New Postage Rates January 2012

New Postage Rates effective January 22, 2012

We updated our systems for the new postage rates effective January 22, 2012.

New Postage Rates 2012
New Postage Rates 2012

We noticed that most of the non-profit rates went down in this cycle and the common rates like Standard Rate (old 3rd-class) 5-digit automation rates went up only .005 from .237 to .242 each.  That is an increase of only 2.1%, not bad considering the average increases over the years ranged from 7-12% in the 20 years I have been doing this.

Here is the Full Postage Rate Spreadsheet from the US Postal Service.
You’ll want to look at each of the many tabs inside the spreadsheet.

Here are some recent past years postage charts for reference:

New Postage Rates 2011

New Postage Rates 2009

New Postage Rates 2008

New Postage Rates 2007

When you see the hundreds of rates available to you through the US Postal Service you realize that people that understand postage best are most capable of helping you reduce your postage expenses. We can help you design a postage strategy that considers the postage rates as well as the expenses required to help you achieve those postage rates. Sometimes it can cost you a dime to save a nickel so you cannot just look at postage.  We consider everything!

Direct Mail people are “details people” because every detail matters. Postage and service maximizing is another great reason not to do your direct mail with a printing company.

Modern Database Marketing with Direct Mail Personalization

Direct Mail Personalized

Direct Mail Personalized

Modern Database Marketing with Direct Mail Personalization

In the database marketing industry, we always throw around the word “personalization” as if everyone already understands what we mean.  It really is a generic term.  Are you telling personal secrets? Are you talking about how much they drank on their last trip? Are you getting too “personal”?

The problem with using a generic term to describe what we are doing is that everyone has their own idea what the term means.  To some people in the industry “personalization” means using the recipient’s name somewhere in the copy of the direct mailer.  That is what it meant… five to ten years ago!

Modern personalization  is an incredibly different animal that is not well represented by a one-word term.

Modern personalization is one-to-one conversations with each customer, en mass.

For example, Customer Mary visits the casino with her husband and enjoys playing Keno and eating at the buffet.  Customer Jim is single and likes to come to your concerts, drink beer and bet on sports. How do you make one invitation that appeals to both of these people?

Just putting “Hey Jim” in the direct mail piece is usually not enough to make an offer more appealing to him if it isn’t relevant to his interest in your property.

A customer asked me the other day why they get so few responses to their concert promotions.  They mail out 10,000 pieces and get 100 responses.  “How come?” they asked.  Well it turns out the exact same 10,000 people are invited to each concert and they aren’t sure if those particular people share a like for each particular type of concert.

They need to code their database with music interests and invite people that enjoy the type of concert you are promoting.  This is the first step in modern personalization.  Put the right act or promotion in front of your customers that like that act or promotion.

Music is a great way to have this conversation but it applies to everything about your Hotel Casino property. You don’t promote 80s hair band music to 60 year old guests and you don’t promote the steak house to people who like the buffet.  Send blackjack invites only to people that like blackjack and send slot tournament invites only to people that like slot play.  This is the heart of high response marketing.

This can be done all in ONE direct mail piece!

With today’s modern technology we can do all this in one direct mail piece. There are only a couple of hurdles to making this possible. First you have to find the easiest ways to match your event and hotel casino offerings to the guests that like each of your amenities.  This is best established by tracking EVERYTHING your customer does.  For example, you need to track the types of rooms they stay in and the types of food they prefer on property.

Next we need to establish things about your clients that you currently do not have access to.  For example, do they golf? Are they married? What kind of music do they like? What kind of occupation are they in?  There are many ways to do this with in-house surveys or modern data-append services using some great outside consumer databases to gather new information.

Finally, the last step is to learn how to build a marketing matrix.  This is a spreadsheet where we describe the differences in each dataset we have pulled and what offers each database receives.  Basically, we query each special interest we can find to market to and make a map to which offers will be rotating in each direct mail piece.  This  personalizes the offers, look and feel of each piece.

The art

Now the fun happens. We build four different art sets for the invitation.  One design caters to blackjack players, one design feels more like buffet and keno, one design is 80s hair band and buffet and the last design is a golf themed piece that includes a slot tournament and steakhouse offer for those people we know like those.  This is all for offers for the same weekend, of course.

We compile your databases together and rotate the graphics in the printing and outputting process.  This is the recipe for high response modern direct mail personalized casino marketing.

Everyone gets something that appeals directly to them and their interests in a gaming experience.

The biggest gain is that over time each person in your database starts to feel like your property is their favorite because it appears that your product is exactly what they are looking for.  Every player gets a unique experience that feels most comfortable to them and they end up visiting more often.  This gives you a greater share of their annual gaming budget.

 

Global Cash and Casino Share Intelligence™

Every day GCA, (Global Cash Access) is creating new innovations and concepts that lead to enhanced customer service and more robust profitability for it’s clients. This is the core value that provides the foundation for GCA’s boldest thinking. They focus on redefining the possibilities of cash access products and related services throughout the gaming industry – both in the U.S. and abroad.

The technologies created are the standard bearers for the entire industry, and continue to blaze new trails in terms of what cash access can do for casinos and their customers. In total, 1,111 gaming establishments worldwide come to GCA for ideas and innovation. GCA processed more than 90 million transactions and dispensed more than $18.9 billion in cash in 2010 alone. GCA’s global presence enables side-by-side work with all of its clients worldwide – and that means real customer service delivered in real time. GCA is poised to equip your casino with future-forward devices and solutions that generate more profitability on your floor.

So what is CSG Direct’s focus in all of this? One of the many services that GCA offers: Casino Share Intelligence™

Casino Share Intelligence™
If knowledge is power, then prepare for superhuman strength. By accessing GCA’s unrivaled database of player data, Casino Share Intelligence (CSI) derives robust algorithms that deliver trended shared reports over a 12-month period.

These include:

Market Share
Percentage of all GCA patron withdrawal dollars at your casino compared to dollars withdrawn in your competitive market—depicted in a convenient heat map format.

Patron Share
Percentage of all GCA patrons that made at least one withdrawal at your casino compared to the number of patrons in your competitive market.

Wallet Share
For those patrons that visited your casino and have at least one withdrawal, what percentage of patrons’ total wallet are you capturing? CSI offers a variety of patron filters—including value, age and distance—to refine results which enable you to identify shifts in share so you can take immediate action. This robust tool can even identify the top players in your market—and analyze how much cash they’re withdrawing in your casino compared to your competitors. For the first time ever, you’ll be equipped with information to proactively prevent player defection.

Image in the possibilities with this software in your casino. Be able to target your big players and keep them at your casino. We live and breathe casino databases, digital printing and results! If You are here today, it’s because you need results! We can make that happen! You will get your greatest results right here! You have a project that needs to be optimized. So Let’s do your next Direct Mailing Together!

At CSG Direct Inc. We’re known for providing you with The Greatest Value in Direct Mail!

National Indian Gaming Association Associate Member

We are a proud direct mailing and variable data printing partner associated with the National Indian Gaming Association.

The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), established in 1985, is a non-profit organization of 184 Indian Nations with other non-voting associate members representing organizations, tribes and businesses engaged in tribal gaming enterprises from around the country. The common committment and purpose of NIGA is to advance the lives of Indian peoples economically, socially and politically. NIGA operates as a clearinghouse and educational, legislative and public policy resource for tribes, policymakers and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development.

We plan on sharing our expertise throughout the gaming sector!

CSG Direct is cutting edge in Casino Direct Mail. CSG has innovations in Variable Mapping, Personalization, Casino Data Processing, and Live US Mail Tracking of every mail piece. CSG is staffed with decades of Casino Database Marketing experience and the most experienced mailing services team in Casino direct mail. -NIGA

The mission of NIGA is to protect and preserve the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises in Indian Country. To fulfill its mission, NIGA works with the Federal government and Congress to develop sound policies and practices and to provide technical assistance and advocacy on gaming-related issues. In addition, NIGA seeks to maintain and protect Indian sovereign governmental authority in Indian Country.

Database Marketing – Quick Tips for Database Bliss

Database Marketing starts with a database.  Database tips for our friends in direct mailing marketing.

Here at CSG Direct, we’ve seen every type of “database” you can think of, from mailing labels copied into PDF files to multiple relational SQL monstrosities. We’re always dealing with new challenges and finding new solutions for making your database the powerhouse it can be.

So here are a couple of tips from our data team

Even though Excel is a spreadsheet program, it is one of the most widely used mediums for database storage. I can hear you now, saying, isn’t that the same thing as a database? Well not necessarily… “A spreadsheet is a computer application that simulates a paper accounting worksheet” Excel is designed to quickly handle financial calculations, numbers and formulas. Therefore when using it as a database, there are a few precautions one should take.

1) Sorting: “So let’s see if I’m in the database” you say and quickly highlight the last name column and hit the A-Z button at the top, you see your last name, figure “ok! Good enough” and hit save. This is one of the most common and most destructive mistakes that can be made in Excel. What just occurred is that all your other fields stayed exactly as they were, while the last name field was placed in alphabetical order by itself. Now everyone in the database has the wrong last name.

2) Numbers: Remember that Excel is a spreadsheet! It loves to perform calculations and “properly” format numbers for you. Quick things to keep an eye out for, would be: Account numbers being formatted oddly, east coast zip codes missing their leading zero, cash amount fields having differing decimal places, even phone number fields having math done on them (something like 775-852-9777 turning into -9854)

3) Line breaks: In the final stretch of putting the finishing touches on your Excel database, then you realize this record has a secondary address, so you just place a carriage return and put the secondary address in the same cell below the first. In an Excel Cell its easy to add a line break, the problem is that when exporting a database out of Excel most database programs won’t recognize odd characters within a field and either jumble the record or completely leave it out. When in doubt it’s always better to just add another column.

4) Coding: There have been many great looking spreadsheets out there with colors that dazzle, but remember that when you use cell colors to delineate between multiple tiers of a database, they won’t translate over into real databases. It’s always best to use a separate field and populate it with whatever alpha-numeric signifier you might need! That way when the database is moved out of Excel it’ll still be there!

Until next time… Keep the data flowing to CSG Direct Mail

EPS Direct Mailing Marketing Awards

The EPS award acknowledges great direct mailing marketing design and execution as well as follow-through, tracking, results and strategy. Campaigns and mail pieces recognized by EPS are exceptional in marketing and creative detail. These entries interact with their target audience in a fashion that creates profitable results.

“EPS” is an industry insider abbreviation for “Envelope”, so it is all about direct mailing marketing. As the marketing industry has changed the EPS judging criteria has too. EPS evolves with the times and if certain criteria and modern postal and response methods are not utilized than it affects the scoring of entries.

We live and breath results and our best clients measure those results.

The EPS award is not  limited to print oriented results. We thrive in new and emerging areas with mobile, web, text and email components included. We dig into the campaign and judge it by effectiveness, thoroughness of how well the physical mailed piece drove the action.

EPS Awards categories:
1) Best Mail Piece Design
2) Best Direct Mailing
3) Best Mailing Campaign

Primary Qualifications:
1) Effective Creative Design
2) Call-to-Actions
3) Overall Marketing Strategy
4) Tracking of Results

The EPS awards are judged for the best ideas, most creative uses and the finest executions.
We acknowledge the best of your entries in direct mailing marketing!

If you are interested in us presenting awards to your group please contact us: service@csgdirect.com or 800-881-2150 x12

We may be willing to sponsor or contribute to your AAF Meeting, PCC Meeting, Ad2, American Marketing Association, PR group or other similar awards functions.
(Award categories are chosen to best meet your events members, theme or goals)

Past Winners:

Meyer Rosene -Best Mailing Campaign

A. Carlisle -Best Mail Piece Design

DRGM -Best Direct Mailing

DynaGraphics -Best Direct Mailing

KPSB -Best Mailing Campaign

DRGM -Best Mail Piece Design

Peppermill Hotel Casino, Reno NV -Best Mail Piece Design

Cirus Circus Hotel Casino, Reno NV -Best Mail Piece Design

Smith & Jones -Best Mail Piece Design

GMAA -Best Mailing Campaign

CSG Direct Mail with Raving Consulting Company


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact CSG Direct Inc. For media inquiries:
800.881.2150
Michael.hemphill@csgdirect.com

 

CSG Direct Mail joins Raving Consulting

-CSG Direct Mail joins forces with Raving Consulting to create the most comprehensive set of robust full service casino direct marketing solutions to the casino gaming market.

CSG Direct specializes in casino direct marketing for clients such as Silver Legacy, MGM, Harrah’s Entertainment, Tropicana Entertainment, Atlantis Hotel Casino, Peppermill, Eldorado, Stations Casino and many others in the gaming industry.

CSG Direct is known for innovations in casino marketing and creating the Greatest Value in casino direct mail. As direct mail trainers and mailroom managers they live and breathe direct mailing and variable data printing strategy and results.

CSG Direct has a long history of innovating the direct mail marketing industry:

• America’s 1st Live Direct Mailing Job Tracking System -1999

• America’s 1st public bulk US Mail Tracking System -2008

• iTunes Store 1st iPhone Direct Mail app -2010 (Track all of your Direct Mail Projects)

• Over 25 USPS MQC Certified Employees working on all aspects of your projects

• Over 2 decades in personalized variable data digital printing and more

Also with the opening of a Las Vegas Direct Mail offices CSG Direct is more than excited to offer its services to the Las Vegas entertainment industry and their interests. CSG has also joined the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and supports the Las Vegas business community. In partner with Raving it will be a pleasure to help gaming companies worldwide in strategically improving their marketing, service and operations.

Raving Consulting is a full-service gaming resource for marketing, slots, tables, database, player development, management and hosts. When you get right down to it, it’s the role of your hosts; ambassadors and players club staff to drive business through sales! I’m not sure why so many people are so quick to say, “I am not a sales person. I am not in sales. I am in marketing. I am in service. I am in management. I am a casino host.” If you work in a casino, then you are in sales, folks; your job is business development, especially if you are a host.

Direct Mailing Innovations and the best Variable Data Printing from CSG Direct Mail as well as Technologies and Experience from Raving Consulting will get you Better Results Fast.

“There are a lot of direct mail companies out there and everyone talks a good talk. We know that our gaming clients need this critical resource to execute their direct mail campaigns. We believe we have found the right partners in Michael Hemphill and his team at CSG Direct Mail. What’s unique about CSG, and especially boy “technical wonder” Michael, is that they are always looking for the latest tools to keep their clients at their most effective. They are not only a partner of Raving’s, we have been their client as well. We look to our partnership with the CSG Team – and sharing them as a strategic resource with our customers.” -Dennis Conrad, President and Chief Strategist, Raving Consulting Company

Click here for more information on CSG Direct, Inc.
Click here for more information on Raving Consulting.

CSG Direct Mail showcased by Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce

Join the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce on Friday, October 21 for its 100th anniversary celebration! This landmark event will take place at the Palms Casino and Resort and will pay tribute to the role of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce through the last 100 years of Las Vegas’ vibrant history.

This event will showcase 100 years of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the significant achievements that advanced the business community in Southern Nevada, and the dynamic and visionary entrepreneurs who shaped Las Vegas.

Mingle with friends and make new connections as you enjoy a variety of entertainment, great food, and fun libations at this exciting, upbeat venue. Be there to celebrate the commitment of the Chamber to the Las Vegas business community as we look towards our next hundred years!

To register for this event visit Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce: 100 years and growing!

At CSG Direct, we have a long history in creating new mailing services! We are excited to be one of the spotlighted companies attending this event. CSG Direct Mail was born in 1996 and has expanded 10 times since 2005 to a 50,000 square foot Reno-Tahoe facility.

We are fortunate to have worked with thousands of clients such as Raley’s, Scolari’s, Silver Legacy, MGM, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Harrah’s Entertainment (Now Caesars Entertainment), Tropicana Entertainment, Atlantis Hotel Casino, Peppermill, Eldorado, Stations Casino and many others.

With the opening of our Las Vegas office we are more than excited to offer our services to the Las Vegas Entertainment Industry and their interests. CSG Direct Inc. has joined the Chamber and support the Las Vegas Business Community. We hope you too can join us at the Centennial Celebration!

We are direct mail trainers, mailroom managers, database marketing managers, mailing services equipment operators and technicians. We know you aren’t “dabbling” in direct mail and neither are we. We have one of the friendliest and most experienced mailing services teams in the direct mail business.

Where did all of your customers go?

It’s hard enough to get new clients and even more difficult at times to keep them.
Active gamblers are the bread and butter of every casino and competing casinos work hard to pry your loyal customers away.  This is more than a competition of offers, free-play and room nights.  The heart of thisCSG Direct Mail active-player tug-of-war is a database strategy competition.

How much you know about your guests, how much you record about them in your database and then how well you use that information to your advantage is the art of casino direct marketing. We need to regularly ask ourselves what information about our guests we utilize beyond the simple play tracking and tiers we have created.

The simplest and most productive additional guest information that we need to use properly is the National Change of Address database provided by the US Postal Service. I will tell you that most casinos still today are not using this at all and when they do they are using it incorrectly.  One of the leading causes of lost guests is that 17% of them move per year and casinos are not following them properly and then addressing them with that new information.

In as quick as 3 years 51% of your database has moved.  Take a quick look at your inactive database counts and you know exactly what I am talking about.  Sure, it is not the only reason but if your competition is keeping their database more current than you it is just a matter of time before they crush you in the market place.

Your profits are being mailed to a garbage can.  As you are losing guests and your responses are dropping each month, you are probably mailing more pieces to make up the difference.  This increase in expenses dramatically reduces or eliminates the profits you would have made if you were not spending much more to get your responses back up. The biggest problem with this is that any pieces mailed standard to someone that has moved are thrown away by the US Postal Service.

Here are the main steps you should take to get back on top of your database.

  1. Do a 48 Month NCOA cleanse to go as far back as the US Postal Service goes.
  2. Upload all the changes back into your database  MOST IMPORTANT STEP!
  3. Re-code your bad-address flags to reflect all the changes.
  4. Re-code your Local/Non-Local flags based on their new addresses.
  5. Repeat with upload every 30-90 days with just the 18 Month NCOA Files.

Anything less is just surrendering your best clients to your competition.

We have been performing this process for casinos all over the country. The hardest step and the most important is the upload back into your player tracking system.  If you need help with that please feel free to call us and we’ll help make you shine.

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.