28 Feb

Posted by Roger Martin

Email Automation is giving Auctioneers the competitive edge

A lot of auctioneers are still resorting to paper based communication and ‘snail mail’ when it comes to communicating with their buyers and vendors. Those that do use email in conjunction with their back office systems still have too invoke it manually, and often the emails are text only and don’t convey a modern professional brand statement for the auctioneer – enter email automation.

 

Auction Marketer has developed a technology that drives email automation for auctioneers based on prospect and client actions and transactions that take place on the web site. We understood how important it was to make sure that clients were provided with confirmation emails very time that they placed a commission bid on an auction web site. We also realised how important it was to remind clients if they had items in their bid basket, or in their Wishlist the day before the sale, and we automated that process.

 

We then added the ‘Register Your Interest’ function that allowed users to store key phrases against their auction account and every time an auction catalogue was uploaded to the auction web site it looked to see if there were matching items and sent out an email with visuals and links to the matching items. This level of fully branded email automation is key top collector and investors being kept aware of the products coming to auction.

 

Then we introduced the registration email that looked at users interests as part of the process and automatically aded them to the appropriate email marketing lists, and sent them a welcome email explaining how to bid on the web site, and importantly to understand how charges work at an auction, so that they don’t get caught out with buyers premium charges and VAT. (An important point to note now that the ASA are making statements about pricing transparency for bidders -particularly online)

 

We’ve developed systems for online condition reporting requests to be made directly from the auction catalogue and automated emails to let the client know that the report had been added to the auction website for them to view. In fact our condition report module is really easy for the auctioneer to manage the filtering and completion of condition report additions to the online catalogues directly from the back end of the Auction Marketer software. And once they hit save, it emails the requester with a fully branded email including the extra information and any new images.

 

An often forgotten task in a busy Auction environment is the effective management of valuation requests. We developed simple automated responses for the valuers to make the process fast and simple, including a mechanism to politely decline to provide a valuation. All valuations are stored in the back office of Auction Marketer should a client decide to move towards consigning, and whether its a full valuation with suggested reserve and estimates or a decline the emails are branded and professional.

 

When the Auction Marketer CMS is presented to prospective clients, one of the things they ask for again and again is a way to cut down on the physical mailing of invoices, statements and receipt forms. We now explain to them that we’ve got that covered as well with email automation… Our classic system includes consigning tools, automated pre-sale notification mails, vendor statements, client invoices and late payment chasing with links to a secure online payment gateway.

 

For every client on your books that has an email address, the Auction Marketer system adds a web account to the Auction Marketer system on launch which allows them to interact with your Auction House 24/7/365 using the internet.

 

They then receive an automated email every time they interact with your Auction House. So for instance, on setting up the web account they get a welcome email that explains how to use the web site to place commission bids, and bid live, it can explain how buyers commission works and how they can pay for their won items using the secure payment page on the web site.

 

They then by default get auction alert emails matching their buyer preferences pre-sale that can be built using our tailor made Auction Mailer tool. You simply select the sale to promote from a dropdown list, and the system links directly to the auction catalogue allowing you to choose lots that will populate the email directly. No fuss, no code, no hassle. Then proof the email to yourself and when ready choose a targeted list and schedule the send. All emails are fully tracked for opens, clicks and bid values back into the auction web site.

 

More than that we also offer a full recency, frequency, monetary and lifetime value analysis of every user on your web site. With bidder statistics from every email, search interaction and referred marketing channel reported on by the Auction marketer system, and for email bidders the individual data stored against their customer record you can build up a very powerful picture of your users behaviour, allowing you to learn more about your audience – every day!

 

Marketing automation is making waves in the auction industry and is saving forward thinking auctioneers a huge amount of operational time. Are you one of them? Contact us to find out more.

 

Email Automation from Auction Marketer

 

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