PennySaver, a subsidiary of Harte Hanks, plans to launch an FSI direct mail program for California's Hispanics in early 2004. The company is also looking to expand into areas heavily populated by Mexican-Americans with another direct mail program called “Pensando en ti.”
Consumer package goods and a number of Mexican brands are interested in reaching US Hispanics by direct mail. “We are driven to a large extent by Mexican brands. We want to go where Mexicans are,” Penny/Saver's Steven Bilskey tells Portadatm. He noted that Penny/Saver is interested in expanding to Denver (Colorado), Phoenix (Arizona) and El Paso (Texas), as well as other Texan markets.
Due to the lack of good data about Hispanic populations, it has been difficult to implement direct mail programs targeting Hispanics. Experts claim that the typical Hispanic household receives one coupon for every 20 delivered to non-Hispanic households. The reason? Only a few of the nation's approximately 40 million Hispanics buy FSI-filled, major-metro English-language newspapers.
With the new data on the Hispanic population from the 2000 census, direct mailers such as Penny/Saver are launching campaigns, and competing with magazine and newspaper publishers for advertising dollars. Direct mail campaigns are used by local retail outlets but also by national brands like Sears, Procter & Gamble, Mercury Insurance, Allstate, Geico and 21st Century.
CPMs for the Penny Saver California campaign will be in the US $14 range, a lower rate than newspapers charge national advertisers. In California PennySaver intends to reach 51% of Hispanic households. A higher reach than any newspaper (Spanish-language or not) can claim.
In some markets, FSIs (Free standing inserts) included in Spanish-language newspapers are direct mailers' only way to reach Hispanics. Direct mail company Valassis has partnered with Hispanic newspapers, including Chicago weekly La Raza. Some publications targeting Spanish-speaking audiences have their own direct mail programs, offering advertisers who buy ads in the newspaper a way to increase the reach of their message. Los Angeles' La Opinión's Weekend Direct is one example. The program places inserts on the door steps of 667,000 Latino households in Los Angeles neighbourhoods with a 55% or higher Latino population.