How to Send Engaging Follow-Up Emails to Auction Guests

September 28, 2023 0 Comments

Hopefully, your auction didn’t just raise funds but also expanded your community of passionate supporters. Don’t let this post-event energy fade! Instead, while your auction guests still have the event fresh on their minds, take time to send an engaging follow-up email to strengthen their relationship with your organization.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of follow-up emails for auction events, what to include in your email, and three examples of response-worthy email communication. Let’s get started!

Why you should send follow-up emails

You’ve just completed a massive fundraising event. Congrats!  Why should you take the time to send a follow-up email? Here are a few key reasons to consider doing so:

  • To express gratitude. Send an email to thank your auction guests with a personalized note to indicate your appreciation for their support.
  • To show impact. Supporters want to know how far their donations went. Use email to communicate their impact by noting how many funds were raised and what specific projects or initiatives they’ll push forward.
  • To provide highlights. Fundraising events are the perfect opportunities to create memories. Follow up with pictures and fun moments to remind your supporters of the fun experience they had.
  • To drive engagement and increase support. As part of your nonprofit digital marketing strategy, creating as many engagement opportunities as possible is best. By including a call-to-action such as a newsletter sign-up option, you’ll be able to take supporter engagement to the next level.

Including these elements will strengthen your supporter relationships by showing you care about them and want to celebrate their impact.

In the same vein, consider crafting follow-up communications for your other, non-donor attendees to thank them for their help following your auction. This way, you can express gratitude to volunteers, staff, and sponsors as well. You can even utilize auction software tools to make sure each of your sponsorship packages highlights your organization’s appreciation.

Follow-up email tips

To make your post-event email effective, it should contain a few key elements to grab recipients’ attention and cultivate existing relationships. These include:

  • Relevant subject line. Include the event name in the subject line while keeping it short and clickable to stand out in your recipient’s inboxes.
  • Personalized elements. Humanize your email communication by including your supporters’ names and using first-person pronouns when referencing your organization.
  • Media elements. Whenever possible, include photos or video content to show supporters, or suggest recipients share their photos from the day using a dedicated hashtag on their social media.
  • Clear call to action. Invite recipients to join the next volunteer workshop or follow you on social media so that they can get to know your mission better.

For larger nonprofits, email automation can ensure your team is able to follow up in a sequenced and effective manner. Here’s how it works—a user performs an action that triggers a follow-up response such as submitting a text donation or simply attending your auction. From there, a pre-written email follow-up is sent directly to their inbox without your team having to spend extra time drafting the perfect thing to say on the spot.

This begs the question, what should your organization’s follow-up email communicate? Read the next section for examples of follow-up emails in action.

3 Post-auction example emails

General thank you and recap email

This email template works well as a starting point for any organization wanting to cover its bases following its auction. Schools, communities, and nonprofits alike can use this template to express gratitude and follow-up.

Subject line: [Attendee’s name] Thank You for Making [Your Organization Name]’s Auction a Success!

Dear [Attendee],

Thank you for attending our auction. Your presence and support played a crucial role in making the auction a memorable success. Together, we raised [Total Funds Raised] for [Cause or Project], and we couldn’t have done it without you.

We’ve put together a recap of the event highlights, including successful bids, memorable moments, and the incredible impact your contributions will have. Take a moment to relive the event by clicking the link below:

[Link to Event Recap]

Once again, we are grateful for your generosity and commitment to our cause. We look forward to continuing our journey together in making a positive difference for [your cause].

Elements that make this email stand out include its direct subject line, personalization, and link to event highlights. Include the recipient’s name and emphasize your appreciation for their support. For other email templates similar to this one, research additional follow-up examples such as eCardWidget’s donor thank you email list for more inspiration.

Impact-focused email

Sometimes auction guests will desire a more detailed overview of their impact, this is where an impact-focused email comes into play.

Once your organization has gathered its auction outcomes, you can choose to share them with an impact report to provide transparency and demonstrate an auction guests’ tangible difference.

Subject line: Your Impact: [Your Organization Name] Post-Auction Report Revealed

Dear [Attendee],

Your support at our recent auction event is incredibly appreciated, and we’re excited to share the impact your generosity has made.

Our Post-Auction Impact Report is now available, showcasing the incredible outcomes of your contributions. Your involvement helped us achieve:

  • Total Funds Raised: [Amount]
  • Number of Beneficiaries Supported: [Number]
  • Projects Funded: [Projects]
  • Stories of Lives Changed: [Stories]

You can access the full report by clicking the link below:

[Link to Impact Report]

We are immensely grateful for your dedication to our cause. Thank you for being a catalyst for positive transformation!

Depending on your organization, you will have different impact metrics to share. For example, elementary school fundraisers might share how total funds raised impacted technology updates or furthered classroom improvements. On the other hand, nonprofit organizations might share how many meals their supporters helped fund.

Engagement-focused email

For organizations looking to sustain engagement following their auction event, they should send a follow-up email to highlight upcoming opportunities or to build their existing digital presence.

Subject: [Attendee’s Name], Ready to Get More Involved with [Your Organization Name]? Check out these opportunities!

Dear [Attendee],

We hope you’re still riding the wave of positivity from our recent auction. Your commitment to our cause has left a lasting impact, and we’re excited to share what’s next on our journey.

As a valued supporter, here’s how you can continue to make a difference:

  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Newsletter sign-up
  • Future event opportunities
  • Social media advocacy opportunities

We’re committed to creating a brighter future together, and your continued involvement is pivotal. Let’s take meaningful steps toward positive change.

Should you have any questions or want to explore these opportunities further, please reach out to us at [Your Contact Information] or visit our Ways to Get Involved page: [URL].

Thank you for being a driving force behind our mission.

Tailor your engagement opportunities to each recipient based on their previous experience with your organization. For example, if a recipient is new to your organization, you could suggest an educational webinar for them to attend to learn more about your cause.

Adjust each of these follow-up emails to suit your organization’s engagement goals and supporter base. Then, plan and draft them ahead of time to have on hand. This way, you can take advantage of a successful auction fundraiser by following up in a timely and effective manner.