Which way of following up an online lead, with only an e-mail address?

The hardest lead of all? Only an e-mail address and no response!


Logically, everyone prefers to score via an easy and quick lay-up than via a difficult three point. It is no different in car land. As a salesperson, you prefer to only have leads that include telephone number, name and address, postal code and e-mail address, of which you know that the customer is available and that a car is purchased within three days. This is the ideal world for too many sellers in dealerships when it comes to online leads. If we go to today’s reality, with a lead that leaves less rather than more information, then you know that that ideal world does not exist and that it has to be followed up in a different way…

Only an e-mail address

Leads come in many shapes and sizes and, unfortunately, the lead that only leaves an e-mail address also exists. And if such a potential customer also asks a complicated question, many sellers will get lost. How do I know that? Because I present myself as such a lead in my Mystery researches. I always ask the same question: ‘What is your best price?’ The answer? Usually nothing but silence. In the most favorable case, sellers make once, sometimes twice, the effort to do a follow-up. But trying to make contact more often hardly ever happens. Probably because the lead is qualified as too incomplete and the question is seen as too complicated. Bye lead. Another chance lost.

At the nominees for the ‘Best online lead follow-up’ of the dealer awards, I investigated how they approach leads. Also with them it can – and should – be better to become more successful. There are no easy lay-ups. In addition, we must be aware that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get in touch with potential customers. Is there contact, even with a difficult question? Do not let the lead slip away, the question almost always comes from a need and you do not get a lot of opportunities to get in touch.

Paragon Direct

Most people who read my articles know that I am a fan of the way Paragon Honda from Queens, NY does business. They have a website, Paragondirect, where you can order a Honda online. To see the prices, you have to give some information. If you do that, but you do not buy anything, you get to see how they deal with their potential customers. From the first e-mail, which contains the code to ‘unlock’ the prices, Paragon continues to approach you by e-mail. I do not know exactly how long they last, but you continue to receive correct commercial e-mails. Time and again. The strength of Paragon is that they do not give up quickly and that they work according to a plan, with a clear strategy per type of lead. For the incomplete lead, the strategy for the company must be that there will come a time when that customer does buy from us. Paragon therefore also focuses on that incomplete lead and not only on that lead that has everything in sight.

Smart, because every marketer is already focusing on the complete leads. That difficult one offers possibilities, but only if you persist and do not give up after a second follow-up..

These are the emails I have received

19 september
Subject: Unlock Savings
Here is your personal unlock code: 0000

19 September
Subject: A message from Anniesa at Paragon Direct


My name is Anniesa from Paragon Direct. We here at Paragon are very happy to be notified of your interest in our Honda vehicles. I would like to extend to you an invitation to our showroom to allow us the opportunity to present you with a free test drive or we can simply bring the showroom to you. Please feel free to contact me at 718-255-8344 to schedule an appointment. Should you have a preferred time for me to contact you please send me a quick email at ahaniff@paragonhonda.com and we may speak then. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Thank you for choosing Paragon,

21 september
Subject: Your Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L Price

Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Accord Hybrid EX-L. Now that you have unlocked pricing, you can start to customize your payment terms for the car you want and see what works best for you. We offer full transparency on every part of the deal. Just click the “price details” link to see the total purchase price including taxes and other associated fees.

You can even begin the purchase process online. We save you time by providing tools to submit your credit application, get an express trade-in estimate online (if applicable), select service plans and schedule pickup or delivery–all from the comfort of home.

Once you start the order process we are there every step of the way. A concierge will be assigned to answer questions via text, email or phone. If you have any questions at this point in the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out using the dealership contact information below. We are here to help!

6 oktober
Subject: Did you receive my email?

Hello Paul,

I recently sent you information on the Honda Accord Hybrid you inquired about and wanted to make sure you received my e-mail.

Did it have the color and features you were looking for? If not, just let me know and I can re-send you a quote on the right vehicle. You are very important to us here at Paragon Honda and I want to make sure you get all of the information you were looking for.

Is there a good time you can come out for a test drive? My goal is to provide you with outstanding service and a smooth and easy buying experience, please let me know how I best assist you.

Paragon Honda

9 oktober
Subject: paul, Time to chat?

Hello Paul,

I hope all is well in your vehicle search! I wanted to see if you have received all of the information you need regarding the Accord Hybrid you inquired about?

Would there be a good time to chat to discuss how I can be of assistance?

16 oktober
Subject: Touching base

Hello Paul, –

I received an online inquiry from you several days ago about a Honda Accord Hybrid. I have attempted to contact you several times and have not been able to get in touch with you.

My goal is to provide each one of my online customers with professional service and attention. I understand and respect that your purchase decision might not be immediate, and I do not wish to bother you with an excess of e-mail or phone attempts.

If you could, please respond to this email so I can schedule a time when I might be able to be of service to you and not be a bother. If you are no longer in the market please let me know, as I don’t want to be a pest.

Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

21 oktober
Subject: Life is busy

Hello Paul,,

I hope all is well your way! I do have to be honest, this pesky Honda Accord Hybrid keeps asking for when you are going to come take a look at him.

Every time I am on the lot he asks me when is paul going to take him for a drive. I have to explain to him that you are very busy and will come by when it is convenient for you, but he won’t relent. So, can you please help me settle his little engine down and let me know when he can some see the inside of your garage?

All jokes aside, I do hope I have been of assistance in your search. Is there anything else I may be of assistance with?

31 oktober
Subject: New Incentives!

Hello Paul,

Can you believe it has been over a month since you requested some information on the Accord Hybrid you were interested in? I wanted to let you know our incentives and inventory have changed and I might be able to save you some money!

Take a look at our specials and inventory and let me know if I can send you over another quote!

5 november
Subject: Still in the market?

Hello Paul,

Even though it’s been a little over a month since you originally asked us for information on a Honda Accord Hybrid, I wanted to check in to see if there’s anything I can do to help you with your research and purchase.

19 november
Subject: Anything we can do?

Hello Paul,

As one of the managers here at Paragon I wanted to make sure that our team has made every effort to deliver the information you requested so that you can make an informed decision.

Has my team answered all of your questions?

I thank you for your time. Have a wonderful day!

3 december
Subject: New incentives and inventory!

Hello Paul,

When you submitted your request for information several weeks ago, I sent you a quote based upon the limited Information that I received over the web. There may be some incentives that are available on the Honda Accord Hybrid that may have not been available then.

You may have already purchased a vehicle, or the priority is not as significant currently, or life in general may have been incredibly busy and it has not been a primary need. In any event please email or give me a call and let me know how I can be of service or if you would like a current quote on the same vehicle or something else.

Please let me know how I can be of service to you.


Paragon is a real lighthouse for cardealers and salespeople for an constitent follow up proces!

About Paul and #DCDW
#DCDW was founded by Paul de Vries, the authority in the field of online automotive in the Netherlands. Paul uses his broad knowledge of the automotive industry to help sales people, sales managers and dealer management improve in their lead follow-up, sales and online marketing.

In addition, Paul is a frequently asked speaker, coach and motivator. He presents a podcast every week and two books with a collection of his inspiring blogs have already been published. Paul is also an automotive spokesperson of Marktplaats, an eBay company in the Netherlands.

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