Canadian Black Book moves into dealer lead generation

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Canadian Black Book is looking to connect the dots.

The venerable valuation company has soft-launched a new dealer lead generation tool dubbed Trade-In Connection that seeks to connect customers investigating trade-in value online with nearby dealers interested in paying for the lead.

Shortly before a quiet rollout in early July, Canadian Black Book president Brad Rome says the move to lead generation made perfect sense.

“Since we launched the website in 2010, we have been giving customers the chance to review their trade-in value. These are shoppers near the very end of their purchase cycle,” he says. “Connecting them with a dealer was the next logical step.”

Functionality is fairly simple. Users simply follow the normal steps in getting their free used-vehicle value on canadianblackbook.com. After punching in make, model, year, trim, etc.

After entering the odometre information, users are asked what vehicle they are considering next with fields for year, make, model and purchase time frame to fill out.

A pop-up then asks if the user would like to be contacted. If they click “no,” they will still be shown the trade-in values. If they click “yes,” they are asked for some additional information including name, email address, postal code and phone number followed by the trade-in value.

That information will then be made available to dealers for an undisclosed fee.

“It’s not mandatory,” Rome explains. “We’ll just ask them if they want to be connected with a dealer.”

He says Canadian Black Book is a third-party resource customers can trust to connect them to a dealer and offer an accurate value for their trade-in.

And trust they have.

Rome says traffic numbers on the consumer website have been strong for years with a current average of 825,000 total visits a month. Roughly two-thirds of those visitors are unique.

The company adds that over 50 per cent of those visitors using functionality like the future values and trade-in value calculators have indicated they want to buy within a month.

“We certainly have people who are motivated and ready to buy, hence Trade-In Connection. We want to connect them with the dealer because that’s where they want to go next.”

And with showroom visits dropping to historic levels, he says Canadian Black Book is in a great position to bolster its offerings and help its dealer partners by closing the loop online.