How often does a potential customer need to see or hear about you before they buy?
Messages are more effective when repeated
Frequency breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust.
When talking about how many times and how often a potential customer needs to see or hear about your business before buying, we use terms like Effective Frequency or Touch points.
If you search the internet for ‘effective frequency’ there are many conflicting articles. Some say you need to ‘make contact with’ or ‘touch’ your desired audience three times, others say you should follow the ‘Rule of 7’ or even aim for 15 touch points – the truth is, there isn’t a number set in stone as to how many times you need to contact a prospective customer.
In fact it depends completely on the circumstances and many factors are involved. As a rule of thumb you could say, the number of touch points to create tends to be lower for low value products and higher for high value products. When we speak about products by the way, this also includes services. However, if the customer has a very low budget, then low value products can take longer to move than if you are selling to a customer with a bigger budget. At the same time, if you are trying to sell to big corporates, they will have the budget, but their decision process can be long and complicated. While the decision process in an SME business can be much quicker. Other factors are, whether you are selling to consumers or to businesses, general economic circumstances and whether or not you are approaching your target market via the communication channels where they are most easily reached. Let’s look at the possible effect of an email marketing campaign.
With today’s hectic lifestyles everyone’s inboxes are continually bleeping with new emails – if your message is clear and concise then your prospect will look at it – but this first time they will look and think ‘What is it?’ and that’s probably as far as it will go – however, you have already sparked a small amount of interest.
The second time they receive your email they will think ‘What of it?’ – again their interest has been sparked.
The third time they receive your email they have already thought "What is it?" and "What of it" and so now it is a clear reminder of you and what you are selling.
At this point, the people who believe one only needs to ‘touch’ prospective customers three times say that you can stop contacting these people and if, and when, they need your product they will remember you and make contact. However, in today’s market there are probably many people selling the same or a similar product as you. You don’t want to be the person who thinks “I’ve made contact 3 times, they will come to me when they need me”. You want to be fresh in their minds. If they didn’t require your product at the time of making contact, they will receive countless amounts of marketing material from other similar companies in the months to follow. You don’t want your prospects to go with anyone else – you want them to have you in the forefront of their minds when their situation changes and they realise they need you.
With this in mind, it is important to continue to make regular contact. From your first marketing campaign you may make contact with a certain number of people who need your product right at that moment, and that is fantastic! However, there will be a larger number of people who are interested in your product but for whom it is not the right time to purchase. These are the people to continue to contact and create touch points for, through different marketing efforts. When it is the right day for them, your frequent clear concise marketing material will hit the spot and a potential customer converts.
So, what are the different ways to create “touch points”?
There are many ways you can do this, and below we have just named a few:
- Email marketing – This is a great way to get your name out there. See below under the “8-second rule” to get some tips for a successful email marketing campaign.
- Telemarketing – Follow up your amazing email with a polite telephone call. Just confirm they have received the email and if there is anything they require? Don’t push them. You want them to remember you for all the right reasons
- Social Media – Get out there! Share your marketing mailshot and blog on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You don’t need to use all social media platforms. It is important to assess where your target market is likely to be active and focus on those platforms.
- Business Networking – Go to network events, tell people what you do. The people you meet may not have a need for your product, but they may know someone that does. If you attend meetings on a regular basis in the same area or organised by the same company, you will often see the same people. Gradually you will get to know each other and over time people will start talking about you.
- Google AdWord Campaign – always great to be at the top of the list when people are searching – they will see your name and remember your email, phone call etc.
- Advertising – Magazines and public places are ideal to reach consumers. But even if you sell business to business, an ad in a trade magazine may offer a great touch point.
- Face-to-face meeting – It is worth meeting up with those who show a genuine interest in your product. A face-to-face meeting does not always necessarily end up in a sale, but it gives you prospective customer a chance to get to know you on a more personal level, which is great for creating trust and giving a more
All of the above are great ways to create ‘touch points’ for your desired audience. It is worth putting a marketing strategy in place and create a total of 8 to 15 touch points to target your audience, because remember the statement at the top of this blog “Frequency breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust.”