Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

In channel marketing, it’s too easy to look for a single magic bullet.

For example, we’ve all heard similar complaints from channel colleagues: “Webinars just don’t work”; “we took them all out for a steak dinner, and it was a waste”; “we tried a newsletter and got nothing;” and “we sent out an email a couple of months ago and got nothing.”

These are all real statements made by real channel partner owners and executives. What do they all have in common? They all describe one-shot events, and in channel marketing, there’s just no such thing.

In Channel Marketing, Familiarity Breeds Open Emails

What are the two things that will get anyone to open up your email? Yes, a compelling subject line is a great way to get that all-important double-click, but most people will also open an email if they know the sender—or think they know the sender.

This is why so many companies use familiar-sounding names like “Columbia.” Whether its bicycles, sports gear, the broadcasting company or other things, they all use it because people instantly think they recognize it.

People who have worked with you will open your email. The only other way to get your email read is to get people to recognize your name simply because they’ve seen it so often, which means you must keep sending them messages via email, snail mail, fax, online and whatever other media you can think of.  This is why “sales coaches” always say it takes multiple touches to reach a new prospect. You have to keep messaging them until they’ve seen it so often they believe they really do recognize your name.

In Channel Marketing, It’s All About the Campaign

Let’s look at those four quotes from the beginning of this article once again. What if we sent prospects not only one email, but several over time; with one of them, we included an informative newsletter; then perhaps a vendor’s white paper; soon we invited them to a webinar; and perhaps we posted a few blogs about the subject and referred to those in the emails.

With each blog post, we “tweeted” about it not only on Twitter, but Facebook and a few dozen LinkedIn groups we know our potential customers belong to. A few weeks before the webinar, we added a direct mail invitation and had our salespeople start calling the people we’ve been reaching out to.

This is what it looks like when we’re rolling out all of our marketing artillery to support a focused campaign, and that is the key to successful marketing. Repeat the messages with varying subtext to expand upon the topic; use several different media, both new and old; and coordinate it all to touch each prospect and expose your company name and logo to them as many times as possible.

Think we’re done? Not by a long shot. Yes, after all of these “touches” in email, snail mail, social media, telephone and more, we will attract several new prospective customers—but not nearly as many as we will the second time we mount a campaign like this.