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Industrial Auction Companies What Is Your Largest Challenge?

Have you ever promoted an auction and gotten stressed out because you were not seeing people register?

People register for auctions later and later, sometimes pushing registration off to the day of the auction.

How do you market your auction with confidence that the registrant will come?

As I thought of this question, one of my favorite movies came to mind, Field Of Dreams. "If You Build It He Will Come"

For auction companies "If You Build It They Will Come". You are probably saying to yourself Build What?

  1. A cohesive marketing strategy that reaches only people interested in the equipment that is up for sale. 
  2. Finding unique sources that are not being bombarded with auction announcements.


1) Cohesive Marketing Strategy

A cohesive marketing strategy is where you have your marketing messages placed in front of the right audience at the right time by using a combination of marketing channels that complement each other.

Start by knowing your ideal audience and how they respond to marketing messages. 

Your auction announcements must reach the individual that would know if a piece of equipment was needed. They would also have to be in the position to make the decision to buy. *** Industrial auctions are tricky because the ideal customer changes based on the equipment that is being sold so thorough research is needed each time. This is very time consuming but when done properly the REGISTRANTS WILL COME!

Since people register for auctions later and later, you can not depend on doing a 1-off email promotion two weeks before the auction and think it will bring in many registrants. 



Now more than ever, companies need to be concentrating on building a relationship with their prospects so that they turn into loyal customers. As an industrial auction company if you want to stand out from the competition I suggest a strategic marketing plan that utilizes the following channels for educating and selling.

  1. Offer some educational content via Blog or Video. a) Benefits of buying in an auction setting. b) How to submit a bid and how much. Make sure the individual is aware of all the charges involved after the BID is won.
  2. Press Releases about successful auctions and new auctions your company has been awarded. Make sure you have 1 to 2 links for upcoming auctions, 1 link to educational content and 1 to your "About Us" website page.  
  3. A Dedicated email blast is a great way to promote the main pieces of equipment up for sale. Make sure the images are clear and large enough to view. Less is more - Do not pack your HTML with images. White space is your friend and will help you enhance the main pieces. Consider putting a video in your HTML that shows the machine in operation and how it works.
  4. Create Social posts promoting your educational content and upcoming auctions. Make sure you have posts at least 2 weeks before and leading up to the close of the auction. Remember, people register late, so have multiple social posts the last few days before the auction start date. If the sale is ongoing and some equipment sells, let people know. Put a sold sticker on it and promote there is still an opportunity to pick-up other equipment.
  5. Podcast Sponsorships - Relatively new channel, but it has been very responsive especially when you use a Podcast that is in the same specific niche as the equipment up for sale. (DDW Podcast - Flow Cytometry in Drug Discovery) Make sure when doing a podcast that they will give you the recording. Separate the podcast into audiograms so you can tease people to listen to the entire recording. The audiograms should be about hot topics - Example: How Has Marketing of Industrial Auctions Changed? 
  6. When time allows a Direct Mail promotion can be your most responsive channel. Direct Mail can be a great way to showcase a series of upcoming auctions or educate and attract new sellers. With a well orchestrated direct mail campaign you can get the attention of top management and start them thinking about liquidating unused assets.

Put all the channels together in a cadence that helps each channel build off of the other.


2) Unique Sources

Research industry-specific magazines, conference companies, and associations to see who has the best list to reach your audience.

  1. Make sure you know the source of the list. Where did the people come from and how did they get on the list. Did they pay to attend a conference? Did they qualify to receive a magazine? or Did they sign up for a free newsletter giving no details about themselves. You want to stick with sources where the individual reported information about themselves - Title, Industry, Interest, Techniques Used . . . 
  2. Ask the vendor what other companies have used their email lists and other marketing channels. Make sure the email lists are not being overused and especially by other auction companies. 
  3. Check about the deliverability of the email list. Utilizing publisher and conference databases that are in-house can greatly improve deliverability because the recipient already subscribes or attends their conference. Here is the reply from Informa when I asked them about the deliverability of their list ~ 

"First we ping the domain and run a deliverability check for all our emails (typically once a quarter). And since the recipient signed up for our direct response offers they have whitelisted our domain to receive both Informa communications as well as partner campaigns."  Director,  Informa


Once you have done your research, you are ready to plow the field to build a marketing plan that will attract individuals interested in the equipment you have up for sale. More importantly by building a relationship you will be able to have business success year after year.


I strongly believe that "If You Build It They Will Come". If you need any assistance with your building process, please feel free to contact me.