Auto industry's first direct-linking technology eliminates lead form barrier

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SAN FRANCISCO--Oct. 14, 2013: LotLinx officially launched today with a mission to tear down the third-party wall between auto dealers and their customers. Offering the auto industry's first direct-linking platform, LotLinx connects over 6.5 million consumers searching for vehicle inventory online directly to dealership websites each month, delivering a much higher ROI than other online options. Now, for the first time, consumers who search inventory on third-party sites will not have to navigate through a lead form, or abandon the site altogether, to get information on the specific vehicle they are interested in, but will be connected directly to that vehicle's detail page (VDP) on the dealership website.

Inventory search is the number one consumer activity on third-party automotive sites and is increasing dramatically. And, according to Cobalt[1], VDP views of online inventory are the critical predictor of car sales, generating higher conversion and engagement, and resulting in higher sales velocity than traditional third-party leads or online marketing efforts. Yet, for years, dealers have been buying expensive and 'oversold' leads that disrupt the search process, are infrequently completed accurately and force shoppers to trade personal information for delayed vehicle information. LotLinx technology revolutionizes this entire process, replacing lead forms on third-party sites with direct links that transport consumers searching for inventory directly to the dealer's VDP, resulting in a higher conversion rate at a fraction (up to 85% reduction) of the cost of other online options.

"Inventory search is the final step buyers take online before engaging with a dealer and making a purchase," said Len Short, Founder of LotLinx. "Until now their navigation has been frustrated by lead forms. It's an artificial barrier, or 'brick wall,' the consumer hits when he or she wants to shop a specific vehicle online. This has been depriving dealerships of high-converting, direct online engagement with the buyer. The time has come for our industry to tear down that wall!"

"Consumers expect instant information and dealerships need the flow of low-funnel traffic returned to their sites. This is exactly the pain point LotLinx was engineered to solve. As more and more dealers make a fundamental shift to marketing their own websites as the consumer shopping destination, LotLinx is there to ensure that shopping traffic reaches the dealer's site directly and converts."

The patent-pending LotLinx platform now powers 125+ automotive search sites, from AOL Autos to Car and Driver, which reach over 85% of all auto shoppers. Data confirms that these consumers are more engaged, spend more time on the dealership's website, view more vehicles and are closer to a purchase than traditionally generated traffic.

Over 50 dealerships, including several major dealer groups, have tested, then expanded, LotLinx and are generating significant increases in sales velocity and ROI. For example, across all dealerships using LotLinx, cost per VDP view was $3.08 versus $40.26 for non-branded Search Engine Marketing (SEM); cost per unique shopper was $4 versus $121.72 for non-branded SEM, and engagement was 33% higher.

Said Mark Wolfe, Sales Director of Price-Simms: "I was introduced to LotLinx in August 2012 and have implemented it in four rooftops. LotLinx significantly increases my VDP views, customer contacts and most importantly, sales."

Said Pat Iseman, Internet Director, Lubbers Auto Group: "The folks at LotLinx bent over backwards to help us understand and implement their service. They came through and delivered what they promised, which was low funnel shoppers to our own website, more affordably than better-known marketers in the paid search space. I would recommend LotLinx wholeheartedly as a great option to drive the right traffic to your dealership site."

The LotLinx Solution – What It Does

Indexes – LotLinx technology instantly indexes a dealership's live, on-lot inventory, creating a fully searchable record optimized for integration into multiple independent search platforms. Links – LotLinx serves the live inventory continuously to over 120 auto search platforms. Optimizes – Through LotLinx, a dealer's live listings appear in top results whenever the vehicle matches a buyer's search criteria. Connects – LotLinx search results are linked directly to a dealer's VDPs, on the dealership website, allowing buyers to bypass the lead-form and connect directly.

Based in San Francisco, LotLinx developed its technology from the ground up and is guided by a Board of Directors full of automotive Internet visionaries, especially in the search and lead space, including Mark Boyd, Co-founder of Chrome, who helped build and sell Dealix to Cobalt, and has served as investor/advisor for multiple leading-edge automotive technology companies, such as CARgigi, CarWoo, ActiveEngage, and ZAG/TrueCar; Denise Chudy, former GM of the automotive group at Google; and Jim Riesenbach, former CEO of Autobytel Inc. and GM of AOL Search.

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