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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Call-to-Action Recommendations for Automotive Websites

It's no secret that mobile device manufacturers are in a highly competitive market. So many options, and most people only pick one device every couple of years. I don't pay that much attention to the latest phone coming out, unless I'm actually in-market for a new one. When I am in the market, I spend some time researching what's available at that time (or within the months that follow) to see if it makes sense to wait. More on this in a minute.

As someone with a degree in psychology and who is, shall we say, heavily involved in marketing, I don't see advertisements like most people do. The average person listens to what the advertiser says; I pay more attention to how they say it. Sales is a process of skillfully guiding a prospect down the path you want them to go. If you've ever been in sales, you've likely heard the saying that the #1 thing that kills a sale is that the salesperson never actually asked for the sale.

From the standpoint of a website, a call-to-action is essentially "asking for the sale". It may not be an actual purchase, but let's look at a car salesman's website as an example. Let's say you're car shopping and end up on an auto salesperson's personal website. You learn a bit about the sales rep, how they grew up in the area, have 3 kids, and whatever else they present through their personal branding. Once you become comfortable with that salesperson and decide to enlist their services, what do you do next? Most people will say "head to the dealership", but that's only because you're reading this and imagining a page with a bunch of words on it, describing who the rep is. Imagine if the biography of the salesperson you just read also has a form on that page to schedule your personal appointment with them, or even a "click-to-call" button. Such a "call-to-action" is a logical "next step" for the website visitor, and helps to guide them where you want them to go. A call-to-action is essential.

In this case, the sales rep wants to collect that person's info. Doing so enables them to, at a minimum, follow up by email, phone, etc. If they can show their manager at the dealership that they had been working the lead when the prospect arrives at the dealership, that sale goes to them. If the prospect had simply learned about the sales rep then drove to the dealership, the prospect will most likely end up with another rep because they probably (1) forgot the sales rep's name, (2) forgot to ask for them, or (3) was simply approached by the hungriest rep at the store.

So what does all this have to do with mobile phones? I'll bring it home for you. I was recently on Twitter and noticed a pay-per-click ad from LG, promoting their new G5 smartphone. I'm not in the market for a new phone, but curious, I clicked on it and then the link they posted for info about the phone. It brought me to a decent micro-site for the G5 phone, complete with great photos and features. And that's it. No way to request more info, no way to pre-order one, and no way to even follow LG on social media for that matter. So I'm supposed to think of LG when I'm in the market for a new phone 3 months from now. With everything else going on in my head. And all the other ads I'll see between now and then. A simple form to submit an email for a reminder when it's available, or better yet, a form to pre-order the G5 would likely result in more sales. Even if it only generated one extra sale, the 10 minutes it would have taken to add that form to the site would have been worth it.

LG G5 Marketing Micro Site

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