Vouchers: Variations on a Theme
Zimmermann sees the latter size as one with real potential in the mailstream: “It will be interesting to see what happens with the 6˝ x 9˝. I think it has a pretty good chance of being competitive to the #10 because you can make the 6˝ x 9˝ look like what the voucher was originally about—a bill.” Indeed, all of these oversized efforts have relatively staid, official-looking outers.
However, mailers of standard-size vouchers—mainly #10s and close variations thereof, though the Archive recently did receive a 4˝ x 7˝ voucher from Barron’s—have been doing a lot more with their outers. “For a while, the plain voucher carrier was working. But we are finding now that when we do a highlight burst, especially when we do a money-related burst, that’s been pulling,” states Carr. Barron’s is a perfect example of this. The weekly’s voucher style and offer have changed over the years, but one thing that has remained the same is its outer envelope teaser’s focus on urgency and savings, as in its November 2006 mailing: “Reply within 10 Days to Save Up to 75%.”
In addition to money-related teasers, other outer envelope tactics voucher mailers have been testing lately include:
• Meter vs. indicia. “We’ve been tending toward the meter because it does look more like a bill,” states Silver. Perhaps because the majority of voucher mailers do use indicia, there’s an opportunity for the meter to really catch a recipient’s eye. That seems to be what Money and Forbes were hoping for with their recent 6˝ x 9˝ envelopes—both use meters.
• Official language. While “express” and other similar postal-related teasers are not appearing much, nor do they seem to be working right now—Carr cites a recent test of a kraft envelope with an Express Delivery label that did not lift results at all—other official statements, such as “do not bend” and “to be opened by addressee only,” do seem to be. Consultant Jerry Roache concurs: “One of the things I have been seeing … is the inclusion of official-looking stickers on the outer envelope—something to make it look certified or otherwise important.”