Direct mail is also an attractive customer acquisition vehicle because it tends to attract a higher quality customer. In general, customers acquired via the Internet (email, websites) deliver low ROIs.

Besides solo mailings, credit card issuers also buy into shared mail campaigns such as Columbia House's Club Música Latina (Columbia House), a Latin music purchasing club with 500,000 members in good standing. Discover, Citibank and Chase Manhattan have all advertised their credit cards to Club Música Latina members. Dianne Tancredi, director of list sales and services of Club Música Latina, says that most credit card offers are in English, even though the audience is bilingual. “Many advertisers don't understand the most profitable way to capture Hispanics,” says Tancredi.

Although very little advertising is done to promote their brands, credit card issuers do supplement their direct mail campaigns with additional marketing steps, such as buying collateral material in banks and doing community outreach programs. “Most of these activities are educational in nature,” says Michael Saray. Any TV or print advertising is done to raise the response rate of the direct mail campaign.

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