Repetition Is Powerful: Why Frequency Makes Your Marketing More Effective

It’s easy to get bored with your marketing.

If you’re involved in producing or reviewing marketing materials, then you’re especially vulnerable. Not only are you seeing the same copy and design all the time, but you’re also probably going over it with fine attention to detail.

You might even be on the “seed” list to receive all the direct mail and email your organization is sending; if so, you’re being hit with a frequency that your donors will never experience.

Remember, your donors are not seeing your marketing as often as you do. And they’re definitely not giving it the same attention.

Psst: Even Disney reused its iconic work:

You Aren’t Your Donor

Sadly for us, no one reads or remembers everything we send. When you start to worry that your materials are becoming repetitive, remember that repetition in marketing is a good thing.

There’s power in repetition. Not everyone notices what you send the first time. It can take a repeated effort to get someone’s attention, drive home your message and spur action.

Your mail may show up when your donor is on vacation. Your email competes with personal, business and promotional emails. A donor may want to open it, but not right now. Not this time.

And, when a donor does open your mail or email, they may still be distracted, glance at it and set it aside to a follow-up pile. We all have those…and we know what eventually happens to them.

Direct mail marketers—the original scientists of marketing, who measured performance with hard data—originated the “rule of seven” that still guides many marketing programs today. The rule of seven is about impressions. It suggests that a consumer must see or hear a message up to seven times before you can expect them to take action.

Repetition = Consistency

Repetition creates consistency, and that’s a good thing. Consistent themes and messages build trust and bring results.

Repetition also creates efficiency. Efficiency saves you time and money. Every new campaign, from concept to completion, is an investment. Consider the cost of creative services and the production of materials.

The easiest way to start a culture of repetition is to repurpose content across marketing channels. For example:

  • Direct mail › email—Pull from your direct mail messaging to create cohesive email messaging.
  • Donor story › quotations—Grab quotes from an amazing donor story as a soundbite elsewhere.
  • Long-form copy › infographics—A tangible takeaway captured in long-form copy (e.g, a report) lends itself to an eye-catching infographic.
  • Annual giving impact story › planned giving impact story—Grab an annual giving impact story to connect the dots for donors on the overall impact planned giving can have.

Let Me Repeat Myself

Almost every bit of content—especially compelling testimonials and donor stories—should be repurposed across channels. Dive into repetition. Take your campaign fatigue as a sign that you’re doing things right.

Repetition is vital for getting across who you are, what you stand for and how you help others. The more you repeat your story, the more likely donors are to take action.

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