Direct mail: The power of geo-targeting Hispanic buyers

Jul 11, 2014, 8:39pm CDT
by Hernan Tagliani – Contributing Writer

The market is changing and getting more fragmented. Corporate executives are learning that the key to a successful Hispanic marketing campaign is to have a deep understanding of who their target audience is, how it has evolved due to acculturation levels, and knowing the best media options to properly execute the campaign.

One of the most effective media outlets to best geo-target the Hispanic population is direct mail. The process of acculturation influences the Hispanic consumer’s perception of direct mail. While most consumers in the general market dismiss it as junk mail, Hispanics, particularly Spanish dominant, welcome it as a way of becoming a more informed consumer.

Overall, Hispanic households are 3.5 times more likely to respond to a direct-mail solicitation than non-Hispanics. In fact, 77 percent of Hispanics won’t discard mail before reading it, and 54 percent of Hispanic adults responded to a direct-mail offer, according to a Yankelovich Monitor Multicultural Marketing Study.

Most U.S. Hispanics are Spanish-speaking consumers that can understand English but not necessarily speak it, read it or write it fluently. So, understanding who the decision maker is and the acculturation level will help you determine the best language to choose.

To make your direct-mail efforts far more effective, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  1. Determine your audience
    Purchasing the right list is crucial. There is so much information available to craft a successful direct-mail campaign. We helped a client in the education industry that used to send their Anglo direct-mail pieces to Spanish households based on surnames. Their intentions were to reach potential U.S. Hispanic students to increase enrollment but response was low. The reason being, they forgot that it is the parents who pay for the education, and most of them are Spanish dominant.
  2. Customize your piece
    Creating a personalized piece with the name of the recipient and a customized message in Spanish or English that appeals to Hispanics is crucial. Marketers should also use bilingual copy for products that affect families due to multi-generational Hispanic households. However, you need to consider the nature of the product or service. In some cases, bilingual pieces are not the right choice.
  3. Stay away from literal translations
    Things get lost very easily, messages twist out of context, and spelling errors start to flourish. Avoid insulting your potential clients by not having the right guidance from an expert. Remember, there are big differences between a general doctor and a specialist. It is the same in multi-cultural marketing.
  4. Develop the right visual
    As you need to customize the message, make sure to customize the visual, too. You want to use images that relate to them and their culture in order to catch their attention right away.
  5. Communicate a compelling offer
    The secret of a successful direct-mail campaign is to also have a compelling offer that will make customers respond within a specific time frame. No offer means no response.

Hispanics are growing at a fast pace. Increasing and expanding your customer database and improving your communication with this demographic is a great way to advance your business today and in the years to come.

Hernan Tagliani is president of The Group Advertising and a leading Hispanic communications expert, business speaker and author. His comprehensive understanding of the culture, diversities and values of the Hispanic market has helped him spearhead some of the most effective marketing, media, promotional and branding campaigns for well-known brands across the nation.

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