DOWNLOAD OUR TEMPLATE BELOW--THIS TEMPLATE WAS CREATED BASED ON ONE OF OUR OWN NEWSLETTER UPDATES THAT RECEIVED A 38% OPEN RATE AND 52% CLICK THROUGH RATE. YOU CAN MATCH THESE RATES IF YOU FOLLOW OUR GUIDELINES.
Your email campaign is the most important ingredient in the recipe for a successful auction... aside from providing great inventory. You can have great inventory, but if no one knows where to find it, it's kind of moot. We have some guidelines to use when composing your email so that it gets a good click through rate, driving as many people to your auction as possible. You need to drive enough bidders to your auction to equal about a 10:1 ratio of bidders to items. So if you have 20 items, you need to get 200 people clicking through to your auction.
Don't have an email campaign service? No problem, click the link below to start a free trial with Constant Contact to run your first campaign:
- Your Subject line is crucial. We've found that the best subject line is under 80 characters and speaks only about the auction and auction items, not referring to ANYTHING else. Here is an example of a successful subject line that produced a nearly 40% open rate: Online Auction NOW OPEN! Bid Now on Manny's, Vikings, Gambling, Golfing & More!
- Use imagery. People are busy and often too busy to read. So start off with some images of your best items to catch their eye and make each image a direct link to your auction on our website. For those who may not load the images, it is a good practice to put a title and the starting bid price below each image so that they at least have a link that is quickly understood.
- Do NOT link to your website or any other website--that's not the point of this particular campaign. The goal is to get eyeballs looking at your auction items as quickly as possible. If you force them to make a stop at your website first to look for a link to the auction, you will damage your campaign considerably. A stop over at your site will be a distraction and many will forget why they are there or how they got there. It's tempting for nonprofits to use this email to spread awareness, and that is understandable, but your supporters will have plenty of opportunities to link back to your site after they see your items. So please make sure that EVERY link in your email is the link to your Auction Homepage.
- Please make this campaign a solely purposed one. That means, don't try to pack a bunch of announcements into this one email or your auction will fail. If anything, give us any other announcements you have and we will put them in your dedicated page on our site. You can put as much information on that page as you wish. A link to your page is at the top of your auction listing so that it can't be missed. But please make the auction your focus. We've seen too many email campaigns fail because the announcement for the auction was buried under several other announcements. Fact of the matter is, nobody wants to read through lengthy content anyway (like this, I hope you made it this far...haha), all they really see is the headline and some images and they will click a link if they're interested or move on to the next email... all in about 5 seconds.
- Time is short, so make your point very quickly. At first glance, your readers should see images and a headline announcing your online auction, some 'click here to bid' links, then something short and sweet about the reason for the auction.
- Send out at least three emails throughout the campaign. One at the beginning, one half way through as a midway reminder and one on the last day to remind your supporters of the closing time.
- Try to send your emails Tuesday through very early Friday for the best results. We don't recommend Friday because work patterns are inconsistent that day, however, Fridays can be okay since folks will be looking to play on their computers in the spirit of 'Friday'--they do, however, tend to leave early on Friday, so if you find you are closing in on 11am Friday, you're better off queuing the email for the following Tuesday. If you have stats for open and click through rates, use those stats to determine when to send your email blasts.
As mentioned above, if you need any help with this, that's what we're here for so please reach out to us. We can't stress enough how important this first email is. The average click through rate is about 5% (of your primary list, not of the open rate list) and you can only hope to see that much traffic from your first email blast. The next couple of emails will see fewer and fewer opens, so the first one is the most important one.
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