Future-Proof Your Follow Up With a Text

When you activate Online Shopper: Electricâ„¢ on your website, you’re giving your visitors a modern shopping experience that helps answer their most important questions — all while increasing your lead volume by 2x-3x!

Interestingly though, while dealers are adopting this new way of doing business online, I still see a lot of dealers following up with Online Shopperâ„¢ leads with the same process they use for any other website lead:

Day 1: Auto Response Email, Templated Email, 3 Phone Calls.
Day 2: Templated Email, 2 Phone Calls.
Day 3: Templated Email. 1 phone call.
Day 4 – ∞: Don’t stop calling until they buy or die!

Think about that for a second. Does this follow up process really make the most sense for someone who has already selected their vehicle of choice from your inventory, got an estimated trade-in value on their current vehicle and compared multiple finance and lease scenarios with real time bank rates right on your website?


In order to truly succeed with any digital retailing strategy, you have make a couple of tweaks to your follow up process to fully maximize the opportunity that these types of “super-leads” present. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, all you have to do is…



Online Shopper: Electricâ„¢ Digital Garage Key

When a consumer is using Online Shopper: Electricâ„¢ on your website, they’re given the opportunity to save their customized deals in a personal, digital garage. In order to receive the “key” that allows them to unlock their garage from any device, they simply need to provide a phone number to receive the key via text, or an email address.

Now if you listen closely to the data, it will tell you how your customers want to communicate with you. Shhhhh…do you hear it?

We analyzed every single person who has ever used Online Shopper: Electricâ„¢ (seriously, all of them) , and a staggering 66% of users opted to receive their digital garage key via text message. That right there should tell you a couple of things:

  1. Your traditional follow up process that includes multiple, automated emails from your CRM won’t work with 2/3 of these leads.
  2. You have the opportunity to implement a more personalized follow up process that focuses on engaging these users via text message.



The notion to pickup the phone and call first has been drilled into salespeople and BDC agents since…well…forever. And while at one time that made a lot of sense from a business perspective, today it’s basically become an exercise in futility.

The company behind the popular Caller ID apps Hiya and Mr. Number recently released their first State of the Phone Call report, which upon inspection should tell you everything you need to know about consumer behavior as it relates to incoming phone calls.

76% of phone calls will go unanswered when it comes from an unidentified or unfamiliar number

Based on an analysis of 11 billion phone calls, they found that Americans are only answering 52% of all incoming calls to their mobile phones. But — thanks to the proliferation of spam and robocalls — the percentage of calls answered drops to just 24% when the call is coming from an unidentified or unfamiliar number.

Another factor to consider is that with the release of iOS 13, iPhone users can toggle on a feature that will only allow calls to ring their phone from identifiable phone numbers in the Contacts, Mail, and Messages apps. All other calls are automatically sent to voicemail.

So if there’s a 100% chance you can’t reach your lead via email (because they didn’t provide it) and a 76% chance that your phone call will be ignored — what’s your best option to make contact?

Send a text!



The goal of your first text is to engage the customer in a conversation, so asking a simple question that is likely to elicit a response is the way to go. Avoid the temptation to immediately ask a question that might put the customer in an uncomfortable spot (such as asking for an appointment right away) which in turn could lead them to block your number.

Your first text message should:

  • Address the person by their first name.
  • Clearly identify who you are & where you work.
  • Be relevant to their use of Online Shopperâ„¢.
  • Offer to provide additional assistance.

That text might look something like this:

Hi Mary! Thank you for using Online Shopper on our website to review payment options on the 2019 Honda Accord. I’m here to assist you the rest of the way, do you have any other Q’s that need immediate A’s?  -Jonathan Solo @ Millennium Honda

A text message structured like that makes it clear to your prospect that it’s being sent from a real person and is not spam.

The great part about texting first is if the customer does have questions, you’ve given them an immediate way to engage with you in a productive dialog.

Even if the customer responds saying they don’t have any questions at this time, you can still reply with another message like this:

Perfect! Don’t you love how easy we make shopping for a car online? We make it just as easy in the dealership as well. Let me know when you’re ready to take that Accord for a test drive, and I’ll get everything taken care of for you.

Of course, you can modify those responses to fit the particular USPs of your dealership (i.e. we can bring the car to you!), but the idea is simple. Get them comfortable texting with you and start building that rapport before they ever step foot in your showroom.



Conversationsâ„¢ gives you a powerful messaging solution by providing you with all the tools you need to to send outbound SMS text messages which makes it the perfect messaging platform to incorporate with your digital retailing strategy.

When you initiate a text through Conversationsâ„¢, you have full access to all of its available features through the web or mobile apps. As you chat with your customer, you can use Conversationsâ„¢ to:

  • Text product or walk around videos from your integrated YouTube Channel.
  • Upload and text a personalized video directly to your customer.
  • Send vehicle specific brochures.

Today’s reality is that consumers prefer to text over talk on the phone, and it’s even more so the case with what will soon become the next generation of car buyers. With Online Shopperâ„¢ + Conversationsâ„¢ you can future-proof your dealership’s digital retailing and messaging experiences today! When used together, they’ll not only help you drive high quality leads, but you’ll be able to drive more customers to your showroom floor.

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Jason Stum
As the Director of Content Marketing at CARS, Jason draws from his hands-on dealership experience in Sales, Business Development, and Digital Marketing to lead a team in crafting actionable and insightful content for car dealers.

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