Up to some point (which I have yet to witness) every appeal you add will produce more net revenue. So why not just mail all the time?
For one thing, there's the threat of insanity. Direct mail is tough work, and getting it right takes a lot of concentration and energy. Then there's the question of relevance: How many distinct, meaningful, relevant appeals can you make before you're either over-repeating yourself or getting irrelevant? (The answer to both of these lie within, as they say.)
But for the sake of argument, let's put all that aside and say you were to mail 52 direct mail impacts a year.
52 impacts would probably produce more net revenue than one appeal -- or than 51. But at the cost of efficiency. Appeals generally have a suppressing effect on appeals mailed before and after them. The closer they are, the stronger the suppression. So while your net might be higher, your ROI would go down, getting closer to 1:1 as your expenses rose faster than your revenue.
How much asking, then, is too much? I'm pretty sure 52 is too much. But I've seen programs that were mailing around 35 impacts a year that raised impressive net revenue with only minimal impact on ROI.
The answer for your organization is: Unless you're already in the 30+ ballpark, you can probably mail more.
Just be aware that sudden, radical increases in frequency are counter-productive -- you'll see a surge of complaints, and not the corresponding increase in response. It works better to grow your revenue by increasing slightly each year until you reach your right frequency.
If you're mailing quarterly now, add one or two impacts. If you're mailing, monthly add two or three impacts during high-response seasons of the year. That's how you maximize revenue through frequency.
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