The Role of Reach & Frequency in Marketing

When I’m working with clients I always recommend they choose 3-4 marketing activities that they can do on a consistent basis. You see most people are trying to do 10 different things…they’re constantly being seduced by the latest and greatest marketing phenomenon, and as a result they don’t get much traction in their marketing.

Because they’re doing too many different things, they don’t hit the required thresholds of what’s known as “reach” and “frequency” in the marketing world.

Reach means how many of your ideal clients your marketing message is “reaching” or getting in front of.

Frequency means how often your ideal clients see your marketing.

Of course we all want to reach as many of our ideal clients as we can, and that is NOT a bad thing in and of itself. BUT, you also must focus on frequency, and making sure your ideal clients keep seeing your marketing message. It’s that repetition that helps you break through the clutter of all the other marketing messages out there.

Clients often resist the frequency advice. “I don’t want to ‘bother’ my list with that much email.”

Or, “Won’t they get sick of hearing about this?”

While it’s true you can “bother” your list with too much email (some Internet marketers may disagree with me), if you don’t communicate with your clients often enough and remind them you’re there, and remind them of how you can help them, they’ll forget about you.

After all, they’re busy. And, they’re being bombarded every day with messages and marketing.

If you’re not in there somewhere, you’re going to be forgotten.

Now, I’m not saying bombard your clients with marketing. It’s a delicate balance of staying in touch, and using a variety of marketing activities, NOT just one. It’s about sharing valuable or thought-provoking information. And yes, it’s about making offers and reminding them of all the ways you can help them. After all, that’s why they came to you isn’t it, for help?

Case in point.

Whenever I’m hosting a free teleclass, I always send out a series of emails over a 1-2 week period prior to the call. I also post on social media repeatedly to spread the word (but I DON’T send out private messages via social media – to me that is spam and is not cool). Sometimes I even send out direct mail (a postcard or a note). I often wonder if I really need to keep “bothering” people, after all, they can read. If they wanted to sign up for the call, they’d do so after the first email, right?


After every email goes out (and I make sure to include valuable new content in each email that I send; I don’t just hammer people with the call date and time and a plea to register), I get a flurry of new sign-up’s.  Happens every time, and after years of doing this you’d think I’d just expect it and stop questioning whether I need to keep sending reminders.

But alas, I’m human and I’m sensitive to the fact that I want to honor and serve my clients, not be pushy and salesy.

And yes, sometimes during these promotional campaigns a few people unsubscribe. But I know those are folks who are no longer interested in my free advice or my paid programs or services. Perhaps they already got what they needed, or their circumstances have changed. Whatever the case, I wish them well and remind myself I can’t make a decision about how to serve the thousands of people who WANT to hear from me, based on what a few people who are no longer interested do.

The moral of the story.

Make sure your marketing plan has a good balance of reach and frequency. Don’t spend ALL your time trying to reach new people. Make sure you’re also cultivating a relationship with the clients you already have.


About Debbie

Debbie worked in marketing for 32 years and ran a successful coaching and consulting business for 19. She now teaches marketing and helps people find greater happiness and success by learning how to Follow Inspiration.

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