vAuto, a software company that provides leading car dealers with a Live Market View of new and used inventory management, relied heavily on product demos to close sales. The company’s website was the cornerstone of this strategy, with demand generation focused on one main goal: getting prospects registered for demos. In the years immediately after bringing its product to market, vAuto enjoyed high lead flow from the website. This kept the sales team busy for quite a while — but eventually, that changed.
More competitors entered the market, which meant more choices for prospects. As the market matured, vAuto’s site still attracted a high volume of traffic each month, but lead flow and conversion rates started to decline, which meant fewer prospects reached the critical demo stage. It was time for a new approach.
vAuto has been a client of The Mx Group since 2005, and we work with their team on a daily basis to develop and refine marketing strategies. When it became clear the software company needed to revamp its website to boost conversions, vAuto turned to The Mx Group for guidance.
After studying vAuto’s challenges, The Mx Group recommended a multi-pronged, strategic approach to optimize conversion paths and improve conversion rates, starting with content. Because their client base had evolved, vAuto needed content that spoke to multiple audiences. vAuto understood each market segment’s needs and expectations, and we worked together to create engaging, educational content to draw different prospects in and appeal to the various stages of the buyer’s journey.
The website became more buyer-centric. Detailed content maps homed in on the dealers’ needs and expectations and included the proof points required to move visitors through the buyer’s journey. In addition, we developed multi-step email journeys tailored to each audience, with timed communications nudging prospects toward requesting a demo.
Before the revamp, the website only had one conversion path: to request a demo. While critical, this path wasn’t relevant until late in the buyer’s journey, missing a significant number of prospects who might have engaged if given more opportunities earlier in their search. To catch these prospects, vAuto needed to offer more educational content to visitors who weren’t quite ready to interact with the sales team.
Adding conversion paths took the website from solely focusing on late-stage conversion to addressing every stage of the buyer’s journey, from education to selection. For example, dealers are now able to engage through targeted, downloadable content as well as calculators that show how approaching inventory management differently can have a positive impact on their business. This type of content has kept prospects moving through the buyer’s journey.
The additional conversion paths, combined with the new content aligned with specific buyer segments, allowed us to apply action-based intelligence from visitors to trigger different automation-enabled responses, depending on where the prospect was in the buy cycle. If prospects interacted with certain content on the site, for example, they were scored to receive more in-depth information designed to get them one step closer to being sales-ready.
Finally, before the overhaul began, vAuto invested in Marketo and relied on our expertise to manage their marketing automation strategy and execution. They were already using the marketing automation software for basic email functions, but they wanted to leverage it more fully to enable, automate, execute and measure every aspect of their strategy. To help with this, we performed a Marketo database assessment. We set up the fields required to profile prospects, and we embedded Marketo code and forms in place to ensure proper behavior tracking and data collection for the site’s new content.
The strategy to include more educational content, optimized for the different phases of the buyer’s journey, was incredibly successful. This program kept visitors engaged, kept them coming back to the site for more information, and increased sales velocity. Within the first month of the program going live, vAuto saw a 25% increase in qualified inquiries. The site saw engagement increases in the triple digits in the first year, and that strong performance has continued into year three.
Since the launch, we have made user interface and experience changes, as well as conducting usability testing and further improving the site navigation. We continue to refresh content for each stage of the buyer’s journey on the website and landing pages, and we regularly A/B test to ensure vAuto is optimizing conversion and accelerating the buyer’s journey.