How to Improve Automotive Lead Quality: 8 Proven Strategies

February 16, 2024

Your lead generation system could be brimming with leads. But if most of them share false data, how can you improve the end results—higher conversions and ROI?

For as much as 40% of marketers, attracting quality automotive leads is their biggest hurdle. They prefer high quality leads to:

  • Understand the customer
  • Build future marketing strategies
  • Adapt the product-market fit, and
  • Refine the sales process

So, how can your business do better?

We answer the all-important question by diving into how quality auto leads help your company grow and what you can do to refine your lead data. 

Why high quality auto leads matter in the automotive industry

Say, as an automotive business (OEM or dealership), you want to promote your latest SUV product. 

You use high quality (and accurate) lead data to understand:

  • What did prospects like about your previous SUV offerings?
  • Which buyer segments showed the most interest in buying similar cars? 
  • Who came into your dealership and converted to paying customers?  

One insight you discover is that SUVs are more prevalent among those aged between 25 and 35. This younger generation may want a sportier car that aligns with their adventurous hobbies. 

By digging deeper into their needs and preferences, you devise marketing strategies customised for them. 

A personalised buyer journey is likely to help you capture this segment. 

Accurate and quality lead data props you up for adapting to changing customer preferences. So, you keep up with current trends instead of pushing a static product-market fit. 

You also use the insights to refine the sales process, meeting sales and service expectations. 

Ultimately, better product-market fit, marketing, sales and service improves your conversions and ROI. 

Now that we have you convinced, let’s explore some of the best ways you can attract quality auto leads. 

8 strategies for improving automotive lead quality  

While you may have lead generation strategies, you can implement these techniques to improve lead quality further. 

1. Make attention-grabbing landing pages to engage leads

Once users click on your web page links, they first visit the landing page. But if your landing pages don’t ‘land’ with users, they can just as easily bounce off. 

Make them stick with attention-grabbing landing pages. 

To begin with, your offerings must be visible and easy to understand at a glance. 

Image Source: West Motors UK

The offer must match buyer intent and show the value they take away by sharing their details.  

For instance, you have a ‘test drive’ landing page for a new car product. The page must have key features of the car along with a clearly visible CTA to ‘select closest car dealership’ or ‘book test drive now’. 

Potential customers will know the value they get in exchange for their information—they can test drive the car. Only automotive leads with purchase intent will be interested in taking the test drive, clicking on the CTA and sharing their details. 

Take it one step further by optimising your landing pages for mobile, given the large amount of traffic it brings in—more than 59% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices.

Ensure the pages load quickly (faster site speed) and are easy to navigate on small screens. 

You could also segment landing pages for different audience groups in the automotive industry. 

For example, consider a financing-centric landing page such as an EMI calculator or credit eligibility checker. The page primarily targets potential customers in the decision stage of their buyer journey.   

2. Use focused lead generation forms to qualify leads

Lead generation forms are built for the sole purpose of collecting lead details. 

You can take them a notch higher to collect quality auto leads by:

  • Offering valuable resources in exchange for contact details 
  • Providing multiple ways to get in touch with you (for instance, letting interested buyers book test drives, ask questions or receive callbacks)  

Use lead generation forms with multiple formats to widen their reach. You can attach them to landing pages, web forms, PPC ads and chatbots. 

Most businesses want to ensure a seamless experience for users. As such, your initial instinct could be to keep your lead form short (with 2-3 questions) to attract potential customers. 

While that does work for quantity, you could end up sacrificing quality. 

Instead, use lead forms to qualify your leads before they enter the CRM. Have them complete a longer form with specific questions to gather qualitative and accurate information. 

Some questions could also be targeted, such as ‘When do you wish to buy a new car?’ or ‘What’s your preferred day of the week for a test drive?’

Similarly, you may also give buyers options to choose from. 

For example, ‘I’d like to book a test drive’ and ‘I’m just browsing’ can help you identify at what stage of the buyer journey is your lead. 

You can ensure that only the most qualitative leads fill in the forms by having ‘required’ fields. Those who wish to complete the form can’t skip these fields. 

To make the process more interactive, explore multi-step forms.

Image Source: BMW

A longer lead gen form may increase user friction, but high-intent buyers are open to sharing specific details. In fact, 77% of buyers who submit an enriched lead online are satisfied with their purchase experience at the dealership.

Ultimately, the potential customers entering your CRM are of higher quality.

3. Leverage niche audiences on social media platforms

There’s more to social media than posting different content formats to gain potential customers. 

Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, YouTube and LinkedIn also offer an engaging space for community-building

Audiences in these communities discuss niche automotive topics. As such, buyers in the groups want to discover information from experts and enthusiasts, making them high-intent shoppers.

To drive better quality auto leads from social media, dive into communities of car enthusiasts, automotive industry forums and the like.

Image Source: Obscure Cars Daily

Become an active participant by engaging with group members. 

Community audiences will appreciate it when you help them with resources like FAQ responses, practical tips, recent reports, information on the latest innovations and access to exclusive webinars. 

Instead of promoting your business and products, answer queries organically. Establish yourself as an expert to attract high quality leads. 

Another way you can improve lead quality with social media is by collaborating with automotive experts, influencers and affiliate publishers. You can leverage their social clout to push your offerings to the right buyers.

Image Source: Auto Trader UK

These automotive experts can market your products or brand on your behalf, establishing your authority through reviews. This is extremely helpful, considering 31% of customers follow social media reviews before purchasing. 

Social authority is more influential than branded or promotional content, generating only high-intent leads.

4. Balance quantity and quality of leads with paid ads

Paid ads are perfect for targeting specific audience segments and interests. For example, you can target new and old buyers with different ads in different locations.

There are also several ways to optimise your campaigns to reduce the cost per lead (CPL) while improving lead quality.

We discuss some of the best practices for paid ads here:  

i) Refine ad campaigns on Google

Level up your ad campaigns on Google by including long-tail keywords for high-intent leads.

Let’s say you want to collect leads for your SUV products. Instead of keywords like ‘best dealership in the US’ that generate more leads, go for niche keywords like ‘best jeep dealer in Texas’.

Next, move away from automated bidding and experiment with value-based bidding

You can also reach local audiences on Google by geo-targeting search ads. 

Plus, Google offers multiple (yet specific) formats for lead generation—Google Performance Max, Google Discovery Lead Form Ads, Google Ads Lead Form Extensions and YouTube lead form ads

ii) Leverage custom targeting on Meta

You can run ads on Facebook and Instagram by building lookalike audiences from existing lead information (first-party, high quality data). 

Using Driftrock, you can also automatically exclude previously collected leads to avoid duplication. 

High-intent ads with lead forms let you optimise the CPL. Simultaneously, these ads intentionally search for interested potential customers. 

Facebook’s Automotive Inventory Ads specifically target in-market car buyers, helping you reach quality leads.  

iii) Market luxury offerings on LinkedIn

Consider using lead ads on LinkedIn, particularly if you’re a luxury OEM or car dealership. 

LinkedIn audiences are those with business decision-making power in strategic leadership positions. Plus, 63% of users are already searching for information on personal luxury vehicles on LinkedIn. 

iv) Use Conversion API for end-to-end tracking

The death of the cookie is imminent in 2024, which means your campaigns will likely become less relevant and more expensive. 

Without third-party cookies to back you, understanding and tracking user behaviour will become increasingly challenging. 

Instead, you can use the Conversion API offered by major marketing platforms, including LinkedIn, Meta (Facebook & Instagram) and Google. 

It helps you track leads-to-purchase with customer action data after they click or view your ad. These include key page views or clicks, form submissions, find location requests, test drive requests, car configurations, affiliate payments, phone calls, and more.

Conversion API insights are instrumental for optimising your marketing campaigns and spend.

v) Experiment with other platforms 

Besides Google, Meta and LinkedIn, you can try your hand at platforms relatively new to the paid ads game.

For instance, Pinterest and TikTok offer targeted inventories for automotive audiences. Their ad formats are comparatively more interactive, resulting in high-quality auto leads.

5. Ensure visibility to the right auto leads with SEO

We know, we know. Everyone’s talking about SEO.

But it’s not just a buzzword. SEO plays a critical role in marketing and revenue growth. If search engines can easily find you, so will car buyers.

Buyers search for topics or phrases (keywords) on search engines. SEO is the key to being visible to the right audience during this process. 

These initial steps can optimise your website structure and content:

i) Keyword research

Identify the most relevant primary and secondary keywords for all types of search, including voice search. 

ii) Long-tail keywords

These phrases and questions address specific, niche searches. Generally, buyers use them when they’re further along the shopping journey, moving towards consideration and conversion.

iii) On-page SEO

Use keywords on your website—home page, blogs, meta tags, meta titles, meta descriptions, product tags, product descriptions and more.

iv) Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO works silently in the background to build your website authority. The best way to succeed at off-page SEO is to add reputed backlinks from authoritative automotive industry websites.

Consider it a recommendation—a high-ranking web page linked to your website supports your credibility. 

v) Local SEO 

Use local SEO to bag in-market auto leads. As much as 79% of car buyers prefer shopping in person at a dealership, making it essential to stay visible on local search. 

One way to optimise for local search is by creating a Google Business Profile. Use it to provide maximum information on the SERP, becoming a one-stop shop for buyers. 

If you’re based in the US, you can also use the ‘vehicle listings’ feature to showcase inventory within your Google Business Profile. 

vi) Responsive web page design

A quick-loading website with a lower bounce rate shows search engines that your content is highly relevant. It attracts potential customers with high intent.

To improve your website’s responsiveness, consider optimising it for mobile, refining the user experience, providing easy navigation, improving page loading speed and avoiding duplicate content.

6. Capture interested leads with detailed videos 

Videos are a part of most marketing and lead generation strategies today. However, only buyers with serious purchase intent will take the time out to watch detailed product videos.

Buyers further along the journey (at the consideration or decision stage) will watch extensive product walkthrough videos. 

These videos highlight external features as well as other specifications, such as engine details, performance, safety and maintenance.

Source: carwow

In-depth product videos give you a chance to target distinct customer pain points. Buyers can see how your product resolves these problems and gives them value. 

Videos are a meaningful digital alternative to one-on-one, offline discussions with customers. 

You can attach lead generation forms at the end of these detailed videos to quickly capture quality auto leads. 

7. Stop quality auto leads from slipping through using chat AI

Potential customers may visit your website for a specific resource but find it challenging to navigate the entire website. Businesses generally place a chatbot accessible from all website pages to help them.

But while chatbots are helpful, they’re pre-programmed with responses and may come across as robotic, lacking a personal touch.  

Chat AI or live chat goes beyond chatbots, answering customer queries 24*7 for a seamless experience. 

It uses AI algorithms to continuously learn from your content and data to improve each interaction. 

Visitors can turn to live chat if they can’t find a particular resource. Chat AI follows up on their request and guides them to the relevant resources

It helps them continue their buying journey, moving leads down the sales funnel. 

You could also place a lead form within the chatbot. These forms can qualify potential customers in real time before directing them to sales.

Prospects with real purchase intent will share their details without hesitation. For your business, this translates into high quality leads. 

Driftrock’s Chat AI tool also effortlessly integrate with other marketing tools, so you don’t miss out on quality auto leads.

8. Use a lead management system to refine quality 

Managing your leads and maintaining quality data can be intimidating. But that’s what a lead management system is for. 

It has multiple features to store lead data and improve its quality. 

A quality lead becomes qualified based on their ability and readiness to buy. 

So, a lead management system tracks leads that move down the sales funnel to conversion and uses the insights to understand what defines a quality lead for you. 

It also extracts insights on lead channels, ads, forms, keywords, products and offers to determine where valid and invalid leads come from. 

Based on these insights, you can then set rules to validate leads. A lead management system automatically qualifies prospects using these criteria.

Source: Driftrock

For example, a prospect shares a dummy email ID. Your lead management system can remove this email ID before it enters the CRM or other marketing platforms.

Another way that lead management systems help you uphold lead quality is by automatically retargeting lost leads. It can collect additional information from them, update their details, and improve lead quality. 

If these leads opt out, the lead management system removes their information from the database. 

With end-to-end tracking, lead generation analytics and automated retargeting, a lead management system ensures that only clean and accurate data exists in your marketing tools. 

This can be used to further test and improve lead generation strategies to increase conversions. 

Make automotive lead quality a key objective

Quality lead data paves the way forward for improved marketing and lead generation. 

While the strategies we discussed today certainly help, Driftrock’s Automotive Marketing platform brings it together. It continuously learns from the buyer journey, picking on key moments that define lead quality for you.

From Conversion API Integration, end-to-end tracking, lead validation and analytics to Chat AI, Driftrock’s Automotive Marketing platform gives you everything you need to grow your automotive business. 

Seamlessly integrate it with lead generation forms, landing pages, social media channels, paid ad campaigns and live chat to capture high quality automotive leads. 

Our platform is already changing the game for over 20 automotive brands and 500+ dealerships (including BMW, Land Rover, MINI and Honda). 

Get in touch to find out how we can level up your lead quality.