Brochures Powering Magazine Mail Pieces
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).
1. Cook's Country (Archive code #202-699105-1003)
Brochures are often used to showcase the magazine. Here, Cook's Country using it as a "sneak preview" alongside several clever marketing messages, such as a brief testimonial from The Kansas City Star and the line, "Hurry - Supplies are extremely limited!"
2. IMAGE (Archive code #202-700267-1003)
The #10 envelope from IMAGE, a journal produced by the Center for Religious Humanism, is truly hybrid, for while it includes an order card, it also includes a four-page letter, a lift note, and a gorgeous brochure that shows the kind of art that IMAGE depicts in its pages. Inside, the panels are also very text-heavy, telling the prospect exactly what kind of journal it is: "IMAGE, unlike most other journals, takes both art and religion seriously, seeing in each a quest for the truth."