Sadly Dealers Still Believe In Conquest Email

I have written extensively in the past two years about conquest email campaigns and have warned dealers that most companies offering these services generate highly suspicious worthless traffic.

Most conquest campaigns generate website traffic that does not act like a consumer, does not asks questions like a consumer or researches vehicles like the other thousands of consumers attracted to the dealer's website.

You can download the full research report which outlines my work here:

2018: The Conquest Companies Just Keep Changing Names

Millions of dollars of conquest email are still being peddled to dealers. The conquest company names have changed, product names may change, but the traffic is still suspicious.

Here is one irony. Dealers, for the most part, are underspending on Facebook yet spend $3,000 - $5,000 a month on conquest campaigns that yield nearly zero measurable benefits to dealers according to Google Analytics.

Well designed Facebook campaigns can have amazing, measurable results that can be tracked.

Here is an example of a highly suspicious conquest email campaign run in December 2017. I have included a Google Analytics screen capture above.

The campaign generated 1,846 sessions to the dealer's website and generated:

  • zero lead form submissions (normal visitors convert at 2%)
  • zero chat conversations (normal visitors convert at 0.5%)
  • one phone call (normal visitors convert at 6%)
  • 93% of all clicks on the footer links at the bottom of the dealer's website, pages like sitemap, privacy policy, etc.

I'm not going to rehash the deep analysis of this trashy traffic, please read my research report. I'm bringing this up again, in 2018, to remind dealers to inspect their marketing channels. Google Analytics is one tool, VistaDash makes it even easier because the company helps dealers set up GA to track and trap bullshit.

VistaDash Engagement Data

When you inspect the engagement of this traffic in VistaDash, by analyzing what click actions these "shoppers" took on the website, it gets even worse. Over 60% of the email traffic was sent to Search Results Pages (SRP) by model. Sounds like a good strategy, but....

Only 1.3% of all sessions clicked to view a car on the list and were taken to a VDP. This is either a horrible choice of landing-page, targeting, or its another example of highly suspicious traffic.

Normal shoppers also look at vehicle photos. About 30% of organic traffic will look at photos and good SEM campaigns should have over 20% Photo Engagement Rate (PER). This "conquest" traffic had a PER of 0.65%.

Share This Play With Your Peers

Take time to inspect your online investments and share this article with your peers. This is just one of over 100 plays to help dealers succeed. What is your game plan for 2018 to improve sales? It should include eliminating wasteful spending.

I realized that dealership managers don't like to read long books, but they want to improve. So I created 100 ways to improve in simple steps like demonstrated above.

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One fork full at a time.

Get a copy by attending the AEC events in Ft. Lauderdale and Scottsdale; two warm weather destinations. Registration is $99 per person and attendees will receive four of my best selling books and the 2018 Digital Marketing Playbook.

Details here:


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Twitter: @automotiveseo

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Comment by Ben Misra on January 6, 2018 at 6:46pm


If a dealer sends out 1000 emails and 500 of those customers came directly to the store but never went online. Would you still knock conquest e-mails ?

Sometimes our measurement tools are like speed bumps, they work great if the cars drive on that road. No so good if they go another way to the same destination.

I'm am just curious if you are asking the dealer , or just surfing the web.

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