Direct Media to Debut Risk-Free Testing

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Direct Media Inc. is offering a risk-free testing program as an incentive for mailers to keep circulation up despite increasing economic concerns. The offer applies to roughly 900 of DMI's managed list properties from about 300 list owners on orders placed from July 1 through Aug. 31.

"Testing is one of the first things that is scaled back when things slow down a bit," said Ed Bocknik, executive vice president of list management at Direct Media Inc., Greenwich, CT. "We're trying to do our part in helping mailers continue to test."

At a time when list costs represent about 25 percent to 28 percent of the total cost of a mailing, the program makes it easier for a mailer to break even on a test order, he added.

The program is similar to an effort made by DMI in 1991, when the economy was on similarly shaky ground.

"It's reminiscent of 10 years ago, back in '91, when things were pretty slow and things weren't going too well in the economy and we offered a free test program," Bocknik said.

The difference this time is that mailers will have to pay for any test that succeeds, while the tests offered in 1991 were free.

The rules and regulations for the program are:

• Orders must be placed between July 1 and Aug. 31.

• Mailers must have rented 50,000 or more names from DMI-managed lists or placed five or more orders with DMI in the past year.

• Mailers must obtain a code from the DMI list manager to include on the order.

• Mailers must not have rented the file they want to test within the past 24 months.

•Maximum test quantity is 10,000. If a test exceeds 10,000, mailers can qualify for only 10,000 free names.

• Mailers must provide documentation of unsuccessful tests within 60 days of the mail date.

•Risk-free testing does not apply to database or e-mail orders.

On Monday, DMI expects to launch a Web site detailing the program at


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