Three Reasons to Avoid the Voucher
As every copywriter knows too well, vouchers have become ubiquitous, particularly in publishing. While copywriters have been forced to adapt their creativity to this shorter, business-like format, vouchers remain villain No. 1 for many.
Besides the obvious hit to the pocketbook, here are a few other reasons why many copywriters, according to Ken Schneider, dislike the format and why they hope their clients will reconsider their presence.
#1 They deceive the customer.
Schneider finds a voucher both deceptive and misleading, and he believes the only reason it works is because it looks like a bill. “People by rote just send in their money. [Defenders] say, ‘It gets tremendous cash per order.’ Well, yeah, it looks like a bill!” he relates.
He often hears the argument that if the prospect hasn’t ordered it, then why would he pay for it? One word: miscommunication. “For a husband and wife, for example, the wife may be ordering things, and the husband is paying and doesn’t necessarily check to see if she ordered it,” illustrates Schneider.
#2 They do NOT earn more qualified subscribers or improve renewal rates.
Recently, Schneider created a 9˝ x 12˝ poly package for Metropolis that went head-to-head against a voucher with four-color elements. “The 9˝ x 12˝ did so well that they were able to break out of the voucher. So there is hope out there,” says Schneider, who claims you not only get more qualified subscribers, but also see improved renewal rates with higher-end packages.
#3 Truth in advertising? Not with vouchers.
The experience of reading a publication is what a good direct mail package delivers to potentially interested subscribers. “Rather than trying to fool somebody into buying your product, you get people to want it for what it is,” explains Schneider. Meanwhile, vouchers don’t approximate that experience at all.