People en español direct mails “soft” subscription offer


In its direct mail offer sent out in early January, People en español offered a yearly subscription to its Spanishlanguage magazine at a price of $11.00 for 11 issues, with one free issue. The buy 11, get one free deal, known as a soft offer, is a cancel anytime subscription. The $11.00 price does not include a one-time $2.99 mandatory shipping charge, which brings the price-point to $13.99. The offer was delivered in Spanish only.


The offer was mailed in an envelope (see image), a letter written in Spanish on which the potential subscriber needs to add a sticker, a brochure (see image) and a business reply envelope.


People en Español, published by Time Inc. is a Spanish language magazine covering celebrities, Latino actors and lifestyle issue. It is mostly read by Spanish language dominant Latinos nationwide. In 2006 it increased its rate base to 475,000, up 5.5% from 450,000. Since its inception in 1996, People en Español’s rate base has grown by 179%. People en Español boasts the largest circulation of all Hispanic magazines in the market.

Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Fresno, Calif., Albuquerque, N.M., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The programming package includes Spanish-language video channels, music channels, a lifeline English-language slate of programming, and On Demand programming. Research showed that Comcast lost Hispanic customers when they had to buy a bunch of other programming – expanded basic and digital basic – to get the Spanish-language networks they wanted to watch.


People en español opted not to disclose performance results of the campaign. Direct mail promotions targeting Hispanics tend to have a higher response rate than the ones directed to the general market. A 2% response rate is regarded as a good result to a direct mail campaign offering magazine subscriptions. In 2004, Americas Magazine, a publication which covers “the peoples and cultures of South America, North America and the Caribbean”, sent out two versions – one in English and one in Spanish, of its direct mail appeal to potential subscribers. The response rate for the Spanish-offer was 2.2% and the pay-up rate was 1.5%. The English offer had a response rate of 1.8% and a pay-up rate of 1.5%.

Spanish offers tend to have higher response rates. Hispanics account for 2.8% of the names included in Time Inc.’s database of approximately 50 million names. The grand total includes subscriber lists from Time Inc. magazines, as well as Time Warner continuity clubs (e.g. Bookspan). About 1.4 million of the 50 million people who have responded to a Time Inc. offer (subscriptions, club memberships, direct mail offers) are Hispanic. Of the 14 million names on Time Inc.’s magazine subscriber list, 730,000 are Hispanics (5.2%). The Millard Group markets Time Warner’s lists and databases.

In January 2005 Jose Raul Perez, consumer marketing director at People en español told Portada® that most of People en español’s subscriber acquisition efforts consist of direct mail and agent (third-party) sales. Seventy-five percent of People en español’s sales are to subscribers.