About Nancy M. Hernandez

Specialist in Automotive Marketing and ADF leads. If you like this post, you can follow on LinkedIn at

Save Time and Effort when Converting Data to your CRM

By | 2020-01-19T14:24:56+00:00 March 19th, 2019|HTML Conversion|

Fast and Easy Conversion of HTML  or ADF Formats to any CRM Platform

One of the most important aspects of car dealership sales is in maintaining high levels of response time to requests from potential buyers. Business Development Centers (BDC) and/or a call centers and their consistent exchange of information with dealerships is vital.

Many car dealers neglect to contact leads in a timely fashion because content transferred from a 3rd party resources to the dealership are not effective. Information is often broken, missing, and formatting is a major concern. The results are missed opportunities to land potential clients and negative effects on dealership revenue.

Do you know what ADF or Auto-lead formats are?

ADF is the standard method car dealers use to send prospect information to Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) or prospect management databases. Essentially, it’s XLM code (Extensible Markup Language), an automotive industry norm since May 2000.

Most of these information exchanges occur between 3rd party vendor databases and the auto dealership’s CRM system via email. This method has been the most efficient because of its simplicity.

Commonly used automobile CRMs are Dealersocket, eLeadsOne, and Dominion, among many others. CRMs improvements over time have led to more complex code and not every prospect management system can read ADF. There has been a need to customize existing software at the dealerships to make this happen. Where customization is not possible, manual transfers of data occur, which increases the probability of error.

Save time, money and improve the effectiveness

The approximate costs associated with customization or implementing add-ons to solve data transfer problems start at $8,000 a year either through the dealership’s existing software, BDCs offering additional services, or man-hours for manual transfers. In short, it is a costly time-consuming enterprise and requires some development of efficiency.

One company has set out to design a solution for maximum efficiency to BDCs and call centers through the creation of the ADF Converter™. This is a tool which allows smooth conversion of complex code to customizable, and easy to view prospective client information for car dealerships.

A practical and simple process

ADF Converter™ had its beta launch in February 2018. It requires a few basic pieces of data – the manner in which a car dealership needs to see the finished transferred data, origin and destination emails, and if the lead doesn’t already originate in ADF format then an HTML email sample.

Step two includes ADF Converter™ professionals working with clients to develop a conversion format that aids in reviewing conversions through an intake sheet. Every intake sheet basically establishes what the clients want their finished information to look like inside their CRM.

Step three includes a final review. The process is repeated with each different CRM given the variety of automotive CRMs and how each display data differently.

Finally, the intake sheet is prepared and undergoes a quality assurance process. During the roll-out process, ADF Converter™ discovered that BDCs and 3rd party vendors were more likely to want to add this feature to their services over auto dealerships. As they sent their leads in either text or HTML format that most dealerships CRMs can’t read.

Share the contact information

To attract clients you must clearly show how they can contact you if they decide to pick up the phone and call or send an email directly. Approachability gives clients a reason to trust and rely on you. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that is more accessible than competitors. Consider SMS texting and chats as well.


ADF converter is undoubtedly a very important tool so that your business can operate at maximum efficiency and satisfy the requirements of each prospect and client.

We would like to know your opinions about this process. Tell us what you think and how the ADF converter could help your business. Please contact us at

If you have more questions about how to make improvements to your process that result in more clients, please contact us.

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By | 2020-01-19T14:45:43+00:00 March 1st, 2019|ADF, STAR|


Vehicle dealerships often need to transfer incoming data from their Call Centers to their CRM platforms, in order to optimize the selling process. It is very important that these systems provide information security at low costs and in an expeditious manner. On this occasion, I want to introduce you to the two main converters: ADF and STAR.

It is very common for some customers to contact a BDC or a third-party vendor to request potential customers information in a compatible format. That is why it is important to know the main differences between the main data converters.

Converting XML

The ADF is the standard method for sending leads to CRMs that Car dealers use every day. Also, it’s a format Extensible Markup Language (XML) code that the automotive industry has been using since May 2000. Likewise, STAR is another tool used to transfer the data to the CRM platform. Just like ADF, it’s an XML format that came onto the market in the same year.

Information transfer

Before making use of any of these formats it is important to know your differences at the time of use. Although both have an XML format, both must be applied differently.

For example, ADF uses the sending of codes through the main provider Customer Relationship Management (CRM) via email. This method is one of the most respected in the market because it allows you to analyze the data correctly in the CRM. This allows sellers to receive and communicate with their potential customers. Truly a great method!

As for STAR, it is known that it does not send information via email, because the data is encrypted. Therefore, it uses an API application to protect the information and have a  more secure information file. The API allows you to protect the information such as your date of birth or security number.  The process of using this application is safer,  but it is more cumbersome than ADF.

Costs and management

Those who take their first steps in the automotive industry or those who already have experience prefer to make use of ADF due to its easy handling and low usage costs.  These two elements are the main factors why dealers prefer this system.

For its part, STAR has several virtues. Over the years it has expanded to give value and grow industries such as marine service trucks,  construction equipment, and power sports. However, although the API application offers greater protection of the information, those who start in the automotive industry do not know how to use STAR, due to its complexity and the cost of its implementation.

ADF is still the most used system to migrate data from CRM. It offers a more user-friendly format, with prices accessible to the entry market and a known format. These are the main systems to migrate CRM data, its main functions, differences and virtues. I would like to know your opinion, leave me a comment and share your experience.

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How to forward leads to a CRM

By | 2018-05-11T17:45:00+00:00 May 7th, 2018|Solutions|

How to forward leads to a CRM

There are 3 ways to forward leads to a CRM:

  1. You can easily import your data into a CRM from CSV or any other format. It is a simple migration process. Most CRMs provide you with extremely easy data migration process.
  2. Many CRMs provide you with a functionality to sync your email with your CRM. Also, they usually provide a specific email id and create functionality to automatically treat it as a new lead.
  3.  If someone fills out a form on your website it will auto-generate the lead into your CRM.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management system which allows you to focus and keep track of your clients and potentials clients history with your organizations. It organizes the sales history, the contact, and it reinforces your sales process. CRMs also allow you to pull data information, its a database of marketing and decision making efforts.

Car Dealer CRM applications

If you’re working with automotive leads, then you’ll most likely need to have all the leads converted into the ADF format prior to sending the lead to the CRM. ADF or auto-lead data format is an XML based format that’s sent via email or API. You’ll need to discuss with your CRM representative on what email or email id are needed in order to submit leads. Normally, you will discuss methods of integrating a round robin (a technique for ensuring everyone gets a turn at the next customer) for your showroom sales staff, and how your service leads will be tagged and the names of all your service, sales and BDC staff.

Here’s a list of top Automotive CRM companies

Automobile or car CRMs have different process demands than standard B2B CRMs. Not every dealership uses an automotive CRM, but recommended as its easier to interact with a dealership’s management system or DMS. For example, the level of communication is drastically different between the customer and the dealership than between a regular brick and mortar store and its customers. Dealerships may need to provide quotes, financing, images and/or just specifications of a vehicle. A dealership may need to respond via email, text or SMS and do it quickly or have it automated. Then there’s the big factor of inventory, which is constantly changing or needing to be updated daily.

Then there’s the industry terminology used such as “phone-up” and “floor-up” which mean that same thing: a person that wants to buy a vehicle. But in their world, these mean completely different things. There aren’t many car dealers that understand or code their own software, so there’s a gap between tech-talk and car-talk. One of the major challenges is that automotive dealerships don’t use their CRM as seriously as they should. They don’t enter data in a timely fashion or sometimes not at all. Good CRM utilization requires time and attention, the more attention paid to entering correct data the more you’ll get from your CRM in the long run.

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Automotive Marketing Solutions

By | 2018-05-11T17:46:36+00:00 April 13th, 2018|Solutions|

An automobile dealership can spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on lead generation and yet the data that goes inside their CRM is not always acceptable. Third-party lead providers may not have the resources or methods to provide data in an organized fashion that leads to a more productive sales floor. While ADF (see what is ADF) is the industry standard format, not everyone uses it correctly. Dealerships find a problem with the labels or values that are entered in the provider source name, or the vendor will stuff information inside a comments field rather than the correct place it should be. There may be occasions when a dealership may wish to create or add information inside a certain element or node of the lead.

ADF Converter can provide automotive marketing solutions for your CRM problems. ADF Converter has the ability to parse ADF automotive leads before they reach the CRM. In essence, we offer the ability to create rules for your leads. You won’t need coding, it can be set up in minutes, and its always on. You can have to power to send lead the way your customers want it, and if you’re a dealership you’re entitled to get the leads that are acceptable to your organization.

Our application can help the dealership staff with their marketing reporting, and it can help close sales faster. How? well, we clean up the values inside any ADF leads so that you can quickly identify who sent you the lead. We can help you fix spelling errors in provider names, move or change values inside an element of a lead. We can also send text or HTML leads to multiple emails.

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Parse HTML to ADF

By | 2018-05-11T17:48:55+00:00 April 13th, 2018|Solutions|

Parse HTML leads to ADF

Are you a Business Development Center (BDC) or Third-party call center currently trying to send leads to automobile dealerships? If so, you’re inevitably going to be asked by a prospective customer, “Can you send me leads in ADF format?” and if your answer is no – you just lost a sale.

ADF or Auto-lead Data Format is the standard method of submitting leads to the CRMs that automobile dealerships use every day. ADF is an XML format of code that the automobile industry has been using since May 2000. The code is usually submitted via email from the lead provider directly to the CRM. Today it’s still a valuable method of parsing data correctly into the CRM quickly to allow salespeople to receive and communicate with their potential customers. Not all CRMs can read ADF, they need to have a DTD file install in order to do this. Automobile CRMs are limited, the most common automobile CRMs are Dealersocket, eLeadsOne, Dominion and only a few more.

In order for BDCs or Call Centers to provide ADF leads from HTML or Text, you need to figure out a way to get your outgoing HTML or Text leads parsed or converted into an ADF format. I have scoured the internet looking a method to accomplish this, and the prices were over $8000 annually for only a small amount of intakes, it needed about multiple weeks to develop, business processes were missing, and it was a complicated setup. Most people don’t have technical people in their call center to understand and manage the project with outside software developers.

Text to ADF

We set out to help Business Development Centers or Call Centers convert their leads to Auto-data dealership format (ADF), by creating ADF Converter and launching in February 2018.

Here’s how we do it, every HTML / text leads is custom, so we needed to create a script for every possible question and answer. We ask our customer to provide us with three pieces of information: source email, destination email and a sample HTML email lead.

Our Customer Success Team will work for you to build out the conversion within your account with ADF Converter where you can see the conversions done automatically through an intake sheet, and ensure that the conversion is done to your clients satisfaction.

Usually, within one business day, we’ll be ready for your first test lead. There will always be a reiteration, as every automotive CRM system displays data differently. Also, most BDCs will need to add their source information, so they receive credit for their work. We’ll prepare the intake sheet for you and ensure that its working properly on your destination. You can later change the source email or destination emails to your specifications.

Our Customer Success Team is available from 8 am to 5 pm EST Monday to Friday to ensure that you are satisfied with your lead results. You can now go get more clients and not be hindered by your current text submission lead.

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How to get started with an ADF intake sheet

By | 2018-05-11T17:52:53+00:00 April 13th, 2018|Solutions|

Getting Started with ADF Converter

Getting Started with ADF Converter is easy. You only need 3 things: a source email, a destination email and a copy of your ADF lead in XML format. If you need to parse an ADF lead, chances are you already have a copy of an ADF lead.

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Welcome and Thank You

By | 2018-04-13T13:58:37+00:00 February 5th, 2018|Admin|

Welcome, and Thank You



Thank you for your interest in our product, ADF Converter. After six years in the automotive industry, the product of ADF Converter was developed out of frustration with the inability to collect preorganized automotive leads within our CRM system, with data having to be manually entered into the CRM because some lead providers weren’t capable of sending leads in ADF format or used various names for themselves. This led us to spend the last year creating to help our clients and others in the industry who wish to take control of their data. We want to help General Managers, BDC Consultants and Marketing professionals, and Salespeople sell more cars.

Lead Adaptor was founded in July 2017 with a goal to transform the way ADF (Auto-lead Data Format) leads are managed by Automobile Marketing Professionals. Whether you work at the Dealership, a Car Portal lead provider or the CRM company. All these organizations need help in managing how the ADF lead is either imported or exported within your organization.

Our vision is to help the automotive industry in developing ways to communicate with each other, and delight their customers.

Nancy M. Hernandez

Finally Help with Cleaning up ADF leads

By | 2018-05-11T17:54:40+00:00 December 3rd, 2017|Solutions|

Working with various car portals (aka third-party lead provider) to send leads to automobile dealership is relatively easy. Customers fill out online forms on their sites and they, in turn, send it to our CRM system via ADF (Auto-Lead Data Format) lead. Once it enters the CRM a Salesperson can respond quickly to the customer.

It’s usually the marketing team that is responsible for determining whether the third-party lead provider is sending enough leads and if the return on investment (ROI) is justified. For years it’s been tedious work to go thru pieces of data to compile accurate and timely monthly figures. The reason for this frustration is the source of the lead comes in different names all the time. One vendor will send their lead source written in one name, and in their very next lead under a different name altogether, thus causing frustration for the marketing team to track.

For Automobile Dealerships

Well, someone has finally put together an application that can help change all that. The team at Lead Adaptor has been working for the past year to present  It’s a user-friendly system that allows the dealerships to convert the ADF <source> tag to facilitate their reporting within their CRM system. The way it works is, the third-party lead provider will send their lead to ADFConverter, where it gets parsed according to the rules laid out by the dealership marketing team and then gets sent to the CRM within seconds.

You need only create one intake sheet per vendor, and you’re done. The system will remember your rules and work behind the scenes to clean your data.

For Third-Party Lead Providers

ADFConverter can also be used by the third-party lead providers as well. They can use it to cater to their customer’s needs and provide a value-add to their services. Each of their clients can receive a lead the way they wish to see it, while still allowing the third-party lead provider to keep their source tags intact.

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2017 Automotive Analytics and Attribution Summit Summary

By | 2018-05-11T17:56:45+00:00 December 1st, 2017|Conferences|

What’s going on with Automotive Attribution?

After three days of meeting exciting automotive professionals and attending several workshops. I am happy to report that it was worth the cost and the wait. Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit was in a held at the Boca Beach Club and offered workshops thatprovided us with tools to apply everyday in order to help my clients sell more cars thru marketing.

On Tuesday, August 7, 2017, I attended the VistaDash User Group, where I discovered it to be a reporting system that connects Google Analytic with the dealers CRM to provide new metrics that are specific to dealerships. Later there was a meeting of ADF 2.0 Committee, here I was able to meet individuals that I had spoken to on the phone, such as David Metter of Urban Science, Thomas Gage of Gage Consulting, and Brian Jacobs of ELeadOne and many more that are critical to the update of ADF 1.0 in the near future. We had come together to discuss the future of ADF and how to help the auto dealerships.

Wednesday was a full day starting early at 7 am with breakfast served on a beautiful patio deck and opening keynote speakers Brian Pasch of PCG our host and John Clavadetscher of who had a very engaging history presentation of our industry.  In the afternoon, I attended two workshops: The Audience Effect: How People-first Marketing is Disrupting Attribution and Why Consumers Loathe Your Online Experience. The first was conducted by Kelly Owens of Oracle Data cloud and was very informative on how you can unlock layers of consumer data in Facebook to target specific markets, and the second was conducted by Andy Medley which was  a bit more self-promoting, but did reveal how limited we are in being able to personalize a site to individuals.

Here is the list of conference topic

  • The Audience Effect: How People-First Marketing is Disrupting Attribution – by Kelly Owen of Oracle Data Cloud

  • Building Effective Targeting and Attribution Models with Experian Data – by Ken Kolodziej,  Experian Automotive

  • Stop the Insanity: Your Sales Attribution Reports are Flawed – by David Page, Dealer eProcess

  • Building Effective Marketing Campaigns That Connect With Sales Date – by David Boice, Team Velocity

  • Why Consumers Loathe Your Online Experience – by Andy Medly, PERQ

  • 7 Secrets to Maximizing Your Attribution Investment – by Steve White, Clarivoy

  • Meet Roxanne, A Technology Breakthrough to Measure Attribution Through Events and Customer Intent – by Joe Chura, Dealerinspire

  • All Traffic is Note Created Equal: How to Use First Party Data to Attract Buyers vs. Shoppers – by Seth Berkowitz, Edmunds

  • Leveraging GA to Measure Conversion Tool Effectiveness – by Aaron Baldwin, CarNow

The last day, started with a nice breakfast and Keynote panels as well as more workshops in the afternoon. I attended Meet Roxanne – A technology Breakthrough to Measure Attribution Through Events and Customer Intent by Joe Chura of DealerInspire. Joe Chura provided a very entertaining and informative hour by which he not only explained the need for attribution but also how to achieve not only with this product but on our own.

Joe Chura provided a very entertaining and informative hour by which he not only explained the need for attribution but also how to achieve not only with this product but on our own.

The second, and last workshop I attended that day were Investing Your Media Dollars With Certainty: The Role of a Quality Visit and Attribution with Kevin LeSage of Cox Automobile, this left me with more questions than answers and it seems that they were lagging behind other web vendors in the offerings.

The last day, started with a nice breakfast and Keynote panels as well as more workshops in the afternoon. I attended Meet Roxanne – A technology Breakthrough to Measure Attribution Through Events and Customer Intent by Joe Chura of DealerInspire. Joe provided a very entertaining and informative hour by which he not only explained the need for attribution but also how to achieve not only with his product but on our own. The second, and last workshop I attended that day was Investing Your Media Dollars With Certainty: The Role of a Quality Visit and Attribution with Kevin LeSage of Cox Automobile, this left me with more questions than answers and it seems that they were lagging behind other web vendors in the offerings.

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2017 Automotive Analytics and Attribution Summit

By | 2018-05-11T17:57:53+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Conferences|

How Good is Your Automobile Dealership Analytic Data?

This year on November 8th and 9th, 2017  the first Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit held in Boca Raton, Florida.  I will be attending to get information for my automotive clients. It a first of its kind dedicated to online marketing analytics and attribution for the automotive industry. I expect the summit to bring together like-minded automotive dealership marketing analytics, marketing portals, and CRM technology companies to discuss standards or methods for handling attribution and analytics.

I have been a part of the online ADF 2.0 committee with David Metter and Brian Pasch to improve and expand the capabilities of ADF (Auto-lead Data Format). This is way overdue, ADF 1.0 was released 17yrs ago, according to on May 3, 2000. It was the joint effort from Reynolds & Reynolds, Autovantage, Stoneage, Cobalt, Microsoft,, AutoSite and Kelley Blue Book which provided us with this standard. Today the automotive industry has grown and their needs are wide-reaching, I am looking forward to having further discussions to improve on 1.0 and expect to have ADF 2.0 release in 2018 during the NADA conference in Las Vegas for March 2018

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