The Challenges of Direct Mail in Latin America

Submitted bySkypostal onThu, 06/02/2016 - 20:01
The Challenges of Direct Mail in Latin America

Retailers and marketers of all sizes are catching on to the opportunity present in the emerging Latin American markets. Its rapidly-growing middle class is starving for a wider selection and availability of quality goods.

One of the best ways for a company to test and enter a new market like Latin America is by using direct mail. There are major challenges that make this easier said than done however, since barriers like poor logistics infrastructure and less than precise address information make direct mail marketing difficult. To put it simply, without help from the ‘inside’ it’s a hard for organizations to set up and run successful direct mail campaigns that deliver consistent results.

Delivery Concerns

A basic problem is that shipping and delivery services in many areas of Latin America are not reliable, leading to millions of items of mail being lost every year. Countless companies have learned this lesson when trying to manage a direct mail campaign on their own. Most attempts at campaigns run this way underperform due to poor delivery and lack of accurate customer data. It’s a simple concept, but a direct mail campaign will not be successful if the marketing piece never gets to the recipients in the first place.

Postal Addresses

Adding to the challenge is that in many parts of Latin America, not every house has an address and instead may be marked by landmarks. For example, in countries like Costa Rica and Panama, schools and parks are used to locate houses.  As a result, it’s estimated that up to a quarter of direct mail never reaches the destination address in Costa Rica.

Some other Latin American counties do not use a postal code system, adding to the difficultly of sending mail and being confident it will get delivered. Even in countries that do have street names and house numbers, it is estimated that millions of items are still lost in the mail every year. In Brazil, one of the most highly coveted markets by American merchants, mail service is still considered unreliable outside of urban areas.

Quality Lists

A company that wants to create a direct mail campaign in a Latin American country needs to build a quality mailing list – making it a priority to start off with a clean, accurate and targeted group of prospects. This is equally true for large campaigns as it is for those executing smaller mailings to gauge results.

Not only is it difficult to build a quality list, but it is also challenging to get correct data returned, address information updated, or purging names from lists. Most Latin American countries do not have companies that provide these types of list services.


At SkyPostal, we are dedicated to helping you increase your revenue through direct mail services in Latin America.  In fact, we are the largest private mail and parcel delivery in Latin America, serving the publishing, retail, and financial industries.  We can help you create consistent and reliable direct mail delivery with our logistics solutions.  Please contact us today or visit our website at to learn more.