It’s true. TIME magazine wants me back.

John Reese, TIME’s Consumer Marketing Director said so in the most recent mailing I got from them. “Dear Chuck, we appreciated having you as a subscriber, so we’ve arranged a special offer to welcome back former TIME subscribers like you.”

In fact, they’ve added a bribe: a free Ultronic TM Touch-Screen Organizerwith a bunch of features. They’ll send it with my paid subscription. It has a calculator, an alarm clock, a telephone book, an e-mail address book, does currency conversion, and offers the correct time in 24 cities.

Oh, and 56 issues of TIME for only $29.95 (86% off the cover price).

And, you know, I’m seriously thinking about renewing. Especially if they offer some new applications, like time sheet calculator. Oh, not because I want the Ultronic TM Touch-Screen Organizer. I’m prepared to find it another useless trinket that will clutter up my desk until I finally junk it.

I’m considering re-subscribing because this is the sixth time they’ve contacted me about my lapsing subscription. Think about it… I used to subscribe… I found value in the publication… I let the subscription lapse… and now, for the sixth time since the magazines stopped coming two months ago, TIME has told me that they value me as a subscriber. I’m beginning to believe them.

I’ve been preaching for years “frequency sells,” that it’s not enough to contact a potential customer once. You need to do it again… and again… and again… Eventually, the potential customer will believe he’s getting to know you, is beginning to trust you, and may ultimately buy from you.

Is your message getting repeated enough times to help your prospective customers remember what you’re telling them? Do they know your message by heart? Perhaps the single most important thing you can do is to repeat your message. Repeat it again. Repeat it until you’re sick of hearing it.

Repeat it until those people who weren’t paying attention the first time, who didn’t quite catch what you said the second time, who started wondering what they thought of you the third time, who began to consider your message the fourth time, who started idly wondering what buying from you might be like the fifth time… yeah… those people… can recite your message from memory.

In this case, I “know” TIME magazine. I “know” that “no other magazine gives me more insight into our rapidly changing world than TIME.” I know because they’ve told me so. Told me six times now.

Humm. I may re-subscribe now that they’ve told me six times how much they value me as a subscriber. I may not. (I’m still being distracted by that Ultronic TM Touch-Screen Organizer. Frankly, it’s getting in the way of their primary message.)

I am, however, reasonably sure of one thing: If TIME contacts me a seventh time to tell me that I’m a valuable subscriber, I’m definitely going to renew.

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