The USPS has terminated its “Mail Works Guarantee” market test after the program failed to attract any customers in the year and a half it was available. You may recall that we reported almost a year ago that the test had been a flop after failing to attract any business in its first six months. After another year with no apparent customer interest, the USPS has today notified the PRC that it is ending the experiment effective immediately:
The United States Postal Service hereby provides notice that it intends to terminate the Mail Works Guarantee (MWG) market test, effective immediately. The MWG product offered a postage-back guarantee to test advertisements through First-Class Mail and Standard Mail, to companies who spend a minimum of $250 million annually on advertising as identified by Advertising Age magazine, and for whom mail is not currently a large part of their advertising mix (postage is less than 0.36 percent of the company’s total spending on advertising).
The market test, approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) on May 16, 2011 in Order No. 730, began on June 14, 2011. It was originally set to expire on June 14, 2013. However, during the first year of the test, no customers committed to using the mail in a way that would qualify for MWG. As a result, the Postal Service was unable to conduct the market test or collect data to report to the Commission. Accordingly, the Postal Service will not pursue the MWG market test any longer. Notice of the termination of the MWG market test will be published in the Federal Register.
Although the market test did not become fully operational, or result in a request for permanent classification, the Postal Service believes that employing the market test procedures provided information about this concept and market that could be useful in other contexts. The purpose of this, or any other test, in the Postal Service’s view, is to allow flexible testing of new products and ideas, while gauging customer response, operational feasibility, and cost and revenue implications. Valuable insights were gained from this test that will be of benefit in future Postal Service efforts.