Solve a problem: this is a big one and the #1 attractor to any magazine out there. Magazines know that if they're not solving a problem for you, you're not likely to buy them. A recent issue of Ladies Home Journal for example talked about how to use social networking to keep friendships strong. Why is this huge? Because social media is a buzz word now and staying connected to people is the primary source and use for social networking. You'll also see a lot of money-related topics (living well on less, etc). Solve a problem, preferably a current one.
Tell stories: people love stories and remember more about what you're selling when there's a story attached to it. So weave your advice into a story or anecdotal piece. Magazines always use stories and do so very well.
Speak directly to the reader: if you look at women's magazines (in particular) you'll find lots of words like: you, our, I and we. This is done intentionally and helps personalize the experience and draw the reader in. Also, you'll notice that magazines never use complicated words that aren't "layperson language;" this again is intentional, don't talk over your reader.
There are many more things that magazines focus on, but these are the major areas and should get you a good head start on any copy you're writing for your campaign. Remember, it's all about your reader and not about you. Get your reader engaged in your message and you're more likely to make a sale.
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.