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Lead-Gen Insight: January 2016

Posted by Ashley Karr on January 6, 2016

Welcome to our inaugural lead-gen insights report. This will be a recurring feature here on the GuruU blog – look for it in the first week of every new month.

The purpose of this report is to highlight any interesting lead-gen trends in CarGurus user data. Every month, we’ll look at one trend and discuss how you can leverage it to your advantage. (Look out for our reports on digital platform trends, used-car sales, and demographics, too).

This month we’ll investigate traffic sources for CarGurus shoppers who submit a lead. Which channels drive the most lead traffic?

Turns out, in the month of December 2015, the best-performing traffic sources from a lead-gen perspective were paid search and social.

Paid search makes sense in the No. 1 spot – search engine marketing is a time-tested lead-gen channel. But was social really a great driver of lead traffic?

After all, social media is usually best for “high funnel” marketing – brand-building, as opposed to lead generation. Companies have been trying to make social sales happen for several years, with mixed results. So what are we doing differently?

First, we focus our social efforts on just two channels: Facebook and Twitter. On these platforms, we use ads to reach people who have already visited

Second, our ad strategy is focused on a particular cohort of CarGurus visitors. We seek out social users who actually viewed a VDP on CarGurus.

Third, we retarget CarGurus visitors by showing them the CarGurus VDPs they viewed (or VDPs of very similar vehicles). Most of our social traffic is comprised of people clicking these highly targeted ads.

How can you replicate our success at driving leads via social?

For one thing, you should leverage retargeting. There’s a reason ads seem to follow you around the internet – retargeting works! In order to enable retargeting on Facebook, you’ll need to upload a snippet of code, called a pixel, to your site. Facebook explains the process here.

You’ll also want to include appealing images in your social ads. Our Facebook ads are especially eye-catching because they use photos of real vehicles. Stock images will get the job done, but they won’t stand out nearly as much.

Finally, keep in mind that social, like any lead-gen channel, should be measured and optimized regularly. Try targeting your site visitors, then target everyone in your geographic area. Try running ads with and without vehicle prices. Keep testing – what works one month may not work the next!

Learn how CarGurus can help you generate more leads – call (855) 336-1488 or click here.