Selling newspaper and magazine subscriptions is the holy grail for publishers. For the price of an acceptable discount, it guarantees a long-term commitment to buy (something any retailer would kill for in this climate), bolsters circulation figures, cements cash flow and delivers a loyal and passionate readership for the title. So, if your job is selling subs, everyone else at the publication should be bringing you cups of tea and giving you foot massages around the clock - you're the (wo)man.
But it's a hard sell, even with that discount. How do you persuade people to stump up a year's worth of money in advance when they can spread the cost of reading your title over 52 easy weekly payments*? Well... you do it by bringing disparate buyers - who, ordinarily, wouldn't feel any sense of urgency - together into a single, crystalised, limited-time transaction.
That's exactly what the UK's leading consumer magazine and digital publisher IPC have been doing for their world-famous titles, Horse & Hound (a weekly magazine) and Horse (a monthly). They've staged Price Drop Co-buys, where their readers can secure an enticing discount on subscriptions - but these discounts have had to be earned by