Vouchers: Variations on a Theme
• Color. Carr and Silver both cite colored, offer-related bursts as a test-worthy tactic at the moment, adding that they are looking into some bold colors for upcoming tests. When it comes to the envelopes themselves, few mailers vary from the standard white. U.S. News & World Report seems to be the one exception to the rule with its successful steel gray #14 outer.
A Bright Future
It doesn’t seem the voucher’s power will be waning any time soon; in fact, it appears poised to take on a whole new dimension thanks to an increasing focus on data work.
“Savvy circulators are starting to look at how they can segment their vouchers to be more appropriate for specific audiences,” foresees Zimmermann, adding that she has a test in the works for a client where one voucher is aimed at a female segment of the audience and another is geared toward seniors. “Whenever we can make it more specific to the audience, that seems to help response. I think segmentation is going to be a new and important trend you are going to see.”
Gauthier concurs, adding that he’s seeing more and more of his clients take this customized plunge. And Silver and Carr report they have done some similar work for their clients, including new homeowner vouchers for The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
This customization trend also includes testing various voucher styles for use with different lists. “We are testing different kinds of vouchers right now,” states Carr, citing a recent test that pitted a remittance voucher perfed to a buckslip-style form against one perfed to a “statement of benefits” list. “On some lists, the old style [the buckslip] works better; on some, the new one works better. The statement of benefits works better with magazine lists. … But overall, the different look helps keep the voucher fresh.”