TradePending TV

Dealers! Don’t Make This Website Mistake


We see dealerships’ websites making this mistake every single day, and we’re gonna tell you how to fix it. 

Today, September 1st, is national TOFU day. 

In marketing speak, TOFU stands for the top of the funnel, i.e. shoppers that are in the early stages of their buying cycle. This describes the vast majority of people visiting your website today. They’ve ended up there from a google search, a 3rd party aggregator, a paid campaign, an email newsletter, whatever.

The big mistake we see dealers making is thinking they’re all ready to buy a car right now, or “bottom of the funnel”, and steering them into a full-blown appraisal or digital retailing process. Just don’t.

To be fair, the dealers really aren’t at fault here. Us, the automotive software vendors are. Every company insists you use their call-to-action buttons, whether or not that’s actually what’s best for that end user and where they are in their buying journey.

Yes, some small percentage of shoppers will be ready to buy a car and spend more time answering questions, finding their VIN, taking pictures of their car to upload. 

The fix is to use your call-to-action buttons and their wording wisely. Steer those highly motivated shoppers to those tools. Everyone else, the 95% of your other website visitors? Give them the information they want quickly for their trade-in, for a payment quote, for whatever. 

And I hope I don’t have to eat tofu every time we talk about top of the funnel. See you next time.




Can you provide examples of call-to-action buttons and their corresponding wording that would be most effective for engaging highly motivated shoppers versus those in the early stages of the buying cycle?

Effective call-to-action buttons and their corresponding wording should be tailored to engage visitors based on their stage in the buying cycle. For highly motivated shoppers ready to make a purchase, call-to-action buttons can prompt actions such as “Get Your Instant Appraisal” or “Start Your Digital Retailing Process.” These buttons should lead to tools or processes that cater to customers ready to move forward with a purchase. On the other hand, for visitors in the early stages of the buying cycle, call-to-action buttons should offer quick access to information they seek, such as “Get Trade-In Value” or “Get Payment Quote.” This strategic approach ensures that visitors are directed to appropriate tools or information based on their readiness to buy, optimizing the user experience and conversion rates.


What are some common pitfalls that automotive software vendors encounter when designing call-to-action buttons for dealership websites, and how can dealerships ensure they select buttons that align with their visitors’ buying journey stages?

Common pitfalls automotive software vendors may encounter when designing call-to-action buttons include a one-size-fits-all approach that does not account for visitors’ varying buying journey stages. Dealerships can ensure they select buttons aligned with visitor needs by prioritizing user experience and journey mapping. Considerations should include the visitor’s likely intent and level of engagement, ensuring that call-to-action buttons provide clear value propositions and next steps. Dealerships should evaluate call-to-action options based on their ability to guide visitors seamlessly through the buying journey and facilitate their desired actions while avoiding overwhelming or confusing them.