The economic might of the religious community was most recently demonstrated with the incredible success of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, which took $370 million at the box office and sold over 9 million DVD and VHS copies in its first week of availability.
Since then, the wider business community has been racking its collective brain, looking for ways to tap the economic potential of this market. Given that approximately 72% of U.S. Hispanics are Catholic, and that Hispanics are highly responsive to direct mail, the mailbox is seen as a good venue to reach religious Latinos.
According to Rick Blume, President of list brokerage 21st Century Marketing, “I know of about a half-dozen fundraisers who use these lists. I know that the Priests of the Sacred Heart have their file on the market. This includes an active list, as well as a 13 month plus list. Also, the Salesian Missions in New York have their list.”
Dale Filhaber, president of Florida-based Dataman Group direct mail and telemarketing list brokers says, “All of the companies use overlay to determine ethnicity, religion, and any number of other factors on the mailing lists.” Ms. Filhaber was previously president of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. “The thing that’s really important in our industry is to fine-tune the mailing lists and prospects to the best of our ability. We want to minimize environmental impact, maximize our advertising dollar, and make sure that resources are not wasted.”