Not running your online auction alongside a fundraising event? No problem! Here are some simple tips to boost exposure of your auction and ensure maximum fundraising success.
Timing is everything
We recommend launching your auction on a Thursday or Friday evening, specifically targeting commuters on their way home for optimal viewing. Past data has revealed bidding activity spikes at the weekend, giving your donors plenty of time to browse leisurely.
It's likely donors will want to discuss the auction items on offer with their family and friends, so it's important to plan how long your online auction will run. If you give them too much time, they will lose a sense of urgency to bid. We recommend between 2 - 3 weeks. The close date and time should be strategically announced for when the majority of your donors have the time to place last minute bids, this will increase bidding activity in the last few hours of the auction.
Promotion is key
Start promoting the online auction a week before the launch date to get potential donors excited about the auction items available. Launch your marketing campaigns when donors have the time to browse the internet (commute rush hours, evenings, weekends etc).
A strong social media presence can be a powerful tool when aiming to get global engagement for your online auction. Utilising a range of social media platforms will allow you to reach different global networks. Building excitement around your online auction before the launch date is vital (as mentioned earlier) for example, pre-auction posts should showcase previews of the best auction items, this will increase bidding activity when the auction is launched. Take a look at the various free templates within our fundraising tool kit (the content is event focused but you can easily alter it for your online campaign) to help promote your online auction.
Hashtags should be used throughout all promotion posts, as well as, pinning most important content to the top of social feeds, for example, the link to the online auction, to ensure visibility is maximised. Word of mouth is also a cost effective way to get your auction out in the world, so encourage your supporters to share your posts with their followers to get the ball rolling.
To help encourage further participation once your auction is launched, you should interact with the bidders by replying to comments and answering queries helping to create conversation around the auction. Another tip is to showcase items, on your social channels, that have the highest bids, to increase the competition or push items with fewer bids to draw attention to them.
When it comes to email, the most efficient way to get the word out to as many people as possible about your auction, is to send a mass awareness email to all supporters in your database. In addition, a personal email to each of your major donors could help encourage engagement and further strengthen your relationship.
As we all know, content is king! The content within your email is paramount in enticing supporters to get involved with your online auction. A good way to get people bidding is to showcase any exciting and exclusive auction items as well as revealing the close date, which will create a sense of urgency. A strong CTA (call to action) is paramount, placing a button at the bottom of your email which directly links the donor to the auction site is a good idea to make your online auction easily accessible. CTA’s can also be placed throughout the email, helping to increase click-through rates.
If you would like information on how to easily create an online auction, please request a custom demo or contact us!