Many magazine publishers shifted their direct mail efforts to vouchers a long time ago, much to the chagrin of all the creatives — copywriter, designers, direct marketers, circulation consultants — previously involved. But vouchers worked. They cost much less to produce, and while response went down considerably, overall ROI improved for many.
But this is not a discussion about the validity of the voucher. Rather, it’s about how many magazine publishers are now infusing their vouchers with new, creative life: the four-color, multi-paneled brochure.
While such brochures are responsible for the so-called “hybridization” of the voucher, they’ve been relatively uncommon until recently. Now, it’s not unusual to see them in nearly a third to half of all voucher efforts for magazines.
In our March batch of mail in the Who’s Mailing What! Archive, in fact, I found over a dozen brochures in roughly the 30 magazine vouchers that I peered into. Below are six outstanding examples of using the brochure to truly power the mail piece (and see accompanying images of each magazine’s outer envelope and brochure in the mediaplayer to the right).
(Archive code #205-172583-1003)
Last, but certainly not least, The Economist rolls out a well-branded, attractive brochure in its #10 voucher package. Like The New Yorker, mailings from The Economist vary in format and approach, but the brand stays very much front and center. Here, on the brochure, The Economist red dominates and they focus on their content. The first panel states, simply, “Don’t miss out on the issues,” with four magazine covers appearing below. Inside, they essentially deliver an editorial calendar. Then two panels are devoted to testimonials from famous, successful folks like Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Christiane Amanpour.