A Message from Vice President of Sales, Steve Ammons
|Working to create a cost-effective and profitable auto-marketing channel|
Jun 10, 2004 22:19:44|
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Just back from the 2003 N.A.D.A. convention, where I had the honor and privilege of meeting so many of you face-to-face. In an effort to keep you apprised of late-breaking industry information -- information that can impact your dealerships -- this issue will provide a general, conference-wide recap of major N.A.D.A. news and highlights. We had a great turnout this year and made some major announcements at our press conference, including the winners of our inaugural Consumer Choice Awardsâ„¢ for which Nissan, Honda, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Acura and Ford received honors. We also announced our innovative and enhanced total-dealership training program, which is already driving big gains in close rates and sales for our dealer customers. For those who had a chance to visit the Autobytel booth, I hope you had a fun, informative experience. And for those of you that didn't, read on -- we'll be re-capping our N.A.D.A. highlights in this issue.
One of our biggest announcements was made the day before N.A.D.A. kicked off, during our Q4 2002 earnings report, when we reported our first-ever profitable quarter. This milestone was reached in large part by lowering our costs and making our business more efficient -- and by working to do the same for our dealer customers.
Cost to Sell a Car Through Autobytel Falls to $128; Close Rates Skyrocket 33% in 2002
As you're aware, last year we rolled out comprehensive quality-improvement initiatives, including our Quality Verification SystemSM, designed to ensure that dealers receive Purchase Requests only from serious car buyers, and our cost-free Dealer Management Reports, which provide direct customer feedback to improve sales performance. We will continue to make quality enhancements for the benefit of our dealers and, to that end, we are pleased to introduce Phase Three of our Quality Verification SystemSM. As we have continued to measure the behavior and quality of online automotive consumers, we have identified another "quality target": consumers who have surfed into our sites through spam email campaigns. We have found that these email campaigns, which were effective in the earlier days of the Internet, now typically result in lower quality customers who are less serious about purchasing. Thus we are introducing our improved "no-spam" policy designed to ensure you receive the highest quality customers and serious buyers.
Our Q4 data confirms that these quality-improvement initiatives are making a huge impact at the dealership level -- with closing ratios skyrocketing an average of 33% during 2002, and the average cost to sell a car through Autobytel equaling $128 (versus about $475 using traditional media). Autobytel's success is based on our clear focus as an OEM/dealer marketing company, whose unwavering goal is to make the franchise system more efficient -- to help dealers sell more and spend less. With this in mind, we take special pride in the dramatic improvement in the quality of the customers we're sending to our dealers, and the quality of our dealers' service and sales processes. Together, we've worked to create a uniquely cost-effective -- and profitable -- auto-marketing channel.
Thanks and Congratulations,
Vice President of Sales
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