What matters more in marketing – reach or frequency?

Reach or frequency is a big dilemma for a marketer.

Specially those marketers who have funds to push messages across media. They can push as many messages as they want – but are not sure how this will effect business and customer trust.

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To me reach seems a no brainer – because the goal of marketing is to take your message to as many members of your target audience as possible.

Still the point is to see which of these two lies in whether it is more effective to reach a large number of potential customers once or touching a small base of customers regularly.

Let us dig deeper and learn more with this example.

A car company sends a direct promotional mail to, let’s say, 100 people but only once or maximum twice. On the other hand, the other car company decides to mail around 25 people but at least 4-5 times on a regular basis.

How to decide which one is better?

Reach vs. Frequency

As a business, you obviously want to maximize your reach as well as frequency; however, because of the limited availability of resources and time, often one of these or sometimes both of these are sacrificed. If you find yourself in a dilemma regarding reach versus frequency, you must understand that reach without frequency is wasted money and frequency without reach is wasted effort.

Most small business owners fall in this trap when promoting their business. Because of the lack of funds or understanding, they are unable to reach the frequency they need to gain a grip over their target market. They also fail to influence a considerable size of their target market. Even if they are able to touch a large base, they are unable to follow-up. And this is where the problem starts. They tend to neglect the most influential and the most economical way of promotion, advertising and marketing, while trying to attract clients through more expensive media, such as radio, newspapers, magazines and online sponsored search.

How Frequent Should You Communicate with Your Customers?

Among marketers there is a divided house. Many say that you must try to be a part of your customers’ daily lives – by sending them messages on a frequent basis. However, it may not be possible for every business in the beginning to put that much effort into communicating with their clients.

That said, to engage your audience and get noticed, a frequency of three or more messages in a month seem to work out. Your potential customer may ignore you in the first attempt; they may open the mail in the second attempt. The chances are that they may read it in the third attempt. How much time they spend on your marketing message again depends on the content you publish and its utility to the readers.

One important thing – mail/message your customer soon after first contact (at your store, exhibition) or as soon as they sign up for your newsletter.

Precision, clarity and creativity of your message are also important. It’s true that it will take a lot of time in the beginning but when you achieve consistency, you start receiving benefits – like increased visibility and/or sales. Take care of the needs and wants of your prospects – speak/write in a language that is as per their interest.

Choose a communication theme in the beginning and stick to it. Unrelated sales pitches do not work well for today’s info-loaded customers. Showing that you care and sending messages that appeal to their interest works. Don’t try to be too clever with your message, rather keep your story/pitch simple, true and verifiable.