Direct Mail: Permit 777

Permit 777

You’ve been looking through your mail and you notice a Postal Permit 777 that is a little different than what you are used to seeing!  You find yourself gazing deeply into the fascinating existence of glorious PERMIT 777.

Whose permit is this? Who created this masterpiece? Why am I staring at it so much and for what reason do I suddenly want to touch it?  lol

You want Permit 777 on your direct mail, don’t you?

At CSG Direct Mail ~ We Are Casino Direct Mail and a casino direct mail piece is the mail piece you found us on, isn’t it?  Helping 30-40 Casinos reach their goals each month is no small task. It takes a team prepped with deep gaming experience and focus on casino goals to deliver better results fast!

If you are a Casino and would like an idea pool a mile deep for casino direct mail, you need to call us!  You can also check out CasinoDirectMail.com to get a small taste of who we are and what we do. We have what you are looking for. We’re inexpensive and friendly too! We pride ourselves on being “The Greatest Value in Direct Mail” and once you try us it will redefine the level of service you expect from now on.  We are a Direct Mail Marketing SERVICE company.

So, why am I blogging about a permit number?  I know people are curious about who’s permit it is and with a blog you will find us.  We get you Better Results Fast!  At least add us to your vendor bid list so you learn about new things happening in Casino Direct Mail.   You Deserve the Best!

CSG Las Vegas Direct Mail Plant QA1

Those of us in Direct Mail tend to be logic based creatures so in order to explain the strategic move of opening a Las Vegas Direct Mail Service Center I thought it would be best to answer all the questions people have asked here.  If you have further questions please add them below.

Q1 ) Are you opening a shop in Las Vegas to help your mail move faster in the south?
A1 ) Actually, No. There seems to be an ongoing impression by people in Las Vegas that mailing from Las Vegas is faster than mailing from other areas.

Mail in Vegas in 2 days

Mail Tracked to Vegas in 2 Days

Even if this perception is wrong I understand how the layperson feels that way. For decades there has been no way to tell exactly how long it takes to get from one location to the next.

Mail in Dallas in 2 Days

Mail Tracked to Dallas in 2 Days

However with modern advancements in direct mail tracking; lead in part by CSG Direct mail, We have now lifted the rug and can see all the crazy activity as mail pieces travel the country.

Using this information we are able to get some of the fastest mail delivery ever tracked.

Mail to Vancouver in 2 days

Mail Tracked to Vancouver in 2 Days

We’re getting 2 day delivery all over the West based on our knowledge of the mail stream that 99% of mailers and printers don’t have.

(If you are not looking at these delivery reports every day than have us quote 1 of your mailings so you get this free analysis).

The new plant in Las Vegas is not about delivery, in fact I believe that Vegas will benefit from us having a northern plant in addition to what we do in the South.

Our Tracking systems have been upgraded to handle the multiple location drops too. We will be able to track delivery timing from each location to determine the best plant to drop each mailing from.

I would like to add that too many people worry about how long each vendor takes to get it “IN” the mail as opposed to how fast we get it in the mailbox.  We are a speed/quality vendor so the concern for speed is actually a comfort for us, however the full delivery cycle really should be considered.  You also should be with a vendor completely transparent about the entire cycle like CSG Direct Mail leads with.

Continued with CSG Las Vegas Direct Mail Plant QA2

Uses for QR Codes in Direct Mail

QR Codes… What are they? …What do they do? Are they for me?

These are all good questions and we will cover them. You should be asking “What do I want to appear on someone’s smart phone when they scan it”?.
…an image?
…a webpage?
…a signup page?
…a Facebook page?

Let’s start from the basics. QR codes or Quick Response codes are just like any barcode, they hold bits of information in them a computer can read. They only take it one step further! With the use of a smart phone they can connect to your company’s website, your social media site or even contact information.

These codes originally developed in Japan. If you ask anyone that’s been there they will tell you that QR Codes are everywhere and everyone has a smart phone. Here in the United States they are starting to become popular, but the downside is that not everyone has a smart phone.

There are lots of options but the most common option would be to have a QR code connect to your website, sign up page, or a certain promotion going on at your website.

Other options can be:

1. Variable Driving Directions
2. Email signup form on your site
3. Your social media promotion page, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
4. Hotel Registration page
5. Event calendar
6. YouTube Video
7. Special casino promotion
8. Shopping cart
9. Contact information
10. Coupon

Just tell us what URL you’d like embedded and we’ll take care of the rest!
Of course at CSG Direct mail you know they can have variable content too!

We are Casino Direct Mail

You’ve found the heart of the casino direct mail industry. When you are required to do more-for-less you need a vendor that brings more to the table. We’re your innovative daily go-to partners for ongoing casino direct mail promotions.

We optimize casino direct mail programs daily!

We’re the most qualified and affordable casino direct mail team you may ever meet. We are the people that really do the work behind the scenes. Our decades of unique casino direct mail experience brings greater value to the table every day.

Advanced Personalized Printing
Fast Project Completion
Variable Maps and driving directions
Online Project Tracking (on smartphones too)
2D QR Barcodes
Matrix/Tier driven coupon mailings
USPS Certified Employees
National Change of Address
(uploaded back into your players club)
Stay’er and Player Analysis
US Mail Tracking by Player ID on your smartphone
iPhone, iPad or Android phone systems

More casino guests come in, you look good, everyone wins!

We’d love to talk to you about your casinos direct mail!

Mobile QR Barcode Promotion approved by Postal Regulatory Commission

The Postal Regulatory Commission on Tuesday approved a USPS Mobile QR Barcode Promotion.

Postal Service’s short-term promotional proposal

FAQs Mobile Barcode Promotion

Fact Sheet

This is great news at CSG Direct Mail! We have been working with 2-D QR barcodes for a while now! These mobile QR barcodes are two-dimensional and can be read by your iPhone, iPad2, iPod touch, Android and other smart phones. When your smart phone scans these barcodes an infinite amount of actions can occur. It can be a business card, a link to a website, a shopping cart, a winning promotion, fact sheet, etc. The list is endless.

Have a smartphone with you now? Get it out and scan the barcode above. We recommend Scanlife as your barcode reader.

The Mobile Barcode Promotion was designed to build awareness of mobile barcodes and demonstrate to mailers how mobile barcodes can increase the value of mail, while “blurring” the lines between online and offline marketing.

How does the Program work?
The Mobile Barcode Promotion runs July 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011, providing business mailers with an upfront 3% discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail® letters and flats that include a mobile barcode.

The following rules apply:

1) Mobile barcode must be two-dimensional and readable by a mobile smartphone. One dimensional barcodes do NOT qualify.

2) Mailing documentation must be submitted electronically and postage must be paid using a Permit Imprint. Current electronic submission methods include: Mail.XML, Mail.dat and Postal Wizard.

3) Participating mailers will be required to affirmatively claim this promotion in electronic postage statement submissions, certifying each mailpiece contains a mobile barcode either within contents of mailpiece or on outside of mailpiece.

4) All mailpieces in a mailing statement must contain a mobile barcode.

5) With the exception of IMB full service discount, only one incentive per mailing will apply.  Yes, there are other discounts too.

6) Mobile barcode must be used for marketing and advertising purposes. Mailpieces containing mobile barcode that convey information about the postage value, destination, sender and machine serial number for security do not qualify.

7) Mailings claiming non-profit prices are ineligible for the discount. : (

Don’t forget, at CSG Direct your 2-D Barcodes can be variable content too! Like always, we are here to help you get the most from these programs. Need a quick quote?

For additional information, go to 2011 Mobile Barcode Promotion

What drives Michael Hemphill: casino direct mail

Direct Mail Man MichaelI have been in direct mail for over 20 years. If direct mail were a hotel room with 300 rooms… I’ve been in every one of them. I have been certified by the US Postal service multiple times over the years as a Mail piece Quality Control Specialist. CSG Direct also backs me with at least 25 other people certified at the same level. Together we optimize print, data and mail projects every business day.

I get a unique excitement when I walk into a casino. Standing on that casino floor, I have the most experience, qualifications, training, and innovations of any direct mail person to ever walk in those golden doors. I am born for this and it is what drives me every day.

Ironically, my biggest competitors are printers that have been dabbling in mail for 3 to 7 years. They are by no means current on direct mail marketing but their company decided to sell direct mail to get more print. The sales representative that represents that vendor is not in the same ballpark as me when it comes to experience or training. I have been innovating in the direct mail industry for over 20 years, they have started ‘selling it’ as an add-on because they were told to.

What drives me so intensely now is that this representative is my actual person-to-person competitor. “Is that all you’ve got?” I yell to the world. Casinos deserve better than that! Our tourism economy requires more than that.

To further break down my competitor: he is not a programmer, he is not a database person, he is not my direct mail equal by any measure, he is an ink person trying to compete in my data world.

CSG Direct invents and evolves direct mail. Our competitors can only follow.
• We Created the 1st direct mail portal.
• We invented “to our friends at” and it grew across the country from my use.
• We invented direct mail tracking and we are unmatched
• We are early adopters of NCOA and were the only vendors in NV for years
• We provided direct mail software to casinos for years
• We are the only vendor uploading data into player tracking systems
• We have worked with Casinos all over the country
• Innovated variable printing with Variable Direct Mail Maps
• Direct mail SEO leads champs
• Landing pages, Salesforce.com
• Early adopters of IMB barcodes
• QR codes and so much more

We Are Casino Direct Mail, Nobody makes variable data printing dance like we do.

That Casino deserves us and we deserve them.
They deserve the best. We are the Best.

That’s what drives me.

CSG Direct Mail tours the National Postal Forum

Sometimes when you have your head buried in your own innovations you forget to look up and see what everyone else is doing. This year we decided to go to NPF (National Postal Forum) and get inspired. We want to be ready for our next series of innovations. NPF is the fundamental basis for the entire industry and it’s a great place to see if anyone’s catching up to us. Unfortunately NPF has yet to amaze us, but it is always interesting to see what if can offer to the direct mail marketing bunch.

You can have lots of great marketing ideas but at the end of the day you still need to fold the letter and insert it into an envelope. That is where NPF plays its roll. The National Postal Forum is a national event that brings mailing equipment manufacturers. It allows them to show off their goods to the mail processing industry. I have been ‘the manufacturer’ at many of these over the years but this year we come as the mail processor.

Michael at National Postal Forum My interest this year in NPF was new US Mail Tracking solutions that have popped up with the new IMB Barcodes. There were a few, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The show was held in sunny San Diego California right on the oceanfront. It was beautiful!

 

San Diego Convention CenterSunny San DiegoSan Diego Convention Center

 

 

 

 

National Postal ForumUS Postal Service

 

 

 

 

We’ll, like I said I am here for tracking mostly. However we thought it would be a great chance to peek at some of the newest inkjets and other technologies too. For those who haven’t followed me until now I have been talking about direct mail tracking since about 1990 when I was an early trainer of the original postnet barcodes introduced by the US Postal Service. Even then I was fascinated by the idea that we could track pieces of mail in “the near future”, however it has taken almost 20 years for that technology to get here.

The real breakthrough was the introduction of the newer barcodes including planet codes and the new Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB). The 1st company to create tracking was originally a mail shop that built track-my-mail and then got bought by Pitney Bowes. They were the originals, however their systems (imho) are not based on the right angles of consumer need ( I’m here Pitney, come by and see us ☺ ).

Vendors at the show talked about their particular angle on US Mail Tracking. As I watched and listened to each company explain in detail how their systems worked, I could easily see they were missing the point. Yes, there are tons and tons of data being stored and tons of pieces being tracked, but what does that mean to the consumer? Not once did they answer this question, lol. Anyway, I don’t like to kiss and tell too much. We see the entire US Mail Tracking system in a different spectrum of light.

The new vendors have some roadblocks ahead of them. For example, one of the vendors is putting your entire mailing list online for you to do a lookup by address or name. Is mailing data not private? Hackers are everywhere and even data in the cloud isn’t safe. Why would you put a customer’s private database online when they wont even do that for themselves? There are other ways to go about these procedures gentlemen.

Other vendors we saw struggled with the naming of their new products. Where we own TrackDirectMail.COM others have had to dabble in .NET addresses. Take for example findmymail.NET where the .COM is owned by Pitney Bowes. That is going to cause you some legal expenses if you ask me. Perhaps they should buy one of the extra tracking URL domains that we own.

Only one vendor was talking about a future mobile app and everyone knows we currently own that space. We have the only direct mail app in iTunes and we have been there for over a year now. I found their business models lacking in reality too. For example, the average tracking cost per mailing is now about $25. The end game is free people, might as well get a grip on reality now.

At $25 they need to sell/track 40,000 mailings per year to earn just $1 million dollars. With trade show expenses, sales people, phones, R&D, computers, servers, marketing and other expenses this is a losing deal. Just think of the sales staff expense and the idea that they are selling $25 items. If they sell 10 per day they sell $250 and they cost you probably $125 of that or more. Good Luck my fellow tracking brothers. I think you will need it, we offer our tracking FREE already.

US Mail Tracking for Smartphones

Simplified Addressing for Businesses: Every Door Direct Mail

This year the US Post Office is offering an expansion of Simplified Addressing for businesses to mail saturation flat mailers within city routes. Previously, only government agencies could mail to city routes using the simplified ECRWSS format. The expectations from the postal service are that small businesses will be able to saturate their neighborhoods without the expense of data acquisition or addressing. This will work well if one has a broad demographic and a basic understanding of postal requirements for facing slips, entry procedures and protocol.

The down side for these businesses is that they will need to acquire a permit ($185) and pay the permit application fees ($185). If they are not a regular mailer, this is a major cost to absorb. They are also limited on how refined they can target their audience with a saturated mailer. For example: If a local insurance agent wishes to target RV owners, data is available for RV owners. To further refine the search…we may wish to target RV owners with modeled good credit ratings (much more desirable for insurance agents), or homeowners with RV’s – in an attempt to capture larger customer portfolios. The printing and mailing costs might be greatly reduced by only sending to the audience whom you wish to present to. By saturating the entire area – the same agent may lose focus of his intended audience due to responses from unqualified leads or less than prime targets. A personalized “one to one” mail-piece tailored to the individual will net greater response overall. We are talking about cost per response, NOT cost per piece. A mailing that costs the same, targets a more refined audience and triggers greater response is a much wiser investment for many marketers.

Simplified addressing works well for restaurants, ice cream shops, local service/repair shops, home maintenance businesses, etc. that might appeal to a vast majority of individuals within a route or neighborhood. Each business has a unique marketing need, and should have a well-planned and executed approach to meeting their budget and ROI requirements. Marketing is essential in these tough economic times, and intelligent marketing is the lifeblood of most any business. An experienced direct mail marketing partner who is familiar with the postal system and marketing trends is an investment that one should carefully consider. A marketing partner like CSG Direct.

The post office has also unveiled some great tools for establishing counts and finding routes and zip codes within given cities.

I hope you find peace in your mailing universe, and may your 2011 campaigns be successful.

Find out more about Every Door Direct Mail™