How Many Times?

I was recently reminded of the importance of repeated exposure in marketing. While the circumstances had nothing to do with selling books, the lesson still remains.

I coordinate the summer swim team for my neighborhood pool. This is a swim team for children that live in the neighborhood. The swim team runs every summer for eight weeks. Each year, we take a team photo of all the children on the team. The parents then have a chance to purchase the photo as a memento.

This year I emailed information about purchasing the team photo to all the parents on the swim team (my target audience). I requested that they place an order for the photo. I received a few replies.

Since I received only a few replies, I mentioned that the photos were for sale in another email to the parents (repeat exposure). This time, I got a few more replies.

As each email elicited a few more commitments to purchase, I decided to mention the photo a third time in yet another email. This attempt also brought some replies from more parents wanted to purchase a team photo.

Here I had a group of people who have motivation to purchase the team photo—after all, it contains a picture of their child on the swim team. Yet, still, multiple exposures were required to elicit sales.

If three or more exposures were what it took for motivated people to purchase a team photo, know that more than six exposures will be required for you to hook your target audience into purchasing your book. After all, your target audience does not possess the same level of motivation that the parents on my neighborhood swim team have for purchasing a team photo that includes their child.

Take note: When marketing your book, even if you are promoting to your target audience, multiple exposures will be required to secure your audience’s action to purchase.