A recent report by the Direct Marketing Association, produced in conjunction with PSA and Zubi Advertising, showed 92% of marketers and agencies in the Hispanic market use non-catalog direct mail, and 53.7% of respondents said that non-catalog direct mail effectively boosts their response rates for Hispanic consumers. These statistics reveal just how active the Hispanic direct marketing space is right now. One question that naturally arises is: Why is direct marketing so popular among companies looking to reach Hispanics? The conventional wisdom is that since Hispanics have historically been overlooked by direct marketing efforts, they are more receptive to them.

While all of this would seem to suggest a strong demand for Hispanic lists, Rick Blume of 21st Century Marketing Specialists, says this is not the case. When asked how the tough economy is affecting the Hispanic list market, he does not mince words: “How is it affecting us?” he says. “Terribly. Everything is down.

Marketers are not exploring the Hispanic market at the moment, and they are mailing less.” He says that instead of soliciting new business, they are mailing to existing customers, which has a dragging effect on the demand for new lists.

Speaking to how list companies are dealing with this drop in demand, Blume tells Portada, “We’re just going to hang on. With less demand and inputs, new list generations will be down. It’s a cycle. One affects the other.”

Religious Mailers…

The picture is not without bright spots: Catholic fundraisers are still strong mailers in the Hispanic market, and they have a lot of experience in the space. It is not unusual for these nonprofit organizations to get a 20% response rate to their direct mail campaigns.

These impressive results make their experience relevant to corporate marketers, as well as newspaper and magazine publishers, who are interested in acquiring and strengthening their relationships with Hispanic customers.

TX based Oblate Missions, has been direct mailing to Hispanics for over 25 years. Oblate Missions, a development office supporting the international ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, does about 18 mailings per year. Continuity is an important component of their success with Hispanic patrons. “Our copywriter is a missionary himself. He has been with us for more than two decades,” says Lucy Rázuri, manager of donor campaigns.

Oblate Missions has had most success with mailings sent out around holidays, specifically Mother's Day, the celebration of Guadalupe, All Souls Day and Lent. The drops consist of 160,000 to 180,000 mail pieces.
Response rates for Mother's Day and Guadalupe mailings can be as high as 16%. “Response rates to campaigns with a devotional component are very high. Humanitarian appeals tend to have response rates that are slightly lower, in the 8%-10% range,” Rázuri notes, while cautioning that general figures can be deceiving since response rates vary from campaign to campaign. Rázuri points out that annual donation totals from Hispanic donors in response to direct marketing are higher than totals for the general market.
“Even though the average amount of their gifts is often on par with non-Hispanic donors, their multiplicity, or frequency of giving, is often much higher.” Oblates rents lists from other non-profit religious organizations such as Silesian Missions Former Spanish- Speaking & Hispanic Donors, The Association of Marian Helpers Spanish-Speaking Donors, as well as from marketers like Latino Direct Spanish buyers and Caliente Spanish Speaking Hotline.

List rentals as a revenue stream

Given the particularly difficult climate for publishers, renting their subscriber lists can be a good proposition as a way to generate some extra income. For instance, Time Inc’s People en espanol’s list is managed and marketed by the Millard Group.

Given the niche focus of Hispanic magazines covering topics like parenthood, automobiles and home improvement, these lists hold considerable value to advertisers hungry for new leads.

How much are they worth? 21st Century Marketing’s Rick Blume tells Portada, “It’s hard to generalize, because some types of subscribers are more valuable than others.” Blume says subscribers of paid magazines can get up to $1.00 per name per year.

Controlled magazine subscribers are worth less; about 10 cents to 25 cents per name, per year. Their lists are worth less because whereas paid magazine readers have shown a proclivity to pay at least for the magazine, controlled circ readers have not.

For physical mailing addresses of Spanish-speakers, pricing can range from $85-$125 base for a thousand names, says Rick Blume, and $10-$15 additional per select. Spanish-speaking inferred lists fetch a little less, on average $85-$105 per thousand, base.

Email Lists

Hispanic email lists are a small, but rapidly growing portion of the List Market, as online adoption increases and businesses look to scale back their mailing costs. “It’s growing daily.

There are a lot of marketers that will do multi-channel campaigns, but there are many marketers that do just email,” says Mio Hernandez, Coordinator for Walter Karl. “We’ve found that there is more demand for the Email lists.”

Walter Karl Interactive manages a list called La Lista Buena, with a universe of over 3.9 million names of Hispanics who have demonstrated interest in receiving special offers and information from third party mailers.

The list has grown by almost 1.5 million in the last two years. Marketing manager Eric Francais tells Portada, “While this is primarily a consumer file, it also contains about 307,000 Hispanic business selects.”

Hispanic email lists are still rather rare, as Latinos are not as numerous online as the general market is. However, Hispanic email lists are becoming increasingly available as online adoption increases and businesses look to scale back their mailing costs. “It’s growing daily. There are a lot of marketers that will do multichannel campaigns, but there are many marketers that do just email,” says Mio Hernandez, Coordinator for Walter Karl. “We’ve found that there is more demand for the Email lists.” By e-mailing, marketers avoid the mailing costs.

The mailing cost saving and the scarcity of e-mail lists are the reasons for the relatively high price of e-mail lists, which often can cost more than $200 per thousand.


Portada Staff

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