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11 Best automotive lead generation ideas to boost your business

11 Best automotive lead generation ideas to boost your business

Key Takeaways
  • Implementing live chat and chatbots on your website can help you generate more leads and engage with them.
  • 95% of car purchases occurs at offline dealerships, so it's crucial to implement local SEO.
  • Run paid ad campaigns because 38% of visitors come from clicking paid ads.

Leads are a fundamental need for automotive or any business.

Car dealers discovered that buyers spend around 14 hours researching online these days before visiting a showroom.

But many car dealers face challenges such as lead generation, meeting the demand of online sales goals, or getting massive customer retention.

This blog will help you to drive massive auto leads and win more online sales opportunities.

Let’s get started!

11 Powerful automotive lead generation ideas for car dealerships

Car dealers leverage various channels, such as digital marketing, social media, lead generation websites, paid ads, etc., to build a customer base.

So, below is the list of best automotive lead generation ideas that can help car dealers.

1. Have a mobile-friendly automotive website

A well-versed auto website is good, but you need to optimize it for mobile and tablets to win more auto leads.

mobile-friendly automotive website statistics

The majority of prospects check out your site through their mobile devices as it is more convenient. Therefore, a mobile-friendly site would surely enhance your chances of getting more leads.

 You can check the tips below for a mobile-friendly automotive website.

  • Short, clear, and catchy vehicle descriptions.
  • Images and videos should be mobile-optimized. 
  • The site should have a fast-loading time and easy navigation. 

You can leverage offline media by creating dynamic QR codes to direct your prospects to the website, making it easily accessible on mobiles. This will bridge your offline and online channels and provide an omnichannel presence.

2. Get leads via live chat on the website 

For car dealers, live chat on the website helps increase lead generation and customer engagement.

car dealership websites using live chat statistics

Car buyers are high-budget clients, so auto retailers need a way to solve all their queries through their platform.

Through Live Chats, your customer support team can tackle every question of prospects and generate qualified business leads.

About 50% of automotive businesses actively use chatbots to engage customers.

See the image below for ideas to place a live chat tool on your web pages.   

Best places to use live chat on auto dealership sites –

  • Home page
  • About us page
  • Product page
  • Navigation menu
  • Contact us page

Live chat and chatbots are reliable lead generation tools for generating online automotive leads.

For example, Salesmate’s Live Chat & Chat Journey features let car dealership owners engage with buyers, deliver critical information, and generate high-quality auto leads.

Drive more leads for your car dealership!

Drive more leads for your car dealership!

Start using Live Chat and capture leads in no time.

Explore Live Chat

3. Offer test driving option

The potential car buyers first research the pros and cons of the vehicle in terms of features. Then, they usually opt for a test drive before making any decision.

Therefore, a test drive is critical to your sales process.

A test drive option is an enticing opportunity that no potential car buyers miss.

Therefore, highlighting a test drive option on your car dealership site is an actionable strategy for automotive lead generation.

Prospects who register for a test drive on your site will be the sales-qualified lead for you; thus, your reps should be more careful in assisting these individuals.

Creating a lead generation landing page highlighting the test drive option for your automotive business is an excellent way to generate a sales-ready lead.

4. Create high-quality walk-through videos in volumes

The potential car buyers wanted to know more about the vehicle they intended to buy. 

Therefore, a “walk-through” video of vehicle models would be helpful for automotive lead generation.

A complete walk-through video of the vehicle by car dealers must include the following:

  • Overview: The overall information about the car.
  • Exterior and interior of vehicle: Showcase its features, design, and style.
  • Performance: Talk about its engine, braking, and overall performance.
  • Safety: Discuss all the available safety features.
  • Call to action: This helps you in lead generation, so pitch an exciting offer; as CTA, e.g., “take a test drive now,” to get the prospects in.

As per a source, “test drive” videos have increased by more than 65% on YouTube. So, creating test drive videos in volume will be effective in generating high-quality auto leads.

5. Capture lead information with opt-in web forms

Along with Live Chat and Chatbots, Web Forms are also the most powerful tool for automotive lead generation.

car dealer website with web form statistics

Generally, car dealers use web forms on their contact us and product pages to capture leads. But these two are not the only places to generate leads using web forms.

You can utilize web forms for lead generation in many ways, like sending web forms in newsletters, test drive sign-ups, etc.

The web form is an effective lead generation tool that you must use on your auto website.

With the support of Web Forms, you can generate qualified leads, improve conversion rate, deliver relevant information, offer immediate assistance, and do many more.

Therefore, high-converting web forms can enhance your lead generation strategies.

6. Do Local SEO to increase visibility

It is undoubtedly true that almost all the car sales process starts online, but still, more than 95% of purchases occur at offline car dealerships.

It generates the need to optimize your dealership information for local searches.

Local SEO practices tend to show your website in the top three local searches for similar brand search results.

The best way is to register your automotive company on Google My Business (GMB) and try to gain as many positive reviews as possible.

Must provide the necessary business details such as an address, website link, and contact information. See the example of BIKEBIZ – 580 customer reviews and a 4.1 star rating has made them drive local auto leads.

Google My Business with necessary details

See the tips below to drive local leads through SEO –

  • Create your profile on GMB.
  • Provide key business information; company profile, contact details, products, services, and opening hours.
  • Register your company on the top local directories to boost your local search rankings.
  • Encourage your happy clients to share positive Google reviews to build a good brand image among your potential clients.

7. Email marketing to generate MQLs for car dealerships

You can generate a list of high-quality auto leads with a robust email marketing strategy.

email campaign statistics for automotive dealers

As more than 50% of car dealers are investing in email campaigns monthly, it is efficient to drive sales-qualified auto leads for you.

The content of your email campaigns may include special offers by manufacturers on the latest vehicles, used car inventory, monthly offers, and a list of insightful articles with actionable CTA.

To identify which content is more effective for automotive lead generation, you can conduct A/B testing.

For instance, Salesmate offers robust email marketing and automation tools that generate sales-worthy leads for your automotive business.

It enables you to conduct A/B testing and track the performance of your email campaigns.

A/B test your emails to boost performance

A/B test your emails to boost performance

Try different email variations and connect with the right audience.

Explore Marketing Automation

8. Leverage social media for automotive lead generation

For the auto industry, visibility matters a lot; the more people get to see your cars and services, the greater your chances of getting leads.

Therefore, social media marketing is an effective strategy to reach a massive audience for automotive lead generation.

LinkedIn networks and paid ads can potentially drive auto leads if you provide luxurious cars.

Moreover, paid advertisements on social media platforms can help your car dealership gain more visibility.

For example, if you’re running a discount during Thanksgiving, you can create social media posts and promote them to capture more leads.

9. Run ad campaigns and retarget ads

Paid advertising is one of the effective digital marketing tactics to drive a potential audience to your website.

website visitors in automotive industry with paid searches statistics

Ads will let you dominate to generate more automotive leads in a competitive space.

With the help of Google Ads and social ads campaigns, you can reach your potential car buyers.

You can segment your audience and target them based on their specific requirements; 

  • Specific vehicle types that they are interested in.
  • Demographics; age, location, budget, etc.
  • New or old buyers.

You can increase your target audience extent using like “lookalike audience” option.

Also, you can retarget leads that have visited your website and showed up initiated by signing up for lead magnets offered on your site.

10. Get automotive leads with a referral strategy

The referral strategy works great for automotive lead generation. It is relatively cost-effective in generating high-quality auto leads.

If your existing customer gets a lucrative incentive or reward for referring, they might go beyond your expectations to drive prosperous auto leads for you.

Ensure you are apt in your service so that your existing customers happily recommend you to their family members, friends, relatives, and business associates.

See the image below for ideas of the top referral rewards you can offer your existing customers.

Best referral rewards ideas for automotive industry

Some car dealers mistake neglecting the connection with their existing customers. Often, these existing customers give you potential leads.

Therefore, you can stay in touch with them instead of fully disconnecting by nurturing emails.

11. Highlight financing and credit card options

As we already discussed, that car is a big-ticket product. Therefore, customers always look for reliable financing options when doing research. 

So, if your web visitors request to know the financing options you offer, they might be potential auto leads for you.

As a car dealer, you must showcase financing options for your prospects to turn their buying seamless.

Try to provide more feasible options for your prospects; let’s check out how you can get more auto deals through the financing option.

Tips to drive auto leads with the help of financing options.

  • You must provide an in-house credit score checking option on your website.
  • Reach your prospect with personalized financing and EMI options per their credit score.    

It is your responsibility to provide various possible financing possibilities, such as EMI and credit card checking options.

So, based on these ideas, you can create a solid automotive lead generation strategy for your car dealership.

How can Salesmate help to boost your car dealer’s business?

Along with meeting the demand of online sales goals, car dealers face a significant challenge in getting desirable customer attention and retention.

With the support of Salesmate,  you can stay connected with your prospects, build better customer relations, and speed up your sales and marketing activities. 

Salesmate is a cloud-based CRM and automation software serving automotive and other industries to build a sustainable business.

Here are some of the segments where Salesmate can support your business. 

1. Lead generation for car dealers

It offers powerful lead generation features such as Chat Journeys, Live Chat, Web Forms, and Meeting Scheduler to generate high-quality auto leads.

2. Contact management

With the contact management feature, you can manage and stay up to date with the current status of your contact’s journey. You can view the client’s journey with 360-degree contact management.

3. Text messaging

You can send text messages for different offers, new car launches, etc., and automate them to reach more audiences.

4. Lead segmentation and qualification

It allows you to segment leads based on their behavior, helping you to get high-quality leads for better sales opportunities.

5. Automation

It lets you speed up your sales and marketing by automating manual and repetitive tasks. Ultimately it boosts the team’s productivity.

6. Sales Analysis and Reporting

You can check every sales activity and marketing campaign’s success to improve your business strategy.

Other than the above, many other robust features, such as Shared Team Inbox, Smart Emails, Sales Sequences, Data Entry Automation, etc., come within Salesmate software.

With around 700+ business app integration, Salesmate augments the efforts of automotive lead generation.

The best automotive lead generation software

The best automotive lead generation software

Get Salesmate, the best CRM and automation software for automotive business.

Start your free trial


Lead generation in the automotive industry is a necessity. With the help of various online marketing efforts, you can get a constant stream of auto leads.

Adopting a CRM and automation system that offers lead generation tools will boost your business’s success and enhance your automotive lead generation efforts.

Even if you buy auto leads for a third-party company, CRM and automation software enables you to maximize your sales conversion.

FAQs on automotive lead generation 

How do auto sales generate leads? 

Auto sales generate leads through various inbound (content, social media marketing, paid ads, etc.) and outbound lead generation (cold calling & emailing, etc.) efforts. 

What is an automotive lead? 

Automotive or auto leads are the prospects that show interest in the car purchasing process, say communicating via live chat on your website, enquiring the financing options, taking a test drive, etc. 

What is a lead in car sales? 
How much do auto leads cost? 

The average cost per lead for the automotive industry varies from $50 to $500. The cost of the auto lead is based on the lead generation source.

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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