Learn how to send broadcast messages and suggested messages to communicate with your guests throughout your event!
How to Send a Broadcast Message
The "broadcast message" feature allows you to send push or SMS (text) notification messages to all of your bidders. Select the "broadcast message" icon at the top of the auction dashboard. Enter your message and select BROADCAST. This will send a message to all of the registered bidders in your auction.
These messages are only sent to registered Bidders, not your Guest List or Invite List.
First, consider writing out your messages before the event day so you can ensure consistent messaging. A good communication strategy can improve your auction results. Once you've put together a communication plan, you can begin sending out broadcast messages at specific times you've planned for.
Features of Broadcast Messages
The broadcast managing tool has new features and capabilities that will allow you to be more direct with your users, feature items, write templates, and select specific user groups that you would like to receive the message.
- If you are looking to send your messages to a specific group of bidders, you can utilize the box tagged “Who do you want to send the broadcast to?” Choose one from the three list options: “All Bidders”, “Bidders with no bids”, and “bidders with unpaid invoices”.
- You can now draft your messages in advance. Under the broadcast message box, you will see a button tagged “Save Template”. Once you save your template, you will be able to select your template when you are ready to use it by using the “Select Template” box.
- When you open the broadcast management tool, choose between Bidder tokens, Event tokens, and Organization tokens to personalize your messages to your bidders.
- Promote items in the broadcast message tool by selecting the item that you want to be paired with your message. When a bidder clicks on the broadcast message, it will direct them to the item that you paired with the message.
- Populate a broadcast message from a saved template. You will have the ability to edit the message before you send it.
In the 'Send Auction Broadcast' window, you can create your message. Broadcast messages have an unlimited character count, but we recommend keeping your messages short and concise.
Once you finish creating your message, click the green BROADCAST button to send.
Editing or removing saved templates
By clicking the templates tab within the broadcast message menu you can edit or remove any saved templates.
Copying your saved templates to a new auction or campaign
When you duplicate your auctions/events, you will be given the option to “Include Broadcast Templates.” This allows you to carry over old templates that you would like to continue using into your next auction/event.
Sending broadcast messages from the iPhone app
You must first go into a bidder profile to enable admin rights to allow sending a broadcast message. If you are an Auction Manager you may be a bidder already. If you are not a bidder this is how you can add yourself as a bidder in your event. You then need to edit this bidder to be able to send broadcast messages.
Make sure you have the Event Broadcast box checked and press the green SAVE button to update the bidder.
When you log into your Event on the mobile app, come to the Dashboard page. You will see a bright red admin button at the bottom of this Dashboard page. Once clicked, you will be presented with a menu that has all the checked admin boxes from the bidder profile.
Select "Send Broadcast" and from there you can choose who receives the broadcast message with some filters. Then you can send your message! Below are some best practices for sending broadcast messages.
Suggested Broadcast Messages
We often get asked about suggested ways to engage bidders throughout your auction using the broadcast message tool. Many of you want to know "what should I say" and "when should I say it?"
Well, it is hard to give you specific times to say things as every event timeline is different. However, here are some general guidelines to use and some examples that we often do during events:
General Broadcast Message Guidelines
- Keep them relatively short! People skim the messages, they don't "read."
- The majority of your guests will be seeing these messages on their smartphones. Think about how you want to receive a text message on your phone.
- Don't overload your bidders with broadcasts, as they will start to ignore them or MUTE them.
- Include a CTA (call-to-action). Give them some info, but then INSTRUCT them to do something. Example: "Check out these amazing vacation items with no bids [Link to Item]."
Timeline of Messages and Examples
Here are some suggested messages during various times of your auction1. Prior to the start of Event Registration (before guests arrive)
If you opened your auction early or have a number of pre-registered bidders from ticket sales, then consider sending these messages out several hours PRIOR to registration start.
- "We are looking forward to seeing you TONIGHT at the XX event. Registration starts at 6pm. Please be sure to charge up your phone before you arrive!"
- "Registration for XX starts tonight at 6. You can bypass the check-in line by having Handbid set up on your phone and a credit card on file before you arrive! Register here: [link to event]."
- "On your way to the event? Parking is available in lot XX next to the venue. Be sure to have the Handbid app installed and your phone charged!"
2. Near the end of Event Registration (after most guests have arrived)
You still may have a few people arriving, but most of your guests are here. They are mingling, at the bar, or looking at items. Either way, you need to get them engaged in your auction and remind them that there are items to bid on! Also, you can let them know when the silent auction is supposed to close. It's best to NOT give them an exact time. Instead, say "the silent auction will close around 9 pm". This will protect you from those bidders who complain that the auction closed at 9:01 pm (yes, those people exist).
- "Welcome to the XX event! Hopefully, you are all set up on Handbid and already bidding on our great auction items! If you have questions on how to get set up, please find a volunteer in the bidding area who will help you. Silent Auction will close around XX."
- "Welcome bidders! If you have not yet gotten set up to bid, please find a volunteer wearing XX in the bidding area to help you! Silent Auction will close around XX."
- "Do you have a friend who does not have a phone or does not know how to bid? We have helpers with iPads who will take care of them. Look for people wearing XX. BTW - The silent auction will close around XX."
3. Prior to your Program start (during the mingling and bidding time)
By now most people are checked in and the guests have been bidding for the last 45-60 minutes. Now is a good time to remind them of the no-bid items and to reconnect them into the auction with some bidding and donating tips.
- "We have a lot of great items to bid on. Don't forget to checkout the NO BIDS category to find items with NO BIDS. To view them, swipe all the way to the right in the app to the last category. Or, find the bottom category on the iPad app."
- "Looking for some great auction deals? Head on over to the NO BIDS category to view items with no bids on them. Simply swipe all the way to the right in the App to the last category called NO BIDS."
- "Our program will start soon. You can continue bidding from your phone or set MaxBids on items you really want to win and the system will bid for you! "
- Dinner will begin at 7pm. As you find your table, please see the backpack display on stage and support our school program with a donation [link to XX donation amount].
4. Nearing the end of the silent auction (before the timer is set)
Your auction is coming to an end and within 20-30 minutes you want it closed. Now is a good time to tell your guests the auction close time and remind them of some item bargains.
What are item bargains? Look through your item list and find items that you think are not getting enough attention (e.g. their current bid price is well below FMV or an item that has no bids on it but you think it should).
- "What a great program! We plan to close the silent auction around XX. Meanwhile, please check out the NO BIDS category for some great items left to bid on. The signed guitar is could be yours!"
- "We have 'X' lonely items left in our NO BIDS category! They don't want to come home with us tonight, they want to go home with you! Your office needs this new popcorn machine!"
5. Example messages about specific items you think need more bids.
- "A (John Elway signed helmet) with NO BIDS? Come on Broncos fans! This event is in Denver, not Boston. Show some team pride and bid on this already (Item #203)"
- "Can you believe it? A week in Cabo in a 1 Bedroom is going for $700? Jump on that! (Link item #320)"
6. After setting the timer
After the timer is set (provided you have 15-20 minutes and did not set a 2-minute timer), you can send out some additional tips on how to bid toward the end.
- "The auction countdown timer is set! Be sure to set MaxBids on those items you really want to win, don't lose out!"
- "Auction will close in 'XX' minutes. Be sure to set your MaxBids so you don't miss out on those last-minute bids!"
- "2 Minutes left in the auction. Bid, bid, bid!"
7. After the timer ends and the auction is closing
This can get tricky to do because Handbid is busy closing the auction and can take a couple of minutes, depending on how many items you have and your internet connection. You should wait until that is done to send out these messages.
- "That's a wrap! The auction is closed and we are finalizing your invoice. Any items you won will move from 'WINNING' to 'PURCHASED' on your Handbid dashboard. Tap the menu to view your receipt and pay from your phone."
- "Wow, what a great auction! We really appreciate your support. Please review your invoice and pay from your phone. Check out starts at XX pm in the YYY (location)."
- "Thank you for a successful auction! Checkout starts at XX pm in the YYY (location). Be sure to pay your invoice on your phone and pick up your items before you leave. Travel safe and thank you for your support!"