What is the "stacking effect" & how can it transform your prospecting motion?

Rocco Savage
July 10, 2024
 min read


In today's competitive sales landscape, standing out and building meaningful connections with prospects is more challenging than ever. The stacking effect emerges as a crucial tool in any seller's arsenal, offering a strategic approach to gradually increase familiarity and trust with potential clients. By leveraging multiple touchpoints across various channels, this method aligns with the natural rhythm of the buyer's journey, respecting their time and preferences while steadily moving towards meaningful engagement.

Key takeaways from the article:

  • Understanding the stacking effect: It's about layering multiple sales techniques to create compounded impact and increase familiarity over time.
  • Differentiating from omnichannel strategies: While both aim to boost sales, the stacking effect focuses on tactical combinations, whereas omnichannel prioritizes a seamless customer experience across all platforms.
  • Optimizing for your audience: Get to know your buyers' habits, time your interactions accordingly, and understand their level of urgency to tailor your approach effectively.
  • Avoiding common pitfalls: Be mindful of over-communication, inconsistency, and failing to add value in each interaction to maximize the effectiveness of your stacking effect strategy.
  • Embracing patience and empathy: The stacking effect requires shifting focus from immediate sales to building relationships, demanding a more holistic view of the sales process aligned with customer needs.

After hours of scouring LinkedIn for sales prospects, you've identified all your candidates. You read over their bios and company details and start drafting your pitch. Once you're satisfied with your copy, you send your emails and wait for a response. 

A day goes by…then a week, but there's no answer.

You decide to fire off another email. Maybe the prospects missed your initial message or were too busy to write back. Hey, you understand — that's why you're sending a follow-up. 

Again, crickets. 

Maybe these aren't the right prospects after all. Or maybe you need to be pivoting your strategy to incorporate the stacking effect.

What is the “stacking effect”?

The "stacking effect" is a term coined by Regie.ai Co-Founder and President Matt Millen, but the general principles behind it has been bopping around the sales industry for a long time. Specifically, it's based on the law of familiarity and goes something like this:

  • If you have the right sequence of touchpoints in place, you can build up familiarity with prospects gradually over time.
  • With each touch, the prospect’s familiarity with your brand “stacks up” just a little more. 
  • In turn, this gradual increase in familiarity also increases the likelihood of the prospect actually responding to your outreach. 

Put another way: prospects who learn more about you, your brand, and what you offer become more receptive to your sales pitch over time. Successful reps can use the stacking effect to learn more about potential prospects and build name recognition with them, eventually influencing a response. 

Here's an example of the stacking effect in action.

Picture this: You’re going about your busy day and – during a well-deserved mid-afternoon break – you decide to do some catching up on LinkedIn. You log into your account and see that you’ve gained a new follower over the past week. Interest is piqued a bit, but then your attention is diverted elsewhere. 

Shortly afterward, you receive a phone call from an unknown number, followed by a follow-up email. Because you don’t know the person reaching out, you decide not to answer or engage.

A few days later — you guessed it — you receive another phone call from the same number and yet another thoughtful email. This same person starts engaging with you frequently on LinkedIn, liking your posts and commenting. 

Over the next few weeks, you start recognizing their phone number.

Finally, one day, they call, and you decide to answer.

That right there is the stacking effect in action.

How does the "stacking effect" differ from an omnichannel sales strategy?

The stacking effect and omnichannel sales strategies both aim to boost sales performance, but they differ slightly in both approach and focus. The differences are slightly nuanced

Stacking effect

  • Definition: Layering multiple sales techniques or tools for compounded impact
  • Approach:some text
    • Combines various methods (e.g., cold calling, email, social media)
    • Uses techniques in strategic sequence
    • Creates multiple touchpoints
  • Goal: Reinforce messages and create multiple touchpoints, increasing the chances of conversion.
  • Focus: Tactical combinations of techniques

Omnichannel strategy

  • Definition: Creating a seamless, integrated experience across all customer interactions
  • Approach:some text
    • Ensures consistency across all platforms (website, mobile, social media, in-store)
    • Prioritizes customer journey
    • Emphasis on providing a unified brand experience rather than stacking separate techniques
  • Goal: Provide cohesive experience regardless of interaction point
  • Focus: Holistic, customer-centric philosophy

Key Difference: Stacking effect amplifies impact through combined methods, while omnichannel selling creates a unified customer experience across all channels.

As you can see, the differences between the two are slightly nuanced, but they’re there. While the stacking effect is about amplifying impact through combined methods, omnichannel selling prioritizes cohesive customer journeys. Both can be effective, but the stacking effect is more about tactical combinations, while omnichannel is a holistic, customer-centric philosophy.


How does the "stacking effect" work?

The essence of the stacking effect is humanizing prospects rather than trying to force a sale. In other words, you're working around the prospect's objectives and schedule, and you’re matching their actions according to the urgency and needs they demonstrate. You use different channels to stack your interactions, including email, social media, and phone calls.

Here's how each channel can fit together to achieve the stacking effect.


If you have a prospect's email address, you can start sending them information about what you offer and what they can gain from it. 

However, keep in mind that the initial goal of email when using the stacking effect isn't to make an immediate sale or schedule a call. Instead, you're focusing on building credibility and humanizing your interactions. Calls and meetings come later when the prospect is ready to have a discussion, and you can better understand their needs and how to relate to them during your pitch.

Social media

LinkedIn is the most common social media platform for B2B prospecting because it's easy for you to locate decision-makers at companies that may benefit from your products and services. Because you can connect one-on-one with desirable prospects, they get to know your name and the business you work for.

You can initiate the stacking effect on social media by joining a prospect's network, commenting on posts, or visiting their profile. As they become more familiar with you, it opens the door for more personalized communication, like an InMail message or connection request.

Phone calls

Phone calls take social media and email communications to the next level, allowing you to lend your personal touch to the sales process. If a prospect accepts your call, use the time to demonstrate what you've learned about their needs and position your product as the solution.

However, it's best to let the prospect take the lead and try to avoid being overly presumptive or pushy. Listen to their questions and concerns and gently guide them toward the next step. If they don’t seem ready to buy just yet, use this as an opportunity to provide them with more information through a product demonstration.

Personalization in the "stacking effect"

Personalization is the secret sauce that can transform your stacking effect strategy from good to great. It's not just about using the prospect's name in an email – it's about tailoring each touchpoint to resonate with their specific situation, challenges, and goals.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Start by thoroughly researching your prospects. Use LinkedIn, company websites, and industry news to gather insights. 
  • Then, weave these details into your outreach. For example, if you notice a prospect sharing articles about sustainability, mention how your product aligns with eco-friendly initiatives in your next email.some text
    • When crafting social media interactions, comment on posts with thoughtful insights related to their industry. 
    • On calls, reference specific challenges their company might be facing and how your solution addresses them.

Remember, the goal is to demonstrate that you understand their world and have something valuable to offer. This level of personalization shows you've invested time in understanding them, which can significantly boost the effectiveness of your stacking effect approach.

How to optimize the "stacking effect" for your audience

Once you understand the basics of the stacking effect, you can up your game by mastering three key strategies.

1. Get to know your buyers' habits.

The first key to embracing the stacking effect is understanding how your buyer spends their day. (We know, it sounds a little crazy — stick with us.)  Use your imagination and try to walk in their footsteps for a day. Maybe they wake up, eat a quick breakfast, drop their kids off at school, and then start a busy day in the field around 9 a.m. They’re not office-bound, so many of their interactions are in-person or over the phone. Around 5 p.m., they head home, eager to wind down with their family.

In this case, your best chance of connecting with the prospect is probably via phone. Because the prospect doesn’t work in an office, an email might sit for days before they see it. And unless you know where they stop for coffee (and you're willing to go into full-on “stalker mode,” which we do NOT recommend), an in-person meetup won't work.

If you understand your prospect’s basic job, it’s pretty easy to determine their preferred communication channel. Test your strategy and lean into it or adjust as needed.

2. Time your interactions accordingly.

Once you understand your buyer's habits, you can time your interactions according to when you think they'll most likely be receptive to your communications. Not everyone keeps the same schedule, and different buyers are busier at different times of the day or workweek.

As an example, assume you want to connect with a finance professional about upgrading their ERP system. It probably wouldn't be the best idea to reach out at the end of the month when they're closing their books and reviewing their financial performance. Instead, you could time your calls when the books are open and your prospect isn't working on a hard deadline.

By timing your interactions according to the prospect's schedule, you're putting their preferences above your own. It's a courtesy that shows respect for them, their needs, and – more importantly – their sanity.

3. Understand the buyer's urgency.

Customers don't care about your sales goals or how much you believe a product can benefit them. They'll only buy something if it fits within their objectives and budget. If you press too hard, you may lose a valuable prospect simply by not considering where they are in the buyer's journey.

For instance, say you meet a potential client at an industry conference. You demo the product for them, and they seem gung-ho about its benefits. You follow up with them via email a few days later, but they don't respond. After three more emails, two missed calls, and one voicemail, the client tells you they're checking other alternatives. In this case, your pestering may have annoyed the customer — something you absolutely don't want.

Look at the frequency of your touches like an engineer building a sturdy foundation. More is not necessarily better. It's what goes into the building process — proper planning, strategy, and materials — that makes the difference.


Measuring success with the "stacking effect"

To ensure your stacking effect strategy is working, you need to track the right metrics. Here are some recommendations for key performance indicators (KPIs) you can focus on to measure the performance of your outreach:

  1. Response rates: Monitor how many prospects respond to your outreach across different channels. Look for improvements over time as familiarity builds.
  2. Engagement levels: Track likes, comments, and shares on social media posts. Also consider tracking metrics like email open rates, and click-through rates. These indicate growing interest and engagement.
  3. Time-to-conversion: Measure how long it takes to move prospects through your pipeline compared to traditional methods. The stacking effect might take longer initially but often leads to higher-quality conversions.
  4. Quality of conversations: Assess the depth and relevance of discussions you're having with prospects. Are they more open and forthcoming compared to cold outreach?
  5. Channel effectiveness: Analyze which combination of channels and sequences works best for different prospect segments.

Use your CRM to set up dashboards that track these metrics, and then make sure to actually stay on top of monitoring them. Use this data to regularly review and adjust your approach accordingly. Remember, the stacking effect is about gradual improvement, so look for trends over time rather than immediate results.

Common pitfalls of the "stacking effect" – and how to avoid them

While the stacking effect can be powerful, there are several pitfalls to watch out for:

  1. Over-communication: Bombarding prospects with too many touchpoints can be counterproductive. Avoid this by carefully planning your outreach cadence and respecting the prospect's preferences.
  2. Lack of consistency: Inconsistent messaging or long gaps between touchpoints can diminish the familiarity you're trying to build. Maintain a steady, planned approach to your communications.
  3. Failing to add value: Each interaction should provide value to the prospect. Avoid generic messages or pushy sales pitches. Instead, focus on sharing insights, relevant content, or solutions to their specific challenges.
  4. Ignoring prospect signals: Not paying attention to how prospects respond (or don't respond) to your outreach can lead to missed opportunities or annoyed contacts. Be attentive and adjust your approach based on their engagement level.
  5. Neglecting personalization: Treating the stacking effect as a one-size-fits-all approach can limit its effectiveness. Take the time to tailor your messages and timing to each prospect's unique situation.

To avoid these pitfalls, regularly review your strategy, seek feedback from colleagues and clients, and stay flexible in your approach. Remember, the stacking effect is about building relationships, not just ticking boxes in a sequence.

Final thoughts

The stacking effect is a powerful strategy that transforms how sellers approach prospecting and relationship-building. By layering multiple touchpoints and channels strategically, reps can gradually build familiarity and trust with potential clients. This method respects the buyer's journey, aligning outreach with their habits, schedules, and level of urgency.

Mastering the stacking effect requires a shift in mindset from pushing for immediate sales to cultivating meaningful connections over time. It demands patience, empathy, and a deep understanding of your prospects' world. 

But – if done right – the rewards are substantial: increased response rates, more engaged prospects, and ultimately, stronger client relationships, just to name a few.

As you incorporate the stacking effect into your sales approach, remember that each interaction is an opportunity to add value and build trust. Be consistent, be genuine, and always prioritize the prospect's needs. With practice and persistence, you'll find that this method not only improves your sales outcomes but also makes the entire process more rewarding for both you and your potential clients.

Regie.ai's AI Sales Agents can automate and streamline this entire process for you.

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