I discovered an interesting fact. Australians are among the biggest consumers of magazines worldwide! According to a Morgan Readership Survey, we purchase more than 230 million magazines annually. It seems like Australians have a magazine obsession, as the Morgan Readership Survey found, one in four people read 4 or more issues.
Well I don’t know if me being Australian has anything to do with it, but I admit I have a magazine obsession. I love magazines especially arty, design and fashion magazines. It seems I just can’t go past a bookstore or newsagent without having a quick flick through the latest issue of a favourite magazine or even better… discovering a brand new magazine. (Sigh)
So what’s the appeal and what has this got to do with copywriting? Plenty.
Magazines’ appeal is in their format and style of presentation. The content and layout is informal, and there is a magazine on just about every topic. So they’re tailored to specific audiences.
Now we may not judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to magazines it’s all about the cover. Bold, bright coloured, glossy and enticing with head snapping headlines that reel you in hook, line and sinker!
The prospect of delving beneath the cover is just too tempting.
Magazines are tactile and the mere act of flicking through the pages is a seductive and mesmerizing sensation. The combination of the tactile with the visual, in every detail from the beautiful images, the design layout, articles, the typeface, paper stock, even the advertisements all make for a heady mix in a very neat and convenient package.
In fact every square inch column of a magazine is so carefully thought out and art directed for maximum effect. That is, to entice you dear reader to buy. And they do a sterling job indeed!
How does the art of magazine seduction apply to website design and copywriting?
Easy, the principles are basically the same; only difference is magazines are available in both print and online versions.
Let’s take a look at how you can use the magazine template to create seductive website content:
1. The Home page should be like the cover of a magazine. Appealing colours, not too much information, clear site buttons and with a headline that makes your visitors’ heads snap to attention. The headline should draw people in, so that they want to find out more about what you’re offering.
2. Know your target audience. There are magazines that cover every niche topic, that are tailored to specific readers. So too, your website content needs to be tailored to a specific audience or customer.
3. Depending on your target audience, the tone and style of your content should be informal, as if you’re speaking to a friend. Fashion magazines do this brilliantly, the tone and style is conversational like you’re hanging with your BFF (Best Friend Forever).
4. Layout and design of your site should be clear and uncluttered. The easier it is for people to navigate around your site the better. Include prompts and calls to action to guide people to particular areas to your site. Magazines always include a content list inside the first few pages for quick access to a particular section. They also include featured articles and information on the front cover – the equivalent of site buttons or sub headings to further entice your attention and whet your appetite.
5. Freebies, Offers and Incentives again magazines do this to great effect, how many times I’ve bought a magazine purely for the free gift attached. Offering freebies to your audience is a great way to encourage people to sample your wares, boost sales, create a buzz and develop customer loyalty.
Magazines present information in a format and style that’s appealing, accessible and tailored to a specific target readership. A website should do the same, present information to your target audience so that it’s clear, understandable and engaging.
I’ll leave you with another interesting fact: Internet users also gravitate to magazines more than other media. Source Roy Morgan Single Source Apr 09-Mar 10