Successful Direct Mail Marketing to Latin America

AJ Hernandez, COO, Sky Postal

Latin America is a fast growing, viable and largely untapped market for American goods and services. Some Latin American economies are growing at a rate at least twice that of the United States thus representing a large and expanding market for American companies.

According to the CIA World Fact Book, the GDP of Argentina is growing at 8.8%, Chile’s GDP is growing at a rate of 6.5%, and Paraguay’s GDP is growing at 6.4%, compared to the 2.8% growth rate for the US. In 2012 Brazil overtook the United Kingdom as the world’s seventh largest economy in terms of GDP and has the sixth largest workforce in the world (CIA World Fact Book, 2013).

Many US companies have seen this opportunity and are finding considerable success as they uncover the best marketing tactics to reach their desired populations. One such tactic, and one that is vastly underutilized at present, is direct mail. With email SPAM at intolerable levels in the region, direct mail is once again emerging as one of the most effective methods of reaching targeted consumers with a relevant message. Consider that the average number of letter post items posted per capita per year in Latin America is only 108 versus 720 in the US.

Historically direct mail marketers have grappled with poor response rates throughout the region, due in large part to critical factors like unreliable postal services, no available return data for undeliverable addresses, lack of good addressing systems and postal codes, and inadequate mailing list hygiene services in market. And while many of these inhibitors have been addressed, the quality of the postal service in many Latin American countries has remained problematic.

The Public Postal agencies in Latin America which are regulated by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), an agency of the United Nations, are plagued with high inter country mail tariffs, inefficiencies with little or no technology and poor service. According to research based on mailing tests from Europe and the USA, approximately 30% of the mail destined for Latin American countries never gets delivered.

But there is a powerful and very easily executed solution: the use of private postal networks, including ours. In some Latin American countries, the market share of such companies reaches almost 80%, providing a reliable and cost-effective alternative to public postal agencies.

Latin America is ripe for direct mail marketing. Even traditionally online businesses are finding that a good address and delivery system for direct mail, coupled with their digital marketing efforts, make for a successful and optimal integrated marketing plan.

Author Contact Information:

A.J. Hernandez, COO