Use valuable freebies to hook customers
Use valuable freebies to hook customers
Magnus Hoglund, left, and Marius Meland
Law360, an online publisher of news and other information for the legal industry, with publications such as "Private Equity Law 360," used the "freemium" model to break into a niche dominated by players like Westlaw and LexisNexis. It offers individual lawyers in high-revenue firms free trials of the publications through email marketing.

That's essential to getting them to commit to subscriptions, which cost anywhere from under $1,000 annually for a sole practitioner to more than $100,000 for large firms, says co-founder Magnus Hoglund, who describes Law360 as being "like a Bloomberg for lawyers." "We think the best way to sell content is for people to experience it," he says. "You can't just tell people a publication is good."

Lawyers are biting. The profitable company, launched in 2003, grew from $6.5 million in sales in 2009 to $10 million in 2010. Hoglund projects $13 to $14 million in revenue this year.

Last updated October 19 2011: 8:21 AM ET
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