The volume of customer enquiries made to UK dealerships rose by 20% year-on-year during Q3 of 2019, according to new data published by Marketing Delivery.
The eCRM and lead management specialist said that analysis of more than 162,000 inbound online enquiries received by car retailers during the period – a rise on the 135,000 received during the same period in 2018 – was an indication that dealers are becoming increasingly effective at gathering customer contact details”.
Email remains customers’ most preferred method of contact, according to Marketing Delivery, after identifying that capture rates on email addresses had grown from 88% in Q3 2018 to 90% in Q3 2019.
UK car dealers captured prospective customers’ mobile numbers for 82% of all enquiries during the third quarter of 2018, meanwhile, compared to 83% over the same period in 2019.
Jeremy Evans, managing director at Marketing Delivery, said: “This data suggests more drivers are beginning to consider their next car, and it is encouraging to see dealers introducing new processes to grow capture and consent rates in a way that works for prospective customers.
“Dealers can use eCRM to record the growing number of enquiries, even the ‘coldest’ ones, and open up lines of communication.
“By capturing prospects’ emails and gaining consent for future marketing, dealers put themselves in a strong position to nurture leads, even if a prospective buyer may not be ready to commit at that particular moment.”
Marketing Delivery conceded that capture rates tell only half the story, however, as customers must give their consent to receiving marketing communications before dealers can act on the contact information gathered.
Customer consent rates fell dramatically following the introduction of GDPR but Marketing Delivery’s data reveals that customers are more likely to give consent to emails, with email consent rates rising from 67% in Q3 2018 to 69% in Q3 2019.
Reinforcing the positive trend, consent for contact via mobile was secured in 57% of enquiries in Q3 2019, compared to 54% during the same period last year, it said.