AM Online to move to cost-per-lead advertising structure

Sunday Times Driving will be moving to a cost-per lead advertising model for dealers from June 3.

Dealers that sign up to the online used car classifieds site will be allowed to upload stock onto with no upfront costs, permitting dealers to only pay for qualifying telephone and email leads from potential buyers.

Since launching in October 2012, Sunday Times Driving has adjusted its strategy from being premium focussed on cars priced over £14,000 to reducing the entry price to £10,000 and then down to all brands and models at £1,000. said the decision had been made to take this pay-on-performance approach to give dealers greater accountability on advertising success.

The package will sit alongside Driving’s existing cost-per-car listing package, which will let dealers choose how they want to advertise on

Sunday Times Driving will therefore be offering their dealer customers the flexibility to either list their choice of stock at a cost of £1 per car per month, or switch to the new option of listing stock with no initial cost and paying £15 per subsequent lead (a price which has been set following “considerable quantitative discussions with key dealers”).

Sunday Times Driving general manager, Jim Murray-Jones said the new sales package will enable dealers to harness a “low risk, pay-on-performance” strategy with their used car marketing.

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  • Dave - 22/05/2013 12:13

    If an average dealer has 25 cars, then at £1 per car per month (which you can still buy), it would cost £25 a month. At £15 per email or phone call if you had more than one email or call a month, wouldn’t it just be more cost effective to go with £1 per car per month option!

    • tomseymour - 22/05/2013 12:15

      @Dave - I guess that's why they have left the option open to choose which way you want to do it.

  • Fred - 22/05/2013 13:51

    It smacks of desperation to me. Driving seems to lurch from one strategic change to another and as opposed to shaking up the market and taking on Autotrader they instead can't work out what they are. Shows that even with two of the UK's most read newspaper's backing it they can't quite seem to get it to work.

  • Nobby - 22/05/2013 14:22

    The whole point of Driving was to take Autotrader head on; Murdoch wanted to put a dent into the profitable part of Guardian Media Group for breaking the phone-hacking story which led to the demise of the News of the World. However, it seems as though the majority of people at Driving come from a News Media background and have no long term experience of what the industry is looking for. I think this new 'model' perfectly indicates where this is going and News Corp/Int will likely drop it like a lead balloon very soon. Sunday Times should never have diluted the offer from Premium Cars. Apart from that it is not a great site, used vehicle presentation is poor and the emphasis is still in my mind on the editorial. There are better sites out there doing things well. Autotrader is best left doing what it does; it is too long established to have a direct competitor. The only way I ever see them being concerned would be if a US Giant like a came into the UK market.

  • Dealer Doctor - 22/05/2013 14:38

    Whatever the price-point, the proposition won't be effective if it sells no cars... whcih so far is precisely what Driving's done.

  • Jason - 22/05/2013 15:01

    The model that the Sunday Times should have followed is that of Prestige Dealers, no price point but just premium brands from franchised dealers only. That's what the Sunday Times were always about, quality, not £1,000 'bargains'!

  • R Bird - 22/05/2013 15:32

    Add the cost of export admin fees & dealing with constant data errors then you pay more than £15 per lead. If you are generating enough volume, fine, but 2 leads per month on a good month dosnt cut it sorry. Its not worth the hassle.

  • David Griffiths - 25/05/2013 06:26

    What a shambles this business has turned into. A new rate card strategy every 8 minutes, seemingly more desperate with every announcement, and no sign yet of reaching anything like the audience needed to deliver response. I wonder if anyone from Driving could go public with an audience figure? The site just does not work. It doesn't deliver response to the stock I've advertised on it at all. Rather than spending their time running down the rate card they should be focussing on generating some audience so that my ads get a phonecall once in a while. Hopeless. I bet iDriving make its first birthday before Murdoch pulls the plug.

    • Ian Denny - 28/05/2013 16:12

      @David Griffiths - Dear Mr Griffiths, I was sorry to read your comment regarding Sunday Times Driving. We do publish our Comscore user figures ( March – 265k unique users), we also share this detail and other Omniture user stats with all of our clients. I would really appreciate the opportunity to speak to you regarding the level of service you are currently receiving from us, also I would like to show you the improvements we are making, in every area of our business, to continue increasing user numbers and levels of response. I look forward to hearing from you Regards Ian Denny – Head of Dealer Sales, Sunday Times Driving 020 7782 7417