Are You Sending Too Much Mail?
2. Worse yet, donor retention drops with decreased contact. A number of one-gift and two-gift donors will simply drift to zero gifts. That means not only lost revenue now, but years into the future. The cumulative loss of donors and revenue can put your organization in a devastating downward spiral.
And by the way, your donor still gets too much mail. You've paid a steep price and not solved the problem.
I think the real trigger of most too-much-mail complaints isn't the mail count from any given sender, but the volume that lands in the mailbox on a given day.
Think about your own experience: You get one useless credit card offer in the mail; you just toss it without a second thought. The next day, you get seven unwanted credit card offers. That feels out of control, wasteful and stupid. Too much mail!
That sense is even stronger for donors. When they get piles of appeals, they see money spent on mail instead of the causes. So not only are their mailboxes full of stuff they don't want, but they get visions of children going hungry because of it. I'd complain too, if I thought that!
So what can you do? Instead of tinkering with the quantity you mail, focus on relationship and relevance. That's how you solve the too-much-mail problem.
Give the squeaky wheel the grease
Of the vast majority of your donors who never complain about your mail frequency, some may be annoyed but seething in silence. But a lot more aren't complaining because they don't have a complaint. They're fine with what they're getting.
When somebody complains about too much mail, send that person less mail. You probably already do this, but it bears repeating: Satisfy those who raise their hands. Don't generalize their complaints to everyone else.