There are basically only two objectives in marketing promotion.
You want to increase:
- Reach: The number of new, unique people your message reaches. (i.e. Get more Facebook fans or email addresses.)
- Frequency: The number of times your messages reach these same people (i.e. The number of Facebook status updates each day or emails you send each month.)
Almost everyone is good at the first one. It’s easy to understand and focus on driving more “Likes” and email signups.
But the second one trips people up.
They do a little, and then stop. Or worse, they do too much, and sabotage their efforts.
Being successful at improving frequency is like walking a tight rope. If you get off balance and lean too far in one direction, then you’re done.
The Curse of Frequency
Online, you can barely email your customers (like once a month or less) and know that you’re probably leaving money on the table — risking the fact that they might not remember who you are.
Or you can email them very frequently (like once a day) and risk making them ignore you or unsubscribe forever.
Seth Godin calls this “the curse of frequency“, because:
“The best members of your audience, the ones who are listening the most carefully, have to be bored/annoyed at the messages that show up after they take action. Some people pledge the first day of pledge week, or buy the book the day it comes out. Those folks don’t want or need to hear the message again.
Worse, frequency creates a culture of less engagement. Since we know that just about every important issue, opportunity or warning is going to be repeated a few times, we don’t engage as much. Why bother to listen, we say, they’ll just repeat it.”
Fortunately, there are a few ways to walk this fine line and still get to the other side.
It takes some creativity, awareness, and attention to detail. But it’s possible.
How to Increase Frequency (While Not Pissing Everyone Off)
Tip #1. Target those who missed it: The first and easiest is to target those who may have missed your message.
For this, you need data. You need to know or be able to differentiate who saw your message vs. those who didn’t.
One of the best examples is email marketing. Although open rates are not very reliable as a metric, it does give you a simple indication of who saw your message, and who didn’t.
So you can target the same campaign to those who didn’t open or respond to your first one.
Tip #2: Then target those who show specific interest: The next tip is to elicit some specific interest from people — like a particular topic, pain point or solution — that they would willingly want to hear more about.
For example, are your prospects really interested in a specific topic like social media? Or are your customers really interested in hearing about deals on certain items of clothing or in certain occasions.
After getting their initial permission to follow up, you’re looking for some type of cue that gives you even more permission. Then you can significantly increase the frequency — as much as 4-5x within a limited time-frame — and get good results (while also limiting the downside).
Tip #3. Switch up the story, messaging and motivations: Repeat the main point, but switch up the messaging to make it appear new.
For example, I just released a series of four articles on Facebook marketing (spread out over 4 weeks). That topic might get old for a lot of people, so the messaging each week had a different point.
Even though it was the same story (Facebook marketing), the messaging was a little different each time. For example:
- Getting more Facebook fans
- Increasing page engagement
- Driving leads & revenue
- Creating a Facebook marketing strategy
You can also try switching up the motivation or hook you’re targeting in customers, because different people respond to different things.
For example, a real estate agent could have two very different customers: investors and stay-at-home, suburban mothers. And these two segments are motivated by entirely different things.
Investors want to hear about interest rates, market trends, and potential cash flow or resale value. While stay-at-home mothers are more interested in the school district, local events, restaurants, and safety.
In almost every case, I find that companies can increase the amount of times you contact prospects, leads, and customers. Which has the potential to increase sales almost overnight.
You need to intimately understand who they are, what drives them, and how to go about it.
If you’d like to increase sales from existing customers, then check out my training program that starts in about 10 days!