BY ILISE BENUN
In this day and age, when it comes to marketing messages, once is not enough.
Whether you are sending an email, leaving a voice message, tweeting or even meeting in person, if you think one effort is enough to get a prospect’s attention AND trigger a response — I urge you to think again. In fact, the only time a single marketing effort fuels an immediate result is when the timing is absolutely perfect. Otherwise, you’re lucky if your prospect even notices your first attempt to reach out.
There’s a reason Fortune 500 companies advertise through numerous channels: billboards, television, radio, print, social media. It’s because they know prospects need to hear from them over and over, through many different media — over the course of an extended time period — if they want their message to start to sink in. If Apple just did print ads, do you think they’d be so successful?
Do you know the preferred medium of each of your prospects? The truth is — everyone is different. People have different personal preferences. Some love Twitter; others prefer Facebook. Some respond only to email and won’t even listen to voice mail. Others, believe it or not, still like to talk on the phone. Some like to watch videos; others prefer listening to podcasts, while still others enjoy reading blogs. Everyone doesn’t do everything. Send one marketing message and/or use only one medium and you’re signing up for missed opportunities.
To get on the radar of your desired prospects, and keep yourself there, you must repeat yourself. That’s right. You must repeat yourself.
Here are three tips for exactly how that will yield results:
1. Chirp, chirp and chirp again. Do birds say “chirp” and then take naps? Or do they sing songs comprised of many chirps? When it comes to the most fleeting medium, social media, reinforcement is essential. Don’t expect 140 characters — once — to do the trick. Repeat your tweets, with slight variations, over time for the widest exposure.
2. Three is the new one. When it comes to emailing, tweeting, or calling, attempt at least three times. Remember, the first or second time could have gone unnoticed. By trying three times, you give someone a chance to tune in. Plus, you let them know you’re serious.
3. Integrate your tools. Give your prospect the option to respond the way they want. Alternate the media you use. For example, try sending an introductory email first, then call, then tweet, then email again. This massively increases your potential for a positive outcome, and it makes things easier for the person on the other end.
I repeat, you must repeat your message in order to be heard. So stop worrying about being a pest or, worse, perceived as a stalker. People’s attention is more and more scattered and they aren’t paying as close attention as you think they are (or want them to be). So even if you send exactly the same message, they may not notice that they’ve already received it, since they didn’t see it!
Take every opportunity to capture a bit more of your prospect’s mental real estate. You never know, the third (or fourth) time might be the lucky charm.