By Kristen Judd


The debate about putting actual inventory in Digital Marketing email, newsletters, conquest campaigns and the like has been being waged for some time. There is one school of thought that putting inventory in your marketing pieces gives consumers a reason to say “No, they don’t have what I want,” or “Wow, their prices are too high.” The contention continues that there are more customers turned away by specifics than are compelled to call or fill out a lead form. The other camp cites customer research that clearly shows that consumers are hungry for inventory and transparent pricing.

In past experiments with new vehicles on popular portal sites, adding inventory reduced leads by as much as 50%. So what is the right answer?

3 Birds recently ran a test of more than 400,000 Digital Marketing emails across eight different dealerships to gauge the impact of including versus excluding live dealership inventory. Here are the results:

  1. There was a 47% increase in click rate when live dealership inventory was featured in marketing messages.*
  2. The percentage of customers who purchased as a result of the marketing more than doubled for those whose communication included inventory.
  3. Customers who purchased as a result of marketing did so 19 days faster when inventory was present.** 
These results are clear. Integrating inventory into Digital Marketing communication is a winning strategy. Of course, this does not mean replacing all your content with inventory nor stuffing inventory into messages where it is out of context or makes no sense based on the customer lifecycle or demonstrated intent. Here are some examples of how integrating inventory works best:
New Vehicle Inventory

  • New Vehicles that are included in the latest incentive just announced by the OEM
  • Weekend specials on overage new inventory
  • Just arrived hot, hard-to-find new vehicles

Used Vehicle Inventory

  • Popular used vehicles that have just arrived
  • Recent price reductions on used vehicles listed
  • Last chance vehicles about to head to auction
  • Seasonally inspired vehicles such as convertibles in spring, 4X4’s in fall and similar

Start integrating new and used inventory into your Digital Marketing where it makes sense. It is easy and improves results! Interested in learning more? Schedule a strategy session today!

Kristen Judd
* Click rates increased from 8.6% to 12.7% when live dealership inventory was featured in marketing messages. 

** Customers who purchased as a result of marketing did so in 67.6 days on average when there was no inventory in the marketing. When inventory was present, the purchase was made in 48.3 days.