ActivEngage Customers:

Remember that you can use the ActivTarget feature to enhance your website’s effectiveness and send your shoppers the right message at the right time. It is included as part of our chat packages, at no additional cost to your dealership. Speak to your customer success manager to learn more about customizing your behaviorally targeted chat and specials pop-ups.


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?