EMAIL MARKETING SERVICES
Broadcasting Board of Governors, Director, Office of Contracts | Published April 27, 2011 - Deadline May 11, 2011
The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, (BBG), International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 12.67 intends to issue a Combined Synopsis/Solicitation for commercial items in accordance with format of Subpart 12.6 as supplemented with additional information in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is 518210. This Solicitation Number BBG50-R-11-00066DS is issued as a request for proposal (RFP) that will result in a single award of an Firm Fixed Price contract using FAR Part 15 (Contract by Negotiation) procedures to provide for Electronic Newsletter Distribution Services The government reserves the right to make an award on the initial proposal without discussions of this procurement. This requirement shall cover Base Year and Four One Year Options based on the availability of funds, each option year shall be priced. PLEASE SUBMIT PRICING BASED ON MONTHLY FLAT RATE FOR A DISTRIBUTION UP TO 10 MILLION NEWSLETTERS PER MONTH. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT OF WORK IS AS FOLLOWS: The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is soliciting bids for a Software as a Service email newsletter distribution provider. Vendor shall distribute 6 million emails per month to start, formatted as an html newsletter generated from BBG foreign language websites, including VOANews.com and martinoticias.com. Newsletters are sent daily to a global subscription base.
General Requirements Overview
•1. Email management system Is highly flexible, enabling new features and services to be quickly integrated.
•2. Newsletter can integrate with social networking outlets such as facebook, twitter, etc.
•3. System supports creation and management of integrated polls and surveys.
•4. The system's workflow should be measurable, informative, and provide instant analytics to be able to gauge the success of a just-published newsletter.
•5. Vendor needs to demonstrate that the system is dependable and has already been successfully deployed with other clients, providing a list of references.
•6. The email system must be hosted in a secure and protected environment. All data gathered will be the property of BBG and may not be distributed or shared with any party absent express approval of the International Broadcasting Bureau.
7. All email will be delivered completely devoid of vendor's own branding.
8. Vendor must provide a scalable enterprise solution capable of accommodating high volume, currently exceeding 6 million emails per month. Estimated growth rate will be 500,000 to 1 million new subscribers per year.
•1. System must offer a simple workflow feature that, if activated, allows a designated reviewer to approve all e-mail distribution event deployments. The approval process is achieved via an email message generated by the system at the start of a scheduled publishing event. A reviewer can approve publication; modify content and generate a new approval email, or cancel the event entirely.
•2. Publishing events can easily be scheduled on a daily or weekly basis, as well as multiple times per day or week.
•3. System must provide an editable WYSIWYG template interface and a preview feature that allows for quick and easy editing and review of content.
•4. Newsletter content can be uploaded to a template manually, or can be pulled in (scraped) from a predetermined external webpage at the start of an e-mail publishing event. External webpage examples currently used are as follows:
•5. Web interface will facilitate the easy adding, deleting and downloading of subscriber email addresses via batch import and export functionality.
•6. System must support the ability to associate email recipient addresses with an email distribution event. The platform must allow BBG to create as many email lists and templates as desired. Each list can have associated with it an unlimited number of subscribers. Subscribers can belong to multiple lists.
•7. Subscribe/Unsubscribe functionality will be integrated into BBG websites. Again, multiple newsletter subscription lists need to be an option within each language sub-site. http://www.voanews.com/english/email/
•8. System must permit BBG images to be used in e-mail distribution events by utilizing a simple file management interface to both upload and download data through a web browser. In addition to hosting images, system can host static HTML content (forms, landing pages, etc.), and allow WYSIWYG editing of such content.
9. Systems must provide full support of Unicode web publishing.
Tracking and Reporting
•1. System incorporates tracking of e-mail distribution events.
•2. System allows tracking of URLs by email copy.
•3. System supports the ability to disable URL tracking for text e-mail distribution events.
•4. System can track unique and total clicks per user per URL.
•5. Demonstrated capacity to indefinitely track e-mail distribution events.
•6. Email is automatically sent to the person controlling an e-mail distribution event to inform that publishing succeeded.
•7. Real-time reporting provides immediate feedback of the number of messages generated and the response rates associated with the e-mail distribution event.
•8. Platform should be capable of tracking the number of emails generated and delivered, the number of soft and hard bounces related to a specific e-mail distribution event, the number of unsubscribe requests, the number of actual opt-outs that occur (combination of manual opt-out requests and hard bounces), the number of open messages (reads) for HTML and detailed cliclkthrough activity. Querying the data should be performed through a real-time web-based research interface.
9. Statistics reporting should be web based (with the option of downloading raw data for analysis) and accessible at any time by authorized users.
•1. Ability to send multi-part, HTML or text message.
•2. Ability to personalize email "from' and "reply to" fields.
•3. Ability to personalize email subject lines.
•4. Differentiate between hard and soft bounces and dynamically adjust subscription counts accordingly.
•5. All bounce events are recorded and can be analyzed in detail.
•6. Ability to track the number of subscribers for each list and whether subscriber is receiving HTML or plain text.
•7. System will allow BBG to view statistics in real-time, including the ability to determine how many recipients opened their messages and what percentage of them clicked on links within the messages.
•8. System can incorporate rich media (e.g. Flash, audio, video, etc.) into email.
•9. System supports scheduling of single or multiple mailings at a scheduled time or at multiple scheduled times within a day.
•10. System can pace delivery in order to prevent rejection of a large block of emails by recipient domains.
•11. Auto-suppression of bad email addresses.
•12. Auto-filtering of duplicate email addresses.
13. Supports unsubscribe link that takes user to hosted web page for opt-out, or to an opt-out page on BBG website.
Security / Redundancy
1. Platform must be designed to be highly distributed and scalable. For security, all servers must sit behind a state of the art hardware-based firewall situated in a secure, hardened, environmentally protected data center.
2 Valuable data needs to be backed up to secondary and tertiary locations within the host data center and copies are to be made regularly for storage at an offsite location. Backups are to be done nightly.
3. Vendor's email management system must conform to all US government laws and regulations overseeing the distribution of content over the Internet, as well as privacy issues.
Service and Support
•1. Vendor shall provide 24x7x365 support via online and/or telephone in the event of system failure or need of technical support. Vendor will provide a multi-tiered escalation procedure to be handled through an account representative. Alerts from BBG to an account representative are to be immediately escalated through the Internal vendor's systems.
•2. Regular consultation on the performance of the platform and BBG's requirements.
•3. Regular review of product features as identified by the International Broadcasting Bureau.
•4. Initial presentation of capabilities to BBG senior and associated staff. In addition, a dedicated Account Representative will be assigned to manage all aspects of contact with BBG on a day-to- day basis. He/she will handle all issues around e-mail distribution event management and will work with counterparts on generating new ideas for clients as well as product enhancements.
5. Adequate training is to be provided, along with supporting documentation. The training schedule is completely flexible and driven by the BBG's schedule and the number of personnel they want exposed and trained on the product.
The following clauses and provisions are incorporated and are to remain in full force in any resultant firm-fixed price contract; The provision at FAR Subpart 52.212-1 [Instructions to Offerors - Commercial Items] applies to this acquisition, with no addenda.
The provision at FAR Subpart 52.212-2 [Evaluation of Commercial Items] is hereby incorporated by reference into this combined synopsis/solicitation. The Written Technical Proposals will be evaluated in three equally-weighted areas (a) Capability) (b) Approach and (c) Experience/ Past Performance as follows:
•(a) Capability: (e.g. personnel): Offerors shall describe their corporate capability to perform as stated in Statement of Work (SOW).
•(b) Approach: The Government will assess the technical merit of the Offeror's approach in order to determine if the Offeror has the ability to successfully perform the task areas specified in the SOW.
•(c) Experience/Past Performance: The IBB will assess the relevancy of the Offeror's experience/past performance to determine the Offeror's ability to perform the work requirements of the SOW. Offerors shall submit evidence of their experience in performing work. Offerors shall submit examples of no fewer than two (2) of their most recent or ongoing contracts relating to the work specified in SOW experience can be government or commercial.
•(d) (x) Offerors shall submit a completed copy of the provision at FAR Subpart 52.212-3 [Offeror representations and certifications -- commercial items] with their proposal. This provision can be found at the following website: http://www.arnet.gov/far/; if requested by an Offeror, a copy of FAR subpart 52.212-3 can be obtained by contacting the contracting officer.
•(e) PRICE PROPOSAL AND TECHNICAL PROPOSAL MUST NOT BE COMBINED INTO ONE DOCUMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED SEPARATELY
•(xi) FAR Clause 52.212-4 [Contract Terms and Conditions -- Commercial Items] applies to this acquisition.
•(xii) FAR Clause 52.212-5 [Contract Terms and Conditions Required To Implement Statutes Or Executive Orders -- Commercial Items] applies to this acquisition and incorporates the following
clauses: FAR Clause 52.203-6 [Restrictions on Subcontractor Sales to the Government]; FAR Clause 52.219-6 [Notice of Total Small Business Set-Aside]; FAR Clause 52.222-3 [Convict Labor]; FAR Clause 52.222-19 [Child Labor - Cooperation with Authorities and Remedies]; FAR Clause 52.222-21 [Prohibition of Segregated Facilities]; FAR Clause 52.222-26 [Equal Opportunity]; FAR Clause 52.222-35 [Equal Opportunity for Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans]; FAR Clause 52.222-36 [Affirmative Action for Workers with Disabilities]; FAR Clause 52.222-36 [Employment Reports on Special disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans]; FAR Clause 52.225-1 [Buy American Act - Supplies]; FAR Clause 52.225-13 [Restrictions on Certain Foreign Purchases]; FAR Clause 52.232-33 [Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer -- Central Contractor Registration]. 52.217-9 Option to Extend the Term of the Contract; 52.217-4 Evaluation of Options Exercised at Time of Contract Award; 52.213-2 Invoices; 52.216-18; 52-217-5 Evaluation of Options; Questions must be submitted in writing to the Contract Specialist at the email address or facsimile number provided at the end of this notice. Please note that the deadline for submission of questions by 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time on 06 May 2011. Questions must be submitted in writing by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposal shall be submitted as an original and two copies must be sent via courier or overnight delivery prior to the deadline. Proposal should be addressed to ATTN: Diane Sturgis, Broadcasting Board of Governors, International Broadcasting Bureau, Office of Contracts, 330 C Street, SW, Room 4007, Washington, DC 20237 by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time on 11 May 2011. The point of contact for this requirement is Diane Sturgis, Contract Specialist who can be reached via email at email@example.com. All responsible sources may submit an offer that will be considered by the Agency.