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Jan 29, 2020

How to Send Facebook Leads to Your Dealership's CRM

Sending Facebook Leads to Your Dealership's CRM

Before we start

This guide will work for most automotive CRM's such as VinSolutions, DealerSocket, Dominion, and Car Research XRM / Affinitiv. With that being said, even though ADF/XML was created to be a standardized automotive format, it is anything but that. Most CRM's parse this differently, so it's important that you give your CRM company a call after completing the integration to confirm that everything went through correctly.

Step 1 - Sending a Test Lead to the Form

Before starting the lead form integration, there must be at least one lead form in the ad account. If the your ads have been running and have already generated real leads from a lead form, skip Step 1.

If there have not been any real leads yet, we'll have to send a test lead with dummy data so that you can format the integration correctly.

To send in a test lead, we'll use Facebook's testing tool, found here. To learn how to use the tool, you can read Facebook's knowledge base article here. Once you've sent in a test lead, continue to Step 2.

Step 2 - Creating the Zap and the Action Step

You'll need to create a Zapier account to send leads to your CRM. Zapier is free as long as you're sending fewer than 100 leads to your CRM every month, but you can see more about their pricing here.

Create a new Zap, and select Facebook Lead Ads as the Action App. Make sure that the Trigger Event is New Lead.

Zapier Car Dealership Leads ADF/XML CRM Integration How to

Then, under the Customize Lead section, select your Facebook Page and set the Form settings to pull from Default (Any Form). This is the recommended option, but there are rare situations in which you might need to specify the exact form. For example, if each form has different fields that need to be passed through to the CRM.

In the Find Data section, pull a sample lead and make sure that all the values came through as expected and select the best sample. Take note of what this lead's first name and last name are. You'll need this in the verification step.

Zapier Car Dealership Leads ADF/XML CRM Integration How to

Step 3 - Sending the ADF/XML Email

Note: The easiest way to actually send the email to your CRM's lead mailbox is to create a new Gmail account that will only be used for this purpose. If you're more tech-savvy, you can use transactional email solutions such as Sparkpost, Mailgun, or Sendgrid.

Add another step in the Zap and choose Gmail as the App and set the Action Event to Send Email.

Zapier Car Dealership Leads ADF/XML CRM Integration How to

In the Choose Account section, follow the onscreen prompts to connect to the Gmail account that you made.

In the Customize Email section, insert your CRM's lead email (typically something like leads@smithchevy.crm.com) into the To field. You can add as many other people to the To section as you'd like. Doing so will not affect lead delivery.

Zapier Car Dealership Leads ADF/XML CRM Integration How to

In the email body, paste the following code.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?ADF version="1.0"?>
<id source="Facebook Campaign ID">{{VARIABLE}}</id>
<vehicle interest="buy" >
<odometer units="mi">{{VARIABLE}}</odometer>
<price type="quote">{{VARIABLE}}</price>
<name part="first">{{VARIABLE}}</name>
<name part="last">{{VARIABLE}}</name>
<email preferredcontact="1">{{VARIABLE}}</email>
<phone preferredcontact="0" time="nopreference" type="voice">{{VARIABLE}</phone>
<street line="1">{{VARIABLE}</street>
<name part="full" type="individual">{{VARIABLE}</name>
<email preferredcontact="0">{{VARIABLE}</email>
<phone preferredcontact="0" time="nopreference" type="voice"/>
<street line="1">{{VARIABLE}</street>
<name part="full">{{VARIABLE}</name>

Replace the variables {{VARIABLE}} with the appropriate fields from the Facebook Lead if they're available. If there isn't a field in your Facebook Lead, simply delete the variable. Please select the option to send the email as Plain Text. The integration will not work otherwise.

Once you've done all this, copy your email body into this XML validator to check for formatting issues. If all looks good, you can send a test lead to the CRM.

A quick overview regarding what some of these line items actually mean:

Vendor: This is asking for your dealership's name. Some CRM's use this information to route the leads to the correct client, or in their case, vendor. Make sure you fill in as much of the vendor information as possible.

Customer: This is the person who filled out the lead form.

Provider: This is you! If you work for the dealership, you can put your vendor name as yourself and put the service as "Facebook Ads." That way everyone will know where the leads are coming from.

Step 5  - Verification

Call your CRM provider to confirm that everything is working correctly. Even if you see the test lead in your CRM, we would still recommend calling. Some CRM's will need to add the “provider” as a new “source” before they will start parsing your leads. You may need to have the sending email address (the value of the “From:” header) authorized. Additionally, your CRM may need to create a new “parsing rule," whatever that means. Could be the same thing as authorizing the sender. Who knows.

Step 6 - Banging Your Head Against the Wall

Yes, this sucks. And you're probably not going to get it right the first time. Oh, and your leads will randomly stop going into the CRM from time-to-time because your emails will get stuck in your CRM's "firewall." We definitely recommend checking your CRM at least once a week to ensure that everything is as it should be. Of course, if you don't want to deal with all of that, we're here to take the load off. Schedule a demo with me to see how we can take away this headache and start producing leads for you on Facebook.

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