Doral Bank Will Use DM to Support U.S. Debut

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Puerto Rican financial services concern Doral Bank recently opened its first U.S. bank branch in New York and is planning to begin a direct mail campaign next month to introduce consumers and potential business customers to the brand.

The bank, which has 57 locations in Puerto Rico, plans to incorporate direct mailings into its marketing mix on an ongoing basis as it adds more locations in New York and expands into Florida, Texas, Illinois and California. Doral plans to open up to seven branches throughout New York City during the next two years.

By the end of February, the bank hopes to drop a tri-fold mailer to households and businesses in the five ZIP codes surrounding the bank's first location on 27th Street and Park Avenue South in Manhattan.

"We'll probably mail about 200,000 pieces just to start with," said Lourdes Diaz, vice president of marketing at Doral. "We have a self-mailer that is an image mailer, and that will be first, and then there are six or seven pieces that we will mail after that."

It is targeting its message and tailoring its services toward New York's ethnic populations and to small and mid-sized businesses. In Puerto Rico, it is one of the largest commercial real estate lenders.

The direct mail supporting the bank's first branch will be in English, but mailings supporting planned locations in Bronx will be bilingual, in Spanish and English. Mailings for branches in Queens could be in other languages, including Indian or other Asian tongues, depending on the neighborhood where the bank chooses to locate.

The mass media campaign for the bank's first location includes ads in Spanish media, to be followed by ads in other languages and in media targeting specific ethnic groups.

Doral is working with Miller Advertising on its mass media campaign and has retained American Print Solutions, New York, to create and distribute the direct mail pieces.

After the initial mail drop next month, additional mail pieces will focus on individual Doral products including business services, mortgage lending, bridge loans and lines for commercial lending.

The bank will follow the initial mail drop with some telemarketing about one to two weeks later.

Diaz said the direct mail effort was still in the planning stages.

"This is the first time I've seen the ideas, so we're in the process of developing what the campaign will look like," she said. "We certainly want to inform the consumers about who we are, and we certainly want to convey that we're an institution that's been in business for a while. We've been open since 1972."

She said that although the mail pieces and the ad campaign will attempt to incorporate those themes, the main focus will be on the specific products that the bank offers, such as high-rate Individual Retirement Accounts and Certificates of Deposit and services like free checking.

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