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Top Ideas to Generate Leads for Automotive Dealerships Business in 2023

Did you know that 92% of car buyers research online before they make a purchase? The trend is so far-fetched that experts predict the future of car buying will be “digital” in years to come. 64% of shoppers suggest that 360° videos of a car would help them make an informed decision without the need of a test drive. 


As the future of car buying is getting digitised, it paves the way for lucrative business opportunities. Catering to a ‘digitally-advanced’ audience base would mean auto dealerships can reach more potential customers, sell more cars, grow their business, and gain a competitive edge. 

However, the competition in the auto industry is cut-throat. In this scenario, it becomes tough to attract and sustain qualified leads who can convert into sales. Therefore, it is important to have a definitive lead generation strategy in place. In this blog, we will discuss how to generate leads for car dealers, win more customers, and drive increased sales. 

5 Best Auto Dealer Lead Generation Strategies to Follow in 2023  

Discussed here are 5 proven ideas to drive more car dealership leads and grow your sales. Make sure you do not stick to one approach; rather, have a spread of digital marketing strategies to determine what works best for your auto dealership. 

1. Drive Organic Traffic through Search Engine Optimisation  

You’d be surprised to know that 76% of new and used car buyers turn to search engines to self-educate about vehicles, find dealerships, and ask questions. Furthermore, 64% of shoppers acknowledge they would want to purchase online when they buy a car next time. 

And where do you think they begin their search? Mostly, search engines. 

How Does It Work?

Search engines like Google or Bing account for a major percentage of all car buying or auto dealership searches. And to bring your car dealership in front of the eyes of your potential customers, you need to rank on the first page of search engine results. Getting your website to rank high for a relevant search query would mean increased visibility, helping drive more clicks and web traffic.     

And that’s what Search Engine Optimisation is all about – optimizing your car dealership website in a way that makes it easily indexable by search engines and most relevant to search queries. 

Why Does it Work Best?

SEO helps drive organic traffic, i.e., those who are genuinely interested in buying a car. As a result, you can expect higher conversion rates once the leads land on your website. Studies suggest that organic search has a higher click-through rate of 53%, while paid ads drive only 27%. 

However, as a car dealership, you would want more “local” leads who are situated in your service area and have a higher conversion potential. Therefore, local SEO should be your focus. It involves optimizing your website or content to help rank high in local searches. 


With local SEO, either your auto dealership will be showcased as a listing or as an organic search result. Both ways, it will help increase the visibility of your website. 

How We Can Set up?

Here are some proven local SEO strategies that Softtrix practices: 

  • Set up and optimize your Google My Business profile listing 
  • Curate content using keywords with local intent. For example, “auto dealers in Auston”
  • Make your car dealership website mobile-friendly 
  • Create local citations 
  • Get inbound links from local, high-authority websites
  • Have your website listed on top review sites 

SEO may take time but you can derive long-term results by optimising your website and making it relevant for your users. 


Search engine optimization itself is free, unlike paid ads, so if you hire a top-tier SEO agency for your car dealership business, you can expect to pay at least $500+ per month.

2. Facebook Ads  

When it comes to lead generation for auto dealerships, you simply cannot overlook social media. And undoubtedly, Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms to showcase your business, reach new customers, and drive more sales. With 3 million businesses actively advertising on Facebook, it is no more an option for car dealerships.  

How does It work?

Facebook Ads are one of the best ways to reach your target audience, build brand awareness and drive more leads. It allows setting up highly targeted ads that can lead to higher click-through rates and better conversions. Additionally, there is a wide variety of Facebook ads to choose from, including image or video ads, lead form ads, and dynamic inventory ads. These work best when you are considering how to sell more cars through Facebook Ads. 

Below is a typical example of how you can use Facebook Ads for your car dealership: 



Why does it Work Best?

With more than 2.8 billion users globally and an average retention of 40 minutes per user, Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms today. Facebook Ads work best for car dealerships because it has a massive audience base. It can also be used to target new as well as existing customers through remarketing. Yes; Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms for remarketing ads. 

Additionally, Facebook Ads are hyper-targeted. This means you can target your ads to audiences near you and even when someone searches for something similar. So, you can be assured that your ads reach the right people at the right time. Other features like user-friendliness and built-in analytics make Facebook Ads one of the best channels if you are wondering how to increase auto sales.

How We Can Set up?

When it comes to Facebook ads for your auto dealership, Softtrix is a name you can trust. Our customised Facebook Ads services include 

  • Competitor analysis and research 
  • Target audience analysis 
  • Ad creatives and designs 
  • Creating compelling ad copies 
  • Setting up organic ad campaigns 
  • Facebook remarketing ads 


Typical costs for advertisers are $0.94 per click or $12.07 per 1,000 impressions. Additionally, Facebook Ads should be set up and managed by professionals at an additional cost. On average, Facebook ads services fees for auto dealership businesses can cost $300+ (depending on your budget as well)

3. Vehicle Ad Campaigns 

Exclusively for auto dealerships and car owners, Google has introduced a new format – Vehicle Listing Ads – that allows them to showcase cars for sale. As more and more car shoppers are researching new vehicles online, this ad format will help the m get valuable information on nearby cars for sale. This is an excellent opportunity for car dealerships to get onto the top of organic search results, exhibit their inventory, maximise visibility, and drive more leads. 

This is how vehicle ads appear on Google SERP when someone searches online: 

Smartphone shows Search results for “2019 suvs for sale.” There are two ads, each showing a picture of a car and its details. The ad on the left shows a white SUV and the ad text below the image says “2019 Honda Passport Sport, $32,773, Used - 8k mi, Park Place Motors” and has a location icon to indicate the car is in Fort Worth, Texas. The ad on the right shows a dark blue SUV and the ad text below the image says “2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited, $35,286, Used - 16k mi, Big Star Honda” and has a location icon to indicate that the car is in Houston, Texas.


How Does It Work?

To start with Vehicle Ads, you need to first set up an account at Google Merchant Center. After this, you have to create an inventory data feed of your vehicles for sales. The feed should include all details such as vehicle make and model, condition, mileage, price, etc. When someone searches “cars for sale” in their nearby location, Google will match the details in the feed with the search query to provide the most relevant search result. 

Typically, these ads appear at the top of organic search results, ensuring increased visibility. According to Google, advertisers who complement their search campaigns with vehicle ads have seen a 25% increase in average conversions during the beta testing phase of Vehicle Ads. You can also track ad performance and key car inventory insights through Google Merchant Center.  

Why does it Work Best?

One of the biggest advantages of leveraging vehicle ads is you can get right in front of car shoppers at the right time and with the right information or listing. This helps take your potential buyers a step nearer to closing the deal. Showing the right information about your car even before your customers click can help generate qualified leads. 

Google vehicle listing ads are designed for automated targeting. This means Google will automatically show your most relevant vehicle listing for a search query, allowing you to reach the right people at the right time. These can be served along with your Google text ads for maximum exposure. Additionally, you can optimise the ads for both offline conversions, such as dealership visits, or online conversions, such as leads. 

How We Can Set up?

As a trusted digital marketing agency, we can create powerful vehicle ad campaigns that give your auto dealership maximum exposure. Here’s what you can expect from us: 

  • Creating Google Ads’ Smart campaigns
  • Setting up a Merchant Center account  
  • Linking the Google Ads account with your Merchant Center account and Google My Business profile. In case, you have not claimed your Google My Business profile for your dealer location, we can use the store feed alternative available  
  • Setting up vehicle listings with relevant keywords and information such as model name, price, mileage, etc. 
  • Monitoring vehicle listing performance and optimising the same for better conversions 


This is a part of Google Ads, so the service charges you can expect range from $300 to $1000+ and it goes higher depending on your budget.

4. Email Marketing to Generate Hot Leads 

One of the most effective digital marketing channels that auto dealerships should not miss out in 2023 is email marketing. It is a powerful medium to get your auto business online and reach more audiences in a cost-effective manner. What more! Experts suggest that the ROI of email marketing is around 4400%

How does it work?

Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep your qualified leads warm through regular communication. It also helps foster customer loyalty. For instance, you have a car dealership in Austin. You set up lead generation ads on Google and Facebook for new cars on sale. However, there are some car shoppers who signed up for email subscriptions through the ads but did not book an appointment. 

You can use email marketing to reach out to these potential leads and bring them on board with some special offer. It allows sending out targeted and relevant email marketing messages to different buyer segments. There are various tools available that can also allow you to automate sending out the remarketing messages to your desired recipients. 

Why does it Work Best?

Email marketing works best because you can reach out to a huge audience base at a fraction of the cost. It is an ideal way to send personalised brand messages to potential car buyers. Through email marketing campaigns, you can also gather valuable customer details. However, it is best used for remarketing. Nurture the leads you generate through SEO or paid ads and send them dedicated email messages that address their pain points. It is one of the best ways to convert them into sales. 

How We Can Set up?

At Softtrix, we can help set up tailored email campaigns for each set of target audiences and their respective stage in the buying cycle. Our team can also help analyze email marketing performance and continuously improve the same for better lead generation and conversions 


Email marketing campaigns can start at $100 and go up based on the agency.

5. Leverage Social Media Marketing to Skyrocket your Social Presence 

Let’s get it straight – if your auto dealership business is not on social media, you are missing out on a major share of your prospects. 74% of online shoppers use social media to make a purchase decision. This is because a brand that is socially active and stays connected to its audiences is considered more trustworthy and reliable. 

How does it work?

There are various ways you can use social media to interact, educate, and engage your audiences. You can set up a page for your auto dealership and engage your prospects meaningfully by posting valuable information about your niche, new launches, special offers, client testimonials, etc. This will help you drive organic traffic to your website and boost your sales. You can also run paid social media ads to help build brand awareness and get more leads.

 Why does it Work Best?

Social media marketing offers great benefits to auto dealerships. With a definitive social media strategy, you can improve brand visibility, get more leads, and generate increased sales. It is an excellent platform to reach out to a huge audience base and spread your marketing message. Social media is also one of the best ways to engage and interact with your prospects, helping build trust and loyalty.

Since a majority of consumers like to interact with brands that are socially active, it is important to have a proven SMM strategy.


SMM pricing may vary depending on the services you choose, ranging from $400 per month to $1500 or more. Make sure you get value for the money you are paying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lead generation for auto dealerships is the process of using proven advertising & marketing strategies that help drive potential car buyers to your website and transform them into qualified leads. Examples of leads are someone who schedules an appointment, signs up for an email newsletter, etc. 

SEO is a complex and time-proven process. Make sure you have the knowledge, expertise, and tools to devise and run a successful SEO strategy. Here are some things that SEO experts do better:

  • High-quality, relevant and optimized content
  • Superior technical optimization
  • Effective link building
  • Regularly updating robots.txt, sitemaps, schema markup, etc.
  • Eliminating site errors, such as page not found or 404 errors
  • In-depth SEO reporting

As a 360-degree digital marketing agency, we take a holistic approach to lead generation. If you are wondering how to increase auto sales through effective lead generation, we can help you with proven strategies such as SEO, Google Ads PPC advertising, Facebook Ads, email campaigns, website development, and much more. 

The average cost per lead for your auto leadership will vary depending on the type of channel/channels you leverage. At Softtrix, we provide tailored packages based on your unique marketing needs.  

Search engine optimization itself is free, unlike paid ads, so if you hire a top-tier SEO agency for your car dealership business, you can expect to pay at least $500+ per month.

PPC for car dealership service charges you can expect range from $300 to $1000+ and it can go higher depending on your budget.

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Softtrix Team

About US

At Softtrix, we have been offering solutions for digital marketing for more than a decade. We have a versatile team and each has a dedicated project to handle bespoke digital marketing strategy. 


Do you want
More Traffic & Sales?

Hey, We determined to make a business grow. Our only question is, will it be yours?