Lori Haller

By Tracy A. Gill The burden of any winning magalog is that the very element that led to its success—its ability to stand out in the mailbox—will eventually lead to its failure—the inevitable fatigue that comes with being so recognizable. Because of this dichotomy, magalogs, perhaps more than any other direct mail format, require vigilant testing to thrive in the mailstream. And vigilance in this sense does not just require regular testing, but outside-the-box testing as well. From its eye-catching cover and carefully designed interior to its long-form copy and compelling offer, a magalog has so many facets to test that if you

“In a magalog, copy is king, and I’m just here to help get people to read it,” proclaims designer Lori Haller, proprietor of Shadow Oak Studio, Germantown, Md. “I’ll throw in some exciting things to tease them, drag them along, pull them to the next page and the next page. Until I’ve made them want to read the whole thing, so that on the last page, they can’t wait to sign up. It’s a whole progression—like a rocket.” So what are some of the techniques that fuel her designs? Color, size, leading, bursts and bolding, to name just a few. Here, Haller shares a

KCI's Personal Finance looks beyond the self-mailer and wins big By Paul Barbagallo Never underestimate the impact of a #10 carrier-envelope format—"old faithful" to veteran direct mail practitioners—even if you're an investment-newsletter publisher. That's precisely what freelance copywriter Kim Krause Schwalm would assert after her component package for KCI Communications' Personal Finance beat the existing control—her own issue-log self-mailer. While Schwalm and KCI found steady success in the mail stream with the issue-log—which resembles a cross between a magalog and a specimen-newsletter issue—the #10 format was ever-enticing. In early 2003, Personal Finance decided to test an acquisition package that included a four-color brochure

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