QR Code Placement Guide

The Mobile Barcode Promotion from the U.S. Postal Service® runs July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011. Business Mailers can get a 3% upfront discount on First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® letters and flats.

To help you out a bit we’ve made our very own QR code placement guide to help you when designing your mailers.Direct Mail QR Barcodes

You can download the QR Placement Template here.

The template is designed for a 9×6 postcards but the guidelines seen apply to all letter rate mail pieces. Additional the mobile barcode should not be placed within 2″ of the actual postage indicia when the indicia is not placed in the described “indicia zone”.

Mobile barcodes provide a connection between print and the digital world. They are two-dimensional and can be read by smartphones that have a 2-D barcode app/reader. When scanned, these mobile barcodes can motivate your audience to take immediate action. For example: make a purchase, register for an event, or download a coupon.

Be sure to follow these rules and for more information click the link or scan the QR code at the bottom of this post.

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

• Mailing documentation must be submitted electronically, and mail must be sent with postage paid through a permit imprint. Current methods include: Mail.XML, Mail.dat, and Postal Wizard.

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

• All mailpieces in a postage mailing statement must contain a mobile barcode.

• With the exception of the Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb) full-service discount, only one incentive per mailing will apply.

• The objective of the two-dimensional mobile barcode on eligible mailpieces must be to initiate interaction with consumers via mobile smartphones to market, promote, or educate. Two-dimensional barcodes used for other purposes – such as internal corporate operational processes, or postage evidencing – are not eligible for the discount.

• Mail must be tendered for acceptance during the promotion period, July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011.

For more information about QR code placement and deadlines for this promotion, visit the USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion press site or scan the QR code below.

QR Barcodes in Direct Mail

U.S. Postal Service wants you to use QR Codes

From humble beginnings to one of the nation’s foremost innovators in direct mail tracking and data-driven direct mail , CSG Direct Mail is a local business making big waves. With decades in Database Marketing experience, CSG Direct Mail has a long history of creating innovative new direct mail marketing programs including their new QR code promotion.

Quick Response codes (aka QR codes) are barcodes primarily used by smartphone users to get more information on the product or service being advertised. The camera portion of the phone reads the barcode and acts on the information placed within it. A QR code can contain 4,296 Alphanumeric characters and usually takes the user to a web page that has more actionable functions like order processing and data collection.The barcodes can drive personalized landing pages, shopping cart functions, automated social networking and any other functions coded in the web pages themselves. You could also direct them to phone numbers since they are already being scanned by phones.

Direct mail QR codes add a new dimension of interaction and is the least expensive new technology being used today. All you need is a QR code reader app for your smartphone to scan them. Check your phone’s app store for a QR code reader app that works best for you.CSGDirectMail,alongwiththe U.S.Postal Service, is helping spread the use of QR codes by offering a 3% discount on all mailable pieces which include a QR code throughout the month of August.

Scan the QR code above with a smart phone to receive a special offer from CSG Direct Mail!
For more information visit: http://www.csgdirectmail.com

Casino Marketing Conference Las Vegas

We are here live, today! At the fabulous and trendy Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the Casino Marketing Conference!

A little background on the Casino Marketing Conference and Raving Consulting. Raving Consulting Company is a casino marketing company that offers resources to the gaming industry. Furthermore Raving offers casino executives and gaming vendors a wide variety of solution services, training and publications. Areas of expertise include strategic marketing planning; guest service, host and player development sales skills and training; advertising and media partnerships, etc. Raving also conducts conferences and custom training seminars like the Casino Marketing Conference for gaming executives throughout the year.

This years Casino Marketing Conference will help define current thinking about the optimal ways to reach existing and potential customers. Vendors from all over are here to show their unique ways of attracting customers. With gaming now a mature industry in many markets, it has become a mission to understand the casino customer base.

We have never been more excited to show off our talents! While attendees scour the ballroom we would like to make it known that they can win great prizes just for vising the CSG Direct Mail booth! The day is not yet over and we have already given out over $25,000 in certificates towards a direct mail project with us! The prizes include: $500 to $1000 toward your next mailing, mouse pads, pens, gonnahappen.com mugs, bonus bucks for gonnahappen.com and the chance to get a free iPad2!

Let it be known that we live and breathe direct mail strategy, digital printing and results! You are at this Casino Marketing Conference today because you need results! You will get your greatest results right here with us! If you have the project then we have the testimonials, the skills, and the experience to make it successful.

So Let’s do your next Direct Mailing Together!

Learn more about The Casino Marketing Conference and CSG Direct Mail.

The Future of Direct Mail

the-future-of-direct-mailTHE FUTURE OF DIRECT MAIL

When you work on the leading edge in direct mail innovation you have to be excited about what the future has in store for direct mail marketing. As innovators, our view of the future of direct mail marketing is quite a bit different than most peoples.

To most people direct mail is a pile of paper inside their mailbox filled with postcards, coupons and hiding bills and checks amongst the pile.

We see a trusted delivery system accountable to every home in America with a box for us to place any kind of relevant message or offer to whomever we choose. We can specifically choose an audience from a long list of local and national consumer profiles and individual personal data and speak to that person on an individual relevant level.

What other form of media has a long-standing trusted space to place portable and sharable physical messages with your brand, offers and contact information on it?
A huge advantage!
Every other form of media requires consumers to take notes, remember details, act on impulse or dig through spam and viruses to receive.

Billboards clog the roads and sky distracting you when you are driving. TV Commercials hit you one after another for products and services you don’t want or need when you are watching your favorite show.  Nobody likes commercials in their movie or music entertainment.  Online ads, spam and new website viruses are ruining the internet.

With the advances in digital variable printing and the personalization and accuracy of database driven marketing, Direct Mail is going to be the only legitimate form of marketing in the future. Everything else will be spam and annoying!

To win you have to stand out! You cannot just be another postcard in the mailbox. Make “New Innovations” part of your bid requests. When you work with the right vendor you get actionable and inexpensive ideas to keep you ahead of the pack.

It’s time for the world to learn “cost-per-response” as well.
Accountable marketing will always win the day.

WHO WE SERVE BEST

Every company that markets a product or a service is a potential client but may not be who we serve best.  Many companies fall pray to the armies of salespeople for Radio and Television ads. Many people are also confused by all the Postal regulations, databases, permits, design and print aspects of direct mail marketing.  We understand.

We tend to work with people that understand all the forms of media and have lived with the results of lack of results of each. You can find a weakness in every form of marketing but there are very few you can find a return on investment in like Direct Mail. Experienced marketers get that and we enjoy working with them the most.

Experienced marketers understand testing, versions, tracking results and adjusting. Direct mail marketing is the most accountable and adjustable to those that apply the science.

Our Favorite Industries:

  • Banking
  • Gaming
  • Tourism
  • Medical
  • Grocery
  • Dot.com
  • Non-profits
  • Education

Direct Mail and Printing Services

Direct Mail and Printing Services

I was asked to write content about some individual direct mail and digital printing services so…

BINDING AND BOOKLETS

How about some personalized binders for your next meeting? One of the biggest advantages of using a digital printer that is skilled at keeping things in order, is the cost savings of booklets and the ability to personalize them. We print, punch, drill, tab and coil bind very professional personalized binders and booklets of all shapes an sizes.

DIE-CUTS

The old fashion die-cut gives way to digitally printed and personalized die-cut pieces. Match them to a colorful envelope or mail them without an envelope as Custom Market Mail.  CSG Direct can take your customized die-cuts to a whole new level.

INKJET ADDRESSING

Before Inkjet addressing there were labeling machines and then pin-fed Direct Impression Printers. Our management was installing, training and repairing all 3 technologies. We have been on the leading edge of addressing, addressing software and barcoding since 1988.

Wither you just need a barcoded address or you need a return address and a personalized message added to your mailer, Nobody is more creative and flexible in Inkjet than we are.

CSG “variable everything” continues on our inkjets. Every component we inkjet print on your mail pieces can change per customer to create fully customized pieces.

When we inkjet your pieces we will print the most modern barcodes for you as well, including Intelligent Mail Barcodes and Variable QR Codes too.  Then each piece can be tracked online as they travel the country and we track the QR responses too.

UV COATING

Everybody loves to put the fancy bling of a UV Coating onto their art. Not only does it make most art and designs look amazing but it also protects the pieces against common damage like tears, cuts, smudges and stains. The only drawback is that it costs a few cents extra and you cannot write on it once it is coated.  It sure does look beautiful though!

We would UV coat everything if given the chance.

FOLDING AND TABBING

To a traditional print shop folding and tabbing are simple “finishing work”.  With everything we mail being so personalized we think on a different level. We must ensure these final moves don’t ruin weeks of preparation, printing costs and event deadlines.

We know the pieces we are folding may be in a postal sorted order and will be reversed by the printing process. They also may need to be scored before printing so they don’t crack.  Maybe we score them, then UV Coat them, then come back and do the final fold.

US Postal Service Tabbing requirements are constantly changing. You can make simple changes to your direct mail pieces to reduce tabbing time and money. Your mail piece may require from 1 to 3 tabs or more based on the piece. If done incorrectly your mailing can be completely rejected by the US Postal Service or bumped to higher postage.

Our Folder and Tabbing operators are USPS Certified for mail piece quality control.

TEXTURES

Dimensional Printing is the art of applying a 5th color of raised ink in very specific areas to create a textured printed piece. We do this at CSG Direct to create a tactile feel with your piece or to create security features for coupons and offers.

We have not seen any credible statistics about response rates due to textured printing.  However, we do know that when a person plays with, touches and shares your brand with others, it is a wonderful thing!  We’ll help you get creative with this unique service.

Mail Shop, Print Shop

PRINT SHOP

Printing is an art that goes back in some form to the beginning of man. It is an art form of ink, paper and design that come together to make a visual presentation.  The real art of print is the design if it attracts the attention of the person we want it to attract (like bait).

At CSG Direct we are a modern day Digital Printing facility specializing in some of the newest features available in static, personalized and dimensional printing.

Print Shop Mail Shop vs. Mail Shop Print Shop

direct-mailing

Leadership - Quality - Innovation

Putting ink on paper is the easiest step.

The real challenge is designing pieces that attract response and delivering them through a single source federal US Postal Service.

The real talent is designing, printing, folding and die-cutting multiple critical personalized components and then matching them together in postal sorted order to achieve the lowest postage rates too.

“Direct Mailers” out-think “Printers”.

MAIL SHOP

Direct Mail Marketing is the art of getting the right visual presentation to the right person at the right time with a relevant message to attract a response and generate sales.

Direct Mail requires database programing prowess and a lifelong pursuit of all the changing rules, regulations, barcodes and loopholes of the US Postal Service.  Direct Mail Marketing requires years of studying databases, barcodes and tracking results.

You have to have the right mind for direct mail. You need a Direct Mailer that prints.
Direct Mail with a Direct Mailer, not a printer “that does direct mail too”.

You get Better Results Fast with a “Mail Shop, Print Shop” like CSG Direct.

Direct Mail app

CSG Direct is most famous for innovations in direct mail tracking and the 1st Direct Mail Smartphone app to market. We are a Direct Mail Marketing and Digital Printing company with deep roots in barcodes and tracking.  Our Direct Mail app is Amazing!

DirectMail-Iphone

CSG Direct Mail app

When you have to work with less, you need a vendor that brings more to the table. We continue to redefine what people expect from their direct mail vendors. We are the direct mail business model of the future and The Greatest Value in Direct Mail.

You deserve live job tracking, piece tracking and the highest level of accountability in the palm of your hands and available for whenever you are questioned about your work.

iTunes app link

LIVE PROJECT TRACKING

Have all project details at your fingertips.  Is it printing? Maybe it’s being folded? Did they receive the mailing list? Did it go out yet? When is it going out? Active marketers juggle lots of details and there is no standardized way to tell how well a project is going or why it is taking so long.
Until Now!

No more making phone calls every day, leaving messages and waiting for callbacks.

Direct Mail Cloud Based Services

With a complete Red Light / Green Light system you know if we are waiting on you or if the project is moving as planned. You get live access to the status of each project updated directly from our production floor as the project progresses.  You deserve a high level of accountability from the direct mail industry and we are leading the industry with unmatched minute-by-minute accountability.

USPS CONFIRM

After we complete your mailing and it is delivered to the US Postal Service the accountability goes to the next level.  Our Direct Mail app offers live feedback from all the US Mail sorting equipment across the country so you can tell when it is actually getting delivered. You get unprecedented accountability on the U.S. Mail delivery.

HISTORICAL DETAILS

Look-up past projects to get full audited details on postage, pieces, processing and final delivery timing.  See how long it took to get delivered and then adjust your next mailing for greater success. This is just one way we help you get Better Results Fast.

INTERACTIVE MAPS

Interactive Google Maps show the areas you targeted in your mailing. Zoom in-out and touch any zip-code to see how many pieces you mailed. This is a direct mail cloud service that our customers use and enjoy on the fly, in their hands and available 24/7.

CUSTOMER LOOKUP

Customer Lookup inside the US Postal Service nationwide mail stream is the holy grail for the direct mail industry and we invented it. Using your own customer ID numbers you can find the mailing you have sent them and then see the route, dates and times of the entire delivery process mapped out in interactive Google maps. We Dream Big!

All of this is available only at CSG Direct Mail and live on your smartphone.

iPhone Direct Mail app

iPhone Direct Mail app

CUSTOMERS GET THIS SERVICE FREE AND YOU DESERVE IT!

Tracking Results

Tracking Direct Mail Results

Tracking Direct Mail

Direct Mail is one of the most track-able and accountable forms of marketing today. The science and art of direct mail is the ability to test variables, track the results and adjust a campaign based on what you learn.  Only database driven marketing like direct mail has this valuable feature.

We’re constantly tracking:

  • Mailed Pieces
  • Intelligent Mail Barcodes
  • Mail Piece Delivery Times
  • Mail Piece Delivery Routes
  • QR Code Activity
  • Customer Logins and Uploads
  • Driving Directions usage
  • Duplicate Records
  • Changes of Address
  • Clicks, Scans and Exposure
  • Live Job Production flow
  • Postage and Service costs

TRACKING PORTAL

Login 24/7 for live details and tracking on all your projects.
Reports include:

  • LIVE Jobs
  • Job History
  • Postage Calculator
  • Bonus Bucks
  • Mail Piece Tracking and more

Our systems send detailed full job reports in daily or weekly emails. When each project is completed an email is sent summarizing details. Mailing projects get emailed live links to interactive maps of geographical areas targeted and the live USPS delivery data.

Our Portal first launched in 1999 and has since become an important part of our many Direct Mail Cloud Services.

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - iPhone

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - Top Zips

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - USPS

 

 

 

 

BONUS BUCKS

Track all the bonus bucks you earn in the CSG Direct Bonus Bucks program.  “Bonus Bucks” is our customer rewards program.  You earn a series of different bonuses based on the type of programs you took advantage of at CSG Direct Mail.

Our customers have earned over $50,000 in Bonus Bucks over the last year and they are redeemable up to $1000 per month at a time.  This is a real valuable program and our clients use them for free mailings and digital printing services all year long.

INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODES

Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) are the newest USPS Barcode that combines US Postnet and Planet Code Barcodes. CSG Direct is a Full Service Intelligent Mail Barcode with Confirm provider and leads the industry with some of the newest IMB innovations.

CSG Direct US Mail Tracking Systems track every single piece of direct mail you send with simple look-ups using your in-house customer account numbers.

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Customized QR Codes

Customized QR Codes

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Quick Response codes (aka QR Codes) are barcodes primarily used by smartphone users to get more information on the product or service you’re advertising.  The camera portion of the phones read the barcodes and act on the information you placed in the barcode.

The QR Code usually take the user to a web page that has more actionable functions like order processing and data collection. The barcodes can drive personalized landing pages, shopping cart functions, automated social networking and any other functions coded in the web pages themselves.  You could also direct them to phone numbers since they are scanned by phones.

Direct Mail QR Codes add a new dimension of interaction with your clients and is the least expensive new technology being used today.

Sample QR Code Direct Mail Piece:

QR-Code-Mailing

QR-Code-Mailing

LANDING PAGES

In a recent CSG Direct Mail QR Code mailing we printed variable personalized envelopes with variable QR Codes that take users to personalized web-site landing pages on their smartphones. These personalized landing page sent detailed messages to our team to let us know who is interested.

We placed an “action button” on the landing page and everything the customer does is recorded and actionable.  That is one dynamic function of landing pages with QR Codes.

COMPLEX OPTIONS

A QR Code can contain 4,296 Alphanumeric characters.  In a related example we converted driving directions and embedded those driving directions into QR Codes for a special event.  These will not be going away as new ideas come up every day.

Variable Maps

Variable Maps for Personalized Direct Mail

old style direct mail map

old style direct mail map

We’ve all placed a static map on a direct mail piece or on a brochure or website to help a prospective client understand where we are and help them find us.  Depending on where we are and how far out we are mailing to we might show great local street detail or just a star on a national map to indicate where we are on the country.

Variable Maps Sample

Variable Maps Sample

 

In this modern age of internet, GPS and live driving directions why not personalize this experience and provide a map for each client that gives very specific turn by turn directions to your facility, branches or event locations?

Direct Mail Maps program

CSG Variable Maps program

At CSG Direct Mail we built our own proprietary programs licensed with MapQuest. We built these systems here at CSG so we can customize these maps in many ways.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We produce “licensed for print” MapQuest personalized map images and personalized driving directions for each mail piece.

Personalized driving directions and a physical map on your direct mail makes your offer more actionable and keeps your brand in your clients hand for the entire trip.  These maps add value to the direct mail piece beyond the easy driving directions.

You engage on a personal level that few marketing mediums can reach.

Variable-Maps-Sample

Variable Maps Art Sample

We can also beautify this variable map graphically by sizing them to match other graphics and layering them into other art elements. This sample map art is layered into a dashboard GPS.

Variable Direct Mail maps are rare, leading edge and licensed for print.

 


CSGurl

Our variable mapping is also supported by our url conversion and tracking systems. CSGurl converts lengthy url strings like:  http://www.csgdirectmail.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/personalized-printing/ to a string like: http://csgurl.com/print

This is the easiest way to pass digital driving directions on a direct mail piece.  Direct mail recipients can use smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to see full detailed driving directions and a live map online.

You can also embed the variable CSGurl string into a Quick Response barcode.