One to Watch: Town & Country
Numerous acquisition efforts came from magazines published by Hearst this month, and several were practically identical but inventive voucher packages. They included O, Redbook, Esquire, House Beautiful and Town & Country—and all were 4-1/4˝ x 9-1/4˝.
We’ve chosen to nominate Town & Country as the “One to Watch” (Archive code #202-173842-0801), but any of this bunch could be featured. Why so worthy? Because they expand on the voucher format in several creative, and potentially profitable, ways.
First, the voucher page of Town & Country chooses a different tactic than simply listing bland benefits. Instead, it presents 2008’s “special editorial events.” If this magazine is truly suitable for its prospect, then its editorial should be its number one sell, right? That’s why magalogs tend to do so well. The cheaper-to-mail voucher effort, meanwhile, usually neglects the editorial and essentially just offers a rock-bottom price to move prospects.
This voucher approach, however, splits the difference. It entices prospects to want to read the magazine with these “editorial events”—for example, with March being the “Spring Fashion” issue and November all about “Haute Couture”—and follows with a discounted subscription price.
Next, rather than running a letter, it includes a page that tries to get the prospect to identify with the magazine. A large picture of a woman in a couture dress appears on the left on the pinkish page; Town & Country headlines at top in red. Then it hits the prospect with three sections of copy: “Who is the Town & Country Reader?”, “What Our Readers Say” and “Your Subscriber Benefits.” The first section doesn’t pussyfoot around, calling Town & Country readers “worldly, affluent and sophisticated, with trendsetting style and a panache for life.” While most prospects may like the sound of that, not all will be affluent and may feel excluded. But it does successfully spell out the many fine and exotic things that the reader likes and that will accordingly be featured in the magazine.