Postal Service selling direct mail to national advertisers
The U.S. Postal Service is ready to launch a market test that would offer national advertisers a money-back guarantee for direct mail advertisements through first-class mail and standard mail. The test will begin on or shortly after May 16, 2011. The Postal Service is focusing on 16 unidentified national advertisers that spend a minimum of $250 million annually on advertising and for whom postage right now is less than 0.36 percent of the company's total spending on advertising.
Under the "Mail Works Guarantee" program, the advertiser and the Postal Service would agree on a set of metrics by which to measure success (e.g., increased store traffic, more website hits, etc.). Each participating mailer would be expected to mail between 500,000 and 1,000,000 pieces of first-class or standard mail. If the direct-mail campaign fails to meet the agreed-upon metrics, the Postal Service would refund the postage paid during the market test, up to $250,000, as a credit to the mailer's postage account for future mailings.
NAA filed comments last week with the Postal Regulatory Commission, arguing that it is inappropriate for the Postal Service, a government monopoly, to engage directly into competition with newspapers and other media for the business of advertising. The comments also objected to the Postal Service giving preferential treatment to some mailers and not others through this risk-free test, and raised concerns over the agency working directly with marketers to develop the advertising campaigns. For more information on the program and how you can help stop the Postal Service from expanding it, please contact Paul Boyle, NAA senior vice president of public policy, at email@example.com.
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Los Angeles Times Share
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