A free year membership for everyone that get's a new license? That sounds expensive. It may also leave people with the impression that the magazine is of little value if it's just mailed out for nothing. People don't always value what has been gifted to them. If the ARRL mails out magazines to people that are new entries to the FCC database then people might see that magazine as junk mail. If the ARRL sends magazines to VE teams to give out as rewards for passing the exam then the person can see the magazine as something they earned. The immediacy of the getting the magazine for passing the exam connects the "competition" with the "trophy". I'm no expert on magazines but I understand that it's quite common for a magazine printing to have many surplus printed for a number of reasons. This is a sunk cost and mailing them out to VE teams with testing materials would likely cost them little more. A fairly recent issue of an ARRL magazine as a reward for passing one's exam would, in my mind, be more likely to be read than if it showed up weeks (months?) later in one's mailbox. I suspect most people, especially children, take their tests in the summer at festivals and such while schoolchildren are on summer break and parents are taking a vacation. The ARRL could have an annual special edition for this "reward" which can still be their usual mailing to members but the content is hyper-focused on the newest newbie. As this is a recruiting tool the ARRL can make this a larger than usual edition with reprints of noted articles from the previous year. Long time members would be encouraged to offer this issue to others to read, people that may not yet be licensed. To find this membership as having value the member should see something lost to what was gained. If there was no work or money put into it then it can lose its value. Separation in time from when they had the loss to when they see the gain can mean what was gained has lost value. Again I'm speculating on the matter of surplus magazines but if this is the case then the ARRL can use this surplus to get people to try it out. There's a marginal cost for each additional magazine and I expect that given the expense on creating the content is a sunk cost the marginal cost in each additional magazine is small. The postage for mailing them may be more than what the magazine costs. Offering surplus magazines at festivals for free is a tactic I've seen before, and maybe the ARRL does this already. Offering them to people that pass their licensing exam can be a good tactic, with spring/summer special "newbie" edition or not. Maybe offer a random, or not so random, surplus issue to people that request it by phone, e-mail, or on the web. If it's mailed for free there's still "work" on the person receiving it so it's less likely to be just tossed out with the junk mail if it shows up sometime after they get their FCC call sign. I like the general idea, and I hope someone from the ARRL is reading this. I agree with others here that a free year membership is going to be both quite expensive and devalues the products and services. A bit of a compromise is to offer a single issue, and to make them "work" for it make it something they get immediately after passing an exam or from making an explicit request.