|Wed Mar 3 2010 15:49:13|
eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting
By: Ina Steiner
Wednesday's AuctionBytes Newsflash covered news of eBay's automated phone campaign alerting sellers about a special 1-day promotion on auction listings. As we learned from sellers, some were unhappy that the phone calls came so early in the morning, and those who received text messages believed they would have to pay for them. eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff provided us with a statement explaining the campaign:
"Sellers often tell us they would like more notice of limited-time pricing promotions - like Tuesday's 50% off one-day auction promo. We've generally used email and on-site placements to let sellers know about new promotions, but those can be missed in the flurry of day-to-day business activity. To help ensure sellers can take full advantage of limited-time pricing promotions, we've started testing new ways of communicating with them - through SMS (text messaging) and automated voice messaging - as an extension of the Seller Alert program.
"Before today, we targeted eBay PowerSellers and Top-rated sellers who are opted in to telemarketing preferences. Today was the first time we ran an automated voice messaging campaign, which enabled us to broaden the scope of contact to all professional sellers. For some sellers, this was the first time we'd pro-actively reached out to them via phone. In all cases, eBay pays for the text messages and automated voice messaging; the seller receives the service free of charge. And, starting the calls early helped make sure sellers had enough time to take advantage of this one-day-only promotion. In the future, we may give sellers even more advance notice.
"The Seller Alert program provides information on specific topics that can help sellers grow their sales on eBay via outbound telephone campaigns and text messages. Representatives may contact sellers to discuss growth opportunities and share important seller updates, including limited-time listing promotions.
"Sellers who would like the opportunity to work with the Seller Alert and Outreach teams can opt-in by visiting My eBay / Account / Notification Preferences / Promotions and Surveys / Phone updates and promotions. As always, we welcome feedback about the program and sellers can contact us directly at SellerAlertFeedback@ebay.com"
Johnna also said that all sellers who were contacted had opted in for marketing contact. "The difference between the contact groups is in the phone numbers they've provided to us. Not all of our sellers have a cell phone number in their profile so we weren't able to SMS them previously. Now that we've expanded the program to include voice messaging, we're able to contact all of those who have opted in."