Most marketers know that you can’t mail a new prospect just once and expect to generate immediate and loyal clients, members, or donors. While that sure would be nice, it’s just not realistic. People give their money to companies and organizations they know and trust. You wouldn’t write a check to a company you didn’t know anything about, so you can’t expect your prospects to do it, either.
So how do you earn a prospect’s trust? You have to contact them. And contact them. And contact them. You want your prospects to get used to seeing your name. To get comfortable receiving your marketing. To get comfortable with your organization. And that only happens with repetition.
As long as you have both a well-targeted and well-researched list and a compelling offer, you should expect to mail your prospects multiple times before seeing a return.
How often is often enough? Some marketers believe it takes seven hits to get a response from a prospect. Others claim it takes 11. The truth is, like so many other things in marketing, it depends.
It depends on your prospects’ expectations. Did they sign up to receive your marketing, or are you contacting them out of the blue? Are your products or services seasonal or dependent on certain circumstances or events? If so, your prospects will need and will be looking for information at specific times.
It depends on your timing. If you’re marketing around an event or a season, the closer you get, the more frequently you can get away with mailing.
It also depends on the value of your offer. If you making a “standard” offer you may not want to contact your prospects as frequently as might making an extraordinary one.
The best thing you can do to determine how often to contact prospects is for your company to test. The next time you have a big mailing to prospects, split the list in two. Send both lists the same series of mailings but at different intervals. Track the results and evaluate the results carefully. Which list, overall, generated the most results? After which mailing did response peak? After which mailing did respond significantly drop off? Performing similar tests for each segment of your market will help you determine just how long you can reasonably expect to be able to market to prospects before they either become a customer or you call it quits