A great blog from Seth Godin popped into my inbox this morning. Its subject was frequency. Specifically, we know that frequent communications of the same message to your target market increases the chance of converting them to take action, but we also know that hammering the same message over and over again will bore and annoy many people.

As Godin says,

The most indisputable truth of outbound marketing: Frequency improves complianceā€¦The curse, of course, is that the best members of your audience, the ones who are listening the most carefully, have to be bored/annoyed at the messages that show up after they take action.

There are no easy answers to this challenge. Yes, frequency is annoying, but it’s also effective.

One way to try and deal with it is to use the wealth of insight we now have at our fingertips to get a feel for your audience as you communicate with them. Data from newsletters, social media monitoring, web analytics, and of course, cold, hard sales, should give you a feel for when the benefits of frequency are starting to be outweighed by the boredom or disengagement it is creating. It can also help you understand your audiences better, so that you can gauge where their tolerance level for frequency might be, and what you can do to mitigate its negative effect.