Harvard Business Review's Summer Gift: Free Subscriptions

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All you have to do, marketers, is take some of your own medicine and give the venerable journal your email addresses.

Harvard Business School makes an offer.
Harvard Business School makes an offer.

The Harvard Business Review is out to recruit more subscribers the old-fashioned direct marketing way—by floating an offer to acquire email addresses.

Visitors to the journal's site willing to pay $8.95 for a single article can instead press the “Register” button and put away their credit cards. There resides an offer for unlimited access to HBR's articles and Visual Library—loaded with graphics and presentations—in exchange for names and email addresses. 

Registrants also get an offer for 20% off their first order from HBR, which leads to the motive behind the free offer. According to a blog on the website of NiemanLab, also affiliated with Harvard, HBR is attempting a gargantuan feat in the age of free content on the Web. It wants to raise its subscription price $10 to $109 and add 100,000 new subscribers in the process. The thinking is that new wrinkles like the Visual Library will shoulder the increase.

“What we've found is that, as we've rolled these things out, we've been able to move the price up,” HBR Publisher Joshua Macht told NiemanLab.

HBR enjoyed a decent business selling e-book collections of articles and decided to put its archive to fullest use by offering My Library dashboards to subscribers stocked with selections pertinent to them.

“The archive has gone from being something that's just kind of there, and people bought reprints, to something we're actively thinking about and working with,” Editor-in-Chief Adi Ignatius told NiemanLab.

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