The magalog is:

  • One of the most powerful direct marketing tools ever devised
  • Increases response for consumer or business-to-business marketing
  • Can be used for lead generation or direct sales

This unique direct mail tactic consistently improves response for a mature product or new product launch.


What is a magalog?

A magalog looks like a traditional print magazine—but it’s actually a sales presentation that looks like a magazine.

It’s an infomercial in print.

It helps your marketing escape the clutter of obvious advertising in your prospect’s mailbox and stands out.

And in a business-to-business market, it gets past the gatekeeper and into the hands of your target prospect.

Magalogs are typically 16-24 pages long and feature multiple articles that grab the prospect’s attention, share all the benefits of your product or service and provide valuable information.

And because magalogs look like valuable magazines, they avoid the trash and are far more likely to get a second look.

Most direct mail, no matter how strong the copy and art, is often ignored or lost in the mail stack. However, because magalogs look like valuable magazines, they avoid the trash and are far more likely to get a second look.


Use direct response copy.

To maximize response, it’s important to make sure your magalogs don’t just look like magazines, but they read like them as well, with an important twist:

They must use direct response copy, not editorial or standard advertising agency copy.

The direct response copy must follow proven copy rules. It should be engaging and interesting and provide information that your target prospect actually wants to read.

When you provide real stories, real information and real value, your prospect begins to trust you, and your response rates go up.

But remember, while your articles should be chock full of real content, their primary purpose is to sell your product.

They should be carefully designed to highlight the problems or fears your prospect has, and then to position your product or service as the solution.

Now here’s the real shocker: Even though magalogs consistently outperform other types of direct mail, hardly anyone uses them. So why are marketers leaving one of their most potent advertising tools unused?

Because hardly anyone knows how to do a magalog properly.

This has given my clients a huge advantage, because it makes the magalogs we create for them send to prospects stand out that much more.

Now let’s go over a few magalog strategies my team and I have put together over the years.


Magalog secrets revealed


  1. Lead-generation business-to-business breakthrough

SurfControl, a global provider of corporate security software, was having difficulty marketing its Internet filter software in a crowded—and well-funded—field of competitors.

I quickly realized that the problem was one of proper targeting.

While IT managers were the ones facing and solving the company’s Internet security problems, they were not the ultimate decision makers.

Targeting them would be a waste of time. We needed to go to the top.

The problem was that the corporate management who made the decisions often didn’t know anything about Internet security or why it was important for their company.

The solution was a magalog designed to educate these directors on the dangers of unmonitored and unrestricted Internet browsing and email, and the perils of lax Internet security.

The articles told true stories of other companies’ financial and legal problems brought on by their employees’ errant web use, and positioned SurfControl as the solution.

The result: Well over a 1% response rate and one and a half years of aggressive and successful lead generation.

Here are the two covers we tested for SurfControl:



  1. A magalog’s length is its greatest strength

I’ve created magalogs for VectorVest and their online investment system, mailing more than 72 million pieces (different versions of course).

We started with the magalog format for three reasons: (1) to present a new concept in a dynamic way, and (2) to cut through the clutter and get noticed by a maturing market. (3)We could graphically display their product more powerfully.

The magalog allowed us to do just that.

Because of its length, the magalog enabled us to justify an expensive product (over $6,000) and really delve into its unique selling proposition (USP). Over the course of several articles, we educated prospects about the product, and differentiated it from the competition.

Naturally, this led to more eager customers and higher sales—and over 100,000 subscribers.


3.  Increasing response with a twist: Introducing the tagalog

For another long-time client, health newsletter Health Alert, we decided to try something a little different. Instead of imitating a regular magazine, we used the National Enquirer for our inspiration, complete with sensational headlines.

And this tabloid-style magalog, nicknamed the tabalog, brought in a 1.6% response—part of our success in creating a multi-million dollar company from scratch with over 120,000 members. [see video brief]

Over the years, we have used a variety of sizes, but the bottom line is that, when done right, with proper direct response copy and art, the magalog format is a powerful sales booster.

The magalog allows you to be exciting and interesting. Prospects don’t want to read just another advertisement, and you don’t want your mailers to get lost.

The magalog can solve both of these problems. If your magalog contains valuable information they want to read, uses powerful direct response copy and clearly states your unique selling proposition (USP), then your prospects will gladly give your product or service a look.

And ultimately, that means a breakthrough boost in response and profits for you.


If you’re interested in learning how to use a magalog to boost your lead generation and profits, give me a call at (310)212-5727 or email Caleb at


Here are the rest of this week’s articles: