Long Copy in the Era of the Twitterverse
- An opportunity to involve someone who is not an avid reader.
- The magalog disarms people. It is not a piece of junk mail, but rather informational.
- Unlike an envelope package, which is a linear reading experience, the magalog has multiple points of entry and reader engagement.
- At every entry point, the object is to have 2-, 3- or 4 teasers to capture attention.
- It has perceived value as something with editorial content.
- We’re not selling newsletters; we’re giving away valuable premiums.
- When you find a good, strong control, you can continually change the format, headlines and ledes to give it longer life.
- Interesting information on sidebars capture the reader’s attention.
- When the results of a magalog begin to flag, designers can change the cover and downsize it to a 5-1/2” x 8-1/8” “bookalog” or turn it into a giant tabloid.
As magalogs grew more sophisticated, so too did the marketing philosophy behind them. Pioneer Gary Bencivenga likens magalogs to “infomercials in print.” They explain and demonstrate the product; they offer testimonials. He added:
Magalogs remind me of the old General Foods salesman who used to go door-to-door bringing a free scoop of coffee for housewives to try. They say, “try this, and I’ll be back next week to take your order.” Magalogs serve the same purpose, by giving readers a free scoop of the product.
Where Porter Stansberry’s Train Went off the Rails
Stansberry’s 77-minute PowerPoint on the Web tried to do what the old print magalogs used to accomplish—offer information, premiums and cred, punctuated with fear, greed and salvation.
But blogger Bill Egner homed in on the flaw in Stansberry’s online effort: “You have no opportunity to jump ahead.”
My personal take: Stansberry’s argument about the dangers to my 401(k) was very informative and persuasive, and half way through the pitch I was ready to buy. Yet I had no way to get out of this endless monologue and reply to an offer (Stansberry Investment Advisory 12 issues plus a slew of free premiums—for $49.95). Instead, I was locked into another half-hour of Stansberry—my 76-year-old bladder in a state of rebellion. Yet I hung in, fearing that I would miss the opportunity to order. If I gave up, I would be forced to begin at the damned beginning.