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This year, Americas magazine, a publication which covers "the peoples and cultures of South America, North America and the Carribean," sent out two versions--one in English and one in Spanish--of its direct mail appeal to potential subscriber...


1. The Campaign

This year, Américas magazine, a publication which covers “the peoples and cultures of South America, North America and the Carribean,” sent out two versions – one in English and one in Spanish – of its direct mail appeal to potential subscribers. According to James Patrick Kiernan, editor of Americas magazine, half a million pieces were sent out (200,000 in Spanish and 300,000 in English). Lists from Spanish and English-language publications were rented through list broker Tony Murray. The new dual language strategy makes sense for a publication that is available in English or Spanish.

2. The Mail Piece

Unlike bilingual direct mail offers, where Spanish and English text run side-by-side, Américas' new mailers are written completely in one language or the other. The copy is the same in both languages. The only significant difference is the list of sample articles featured on the self-mailer (the English version promotes an article by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, while the Spanish version highlights an article about artist Fernando Botero). Américas' subscription offer is soft at US $14.95 for six issues, which includes one free. A calendar premium, an Américas 2004 Datebook, is offered upon payment. Americas is published by The Organization of American States (OAS).

3. The Results

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%. Americas' Kiernan attributes the Spanish offer's high response rate to the fact that “there aren't many general interest magazines that target Spanish-speaking audiences.” Kiernan points out that “10 years ago response and pay-up rates were higher,” but says he is happy with the response and plans to do something similar next year.

4. The Product

The magazine is published by The Organization of American States (OAS), which is dedicated to covering “the rich mosaic of peoples and cultures of South America, North America and the Caribbean.” The editorial is largely non-political, focusing instead on history, culture and travel opportunities found within OAS' 35 “Member States,” essentially every independent country and island from Chile to Canada, with the exception of Cuba.

Currently, Spanish and English editions of Americas have 15,000 paid subscribers each. They are distributed 90% in the US and Canada and 10% in Latin America (mostly newsstands). In the US, the Spanish edition is most popular in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas and California.


The direct mail promotion in this article was identified and tracked 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 Media and Alternative Media.

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