It’s always difficult to know when to remove a previous donor from your mailing list. They obviously cared enough about your mission to donate at least once in the past; surely if you reach them with a beautifully-crafted appeal, they’ll give again, right? Unfortunately, the answer is “not necessarily”.
There’s a science to determining when it makes financial sense to stop mailing a previous donor. MMI’s chronic non-responder analysis examines the past 3 years or so of your mailings and the responses you received from each. By looking at the number of times a donor has been mailed and the responses received from each mailing, we can determine the point at which there is such a low likelihood of response that you’re losing money continuing to mail to someone.
Rather than suppressing these records forever, an interim option is to skip a few mailings and then mail them again. It’s possible you’ve been mailing this group of previous donors too frequently or they are going through a financially-challenging period; perhaps when they hear from you again after a break, they’ll reengage.
Because the behavior of donors changes, you shouldn’t do a chronic non-responder analysis just once and rely on its findings for years to come. We recommend redoing your chronic non-responder analysis at least once a year to see if the results have changed.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of using analytical tools to optimize the return on investment of your direct mail campaigns, we’d love to work with you. Please call John Bell at (310) 372-9010 or let us know the best time to contact you.
Want more than a cookie cutter approach? MMI Direct dives deep into your data
to determine how best to optimize your list and maximize your direct mail ROI.