From as early as I can remember, people have said: “Everything happens in threes.”
If there’s a death, engagement, pregnancy, you name it – there’s a tendency to believe the event will happen to three people you know.
According to Wikipedia, the rule of three is a writing principle suggesting that things in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things.
And studies have shown:
People are more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of three.
Hence why we also see the Three Stooges, Three Blind Mice, Three Bears, Three Musketeers, Three Amigos, and so forth…
Businesses such as McDonald’s also noticed a profit increase when you give consumers three choices.
The choice between small and large is hard for a consumer to make, but by adding a third choice, the medium option, the buying decision is suddenly much easier.
Many other businesses receive boosts in profit by adding a “good,” “better,” and “best” option instead of one choice.
But today, the point of my conversation is to talk about our Rule of Three Technique™ as it relates to your marketing…
Most entrepreneurs (and I’ve been guilty of this too) will send one postcard or one email, and wonder why they didn’t get the sales and conversions they expected.
If this sounds like you, you’re leaving lots of money on the table.
Write this down: 1 is the worst number in marketing.
You see, the more times someone sees a relevant marketing piece, the more important it becomes to them – and the more likely they are to respond.
Hence, we created The Rule of Three Technique™ for the most effective marketing campaign.
Here’s how it works:
Create One Initial Mailing and Two Follow-Up Sequences
Have you ever subscribed to a magazine? Did you notice as it comes time to renew, they’ll send:
A second notice
A final notice
Often, you’ll receive three emails AND three pieces of direct mail (not one or the other – it’s BOTH).
Magazine subscriptions mail at least three times to get the highest response.
The Rule of Three Technique applies any time you’re driving people to take immediate and important ACTION.
…Such as a renewal, registration, or purchase.
Is today the last day to take advantage of your offer? Send a series of 3 reminders (morning, afternoon, and evening).
Looking to register people to a webinar? Send 3 days of reminders.
The first piece of mailing is your initial offer. The “offer” represents the call-to-action (such as a trial or offer to purchase) that you want people to take.
The second follow-up sequence refers to the original mailing.
The third sequence reminds the reader of both the first and second mailing. Additionally, you’re making the reader aware that this is your third attempt to reach out to them – and it will be your final mailing reminding them of the offer.
It’s a good idea to remind the reader what they will miss out on by choosing to ignore your third message.
Here’s how it looks if you were mailing every day:
The timing is not relevant (it could be every 2 days, or for direct mail, once a week). The most important part is the persistent and consistent follow up.
The statistics are all over the board in terms of response rate, but if I were to average the results of this type of sequence – out of 100% of the total responses, you are likely to expect:
First Mailing: 35%
Second Mailing: 20%
Third Mailing: 45%
As you can see, 65% of the follow up happens on the 2nd and 3rd messages.
The Rule of Three is a minimum standard for the follow up.
Sometimes you may have 4, 6, 12, 20… Mail as often as you need to generate the maximum response possible. However, it can never be less than 3.
Remember: there are reasons and results; the only thing that matters are the results.
Track the results of your first mailing, second mailing, and third mailing… Then test additional mailings to see the impact of additional follow up on your results.
As long as you’re still moving the needle (and your recipients welcome your communication), keep mailing!
Start with the Rule of Three, then let the results speak for themselves.
This applies whether or not you’re doing lead generation, deploying The Customer Re-Engagement Strategy™, or just trying to get more sales.
When you have a goal and you’re looking for results, never forget that everything happens in threes.