Case Studies

Mtn View’s Winning Strategy For Website Conversion

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Don Erwin, the Director of Digital Marketing and Communication at four dealerships for Mtn. View Auto, had seen just about every tip, trick and tactic to convert visitors on their website into conversions. When he saw the different approach that Payments took for payment calculations and TradePending for trade-in valuations, he knew it was time for a change.


Previously, Mtn. View Auto’s websites lacked a payment calculator, and those that existed in the summer of 2019 were rudimentary and not true lead generation tools. He also understood that the push towards online car buying required critical thinking when considering his local markets. 

Erwin concluded, “We don’t ever want a complex online car buying tool on our site. Our clientele is not willing to spend an hour going through forms and a frustrating process. Payment’s approach is just the opposite: quick, user friendly, and informative.” 

“We also knew that our current solution through for valuing vehicles wasn’t optimal,” continues Erwin. “We were seeing very few leads and when working them effectively, leaving a ton of money on the table.” 

“We don’t ever want a complex online car buying tool on our site… Payments’ approach is just the opposite: quick, user friendly, and informative”

-Don Erwin

A Winning Combination

 After implementing Payments for payment calculations, their inbound leads from their website skyrocketed. “I love that Payments makes it so simple for our customers to understand what they can afford. They get just enough information, while our team retains control of the conversation to guide the customer down the right path,” says Erwin. 

Payments’ products meet consumer’s expectations in different ways, leading to better website conversion. Shoppers that wish to know their monthly payments can easily accomplish that task. Shoppers that want to know which cars they can afford based upon their monthly payment also have this unique insight. Erwin raves, “We get about 20% of our Payments leads from shopping by monthly payment. I love that customers have two approaches for getting the information they need.” 

Erwin, continues, “We’re routinely converting 10-12% of these leads into sales, which makes the return-on-investment off-the-charts. Then when we implemented Trade, our trade-in leads literally doubled overnight. In one of our relatively small markets, we’re generating over 300 leads per month with Trade.” 

The implementation of both products was straightforward. Erwin initially worked with his F&I department to determine the right criteria for the payment calculations. “After the initial setup, we can adjust the rates if needed, but it’s mostly a set-it-and-forget-it implementation.” 

Smart Processes

Erwin has been deeply immersed in automotive and customer relationship management software (CRM) for decades. Like any good marketing leader, he knows the tools are only as good as the people using them and processes built around them. 

Erwin implemented very specific protocols for their leads from payment calculations, including talk tracks, email, and text templates. “Since we know the customer’s hot button is payments, that’s specifically how we craft our outreach to them,” comments Erwin. “We’ve got the process so finely tuned that 95% of customers respond to our text outreach within the hour”. 

Mtn. View Auto also takes a sophisticated approach to their email marketing campaigns. Many of their emails include a well-designed call-to-action that points people directly to the payment calculator, encouraging people to learn what they can afford. This extra content in their emails helps move customers further down the sales funnel. 

Their twice-per-month email campaigns also include “we’ll buy your car” messaging, sent to three different customer segments. “We sold 22 cars off of 2 emails that pointed to TradePending solutions. We love putting these tools in our customers’ hands, and the results are excellent,” says Erwin. 

“We’re routinely converting 10-12% of these into sales, which makes the return-on-investment off-the-charts”

-Don Erwin

Working Together as Partners

Erwin serves on multiple dealer councils for software companies, and doesn’t hold back his thoughts and opinions on their products. His feedback has led to product improvements and helped build a true partnership. 

“Hal Wray and the Payments team, now the TradePending team, have been fantastic to work with over the years. We’ve built a great relationship together, but it’s the results that really keep us here. I keep a running total of all leads and their performance. We are still growing our lead volume despite cutting our digital budget in half.” 

See for yourself how you can grow your website conversions and source more inventory with TradePending. 

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