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 The Unexpected Power, and Success of the Magalog

Magalogs have made many direct marketers very successful. They offer hard facts using direct response copy and graphics to an information-hungry and/or skeptical prospect. And they get through to people because the format is unexpected. Magalogs are designed for maximum readability... and, in the end, a HUGE SALE! Read More.

The magalog, a cross between a magazine and a catalog, has been growing in popularity for about 15 years. They are an excellent way to dramatically present your product or service to a specific audience.
Like magazines, they often have a table of contents and stories spread over several pages. They are your infomercial in print.

Here are 7 tips from Craig Huey that will help you create a magalog thatíll make your product stand out:

1. Create a front cover that grabs your reader and doesnít let go
Your front cover is what people notice first. Tease your reader inside, promise substantial information, and encourage them to see specific pages (include the page numbers!) for fascinating articles. For best results in extending the life of a magalog, change the teaser copy and art of the cover, just like you would on an outer envelope. And donít forget to test several front covers against each other.

2. Use pages 2 and 3 to make your magalog a success
What you do with pages 2 and 3 can make your magalog a success or failure. It looks professional, adds a human element, and keys the reader to whatís inside if the prospect immediately sees a letter from the editor stating the purpose of the magalog. To pack a real punch, though, place the first few paragraphs of your most informative, most beguiling article at the very beginning of your magalog.

3. Include a lead article
The strongest response magalogs have one well-focused, single-themed main article that sells the product or service and pulls the prospect to the order form at the end.

4. Use side bars liberally
Side bars are small articles that accompany a lead story in a newspaper or magazine. Editors use them to break out and expand on a point, or give a different perspective. You can use them for that, or use them to highlight a benefit, make a call to action, offer a free special report, or draw attention to the order form. The side bar is an ideal way to draw prospects who have a special interest in a benefit you offer.

5. Woo your prospect with your order form
The last one or two pages of your magalog are an extremely powerful place to put your order form. On one page, pack extensive information on the bonuses and guarantees. On the other, present your offer, all the components of a traditional response device, and the most important selling points of your product. Most importantly, donít forget to include clear instructions, a savings certificate, and your money-back guarantee.

6. Use the back cover to sell information and add product credibility
Your back cover is one of your most powerful places to place thought-provoking copy. Use it to influence your prospects into turning the page and reading whatís inside the magalog immediately. Make them want to read the entire article, and make it easy for them to find the facts by using bullets. Another important element to consider adding to the back cover is one or more testimonials. Theyíll add an element of human interest and let your prospect know this is a product they can trust.

7. Make your magalog look professional
Your magalog represents your product. Use 4-color throughout, (2-color designs with a simpler look are also back in style) and a substantive paper weight (60 lb. for the cover and 50 lb. for the inside pages.) To save money, create a magalog that is 16, 20, 24, 28, or 32 pages. Printers usually work in pages of 4 or 8 and can sometimes give you an even better rate if your magalogís pages are in multiples of 8.

Sources: Lori Haller, (Inside Freelance Design), Craig Huey (CDMG Inc), Allen Taylor (


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