Magalogs - Send the Sizzle or the Steak (1,821 words)
Magalogs are time consuming to create. Bill Bonner likens writing and designing a magalog to creating an entire issue of Time magazine. And they are expensive to produce; a 16-pager can run as high as $1,000/M in the mail (including postage, production and list rental) for a small test to $600/M in larger quantities—more than a traditional envelope mailing.
For that reason, magazines—with their relatively low subscription rates—can't afford to use them. (The exception: The Economist which is a fairly expensive weekly.)
I have seen the magalog used for kitchen gadgets—the long-term Herschell Gordon Lewis control for the Vita-Mix food processor and Drew Alan Kaplan's DAK Industries wonderful bread maker (which I ordered many years ago and still use). Alas, Kaplan's Japanese banker went belly-up and called in his loans, whereupon DAK collapsed.
If you test a magalog, make sure your product selling price is high enough to support it. And take consultant Paul Goldberg's advice: more than 16 pages will kill you in terms of expense; if you start with a 16-pager and it's successful, then try to cut it down to 12 pages and you'll save yourself a bundle.
Finally, for an interesting tour of the magalog, visit William Fridrich's Web site at www.fridrichdesign.com.
DENNY HATCH is the former editor-in-chief of Target Marketing and the newsletter Who's Mailing What!. Now consulting editor to Target Marketing, he operates Denny Hatch Associates, a direct mail copywriting and consulting business. Hatch can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (215) 627-9103.