Senior Network Signs Deal for Travel Program

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The Senior Network, Stamford, CT, last week signed an exclusive marketing agreement with Group Leaders of America, that has resulted in a new co-op direct marketing program called Travel Essentials, which will launch in April.

The program will run twice next year, with the second run of the program taking place sometime in the fall.

The trips are run by group leaders who work either directly for the travel-related group or other organizations, such as senior centers, church groups, retirement communities and local AARP organizations. Group Leaders of America, Salem, OH, organizes trips, tours and outings for travelers over 50.

The GLAMER database has about 60,000 group leaders, but the Senior Network has screened all of those who wish to take part and will be working with about 9,000 of them, representing more than 2.5 million consumers.

"We made sure that each leader we were working with met two qualifications," said Courtney Day, senior vice president at the Senior Network. "First we made sure they were still an active group leader. And second, we informed them of the program and made sure they wanted to take part."

According to Day, Senior Network could not reveal what advertisers it would be working with because they were still working out contracts. But she said they will come from different categories, including toiletries, health and beauty aids, nutritional supplements, first aid products and travel services.

The co-op packages will be hand-delivered to consumers from their group leaders.

"This is not a blind direct mail program," Day said. "This is going to be a hand-to-hand delivery coming from an individual who is a thought leader for a particular group."

The Senior Network will put the packages together, which will include samples and coupons, and will emphasize that participating advertisers use the samples because they "tend to be more effective."

To help advertisers gauge the program's effectiveness, the Senior Network will conduct a post-delivery consumer audit and will provide advertisers with the survey results, but not the names of individuals it surveyed.

Travel Essentials grew out of a program the Senior Network currently runs with GLAMER, in which only one advertiser, Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, is distributing its Oil of Olay ProVital product to consumers.

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