That doesn’t mean you necessarily throw direct mail out altogether. You just have to be smart about it—efficient at it. Here are several suggestions for making the most out of your mailing list.
There’s an interesting assumption in the auction industry that people have shorter attention spans online than they do in print. Don’t believe me? Grab almost any winning direct mail piece in any state or national auctioneer association’s advertising contest. I’d bet you what I’d charge to design it that there’s more text on any one side of it than what Facebook allows visible in a full ad. In many samples of auction direct mail I’ve seen, there’s more text in the terms & conditions on the mailer panel than in a successful Facebook ad.
While this change is inconvenient for almost all of us, it creates another Darwinian opportunity for professional marketers to separate themselves from those unwilling to adapt. Commissions are at stake, if not business models. Whether you outsource your social media or handle it in-house, you’ll be best served by viewing the asset through your buyers’ eyes instead of your own—and then using as few words and characters as possible to sell them.
Never in human history has targeting thousands of wealthy people been so easy or inexpensive. Thankfully, that means we can get better results for our sellers in shorter time frames and on smaller budgets.
From talking to my clients, I know that auctioneers sometimes face uncomfortable post-sale conversations with their sellers because they aren’t having tough pre-sale conversations with their sellers.
Without that message, I am uncomfortable wasting auctioneer’s money on advertising to sellers. Every winter, a line of auctioneers call or email me about getting more sellers. This winter was no different. The consultation unfortunately doesn’t continue long after I ask them the following questions:
Advertising awards affirm our actions and can even be a competitive advantage. Their importance, though, pales in comparison to the impressions that the marketplace has of our brand and its iterations. We don’t compete just against other auctioneers. We compete every day against the entire marketplace—all the different ways and places that people can buy what we’re trying to sell. Whether we like it or not, that marketplace is asking these questions. Are you?