Once Is Never Enough in Marketing

You send out an email, and you think you’re done.
You post to your blog, and call it a day.
You share an update on Facebook, and bask in your brilliance.

Before you take another bow, heed this cautionary tale.

I was alarmed to see this tweet from Deb Trotter in my Twitter stream:

Deb Trotter Tweet

I say “alarmed” because I thought I had been doing everything right to promote the Artist Conspiracy without going overboard. Some of my key actions have been:

  • Launched a test group so that a number of members were in place when the Conspiracy opened up to new members.
  • Devoted an entire newsletter – Conspire Against the Myths (February 16) – to the launching of the Conspiracy.
  • Organized a live, free call to talk about the details of the Conspiracy. This February 23 conversation was recorded and is still available to listen to.
  • Add a Conspiracy update at the bottom of each newsletter and to the sidebar of the Art Biz Blog.
  • Mention the Conspiracy in my tweets (#artistsconspire) and on Facebook.

Still, Deb, one of my most loyal and longtime readers, didn’t find out about the Artist Conspiracy until April 11 – nearly 2 full months after my promotions began and more than 3 months from when I started whispering about it online.

Deb isn’t oblivious. She’s busy! She doesn’t catch every newsletter, tweet, and post. No one could.

Your Fans Are Busy

Your online followers and real-life fans are also busy. They delete and ignore at will.

Whenever you’re tempted to think that telling someone something once is enough, stop and remember this story I’ve shared. Then repeat this mantra to yourself: 
Once is never enough.

People must see your message multiple times in multiple places in order to “get” it.

That doesn’t mean you become annoying. It just means you cover all of your bases and vary your words and delivery.

Fortunately, the Artist Conspiracy isn’t a one-time event, but an ongoing membership program for artists who desire a higher level of success. Anyone can join at anytime. Therefore, Deb didn’t really miss anything when she joined us recently.

Deb Trotter Tweet

How much marketing is too much? Chime in below.

Send to Kindle

26 comments to Once Is Never Enough in Marketing

  • Alyson, I hadn’t heard about it either.

    Your point about people being busy is so true, I’ve been so caught up with my 365 Jars project that loads of stuff has been passing me by lately. Unless it’s very in my face or addressed directly to me, the chances are high that I’ve not registered what people in my sphere are doing.

  • I’ve caught the innuendo: there’s a consiracy and it’s a private support group for art biz. I missed the single free call under all that snow in February. I didn’t see any thing that said LOOK AT THIS AWESOME NEW PROGRAM I HAVE CREATED FOR YOU. Several of those are needed.
    even if someone takes note, they may not take action the first time.
    Solo mailers with attention getting direct subject lines that speak to the audience needs: can’t be too much of that.

    There is a different stragey and mindset for a coach and service provider like you who is offering programs and live workshops, talking to a large list of busy people who do need you to get their attention. That’s part of the service!

    An artist staying connected with her or his collectors and fans would want to be more reserved and even then, an event or a deadline needs more repetition than most people give.
    If it results in unsubscribes, they weren’t your people. Send them off with blessings.

    • Carla: Thank YOU! Yes, every email I send runs the risk of unsubscribes, but I have the same attitude as you: “If it results in unsubscribes, they weren’t your people. Send them off with blessings.”

      There are people who rely on those messages to know what’s going on.

      I appreciate your permission here.

  • It’s not really a question of ‘How much is too much’, it’s a question of targeting. The fact of the matter is that social media marketing is still a one-to-one transaction, regardless of how many different people you are trying to reach. We must think of how normal folks converse with one another in order to achieve a loyal, broad-base of followers. Think of how you would respond to whatever it is you are putting out there and adjust accordingly.
    P.S. Great blog, we will definitely be back ;)

  • Hi Alyson,
    I think we hesitate sometimes to send out a second reminder because we think that we might be too pushy or annoy people. Well, that’s what I thought for a while but then I figured that not everyone is reading all my blog posts, tweets or shout-outs on FB and people are just as busy as I am (and I can’t read every single newsletter all the way to the end I subscribed to).
    Thank you for the reminder!

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

    • Franziska: Thank you. I aim for sincerity rather than a sales formula in my emails. I’ll continue to do that and hope that they reach the people who need to get them.

  • Oi, Kirsty, fancy meeting you here too! (I interviewed Kirsty about her 365 Jars project for my blog recently).

    I agree with Alyson about putting out the message repeatedly, and to that end I’ve just started toying around with Tweetdeck, which allows you to schedule messages, and so on. Anyone else have experience with using this or other social media dashboards?

    • Philip: I need to do an article on TweetDeck. It’s so helpful. I’ve recently started scheduling tweets for the other side of the globe because I have a lot of peeps in Australia and New Zealand. I just can’t respond back right away when I do this.

  • That’s a great story and the principal really applies to all forms of marketing, even old-school advertisements. When I’ve run display ads in newspapers in the past, usually the first 3-4 times, the ROI seems horrible but something seems to flip around the 5-6 time.

    People have a way of filtering out what they at first non-glance don’t deem important. If there is repetition, they know they’ll have to consciously decide on how they want to handle it (ignore/like/hate/take action) for all future instances when they encounter it. It probably has some evolutionary origins to it.

    Anywho, good article. Keep the good ideas flowing.

    ~ Melvin Ram

    • Thanks, Melvin. Interesting about the advertising, too. Many artists wonder about buying ads, but they don’t consider running them multiple times. It’s critical, as you say, to have that commitment.

  • Martha Brickett

    Hi Alyson,
    You are so right about”Once is never enough” and believe me it’s so true when applied to every notice we send to key groups of people. As the chair of my city budget committee, I’ve learned that almost daily reminders for several days before a scheduled meeting are necessary because people are busy and do hit delete. I know I hit it as well when I’ve had enough of internet overload coupled with everyday overload. Your reminder applies to so may aspects of contacting people, assuming they got it, and most of all assuming they actually read it. Thank you for your reminder.
    Now I need to send one of my own, again, if I’m going to have a quorum present tonight for a vote.

  • Alyson, this is so true! Everybody is so busy. I still have a feeling that I am bothering people with reminders. It is hard to learn this habit for someone who likes to be in the studio and just paint. But, you are right. Repetition is necessary. The main problem is to find the people and the “fans”. That takes a lot of time and exposure.
    One time I sent out 1000 invitation cards for local businesses for a show opening. The half of it came back undelivered and nobody responded. It was a random list from a local printer. How to stay positive is the clue.

  • Hi Alyson–

    I am a new subscriber and very glad to be here. Regarding what Melvin said, studies show that it takes 7 repeats to make an impression that leads to action.
    I’ve been grappling with this because I have little readership on my blog some days. I post on FB and linked in once each time I post. Is it bad to post more than once, is that nagging or too blatant marketing? If I repost, do I have to change the wording on my post? Plus, facebook stacks posts on the same link, so people can see that you are reposting. I’d appreciate your take.

    • Karen: I’m glad you’re here, too!

      I’m not sure I completely understand. Why don’t you just have your blog post fed into FB – automatically posted?

      • Trying to understand why you would repost the same blog post multiple times. Unless I’m misunderstanding. (It is late and I’m tired. Could be fuzzy.)

      • I didn’t realize that could be done; I’ll look for that widget. I see that I was not clear in my comment. I meant that I let people know that I have a new blogpost by posting about it on FB & Linked In. We all know that everyone does not see every post on these social networking sites. Could I let people know again? or is that overkill?

  • […] people sign up or purchase at the last minute, but they’ve usually seen my offer multiple times by that point. This means . . […]

  • […] don’t err to the other extreme. People need to see multiple marketing messages (in a variety of locations) before they act. You need to cover all of your bases. No single person […]

  • I’ve also had the fear that I tweet too much, post too much, talk too much. But the longer I am in this social media game the more I realize that repetition is good! I really enjoy your blog and was happy to come across it via twitter.

  • […] allows me to put my name in front of students once […]