Latina simply itemizes subscription benefits

1. The campaign

Latina's most recent direct mail campaign consists of a plain white voucher package, very different from the glossy, visually stimulating promotions it has mailed out over the years. Latina began testing this simple straightforward format in 2003. Its latest mailing was in October. Like many subscription marketers in a variety of categories, Latina has had some success with this economical format emphasizing price and offer, along with a concise description of editorial benefits. “We typically mail four times a year,” Latina magazine's Jennifer Schulties tells Portada®. The promotion uses sales copy written almost entirely in English. The magazine is written in English with Spanish summaries. “ParadyszMatera is our list broker. Our mailings range in size from 125,000 to nearly one million,” Schulties adds.

2. The mail piece

The mailing measures 4”x 7¾”and has no creative or sales language on its outer envelope other than the Latina logo in the return address area. Inside, Latina's “Preferred Rate” order form comes with a “Statement of Benefits,” which lists reasons to subscribe, including a free Latina-branded bag, special issues (“Adelante,” “Hook-Up,” and “It Girls”) and a no-hassle guarantee. The form carries a hard (i.e. “bill-me”) offer of 11 issues for $9.97, slightly lower than the usual $12. A red satin cosmetic bag is given to all subscribers as a premium upon payment. Although cosmetic carry-case premiums are not new (e.g. promotions by W, Glamour and Jane), this latest model is more upscale and feminine than bulkier black bags seen in the past and is promoted on its own colorful insert.

Two secondary offers are also made—one hard and one soft. In the harder approach, subscribers are encouraged to pay immediately by credit card in order to get the bag premium more quickly. Another insert, separate from the order form, uses language traditionally associated with soft offers, such as “Free trial issue” and “If you decide Latina is not for you, return your bill marked ‘cancel' and owe nothing.” This unique, multi-faceted approach is designed to appeal to the widest variety of consumer behavior.

3. The results

“The voucher makes the most sense on a P/L basis compared to other packages we have used,” explains Latina's Schulties. However, she does not want to talk about a specific response rate: “Our response rate for the voucher has been in line with industry standards.” In 2001, Latina introduced a new soft offer of 11 issues for $12 (one risk-free), and a branded cosmetics-case premium. The longstanding previous control offer was $14.97 for the same terms, with a fast-500 incentive for a Latina watch and travel jewel case (no premium). In tests throughout 2001, the lower price point boosted response by close to 15%, and also significantly increased pay-up.

4. The product

Latina magazine is a bilingual (aprox. 80% is written in English), lifestyle publication targeting successful bicultural U.S. Hispanic women 18-34 years old. It covers beauty, fashion, culture and food, including content that inspires and supports women who want to make changes in their lives – jobs, families and communities. Latina is published by Latina Media Ventures and has a circulation (rate base) of 350,000.


The direct mail promotion in this article was tracked and analyzed by ParadyszMatera ( through its MarketRelevanceTM Promotion Library. Additional research and interviews were conducted by Portada. ParadyszMatera is a media brokerage services company specializing in Direct Mail, Online Marketing and Creative, Print and Alternative Media.


Portada Staff

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