by Pam Jones

How many times have you run an ad for one to three weeks and didn't get the response you desired, so you quit running the ad? I've been known to do that, especially when I first started running ads. My thinking at that time was to test the ad and see what kind of results I got. If I got a lot of responses, I would continue running the ad; if I didn't get the desired response I quit running it. Little did I know that people have to see an ad a multitude of times before they actually "see" it.

I had heard in marketing lectures that it takes at least seven approaches before a prospect will respond to your offer and have found this is be very true. The following was sent to me and there is a lot of truth to it:

"The owner of a small business takes a leap of faith and contracts to run a weekly ad in the local newspaper with a frequency of once a week for a full year. After five weeks, the results displease him so much that he cancels his contract.

Five ads in five weeks seem like a lot of frequency in marketing. Five exposures do, indeed establish some momentum. But they don't even come close to creating enough desire to motivate a sale. To truly comprehend how much frequency is enough to spark that sale, you've got to know just what your prospects think from each exposure. Here is exactly what each one thinks as he or she looks at the ad you've run:

1. The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.

2. The second time, he does not notice it.

3. The third time, he is conscious of it's existence.

4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.

5. The fifth time, he reads it.

6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.

7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh brother!"

8. The eighth time, he says, "Here's that confounded thing again!

9. The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.

10. The tenth time, he asks his neighbor if he has tried it.

11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.

12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.

13. The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something.

14. The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing for a long time.

15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.

16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday.

17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.

18. The eighteenth time, he swears that he's in poverty.

19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.

20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering."

The list you just read was written by Thomas Smith of London in 1885. But, here we are in the year 2003, so how much of that list is valid right now, today? The answer is ALL OF IT!

I have found this to be very true. A few years ago, when I first started my own businesses and didn't really know much about operating a home-based business, I put a small classified ad in the local weekly newspaper for about 1 month. Did I get any responses? Yes, but not many (about 3). I started placing a display ad in the paper once a month and got a better response. But it wasn't until I put a service ad in the business section that ran every week that I really started getting desired responses. Even at that it still took about a year for word to get out about my services and I was able to rely on a steady clientele.

The point I am trying to make is that you need to make yourself visible. In cyberspace this can be a bit more difficult. Even though you have a website people don't just come if they don't know about you. It takes a constant effort and it does take time to build a client base and repeat customers.

Marketing your product or service can be quite involved and there are various things you can do to promote your business. The next few issues of PIP News will cover some of the various aspects of marketing your business.

Make sure you have your URL and email address on EVERY piece of information that leaves your office. Promote your business locally and direct prospects to your website. Use your imagination.

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Pam Jones specializes in offering quality information and services that will keep you on the right track with your online marketing to help you increase your profits. Visit the Internet Marketing Resource Center at, for tips, tools, resources and helpful articles. Or find out about web hosting, website design or redesign, domain name research & registration, online marketing & promotion and website maintenance services at affordable prices for small to medium sized businesses at Clearwater Web Solutions at

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