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It’s Like Chopping Down a Tree

If you send out brochures or postcards and nobody responds, or if you make a cold calls and everyone hangs up on you, or if you take out a newspaper or magazine ad and don’t get a single call in return, you’re on the right track.


Yep, you’re probably doing just fine. Hardly any marketer I know hits a bulls-eye the first time. In fact, studies show it takes between 6 and 8 contacts before prospects respond to your offer — and sometimes as many as 20, especially in an industry like camp where you need to earn people’s trust before they’ll let you supervise their kids.

Twenty ads before someone responds?

Check out this list by Thomas Smith of London, written in l885 — but still very true today:

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 its 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 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 some day.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum to buy it.
18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.

You know what? I’m no lumberjack, and I’m against cutting down trees. But to say advertising and marketing is like chopping down trees, well, that’s probably not a bad analogy. You just gotta keep banging away. It might not feel like you’re getting anywhere the first time, or tenth time, or the hundredth time. But eventually the tree will fall.

And for you and me, that’s money in the bank.

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