Before, During and After...Promote! Promote! Promote!
While watching the rain continue to come down from my BiddingForGood cubicle, I was pondering how I could brighten up your day and shed some light on the auction front.
I have been with the company for just under 18 months and have learned way more in those past 18 months than any other Intro to Biology or Philosophy class taken at my Alma Mater. (Go Eagles!) What I have learned is the importance of promotion in auctions. At least once a day, I see things that could have been done differently and, in turn, yield much greater success in each of these auctions that I try to uncover and decipher. "Thomas, I just don't think I picked a good time to run an auction!" or "We never really got enough activity in our auction." COME ON PEOPLE! WE CAN DO THIS!
All organizations want to make as much money as possible through auctions. Promotion is HUGE in gaining the maximum revenue. I will discuss what I want to see with my current clients (Hi all!) and all other organizations looking to raise money in the future. Promotion can be broken down into 3 time periods: Before, during and after.
The calm before the storm: This is where the rubber meets the road, or whatever that expression is supposed to mean, and things begin to come together. You have items, you have your pretty homepage, and are ready to promote. How? Easy. Social media is huge and you'd better do it in every which way possible. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Organization's website, etc. The more social media coverage you have, the better. Previewing what items are in the auction is another important step in the pre-auction phase. Giving an idea of what will be in your auction will give your constituents a sense of excitement, even before the auction begins. Lastly, promoting in the "real" world is key. Flyers at the school, posters around the office bulletin boards around the community center are all great ideas to make people aware of your auctions and online auctions.
The 7th inning stretch: Your auction is live! Don't panic...you are raising money as you are reading this. Important steps can be taken during the auction in order to increase revenue. Market your high ticket items. This will attract everyone going to your auction and peruse other items you have to offer. If you get a new item during the course of the auction, send out an email, update your twitter, and Facebook it! This will bring people back to your auction and make them look at it in a new light. Before the auction closes, do NOT be afraid to send out a couple emails letting people know the close time. You won't want to kick yourself knowing that you could have got that extra bid because you didn't send one last email to Mom. Promotion is essential during the auction to keep your auction upbeat and new!
Now what?: Now that you are full of glee from your auction results, what do you do now? Keep these people on a short leash! Continue to promote to these people throughout the year. You have their email addresses, so send those updates. Send them updates about the next event you have coming up. These people have shown that they will support your organization and there is nothing telling me or you that they will not do that again. You want to capture them and keep them on your radar.
These are a few basic tips all should follow before, during and after your auction. The auction is a great source of visibility. Promotion is key to increasing this visibility and putting your organization on the map.