How Often Should You Advertise?

How Often Should You Advertise?

What Do Customers Think When They See Your Ad How Often Should You Advertise?
I was told by an advertising saleswoman that customers need to see an advertisement seven times before it is effective. Very convenient for her commission, huh? I have heard variants of the “advertising rule of 7” quite a few times since, but I have never been able to find out where it originally comes from.

“What do people THINK as they read YOUR ads?”

Many small business owners think that if they have a good location with thousands of cars going by everyday or if they advertise once they will be flooded with business.


I stumbled across the information below 30+ years ago and have shared it with thousands of real estate agents, insurance agents, and small business owners. As you read along, think about your own feelings when you see and advertisement  and see if you can identify….or if you are different.

I would love to know! Please post a comment below.

“What do people THINK as they read YOUR ad?”

  1. The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t see it.
  2. The second time, they don’t notice.
  3. The third time, they are aware that it is there.
  4. The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they have seen it somewhere before.
  5. The fifth time, they ACTUALLY read the ad.
  6. The sixth time, they thumb their nose.

    What do people think about your ads

  7. The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
  8. The eight time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
  9. The ninth time, they start to wonder if they might be MISSING OUT on something.
  10. The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  11. The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is PAYING for these ads.

    Questions about your ad

  12. The twelfth time, they start to think that this must be a good product.
  13. The thirteenth time. They start to feel the product has value.
  14. The fourteenth time, they start remembering wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
  15. The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.

    People see your ad

  16. The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
  17. The seventeenth time, they make a note to BUY the product.
  18. The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
  19. The nineteenth time, they count their money carefully.
  20. The twentieth time the prospect sees the ad, they BUY what it is offering.

    Now…..believe it or not….drumroll please?

    ** From Thomas Smith, a 19th century businessman, offering advice to advertisers in 1885.

137+ years ago this businessman realized that it took more than advertising a few times to keep him in business!

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