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http://www.DealerSynergy.com 856-546-2440 

Dealers NEED to Take the TCPA (Texting) Compliance VERY Serious...

I have a Dealer Group in NJ that just forwarded me an email from the State Dealer Association's Attorney WARNING them that there are MULTIPLE Dealerships wrapped  up in Class Action Lawsuits over TEXT Messaging (TCPA Compliance) VIOLATIONS. The Dealer was very distraught and issues an IMMEDIATE CEASE AND DESIST TO HIS ENTIRE Dealer Group from TEXT MESSAGING under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE until their attorneys dig in and make sire they are NOT at risk! What I find is there are so many dealerships out there in clear violation of the TCPA Compliance and are risk for lawsuits... class action lawsuits! What is worse is that some for these dealers have NO IDEA. They think what they are doing is legal because their CRM company or their Text Messaging Vendor says they are legit and compliant. I URGE ALL Dealers to consult with their Dealer Association and their attorneys and CONFIRM that they are 100% compliant and NOT at risk of a lawsuit or fines. TCPA-ctia-messaging-principles-and-best-practices.pdf

Here is some information that I have come across

* This is an article I found online:

When do I need permission to text someone? How do I know I really have permission? Are they contacts or subscribers!?

Did you know that you must legally obtain permission to send a text message to a mobile device?

The latest edition of the CTIA’s Best Practices Guide for SMS Marketing and Communications, released on January 19, 2017, places an additional degree of emphasis on consent and TCPA compliance.

As stated in our terms and conditions and usage policy, all of our clients have a legal obligation to ensure that their contact lists and messaging content are compliant with all applicable state and federal laws, as well as all requirements established and enforced by the CTIA that regulate SMS/text messages transmitted via short code.

What Is TCPA Compliance?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) went into effect in 1991, and it has since been modified to include SMS/text messaging.

In a nutshell, the TCPA stipulates that businesses and/or organizations must receive express written consent from individuals prior to sending any SMS/text messages to them.

Obtaining an individual’s phone number—regardless of whether they are a potential lead, an existing client, a former customer, or a member of your group or organization—is not the same as receiving permission to contact them.

There are only a few special exceptions under the TCPA (such as appointment reminders and delivery notifications) that may be subject to exemption. For additional information about compliance guidelines that apply to specific industries and/or audiences, The Data and Marketing Association’s Comprehensive Guide to Compliance is a useful resource.

Why Does This Matter?

The TCPA provides for a private right of action and statutory damages and permits class-action lawsuits. Damages start at $500 and go up to $1,500 per recipient for each text message sent.

If you are unsure as to whether your contact list meets the established criteria for consent outlined by the TCPA and CTIA documents referenced (and linked) above, we advise you to consult with your organization’s compliance team and/or legal counsel.

How to Start Importing

To enable contact import permissions, please complete the following steps:

  1. Review the documents referenced in this message
  2. Review your contact lists to determine if they meet the compliance requirements
  3. Edit your contact lists in consultation with your organization’s compliance team and/or legal counsel
  4. Email support@simpletexting.com with a brief summary explaining how, when, and where consent has been documented for the contacts that you would like to upload
  5. Include the total number of contacts on your list

A member of our team will review your request and make every attempt to respond within one business day.

If your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation message and instructions for uploading your list as a CSV file into our system.

If your request is not approved, an alternative method for building a compliant contact list (such as keyword opt-ins or web form opt-ins) may be recommended, along with instructions and tips to help you succeed.

Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.

SOURCE: https://help.simpletexting.com/compliance-consent-and-legal-stuff/compliance-and-consent/tcpa-compliance 

** This is the attachment that the Dealer Association Sent to the Dealer Principal (It is from a vendor and seems to be years old:

Today’s reality regarding real time communication is proven in the data. On average smart phone users in the United States send 764 text messages and place 164 phone calls per month. Without a doubt younger users skew the data, but even people aged 55 to 64 text on average 80 times per month and 65+ text on average 32 times per month. Based on this information we can say, “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Texting has become the most efficient form of communication when immediacy (of a response) is needed.

Why should service advisor, sales person or your BDC text? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. A teacher in a classroom, a worker in the field, a professional in a meeting – all of them can reply to a text much faster and with more convenience than they can answer a call or return a voicemail.

The data supports this as texts are replied to, on average, within 4 minutes. The expectation for a return call to a voicemail is the same day and the expectation for an email is 24 hours. A teacher can text while class is in session, the carpenter can text with work in full swing and a lawyer can text while in a meeting.

Continue reading to better understand the rules as they apply to automobile dealerships in the United States.

Advantage Tec has all the proper DMS integration and texting solutions required for your staff to abide to the rules discussed below.

Do TCPA regulations allow businesses to text customers?

YES, businesses and their employees may market & communicate via text. However, there are rules businesses need to adhere to.
The salient points car dealerships need to know regarding mobile messaging in the United States.

Definitions:


TCPA – Telephone Consumer Protection Act
FCC – Federal Communications Commission
ATDS – Automatic Telephone Dialing System or Auto-Dialer
Text Messages – Text messages are “calls” for the purposes of the TCPA.

  1. Prior to September 23rd, 2013 you could text based on having an established business relationship with a customer. This is no longer the case. The TCPA rule no longer allows the “established business relationship” clause to circumvent written authorization. This means automobile dealerships must attain “prior express written consent” before telemarketing, advertising or texting from an auto-dialer, prerecorded device or software solution. Written consent must be clear and conspicuous and not be a condition of purchase. To comply, written consent can be attained with a written signature, through email, a website form, or a text message. You may not, however, send an ATDS text message requesting a person to opt-in.
  2. Prior to July 10th, 2015 FCC Declaratory Ruling and Order the definition of an ATDS or auto-dialer was unclear. The current ruling as of, July 10th 2015, and the most recent language states: “Auto-dialer” for the purposes of the TCPA, is any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, regardless whether the technology has the current capacity to make the call in issue & equipment to send Internet-to-phone text messages. In summary, a service advisor or sales person who takes his personal phone and texts a client will not be liable under the TCPA for mobile texting. A dealership’s exposure lies in the inappropriate content a text message may contain. An advisor or sales person that uses an automotive vendor’s texting tool should attain written authorization prior to the software or an auto-dialer initiating a text conversation.
  3. The biggest misnomer and exposure that Advantage Tec sees with dealers using competitive offerings is the opt-in text. Specifically this means a text that is sent to a customer asking, “May I Text You” without prior written consent. A business cannot text a customer to ask if it is okay to text them without prior express consent. We see CRM vendors and texting vendors break this rule daily. Advantage Tec’s DMS integration assures compliance with these TCPA rules.

Car Dealers’ FAQs:

What are the highlights for car dealerships regarding the most recent TCPA regulations?

  • TCPA regulations are aimed at restricting unsolicited phone calls and text messages.
  • One must have unambiguous written consent before telemarketing or sending text messages from an ATDS. Oct. 16th, 2013.
  • Unsolicited commercial messages (phone & text) must include the ability to opt-out. Jan.14th, 2013.

What are the positives for auto dealerships in the most recent July 10th 2015 ruling?

There is a big positive in the most recent ruling. “Consent for non-telemarketing, non-advertising calls can be demonstrated by the called party giving prior oral or written consent, or by the caller giving their wireless number to the person initiating the autodialed call/text. This ruling is a positive for automotive dealers, as it reaffirms (at least in the nontelemarketing context) previous FCC Orders which recognize that by providing a business with a wireless number, the consumer has given prior express consent to receive a call.”

What is an ATDS or Auto-dialer?

An auto-dialer for the purposes of the TCPA is any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers, regardless whether the technology is actually used to make the call in issue, and it is not limited to its current configuration but also includes its potential functionalities. An ATDS can also be equipment to send Internet-to-phone text messages.

What is the difference between Text Marketing, One to One Bidirectional Texting and Immediate One-Time Text Messages?

Text Marketing is the name usually associated with a one-time blast with a marketing solicitation to a list of mobile phone numbers. This type of text marketing to customers that have not opted-in or given written consent is what the TCPA is trying to prevent.

One to One Bidirectional Texting is considered a conversation between two people. Although this is not mass marketing under strictest interpretation of the rules prior written consent should be attained for automated May-I-Contact You texts, automated appointment reminders texts, automated welcome texts and automated follow-up survey as an example. For one to one texts initiated by a service advisor written permission to text is not necessary (if no marketing or telemarketing message is in the text). For example, it is okay to ask for repair approval or notify customers that their vehicle is ready.

Immediate One-Time Text messages refer to one-time automated text messages sent immediately to a consumer’s request for information as part of an ad campaign. The automated response to the consumer’s request is TCPA compliant. According to the FCC, this type of text messaging is not “telemarketing” or “advertisement” texting, but merely the fulfillment of the consumer’s request for information. The FCC states that in order to qualify as a one-time automated text message it must (1) be requested by the consumer, (2) be sent immediately in response to a specific consumer request, (3) contain only the information requested by the consumer with no other marketing or advertising information.

Can a service advisor text a one to one personal message using texting software to help them get approval for job repairs or to notify a customer about vehicle status?

Since the repair message is likely not a marketing message, written consent based on the repair order will not be required. The provision of a cell phone number is sufficient consent for service advisors to call/text customers relating to the repair order. An automated text sent on behalf of a service advisor or dealership should only be sent with written consent.

Can a sales person text a customer with vehicle information, pictures or video using mobile messaging software in follow-up to a potential purchaser’s visit to the dealership if the potential purchaser gave the sales person their mobile number?

Text sent using a software solution will likely be considered by the FCC as an autodialed text message. The text message might also be considered a telemarketing message for which written consent is required under the TCPA.

Can a dealership follow up on an email lead with a text to that person?

No this is a violation of the TCPA rule. Express consent on the lead form or written consent is required.

Can a dealership follow up on a phone lead with a text to that person?

No, under the strictest interpretation this is a violation of the TCPA rule. Express consent on the lead form or written consent is required. However, courts may rule that a person leaving a dealership a voicemail probably wants to be contacted. If the response is timely and not telemarketing based it’s not likely to be a TCPA issue.

Can a dealership follow up on a chat lead with a text to that person?

No, this is a violation of the TCPA rule unless you receive written consent during the chat. The dealership must have written confirmation in the chat asking if they can call or text the number provided.

Can a dealership follow up on a text lead with a text to that person?

It is unlikely that written consent will exist, so sending a text to the person under the strictest interpretation of the TCPA is not allowed. However, common sense and the initiation of a text communication would indicate they are expecting a response to their text. As long as the response is timely, includes opt out instructions and is not telemarketing in nature then it is not likely to be a TCPA issue.

Can a dealership initiate an outbound text to a mobile phone number obtained from the DMS or CRM?

Yes if written consent was received from the person with the entry of the phone number into the DMS or CRM. As outlined above, a service advisor has latitude to text one on one if it is not a telemarketing text without written consent. This is not the case for a sales person.

Can a dealership initiate an outbound text to a mobile phone attained from a marketing list or other mobile phone list?

No. This is text marketing and written consent is needed – dealers should NOT do this.

How can a dealership show and track written consent?

Your texting solution provider should be able to show electronic written consent documentation and produce records of written consent.

Can an ATDS text a customer and ask if it is okay to text them or ask them to opt-in?

No. You cannot text a customer to ask them if it is okay to text them without prior express
consent.

What about Internet-to-Phone Messaging?

The FCC addressed the status of Internet-to-phone text messaging and qualified this technology as an auto-dialer under the TCPA. This is technology that allows a party to send an email to an address that combines a recipient’s mobile telephone number with the mobile provider’s domain name resulting in the delivery of an email message. Such a text requires prior written consent.

Are there any exceptions to the TCPA texting rules?

The FCC order has granted limited exceptions to TCPA liability for certain free “proconsumer” calls or text messages about time-sensitive financial issues or health care messages.

What are the fines or violations fees?

If there is a violation, the statutory penalty is $500 per violation (call/text). If a plaintiff can show the violation was knowing or willful a court can increase the penalty up to $1,500.

Why are these TCPA regulation so complicated? Why do I hear different rules from different vendors?

On July 10th 2015 the FCC issued a 166 page Declaratory Ruling and Order. The rules are subject to interpretation. With time the courts will determine the interpretations in the rulings. A recent example is the summary judgment in favor of defendant Shac, LLC. The court determined that the promotional text messaging sent by Shac involved human intervention and therefore was not an auto-dialer for TCPA purposes. So, despite the FCC increasingly expansive regulatory action against telemarketers, the court has applied more reasonable standards in interpreting TCPA regulations.

How do I know which car dealership mobile messaging software solution providers are TCPA complaint?

The texting software vendor can only help you achieve compliance with proper process, education and software. It is the dealership that must be complaint; a good software solution will guide personnel with screens that allow or do not allow messaging based on written consent.

What should every dealership do to practice safe texting?

  • At the point of sale collect written consent from the customer allowing you to text them in the future.
  • At the point of service or when a customer brings in a car for service or repair collect written consent from the client.
  • Attain written consent on website forms and chat. Whenever you capture phone numbers in lead forms or in person make it part of the dealership process to attain the customer’s consent to be contacted via text messages.
  • Make sure to honor opt-outs. Offer “text stop to end” in messages sent and make sure your mobile messaging vendor blocks unsubscribed numbers from all future text messages.

Are TCPA regulations something a dealership should discuss with their attorney?

Yes. This document does not provide legal advice. It has been written by Advantage Tec to help businesses better understand TCPA & FCC rules. The reader of this document should not rely legally 

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http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/ 856-546-2440

In this week's Episode of Make Money Mondays Dealer Synergy's President, Sean V. Bradley gives us advise on adjusting to the phenomenon that is mobile. Everything you create should by built for mobile first. Content from your website to your email templates should be designed with a mobile first mentality. Mobile is rapidly growing so you should test your content to make sure it functions properly on different devices.

Make Money Mondays with Sean V. Bradley - The Mobile Experience

To visit all of our Make Money Mondays in one place visit: www.MakeMoneyMondays.net

If you like Make Money Mondays, you will love Bradley On Demand: http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/
856-546-2440

For more information about Dealer Synergy, visit http://www.DealerSynergy.com/

Sign up now for the next Internet Sales 20 Group!
http://internetsales20group.com

If you have any questions, call or text Sean on his cell 267-319-6776.

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http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/ 856-546-2440

In this week's Episode of Make Money Mondays Dealer Synergy's President, Sean V. Bradley gives advise on using text and chat templates to communicate with your prospects. If there are phone and voicemail templates, why do we not have templates for texting or chat? There are different variations and levels to create and using templates. Sean explains that you should build a library of chat messages that you can choose from. Texting and Chat are just as important because if gives you a chance to escalate to a higher form of communication.

Make Money Mondays with Sean V. Bradley - Text & Chat Templates

To visit all of our Make Money Mondays in one place visit: www.MakeMoneyMondays.net

If you like Make Money Mondays, you will love Bradley On Demand: http://www.BradleyOnDemand.com/
856-546-2440

For more information about Dealer Synergy, visit http://www.DealerSynergy.com/

Sign up now for the next Internet Sales 20 Group!
http://internetsales20group.com

If you have any questions, call or text Sean on his cell 267-319-6776

Read more…

photodune-14423179-salesman-with-car-keys-xs

7 Ways to Mix Up Your Auto Dealership Marketing

Give your auto dealership marketing a new look: here are seven ways to shake up your marketing and start attracting more customers 

If there is one thing you can count on for marketing, it’s this: there is no one way to do it. It’s always changing. What worked yesterday may not work in a year from now.

Digital technology has sped up the process. Now dealerships have more possibilities to connect with customers.

If you feel as though your auto dealership marketing is beginning to flat line, it may be time to mix it up and try something new.

Shaken not stirred: 7 ways to mix up your auto dealership marketing 

  1. Make your brand more exciting 

Branding is the starting point for all your marketing efforts. Without a strong brand name, logo, and message, it’s difficult to catch the eyes and ears of customers. Even an excellent marketing campaign suffers if the brand doesn’t have that extra “oomph!”.

If you’ve had your dealership name for some time, it’s okay to keep it (in fact, that may be a better idea). You canmake your brand more engaging and interesting without a complete overhaul.

  • Create a byline for your brand. A short message that communicates your “promise” to customers. That message creates a common theme for the rest of your marketing efforts.
  • Hire a professional designer to create a new logo.
  1. Optimize your blog content 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a new trend. Most dealership GM’s and managers are familiar with PPC advertising, targeting keywords, and the goal of ranking higher in Google. But, there is another way to marketing your business using SEO techniques, and, believe it or not, it’s all about your blog.

You can target specific keywords within your blog content. Each piece of content you publish effectively turns into a landing page for your dealership, drawing more targeted traffic to your website.

  • Hire a professional content writer to write SEO’d content for your blog each week.
  • Make your blog content informative and helpful to your readers.
  • Keep each post short, visually appealing (use pictures), and easy to read.
  1. Switch to a CRM for car dealers 

If you are using a generic CRM tool, think about switching to one that offers features specifically tailored to dealerships. AutoRaptor is made by car sales professionals, for car sales professionals. Every feature is intuitively designed to help your salespeople work more efficiently.

  • Lead assignments within the software tool.
  • Send text messages and phone calls with no additional carrier charge.
  • Complete mobile capability with unique features, such as license and VIN number scanning.
  • Daily workflow reminders.
  1. Focus on mobile readers 

Many of your customers view your website, emails, and inventory with mobile phones. If you haven’t already, it’s time to ensure that all of your digital content is responsive to mobile devices, including tablets. Content that is not easily readable on mobile screens is losing you conversion opportunities.

  • Design all of your auto dealership marketing with mobile browsers in mind.
  • Think about how your content is read: make your email messages short and to the point. Mobile readers will skim and scan before they decide to read.
  1. Modernize your website experience 

Get your website up to snuff, in other words. In terms of digital marketing (or perhaps all of your auto dealership marketing), your website is the most important piece of the puzzle. It’s the virtual doorway to your dealership. Your leads will pass through to view your inventory, read your content, and get a feel for how you do business. What will they see?

  • Create video content to post on your website. Dealership walk-throughs, salespeople spotlights, virtual car presentations, etc.
  • Hire a web designer to give you a new, sleek look. Make your website look attractive, fun, and engaging.
  • Make sure to build links to all your pages so Google can index them correctly.
  • Include pictures of the salespeople with short bios and contact information.
  1. Build your opt-in lists 

Converting your web visitors into qualified leads is a step-by-step process. Gaining an email address is easier if you offer something free in return, such as an e-book, white paper, redeemable coupon, etc. This is one of the main methods of inbound (or permission-based) marketing.

A simplified process would look like this:

  1. A person visits your website, views inventory, and researches your dealership.
  2. He watches your videos of vehicle presentations and reads your blog.
  3. At the bottom of your web page is an offer to download your entire library of video content.
  4. To download the content, he needs to provide an email address and/or phone number.
  5. He provides his information and is added to your opt-in marketing list.
  6. You sent out automated messages (email drip campaign) offering more useful content.
  7. After a few messages, you sent out a targeted promotion based on his vehicle search and behavior.
  8. He responds, comes into the dealership, and now your salespeople have a qualified lead.
  1. Segment and personalize 

Finally, if you want your marketing to provide effective ROI, you need to target specific groups and personalize your efforts. The “spray and pray” techniques do not work like they used to. People want to have a personal connection to your dealership. They will not respond to vague, objective, or generic marketing material.

For better results, segment your marketing lists into specific groups and demographics. Use your research and tracking tools to see what they’ve viewed, what vehicles they’re interested in, and what promotion would best attract their attention.

  • Break your email lists into specific groups. Create promotional material specifically for them.
  • Make sure your emails and text messages are personal. One-to-one conversations are the messages people respond well to.
  • Think small: brainstorm ways to target specific groups with engaging, useful, and relative promotions.

Give your auto dealership marketing a regular dose of new ideas and methods 

Every dealership needs to mix up their marketing efforts on a regular basis. Of course, if something is working well, there is no reason to try and change it. But, if you see that your “go-to” tactics are starting to flat line, use these tips to diversify your marketing mix. Remember: your internet marketing is a critical aspect of your overall strategy. Give your website the attention it deserves and build up your inbound marketing sales funnel.

What’s your opinion? Do you have any marketing tips to add? Share your thoughts!

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How mobile has changed the way we search, based on 10+ years of eye-tracking studies

How has the rise of mobile changed the way people view Google SERPs? Contributor Kristi Kellogg summarizes a session from SMX East in which Mediative's Chris Pinkerton discusses the results of eye-tracking studies.

Chris Pinkerton, the vice president of business development at Mediative, has been tracking the ways viewers look at the Google search engine results page (SERP) since 2003. In that time, Mediative’s eye-tracking studies have revealed major shifts in the way users consume the SERP.

At SMX East 2016, he explored the ways the proliferation of mobile devices have deeply impacted user search behavior on both mobile and desktop searches.

Pinkerton asserts that search activity, psychologically speaking, is mindless activity. It’s mindless because of the habits that form with the devices we use.

Chris Pinkerton

Habits are a very powerful thing to start to understand. Developing a habit of consuming information on a desktop in a certain way changes the way you consume content.

Looking back at 2003, Google became the dominant search engine because it drove people to find information faster than its competitors. That created habitual behavior — people found content the fastest on Google and kept coming back.

(As an aside, Bing has implemented programs to pay people for their search behavior in an attempt to break these deeply ingrained habits and introduce a new behavior.)

In 2005, there was a Golden Triangle pattern when it came to eyeballs on the Google SERP. But in 2016, this pattern is vastly different (see below), due in large part to mobile. It’s changed the way people consume the SERP and the speed at which they consume it. Users spot-scan and find what is contextually relevant for them.

Mobile devices have habitually conditioned searchers to scan vertically more than horizontally. This has translated to desktop search as well. People are viewing more search listings during a single session but are spending less time viewing each one.

Users are looking the front end of search listings, so make sure your main message comes first. While it used to take a user 2.6 seconds to consume a SERP, that time has been cut in half, to 1.3 seconds, Pinkerton said.

Regardless of mobile’s impact, the No. 1 organic listing captures the most click activity, regardless of what new elements are presented. However, it takes 87 percent longer for the No. 1 organic listing to be first seen on a mobile device vs. desktop, he said.

Statistics that will impact your digital marketing strategy

Knowledge Graph

  • With a Knowledge Graph panel on the SERP, almost 22 percent fewer clicks went to the top No. 1 organic listing.
  • 93% of searchers look at the Knowledge Graph panel.
  • 49% of searchers click on the Knowledge Graph panel.

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19% of mobile SERP clicks on average went to the top 2 sponsored ads, compared to 15% on desktop. #smx #sem @Mediative

3:58 PM - 28 Sep 2016

Local listings and map

  • 47% more clicks on the map and local listing occur when positioned above the organic listings.
  • 10% of clicks on local listing on average.
  • 51% more searchers view the local listings and map when positioned above the organic listings.

Star ratings

  • Listings with star ratings capture 24% of page clicks on average.

Sponsored listings

  • Top sponsored listings are viewed after 0.36 seconds on average.
  • 2% of clicks on the top two sponsored listings on mobile vs. 14.5% on desktop.
  • The top organic listing gets 10% fewer clicks when three sponsored listings are present vs. one sponsored listing.

Organic listings

  • Top organic listings capture the most search activity (33.2%).
  • 5% of searchers on average look at the top organic listing.
  • 57% of clicks go to the top four organic listings on average.
  • Only 7.4% of the clicks that occur are below the fourth organic listing on mobile vs. 16% on desktop.

Read Mediative’s full eye-tracking report (registration required). See how user behavior has changed in just the last two years with my reports from SMX East 2014 and 2015.

Source : http://searchengineland.com/mobile-impacted-way-search-based-10-years-eye-tracking-studies-260052?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=scap&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTURJeU0yUm1NV00wTm1RMiIsInQiOiI2aUtEVXVQWWZHTEtkQkZIODNKR3ZzZDVrRkE1MDUxWUpyMGFtTW14MDEzVGxBSXNHYzA0QXp5TFRyVjFMQ1pxSXpZQzFLKzBuek1BZU5iMnZhNmdhNnV1cmdBRFlyc0FOMXgwZ3pDXC94Mkk9In0%3D 

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Google opens the AMP fire hose

Columnist Barb Palser believes that the broad surfacing of AMP content in mobile search will expose a universe of AMP content that’s been hidden from view.

Google’s expansion of Accelerated Mobile Pages across mobile search results is underway, gradually turning the trickle of AMP traffic to a steady flow.

The September start of the “blue links” rollout, along with announcements from some high-profile participants in the AMP Project, are advancing the open-source initiative on multiple fronts.

Google’s AMP expansion

Since Accelerated Mobile Pages first appeared in Google search results in February 2016, AMPs have been mostly concentrated in the Top Stories area of mobile search results:

AMP Top Stories carousel in Google mobile search results

The current expansion, which was announced in August and started in mid-September, will surface AMPs throughout standard mobile search results, aka “blue links.” When the phased blue links rollout is complete, Google will always present the validated AMP version of a page to mobile users instead of the standard web link.

At this stage, Google is only surfacing a portion of available AMPs; a September 25 query returned a mixture of AMP and non-AMP results in the blue links area. When the expansion is complete, all available AMPs will be displayed.

AMP blue links

Along with the blue links rollout, Google made slight modifications to its AMP viewer. The user interface is now grey instead of blue and employs an “X” button instead of a back arrow to close the viewer and return to search results.

Redesigned AMP viewer

Broader, deeper AMP exposure

For news publishers, the blue links expansion will surface evergreen and long-tail content that wouldn’t have been eligible for the Top Stories area but accounts for a large portion of search traffic.

It also opens AMP exposure to commercial, vertical and non-news publishers. Essentially, any AMP-enabled content that would normally surface in search will be presented to users.

A diverse group of non-news publishers timed their own announcements to Google’s blue links rollout. On September 20, eBay announced that its AMP-enabled product pages were live after a few months of development work to resolve some feature gaps.

On the same day, Shopify announced plans to AMP-enable its merchants and Reddit announced the launch of tens of millions of AMP pages on its platform. These companies join Fandango, Food Network and other non-news publishers on AMP.  There’s plenty of content to fill the fire hose.

Non-news AMPs: eBay product page and Food Network recipe.

AMP benefits in Google search

Google has stated repeatedly that AMP is not a ranking factor (at least not yet), but that doesn’t mean AMP content won’t get special treatment.

Most noticeably, Google has been building user experiences to showcase AMPs above standard search results. The “Top Stories” carousel was the first example — and now Google is working on a “Live Coverage” AMP carousel for breaking news, elections, sports and other real-time events.

These modules dominate the top of the mobile viewport, above standard results where non-AMP links appear. It’s easy to imagine a variety of special AMP-based user experiences for all types of informational and commercial content.

In addition, Google has signaled that load time in general will matter in its ranking algorithm going forward — and has contributed to the growing mountain of research establishing load time as a predictor of user satisfaction and engagement. With Google’s data showing an average mobile page load time of 19 seconds and a 53-percent abandonment rate after three seconds of waiting, lightning-fast AMPs should ace any speed-related SEO tests.

Finally, users could begin to reward AMP publishers by favoring AMPs in search results. If users begin to recognize the AMP icon and associate it with a fast page, they may start choosing AMP links (or avoiding non-AMP links) in search results for certain types of content and queries.

Over time, such preferences could manifest in changes to search performance. (In early September, Google was observed testing a darker, more noticeable AMP icon.)

Combined, all of these factors could provide advantages to AMP-enabled publishers over non-AMPed publishers, even if the ranking algorithm for general Google search results doesn’t explicitly favor AMP.

AMP beyond Google

Apart from Google’s use of AMP, new participants are bringing the broader potential of the open-source AMP Project into view.

The eBay and Reddit announcements cited speed and performance as primary reasons for adopting AMP — and opened the door to future AMP-only strategies.

Excerpt from Reddit’s blog post (emphasis added):

AMP pages look great and load fast on desktop just like they do on mobile. Maintaining good performance to pages as they change often amounts to a time consuming game of Whac[k]-A-Mole but we can be confident our AMP pages will always be fast. So, for many kinds of pages, we think the AMP version is the only version we’ll ever need.

Excerpt from eBay’s blog post (emphasis added):

Although both of them [AMP and non-AMP browse pages] are highly optimized, look the same, and share most of the code, updating both versions is still a maintenance overhead. In addition, we always need to watch out for feature parity. In the future, based on how AMP pages are performing, we may choose to have one mobile version (AMP) and serve it to all platforms.

The expansion of AMP to desktop experiences and the potential for AMP to replace standard web pages have been anticipated by the AMP Project from the start — but these are among the first large publishers to talk publicly about it.

A few days later, Bing announced AMP support in its search app for iOS and Android in order to provide a better, more consistent user experience. Like Google, Bing will link to the AMP version of a page when available.

AMP results in Bing Search app

This is something any search engine, social platform or other referrer could do — every standard web page with an AMP counterpart has a header tag pointing to the AMP version. Social news aggregator Nuzzel has been linking to AMPs for some time, and Twitter has taken initial steps to link to AMP in certain contexts.

Google’s promotion of AMP across its products is generating awareness, providing incentives for publisher adoption and driving feature development and innovation.

At the same time, the involvement of diverse participants and non-Google-dependent use cases will be critical to AMP’s long-term success and its mission to improve performance across the mobile web — not just a corner of it. The AMP format was seeded in Google’s environment but was never meant to stay there.

Source: http://searchengineland.com/google-opens-amp-firehose-259569?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=scap&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTURJeU0yUm1NV00wTm1RMiIsInQiOiI2aUtEVXVQWWZHTEtkQkZIODNKR3ZzZDVrRkE1MDUxWUpyMGFtTW14MDEzVGxBSXNHYzA0QXp5TFRyVjFMQ1pxSXpZQzFLKzBuek1BZU5iMnZhNmdhNnV1cmdBRFlyc0FOMXgwZ3pDXC94Mkk9In0%3D 

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http://salemove.com 

The SaleMove Magic

Real-Time Movement

Faster and more instant than Google’s real-time analytics, SaleMove enables you to see visitors the second they enter your website- just as if they walked into your dealership. Don’t just see what link your visitors are looking at, observe them browsing (it's like sitting right next to them)!

Audio / Video Chat

You have your showroom & the phone to speak with your customers- now add a third line of high-touch communication. Connect with your customers using Audio & Video right on your website (no downloads or installation required). There is always the option for website chat but A/V is proven to be 10X more effective!

Shared Browsing

Have you ever found yourself describing your website to a customer on the phone (“you see that link in the top left near the About Us section...click there”)? Imagine that each of you had your own cursor and you could simply browse the website together- wouldn't that be easier? Don’t just push your visitor a link, customize a car or browse your inventory together (patents pending).

Statistics & Reporting

Monitor individual and collective performance. Listen to call recordings, view chat transcripts and understand your website’s real-time activity. Make adjustments to your staffing & sales strategy using all of SaleMove’s robust reporting capabilities.

In-Browser Experience

Instead of opening a separate window (think of today’s live chat providers) that drives attention away from your virtual showroom, SaleMove is always completely in-browser and a part of your customers’ shopping experiences.

One Line Activation

Activate SaleMove with one line of code (easier than Google Analytics). We also integrate with several top dealership website providers & CRMs so getting you up and running is super fast!

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Mobile Video is Next!

People are spending more and more time on the internet, most people are "connected" over 65% of their day, almost 100% of their day if you count having a cellphone in your pocket as being connected.  However, what you might not be aware of is just how much of the internet's focus is shifting towards digital video content. If someone were to produce digital video content, wouldn't they want it to be accessible 100% of the time? This is why the latest trend in digital video content is the optimization for mobile devices. The average person consumes just under an hour of video daily and over 50% (33 minutes) of this video is spent on Mobile. While 33 minutes may not seem like a lot of time in someones day, you have to take into consideration the number of people that are in the U.S. To give you a little perspective on how much video is consumed daily we need to multiply the US Population (2.1 million) by the average number of minute watched per person (33) and we know that daily in just the US 69,300,000 minutes of video are consumed. 

Before you make the jump to invest in video production, it's important to keep in mind that most of the mobile consumption is done by the millennials!  So make sure you're targeting your efforts to their demographic needs and wants. Are you watching digital content or using it for your business? Let us know your thoughts.

For the entire report check out the source of this article here -  Video Content Roundup

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Mobile Trends In Marketing

Throughout the automotive marketing industry we have seen potential buyers adjust their shopping trends. Buyers have begun to migrate from traditional desktops to their smartphones and mobile devices. To support this trend, it is crucial to have a mobile strategy in place for all automotive dealers.

Danny Brown of American Express OPEN states that, “ Seventy-two percent of small business owners planned to increase or maintain their mobile ad spend this year, with 65 percent of these increasing their spending by up to 30 percent.” This trend is not just for small businesses. Brown continues, “Google and Facebook have now begun to shift more of their revenues to mobile devices.” Your digital strategy should have a robust digital presence. With competition on AdWords becoming increasingly competitive on mobile devices, you must tailor your campaigns to appeal to mobile searchers. An example of this can be editing your keyword list to include terms more likely searched on mobile devices (short terms & abbreviations.)

Let’s face it: mobile advertising is beginning to sweep the marketing world. Due to its convenience and accessibility, it is now the preferred way to do business. Before you know it, this inevitable change will be here in full swing!

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4 Mobile Musts of Google Advertising

Over the past decade, advertising budgets across the country have been increasing in the automotive industry. A new eMarketer report projects that the US automotive industry will spend $5.07 billion on paid digital advertising in 2013, with that total rising to $7.80 billion by 2017.

 

As budgets increase so does the number of channels in which those ad dollars can be spent, making decisions about where to spend your dollars extremely challenging. One important channel that should not be overlooked is mobile advertising on Google.

 

 

For the first time, smartphones are currently on pace to outsell standard feature phones. To say that the mobile car-shopping population is growing is an understatement. A J.D. Power & Associates study found that the percentage of US vehicle shoppers who have visited an automotive website via a smartphone grew from 17% in 2010 to 31% in 2012.

This increased access to smart mobile devices in the hands of potential car shoppers is a largely untapped opportunity. Especially when you consider that mobile shoppers are proven to convert better than desktop shoppers.

A recent study of Nissan's digital traffic found that mobile car shoppers are 30% more likely to submit a lead than their desktop brethren. These potential customers tend to be on the go, in more of a rush, and looking to gain information--- and sometimes take action--- as quickly as possible.

If you're not advertising and promoting your brand to roving car shoppers, that will help you build a strong mobile brand

 

Here are four mobile musts for your dealerships website and ad campaigns that will help you build a strong mobile brand.

 

1. Consider Your Mobile Shopper's Experience

 

Before even thinking about advertising to drive traffic to your mobile site, you first need to get the site ready for proper viewing. The goal should be to make a simplified version of the full website that is user friendly and intuitive for your mobile shoppers.

First, make sure graphics and all content load quickly. Mobile users have limited time and attention spans. Aresearch study conducted by user experience expertsAkamai shows that mobile website bounce rate increases drastically if a site takes longer than 6 seconds to load.

Your next step should be to consider the varying screen sizes of mobile devices. Verify that appropriate formatting is in place to make the content appealing and easy to navigate while viewing on phones and tablets.

 

2. Appeal to Mobile Search Traffic

Now that you've streamlined your mobile site, it’s time to put yourself in the mind of the mobile shopper. Ask yourself:

What searches would a mobile shopper perform, and how can I utilize that search information to drive relevant traffic?

The user experience when performing a dealership search is different on a phone or tablet than it is on a desktop. For one thing the potential buyer is using a touch-screen, and therefore is less likely to type a long search query. Shorter searches mean that the keywords you need to bid on need to be very precise. It would be wise to consider possible shortenings or abbreviations. And be sure to avoid using keywords that are overly broad that will end up attracting irrelevant clicks.

 

3. Enhance Your Campaigns

Enhanced Campaigns in Google Adwords is a powerful feature than can help you organize your different mobile campaigns and set your mobile bids to ensure your ads perform better. Think about the size of a mobile screen and how important it is for mobile ads to rank high. On a desktop there are ten ad positions that take up close to one third of the screen, while phones and mobile devices might only feature three ad positions that occupy 50% of the screen.

That's some valuable real estate right there! This monopoly on screen space is another reason why mobile ads tend to have higher click-through rates.
And in case you were wondering... Yes, Google has effectively monopolized the mobile search market. According to Global StatCounter, Google's mobile search market share was 96.9 percent as of May 2012. This alone is more than enough reason for dealers to embrace Enhanced Campaigns in their mobile strategy.

 

4. Optimize Your Landing Pages for Mobile

Potential phone and tablet customers deserve the same experience as desktop shoppers. Directing users to designated landing pages with strong, relevant content--- and not just dropping shoppers on the home page--- is a big part of providing that seamless experience. These landing pages should be mobile optimized, easy to navigate and in line with the site’s overall style and layout.

These steps may seem basic, but there are still brands out there that ignore the simplest things that make the biggest impact on their dealership advertising.

What steps have you taken to make sure your advertising is reaching the growing mobile shopping community?

Source: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1970539%3ABlogPost%3A503012&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_post

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I found this study about how consumers shop for cars from the AutoTrader Dealer Learning Center www.weworkforyou.com. Nearly a quarter of all new- and used-car buyers use multiple devices to shop. Indeed, there's a correlation between everyday device usage and shopping behavior, and it's a trend that's becoming a way of life. In fact, AutoTrader.com expects that 52% of all car shopping will be done on multiple devices within the next 5 years.This study reveals how consumers use their devices, and what you can do to ensure that you're delivering the kind of shopping experience they expect.

Click below to see the Entire Study:

AutoTrader.com Multi-Device Car Shopping Study: How Consumers Shop for Cars

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The Second Screen

In 2013, there will continue to be a growing number of people who have their smartphones and tablets handy while watching television. People are multitasking more often now than ever before while enjoying their television time. They are Tweeting, posting to Facebook, and visiting websites all from the comfort of their living room.

Many of us have done it before. We’ll be watching the game or our favorite show and talk about what we’re watching through our mobile devices on social media. We will see something that catches our eye and do a search for it to get more information.

Television shows are taking advantage of this, but it’s rare to see advertisers do the same. This is perplexing as there has never been a time when a television ad asking people to “act now” can actually get them to do just that. Those who use television ads can get immediate responses and interactions by crafting it into their television ads.

It’s better than telling people to “call now” or “come on down” because they’re not in that mode. They’re passive. They’re safe. When they’re watching television, they don’t want to get on the phone with a salesperson or stop watching the game to head down to a store. What they will do is visit a website, a social media account, or otherwise contact a store that advertises properly.

Think about it. Many car dealers use television advertising to get their brands out there, to talk about their low prices, and to highlight a sale that’s going on right now. There are people in the market for a vehicle who are currently watching television. They may even be watching your television ad right now. Why don’t you ask them to engage while it’s at the top of their mind.

It could be as simple as setting up a campaign. You can post an event on Facebook and pin it to the top of your page. The event can be to highlight the big sale this weekend. You may be giving away a free gift such as sunglasses to anyone who clicks that they might attend the event.

Then, it’s a matter of putting it in the television ad. Talk about the sale. At the end, say something like this: “Go to our Facebook page and like our sales event. Everyone who does gets a free gift just for attending – no purchase required!”

When they click that they’ll attend, it will show as such to their friends and family. More importantly, you’ll have the ability to engage with them before and after the event. It’s a soft lead, but you have to assume that people who actually show up aren’t there just for the free sunglasses. They are there to test drive a vehicle. The rest is up to you.

It doesn’t have to be so blatant. It could be as simple as “Send us a Tweet or post a comment on Facebook about what you think the score will be this weekend. The closest guess gets a free oil change!”

You could always go for the direct approach. “Go to our website right now. We’ve posted our no-nonsense best price on all of our new and certified pre-owned Altimas, so if you’re in the market today, grab your tablet or smartphone and head to abcmotors.com.”

This is where creativity comes in. People have their smartphones close by and their tablets within reach when they’re watching your television ads. Take advantage of it. Adapting to the second screen will help your television advertising and mobile marketing work together to bring better results to both.

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SoLoMo - Boom or Bust in 2013?

It was one of the most used made-up words of 2012 (and in many cases, one of the most annoying). Just about every marketer in and out of the automotive industry used some variation of "SoLoMo" (Social/Local/Mobile) in a blog post, video, presentation, or declaration of things to come. The underlying concept - that many people and the sites they visit are becoming more social, more localized, and more mobile based - is likely here to stay for a while, but is it something that dealers should embrace in 2013 or something that they should wait on until it either explodes or fades into the same obscurity that QR codes and SMS marketing seem to be heading?

 

Before anyone jumps on that last statement, I'm not downplaying the effectiveness of either QR codes or SMS marketing. Used right, they can be very effective. They simply didn't materialize into the "next big thing" that many thought they would back in 2011.

 

I have three questions which I'll answer briefly just to spark the conversation, but I really want to hear from the ADM community.

 

Q1: Should they really be grouped together or should they be treated as independent marketing and communication forms?

There's a certain beauty in SoLoMo. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, the improvements by Google and Bing in serving consumers localized results, and continued expansion of social media into our daily lives, it all seems to tie together nicely. Social is accessed most often from mobile devices. Mobile devices and their operating systems are generating search results, apps, and other tools that tie in perfectly with localized engagement. Local interactions are becoming more prevalent in social media and through review sites.

It would seem that grouping them together is easy enough and presents the ability to save time and resources by consolidating strategies. However, each of the three components also have their own nuances and attributes that may require an active automotive marketing professional (both at the dealership and vendor level) to split the strategies into more focused campaigns and separate styles.

Should they stay grouped or not?

 

Q2: Is the time and effort required to make them "hum" worth it from an ROI perspective?

Let's get local out of this question immediately. Few would argue with the clear trends and data that shows the value of localized focus. Reviews, search traffic, retargeting - all have shown benefits that make the question silly in regards to local.

Mobile and social are different. Mobile is a tough beast to tame. It requires the right software, platforms, and strategy to get the desired effect, but is the effect worth the effort? Is there a large enough difference between good and great to make it worth the wholesale changes necessary to get to the highest level? Social is always a question from an ROI perspective - enough has been written for and against it so there's no need to rehash here.

Is there enough ROI to justify going to the next level?

 

Q3: Will SoLoMo grow in relevance or decline in 2013

I'm going to leave that question open. I have very firm beliefs about the direction of SoLoMo in 2013, but I'll hold my opinions until others are posted so as not to spoil the conversation prematurely.

* * *

What say you, ADM?

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There's something missing on most automotive mobile websites and apps. Everyone has "Get Directions". Most attach to the device mapping app to allow for navigation, though some still rely on sending people directly to Google maps, not navigation. The portion that's missing from many mobile sites and apps is the ability to get directions from device's current location.

This is an absolute must. You should demand it of your provider or move on. Here's why:

  • There are statistics that show that people who visit mobile version of car dealer websites buy a car within 24 hours. This is due to being in "buying mode" when they visit mobile sites. They may be out and about. They may be on their way to a day of car shopping.

  • They may be having a bad experience at a competitor's dealership. It's for these people that you want to make directions as easy as possible to get. They are less likely to ask their salesperson, "What's the address here?" Don't make them ask. Give them the option of getting directions to your store regardless of where they are. If they can be found on GPS, they should be able to get to your location.

Make it easy. Use an app or a mobile site that works directly with their GPS. You'll get more leads, visitors, and sales as a result.

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There has been a lot more talk over the last several months about mobile. It has transitioned from a "check box" item where dealers ask their vendors the simple yes or no question, "Do you have mobile sites in your package?" Today, the questions are more along the lines of, "What makes your mobile websites better than my competitors'?"

That, at least, should be the question.

The world is going mobile. There is zero doubt that mobile is growing exponentially and the activities that many people perform on a daily basis are transitioning to mobile. When people watch television, they often have a mobile device at the ready. They talk about their favorite shows while they watch them. They curse at the cornerback who just intercepted their team's pass by posting their anger on Twitter or Facebook. They check out websites of things they see on television.

When your television commercial reaches someone who is in the market today to buy a car, do you think they're getting up and going to the computer? Some do. Some just grab their iPhone and check out your inventory from there. What will they find?

Last month our founder and VP of Internet Marketing Richard Valenta did a webinar called "5 Mobile Must Haves." The fifth component is about decisions rather than actual mobile websites, but here's a quick breakdown of the takeaways from the webinar:

 

1. Speed is Absolutely the Most Important Thing. Period

Nobody like to wait. Some of us have grown a little more patience in the last couple of years as we know that internet connections are slower through mobile devices, but we still want a site to respond quickly.

Mobile sites MUST load quickly. Inventory must load quickly. The site must flow properly and not skip a beat. This is the number one reason why we're still skeptical about adaptive website design. We know it's the future. It just doesn't work today for dealers on mobile devices because of the speed factor. The technology simply isn't ready for this industry.

Speed can help. Lack of speed can kill.

 

2. Easy Navigation

This should be a no-brainer. It's intuitively understood that the ability to quickly navigate through a mobile site is important in keeping people on your mobile site. The challenge is that even though everyone seems to know it, so many mobile solutions out there simply don't pay attention to this fact.

Get them from your mobile homepage to wherever they want to go (especially inventory) in a couple of seconds or less.

 

3. Strong Mobile Inventory

The screen is smaller. It's surprising that many mobile sites have such small images on them. That's just one point.

The bigger point is the idea that no matter where they are on your mobile site, whether on the homepage, the inventory listings page, or the inventory details page, they should be able to click to call. Again, it's a no-brainer, but so few have it.

 

4. GPS Integration

I'm not going to cover it again, as I wrote an entire article about it here. Bottom line - get GPS integration into your directions. If someone is on your competitor's lot, don't make them ask for the address if they want to come see you. Let them get to you straight from their mobile device wherever they are.

Here's the webinar itself:

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Mobile

There were several takeaways from Nielsen's recent mobile studysurrounding restaurants, travel, and the automotive industry, but the one that surprised me the most was that 43% of automotive searches on mobile devices were done to do price comparisons. The rise of mobile in our daily lives means that many of the activities that once tethered us to our desks at home or at work can now be done on the go, so I knew instinctively that the number of people comparing prices while out on the lot was probably high. I simply had no idea it was THAT high.

What does this mean for dealers? With around 20% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, the need to simplify the experience and increase the engagement is higher than ever. They aren't just using their mobile devices to get directions and a phone number. They're doing live research. It could be while they're watching television and using their mobile device as the second screen of interaction. It could be while they're chit-chatting with their spouse about that weird noise they heard in their engine on the way to the restaurant. Then, of course, it could be while they're at a dealership looking at vehicles, in which case the need for a dealership's mobile presence to offer price and vehicle details on inventory is paramount.

Mobile sites are not just a "checkbox" to be covered anymore. The times are behind us when the questions surrounding mobile being asked to a website vendor was, "do you have mobile sites included?" Today's savvy dealer (and business in general) must explore more deeply in order to make certain that the mobile sites are perfect. They should be responsive, have simple methods of communication with the dealership on every page, and present details about the vehicles including big pictures (that don't slow down the site) and further information.

The second most important statistic from the study:

Overall the study found that half of the mobile automotive search audience were doing longer term research but roughly half (49 percent) were “looking to make a purchase within the day.” However 36 percent of this group converted “within the hour.”

If that's not a compelling piece of information to make you want to maximize your mobile site effectiveness, nothing will convince you.

Here's an infographic from the study. The full study is available by registering.

Mobile Path

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