Text Message Case Study Car DealerCOGSWELL FORD LINCOLN MAZDA

A 3rd generation family-owned business, Cogswell Motors strives to combine the professionalism of a contemporary dealership with the personal touch of a family-owned store. Sales Manager Richard Roberts, having put in over 30 years at Cogswell Motors, has built on the customer service legacy left by his father, Euel, who served his customers from 1955 to 2003.

The dealership realized that to stay current with the times they needed to engage today’s car buyer through their communication medium of choice, namely text messaging. This was reinforced in the fall of 2013 when David Roberts, BDC Manager learned of the success his 20 Group dealers were having with a new program called Text Ups.

The dealership advertises their inventory through AutoTrader, Cars.com, CarGurus, SEM paid search and various micro sites at an average cost of $25.00 per lead. They average 200 leads per month from all of these programs combined.

TextUps - the Game Changer

The dealership has been on the TextUps program since October, 2013 and utilizes the following TextUps services:

  • SMS Lot Labels for new inventory

  • SMS Hang-tags for used inventory

  • Save-To-Phone technology for website VDPs

text message case study car dealer


For the dealership, key markers determining the success of the TextUps program include:

  1. Value to Shopper: On the lot, TextUps lot labels give shoppers what is promised; instant access to vehicle information on their phone.

“We have had several customers tell us just how helpful being able to save vehicles to their phone is... We see a lot of value in that!”

  1. Value to Dealer: TextUp leads are delivered to the dealership’s email, phone or CRM.  The dealership has opted for TextUps to email leads to their BDC and send text alerts to their salespeople on the floor.

  1. Call-to-Action: Each TextUps auto-reply contains a call-to-action which the dealership can control; $500 off coupon, trade-in form, etc. The dealership has opted for links to Trade-in and Credit applications for their call-to-action.

First Responder Best Practice:

Research has shown that many TextUps leads are shoppers in the exploratory buying mode. Therefore, coming on too strong can kill the lead. Salespeople who introduce themselves with a text message reply will build rapport and deliver more vehicles.

Cogswell Motors process is different for new shoppers versus existing customers.  For new shoppers, their BDC sends a text message reply back to the customer to confirm receipt of the vehicle information requested. If the customer is already in their CRM, they have salesperson reach out with a phone call “just to say hello and see how things are going.”


While industry staples like AutoTrader and Cars.com have managed to stay in the dealership. The volume of low-funnel leads from TextUps is undeniable - delivering twice as many leads as all of their other programs combined.

“TextUps’ genius is leveraging traditional and digital marketing to capture low-funnel leads.  

We highly recommend TextUps to any dealer who wants leads!"   -  David Roberts,  BDC/Internet Sales Manager

“TextUps, a great service offered by a company that really seems to care about getting it right for the dealer.”

Rich Mazurek - Fuller Chevrolet GMC Truck, Rockland, ME