The purpose of using a magazine or periodical to promote your product or service is to reach your prospective target audience in the most effective way possible. However, should you be looking at print advertising or inserts?

Print advertising is very effective if it is in a prime slot in the inside pages or next to relevant editorial (not your own) in a popular magazine or periodical, preferably with a paid for subscriber base. The headline and copy should be powerful and seductive enough to grab your reader’s attention and compel them to act. To achieve this your web address and telephone numbers should feature prominently in the advertisement.

A promotional flyer or brochure inserted into a magazine will normally have a greater impact, as it is something that the reader can physically interact with, although it does have some cons. For one magazines and periodicals are normally passed around an organisation, so advertising will have a higher potential readership, as inserts will normally be read and discarded by the first reader.

However, from my own personal experience of using magazines and periodicals to promote my services over the past 20 years, a promotional flyer insert has always received a higher return on my investment, second only to a promotional flyer and sales letter being mailed directly to a named prospect.

Once again copywriting is the key to the success of the flyer or brochure. The headline must have a strong hook to grab their attention and the body copy compelling and persuasive with lots of benefits and a powerful call to action.  There are of course associated charges including design, typesetting and printing, which are not necessarily relevant to an advertisement. So the costs should be looked into carefully.

Whichever you decide to use it is important that it is part of a marketing strategy, that should include placement of a series of advertisements over a period of weeks or months. An insert followed up by a series of advertisements is particularly effective.

It is also possible to test the potential success of your flyer by inserting it into part of the geographical distribution of the magazine or periodical, to gauge response before using all the circulation.

It is imperative that the flyer/brochure includes an order form with a serial number to track response. It should also have your web address and contact details. This is tracked with a drop list on your website to capture information about where the customer first found about your product or service.


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