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Autobytel Launches iControl to Help Dealers Control Online Leads

March 16, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. — Autobytel launched iControl by Autobytel, a program that allows dealers to customize their mix of online consumer leads.

Dealers can filter their leads based on make and model (to filter ‘out’ high demand vehicles and ‘filter in’ hard to move vehicles), Web source and distance from the dealership (as the distance online consumers are willing to travel to buy varies from state to state).

“We developed iControl by Autobytel to address what dealerships told us they wanted: an entirely new industry standard for third-party lead delivery that puts them firmly in control, enabling them to match their lead mix to the actual conditions on their dealership lots,” said Autobytel Inc. CEO Jeff Coats. “With the economy still presenting significant challenges, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to online marketing. Dealers demand, and need, the ability to customize their online leads — so they are not paying for leads they do not want, cannot close or do not need.”

How iControl by Autobytel Works

iControl by Autobytel can be controlled at the dealership or at the dealer group level from a Web-based console that makes it quick and simple for dealerships to change their lead patterns to reflect their marketing strategy, the conditions on the ground at their stores, and broader industry patterns (i.e. hikes in gas prices or changes in consumer demand). From the console, dealerships can easily contract or expand territories, and increase, restrict or block specific model and lead Web sources.

To ensure maximum flexibility and the most robust reporting, iControl by Autobytel was designed to work in tandem with any dealership CRM/lead management tool. It can be implemented on a stand alone basis for Autobytel, or integrated with the dealership’s full mix of leads, including OEM, dealer’s Website, and other third-party leads.

Control by Lead Web Source

iControl by Autobytel segments Autobytel network lead sources into 5 categories (‘research,’ ‘quote,’ ‘buying,’ ‘enthusiast,’ and ‘portal’) based on the type of automotive publisher from where the lead is coming. Each segment has a unique price point reflecting its average closing ratio. This enables dealers to configure their mix according to their dealership resources and goals — and to adjust their lead stream in conjunction with ZIP code and model demand.

Control by Zip Code

iControl by Autobytel enables dealers to apply different territories/ZIP codes to each of their models and lead sources. For example, a dealership may choose to increase the territory range for sources with higher closing ratios and have a smaller territory for sources that close at a lower rate.

Control by Make/Model

iControl by Autobytel helps dealers spend their budget where it counts most by allowing them to increase the number of leads for hard to move models or, conversely, block or restrict leads by model for those high demand “hot” models. Dealers can limit leads for high demand, low inventory models, such as hybrids, by restricting sources, and the territory to a more restricted range of potential service-customer zip codes, closer to the dealership.

User-friendly, Comprehensive Reporting

One of the most critical components of any successful marketing program is objective reporting. With DMEautomotive’s Red Rocket Technologies Platform powering iControl by Autobytel’s reporting module, dealerships will have in-depth reporting on available leads by make, model and zip code, as well as closing ratio results by model, source, and distance. This feedback loop gives dealers the real time information they need to adjust their iControl by Autobytel configuration and implement the best strategy for their dealership. In subsequent phases, the interface will include a control module to focus lead purchasing on specific sources, territories, or models.

In addition, Autobytel’s Quality Verification System filters all leads through a six-step validation process that includes a real-time lead duplicate return feature, designed to ensure that dealerships will never again pay for a duplicate lead.

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