How to Use the ‘Rule of Seven’ Effectively and Economically

In marketing, it is often said that your customer will generally only buy once they’ve seen your sales message SEVEN different times.

In fact, in a world of online marketing this original ‘rule of seven’, normally credited to master marketer Dr. Jeffrey Lant, may even be outdated. Some experts suggest you may need many more points of contact with your prospects before they are ready to buy.

It’s important to realise that impulse sales (especially genuinely valuable ones) are pretty rare in business and don’t usually lead to long term, valuable customers anyway. A potential customer needs to know, as a minimum, the following about your business before they will make a purchase:

* That your business exists at all!

* What you are selling.

* Why, why and WHY they should buy from you.

No matter how many points of contact are needed in reality the basic principle is easy to see: The more points of contact the more chances you have to make a sale. (If you like, the more bites of the cherry you have.)

So how can you maximise the points of contact you have with your customers in a cost effective way?

Here are the methods I suggest:

* Do PR, or public relations. Send out newsworthy stories about your business/products to the media.

The good thing about doing PR is that you can achieve many points of contact from just one PR story.

* Good old fashioned offline advertising like press ads., and radio and TV still has a place in the mix. Today, some people may say that methods like these don’t work for them anymore. But the fact is that although the sale may come through another channel these methods can still maximise your points of contact.

* Use social media. Publish information about your business/your product using social media.

The good thing about social media is that others will (hopefully) share it for you and increase points of contact that way. To maximise your results – and stand a chance at going viral – make your social media content highly sharable.

* Direct marketing. Whatever methods of marketing you use, make collecting prospective customers’ names and contact details a primary objective. (There are lots of different ways of doing this, as well as some do’s and don’ts to observe.)

Here’s why this is effective: Once you’ve collected prospective customers’ details you don’t have to wait for them to contact you. You can contact them whenever you like using, for example, letter, phone, text or email.

Even better, using direct marketing, you can not only increase your points of contact with prospective customers but accelerate the rate at which they move towards ‘buy’.

* Face to face methods. Like attending exhibitions or conferences. Or taking a stall at an event, or within a retailer. In the digital world where people are sceptical about what they see online these face-to-face methods can carry a lot of clout as points of contact with prospective customers.

For more advice on marketing your business and creating effective PR and sales copy drop me an email: mark @