Both of these metrics are excellent for determining the quality of a list, but we have yet to consider an important factor - quality or quantity.
In an auction setting competition for items is essential to achieve the highest possible hammer price. So quantity really does matter. However, just how many bidders do you need? In reality you only need 2 highly motivated bidders to compete against each other to drive prices up.
Clearly, the more bidders competing for a lot, the higher the prices are likely to go, but we mustn’t lose sight of the basic requirements - just 2 competing bidders.
Quality over quantity
To find your 2 motivated bidders quality is essential. Your target audience need to:
- Have a current demand for the items you’re selling
- Be motivated to bid
- If applicable, be comfortable buying from overseas and arranging shipping etc.
- Have budget available within the timeframe of the sale - remember, expenditure for high price capital assets often requires a long approval process.
Which would you prefer?
Let’s look at an example.
Imagine your sale is in 4-weeks’ time, the average lot value is in the region of $50,000 and the assets are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Rent a huge email list of 30,000 names and send an email once (with such a high quantity your budget might only stretch to a single send).
The open and click through rate is reasonable and your website receives 300 visitors to the sales page.
Of those 300 visitors, only 3 register to bid in the sale, none of them actually bid.
Rent a small, highly targeted list of individuals who have recently attended a seminar in pharmaceutical manufacturing. On registration the individual confirmed they have spending authority for large capital assets and they are interested in manufacturing equipment.
The list is quite expensive, but it is also much smaller, just 2,000 contacts, but you can afford to send it 3 times.
Open and click through rates are higher, but the actual number of visitors to your site is just 50 after the first email goes out. You send the second email and find that several recipients revisit the site and some new interest is captured too. By the time you’ve sent your email a third time a total of 110 people have visited your website and 15 of those have registered to bid. 5 go on to place bids, 2 of them winning lots, but the other 3 helped raise prices significantly by providing the much needed competition.
Is this true in all instances?
Not always, testing and measuring is essential. One thing is clear - targeting prospective buyers, rather than aiming purely for website visitors will deliver higher value.
We need to shift our indicators of success from open rates and click through rates to ones that have greater meaning for the business. The true value of a website visitor is in what action they take in your auction sale.
How to find highly targeted lists
I have been helping industrial auctioneers find buyers for their sales for over 20 years. My knowledge and experience will help you find the highest quality lists for your sector. Call me, Donna Peterson, today on +1 860-210-8088 or email me directly email@example.com.