In a guest post at the HubSpot blog, Paul Gillin argues that women’s interest magazines like Redbook face the same basic challenge as your online properties: grabbing a distracted person’s attention and convincing her to become a regular reader. As he analyzes a sample issue swiped from his gym, he explains what you can learn from the magazine’s editors—here are a few highlights:
Tantalize readers with provocative cover lines. Gillin cites examples like: How to Ditch Your Debt For Good, The Seven Secrets to Lasting Love and The Superfood You Shouldn’t Skip. “The cover practically shouts at you that the September Redbook [sic] will make you happier, thinner, richer and better in bed,” he says. The implicit message—and one you can attempt to emulate—is that the reader will miss something important if she doesn’t take a look inside.
Create points of entry. Magazines like Redbook excel at presenting information in small, clearly defined segments, each with its own headline and images. “These same tactics can work online,” says Gillin. “Callouts, sidebars, pull-quotes, Q&As and other visual tools break up rivers of text and give readers more starting points to engage with the content.”
Speak directly to the reader. According to Gillin, these magazines are filled with personal pronouns: I, me, you, our and us. “Speaking to people in personal terms makes the content more conversational, personal and relevant,” he says. “It works.”
“While the media may be different, a lot of the tactics that the women’s magazines use to entice people in checkout lines also work online,” says Gillin. Next time you’re in the market, pick up a copy.