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Background: Intellipost Corp., San Francisco, draws on a strong background in direct marketing and $17 million in venture capital. It launched BonusMail ( commercially last August. So far, 150,000 consumers have signed up for the service, and Intellipost CEO Steve Markowitz expects to have one million signed up by April 1998.

How it works: For every BonusMail promotion users open, read and respond to, they are awarded Rewards credits, which can be redeemed by any of the offline or online redemption partners in the program. Intellipost charges more than $300 per thousand impressions.

Advertisers: 3DO, GE Capital, Autodesk, CBS SportsLine, Newsweek, Forbes, AdOne Classified Network and CUC International, among others.

Redemption partners: American Airlines, MCI Communications Corp., Boston Market, Red Lobster, General Cinema, 1-800-FLOWERS, Virtual Vineyards, B. Dalton Bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Spiegel, Target Stores, The Gap, CBS SportsLine and Tower Records, among others.

Distribution: Intellipost advertises on all the major free e-mail services, including USA.Net and Hotmail, and is in negotiations with Microsoft Corp. for an advertising deal.

Prognosis: BonusMail has the biggest lineup of redemption partners and the largest subscriber base. But it needs to build a mass audience to make it worthwhile for marketers.

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