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The Power of Repetitive Marketing Creating a marketing process--not a marketing event--is the surest way to bring in the business.

By Al Lautenslager

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What two things do the following quotes have in common?

"I did a mailing once and never got any business."

"I sent a press release once and never got published in thenewspaper."

"I attended a chamber of commerce meeting once and nevergot any business from it."

The first common element is that these are actual quotesI've heard-numerous times-from business owners, entrepreneursand independent business professionals. The second thing is theyall contain the word "once." Doing something once is anevent. Doing it over and over again is a process. The reason thoseentrepreneurs made the statements above is because they viewedmarketing as an event. But marketing isn't an event-it's aprocess, something you'll need to do over and over again if youwant to achieve results.

Direct marketing guru Dan Kennedy is a famed proponent of theuse of sequential mailings. His recommendation, one that has beenproven over and over, is that a series of three mailings that havecrafted messages with irresistible offers will attract potentialcustomers. Other experts say it takes six to eight times of"touching" a prospect before they get inpurchase-readiness mode-one that puts you at the forefront of theirawareness so when it comes time for them to want or need yourproduct, they immediately think of you.

Let me explain how it works. Many times, I'll show up at anetworking event and hear this from the people I meet: "I seeyou everywhere." What these people mean isn't that theyliterally see me everywhere, but that they hear about my networkingevents, they see our company's name in the paper as a result ofa press release, they see an ad for a seminar I'm presenting ondirect marketing or guerrilla marketing, or they've received apostcard or letter from me.

If you add these efforts up, I've most likely touched aprospect at least four or five times before they start recognizingmy name. They think they see me everywhere because I put mymarketing messages where my target market happens to be, and I dothis over and over-creating a true marketing process.

Do I get business when I hear that my prospects have seen meeverywhere? Not necessarily, but it provides confirmation that mymarketing efforts are working, it's one more touch my prospectswill remember, and when it comes time for that person to want orneed my services, they're going to think of that person orcompany they "see everywhere."

Don't get discouraged if the response you get from one ofyour marketing initiatives is lower than you expected. Do itagain-your response rate will go up. And plan your marketingefforts so there's this sense of repetitiveness.

Jay Conrad Levinson, co-author with me of Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, told meone time that 90 percent of all marketing decisions are made with acustomer's subconscious mind. And the way to approach and getinto this subconscious mind is through repetition. This has beenproven by both researchers and practitioners. I've certainlyexperienced it in my own direct mail program and when Inetwork.

And it all goes back to Direct Sales 101. There you learn thatit takes a minimum of six times of contacting a prospect beforethey're ready to purchase. You'll also learn that mostsalespeople stop after just three contacts. Look at the gap ofpotential business represented there.

Marketing works the same way. I've literally gotten businessfrom prospects who have contacted me after many, many months ofsending them mailings, and they tell me, "You've beenmailing something to me every month for the past year. It'stime we do business together." This never would have happenedif I'd stopped my mailings at three.

So take my advice: Plan out your marketing efforts, keep theidea of repetitiveness in mind, put your activities on a calendar,and measure the increased activity you're sure to see resultsfrom as you work through your marketing process.

Al Lautenslager

Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Al Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing expert, bestselling author, highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He is the principal of Market For Profits, a Midwestern-based marketing consulting firm; former president and owner of The Ink Well, a direct marketing, printing, and a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.

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