Bound to Succeed
Essentially a combination of a magazine and catalog, and typically featuring bold headlines and large cover photos, the ultimate goal is to sell a product or service without coming across as a blatant ad. In addition to sales copy, a magalog frequently contains inspirational articles or tips related to its target industry. It may start with a big idea or promise headline, and include graphics and charts, sidebars and an order form. “The hope is that people won’t throw the magalog away as junk mail, but will find the articles useful and keep the magalog or pass it on to others so their name is visible throughout the year,” observed Klassen.
Magalogs are particular favorites among alternative healthcare and financial services providers. “These two areas have to deal with a lot of skepticism. Having a long-form magalog allows the space to ‘build your case,’ and include all your supporting information, such as testimonials, charts and graphics,” Klassen added. “A magalog is well-suited [for] people who really want to be convinced to buy a product or service. If I’m interested in alternative health, for example, I’m willing to read a lot of copy—far more than you could fit in a traditional brochure or other promotional piece.”
He went on to say that while extremely effective, a magalog is costly to produce. “It usually has more content than other marketing methods, so copy writing and design costs can be higher. And, to make the offer enticing, magalog marketers typically use a variety of premiums, which adds to the costs,” explained Klassen. “It might only be a downloadable bonus report, but someone still has to write, edit and lay it out. So, unless you have an unlimited budget, you need a solid mailing list, and must feel that you understand what motivates [your target market] to buy the product or service you’re selling.”