Marketing Your Collector Firearms
We’ve already mentioned our award-winning collector firearms catalogs, but they are only the impressive beginning to our expansive and aggressive marketing campaigns. The most fundamental obligation any auction house has is to maximize their items’ exposure to as many potential buyers as possible. While other auction house will taut the strongest marketing efforts, we can assure you that Rock Island Auction Company unequivocally has the strongest, most aggressive, and most effective marketing platform in the industry. Don’t just listen to rhetoric; ask for physical examples. Our marketing and advertising are second-to-none in the industry and are one of the reasons that RIAC sells 2-3 times more guns than our closest competitor. Here’s what RIAC can do for you.
Our print advertising is also constantly evolving to find the most effective way to put our consignors’ items in front of the right people. One of the top efforts we make is something no other auction company can touch: ads in national publications. Rock Island Auction Company places full page ads in major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Baltimore Sun. These ads appear for several days and give our company the exposure unmatched in the industry.
This massive effort is compounded with our ad placement in key industry periodicals. We are constantly finding the newspapers and trade magazines that obtain the best results. Each auction RIAC places over 60 ads in over 30 different publications! That’s more than three ads per week that are continuously in circulation and are custom designed to the demographic of the publication.
Direct Mail & Telephone Marketing
Approximately six weeks prior to each Premier Auction we mail a 16-page full-color brochure to over 110,000 pre-qualified potential bidders. This mailer features items in the upcoming sale and routinely generates catalog orders, inquiries regarding items in the auction and overall interest in the upcoming auction. Each auction we produce additional promotional pieces that are sent to select clients. The piece generally features top lots and/or a specific genre.
The largest asset of our in-house marketing campaign is without a doubt our telemarketing division. Our brand new 86,000 square foot facility has allowed us luxuries that other auctions houses can only dream about. One of these luxuries is a large customer service team whose one and only job is to assist our clients. Due to our state-of-the-art auction software we are able to track the purchasing habits of our customers and keep them informed of items to be sold at auction that hold particular interest for them.
Prior to each auction…
- Over 17,000 individual telephone calls are made to interested potential bidders.
- Over 350 clients chat live online with a RIAC Customer Service Representative.
- Over 2,500 client emails are answered.
- Over 40 phone lines are in service to accommodate phone bidders during the auction.
The online presence of Rock Island Auction Company is significant and continues to grow in both reach and impact. We have actively utilized many popular websites to interact with potential and existing client bases as well as promote our consignors’ items.
We currently have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and even write our own blog. Each of these accounts is experiencing significant continuous growth that brings our consignors’ items to tens of thousands of eyes that might not have otherwise seen them. As we push forward to make our online presence stronger, our results continue to grow.
Our Online Catalog
The online version of our award-winning catalog averages over 2 million page views per auction by nearly 150,000 unique visitors, from over 44 countries. That intense amount of traffic is then treated to the most user friendly website with the most features in the industry… and that was before it was overhauled in 2016. With a new sleeker look and even more functionality, Rock Island Auction Company has again reinvested in itself to stay light years ahead of the competition. Take a look for yourself!
We produce our own professional videos that showcase outstanding flagship items in upcoming auctions. We have also found success in partnering with YouTube accounts such as Forgotten Weapons (www.ForgottenWeapons.com) to further expand our reach while also helping to disseminate historically accurate and interesting information on gun collecting. Each video is also added to each items’ description in the online catalog, ensuring that the collectors interested in that item will also see the relevant videos.
We are regularly in touch in with our clients via email. Nearly 50,000 active subscribers receive our weekly newsletter! In addition to this we also carefully select third party partners whose readers and customers have interests similar to our own, and have emails sent to them as well! This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of additional recipients and many new bidders. We can’t emphasize enough how important this source of traffic is and how it directly correlates with the bids we receive.
We like to take your guns on tour! Rock Island Auction Company attends more gun shows than any other firearms auction house. These aren’t just small, local gun shows either. We buy massive booth space at some of the nation’s top events such as the NRA National Meeting, Tulsa Arms Show, Colt Collectors All Colt Convention, Dallas Safari Club Traditions Convention, Las Vegas Antique Arms Show, Colorado Gun Collectors Show, and The Big Reno Show to name a few.
These events not only allow us to “Wow!” people with the guns that are entrusted to RIAC, we also educate people about what we do, receive thousands of new contacts who want more information and materials, give away promotional items, and raise general awareness of our brand. Believe us when we say that people are very aware of your brand when you regularly have a Gatling gun (or two) in your booth.