Casino NCOA is now Mandatory

National Change of Address is now mandatory.

Something VERY IMPORTANT to consider is that almost every mailshop in the country SENDS YOUR DATABASE OUT to have NCOA done. Yes, your mailshop does too.  In my neck of the gaming world this throws up huge red flags. A big no no.

Currently, CSG Direct is the only mailshop in the state of Nevada directly licensed by the USPS as an NCOALink Limited Service Provider.  [Link]  We have been providing this service for casinos for many years and have perfected the process to make your job of cleaning up your in-house database easier.

Of course, we specialize in database marketing and gaming.

We’ve worked closely with Oasis Systems and others to help you find ways to upload your data back into your master database and save yourself weeks of data entry.

Casino Database Marketing: Do the easy things first!

We often pitch projects to clients related to advanced marketing:  model
development, behavior-driven segmentation, pricing optimization, data
mining, and other fun things.  However, I always ask my clients if
they’re doing the easy things before calling us in to refine their core
targeting methodologies.  Without further delay, here’s a quick list:

New Player’s Card Signups:
Treat your new Club signups like Gold.  Get them a welcome letter as
quickly as possible, preferably within a week.  Personalize it,
acknowledge their earned level, and if they triggered a good rating,
include a bounce-back.  Bonus points if you integrate this first contact
with your VIP introduction.  Most properties do this, few do this weekly.

W2G Winners:
Here’s one of the most valuable lists that often goes ignored.  Although
small, here’s a great chance to recover your payout.  Send a
congratulations communication quickly, and several weeks before the
first anniversary of their win, arrange a “winner’s package” where
you’ll book their same room, comp dinner at the same restaurant, and
remind them of their great luck!  On a side-note, if your behavior
models don’t account for post-high-win sessions, the models will
overestimate this player’s baseline play amount.

Hotel-only first-time visitors:
Just send a simple postcard to acknowledge their visit, and include your
favorite retail-grade offer.  Its a nice reminder of their trip.  If you
make the front of it postcard-like, it might find a place on their
refridgerator!  After this first contact, include this populuation in
your modeled hotel population.

Keno Players:
The data is sitting right in front of you.  Find all those Keno
players!  They’re different from the video poker players, ya know.
Very, very different.

Younger players:
Have you looked around your casino floor lately?  Gaming has
traditionally been a leisure sport for a slightly older population.
However, there are many players in their 20s and 30s.  Dig a little
deeper, push a little harder.  Some of these players will become your
foundation over the next several years.

Spa or other amenities:
Just an easy initiative to bring people back to the service they
hopefully enjoyed.  If your marketing database is sophisticated enough,
cross-reference this list with your player’s club to find out if any of
your spa visitors are the spouses of your VIPs.  Hint, hint…  “Wow,
honey, they offered me a FREE spa session, can’t you just play blackjack
for an hour or two without me?”

Simple Zip-code untargeted mailings:
Just kidding.  I was just wondering if you were reading this far.  I
have never seen a program like this generate a positive return.  Stop.
Your time & budget is better spent on other projects.  Continuing to do
this is broadcasting to your competitors, “Hey, we don’t have any
end-to-end analytics!”

Ed Gianos is the founder of North Leaf Solutions LLC, a consulting
agency helping clients in gaming and other industries maximize the value
of their data through data quality, modeling, segmentation, testing,
reporting, and various methodologies to please both players and
marketing budgets.

Casino Direct Mail Creates Success in a Down Economy

You might say that there are many types of casinos out there. Hotel resorts, casino hotels, casino resorts, hometown casinos, horse tracks, cruise lines, grocery stores, local bars, etc.  I say there are only TWO types of casinos: those that say they market their property and those that really direct mail market like a frontline marketer would.

You see it in every gambling town across the country. There will be the handful of casinos that dig in and database market hard and often in deep segments and all the rest that only dabble in database marketing and barely squeak by or slowly decline over time.

I know of many casinos right now that are practically keeping the whole town’s economy afloat with proper direct mail marketing.  I also know of towns that are dying because no one wants to “budget” for direct mail.

All too commonly casino staff experienced in direct mail get let go in order to save money. Inevitably the property begins to suffer from quarter after quarter of these cost cutting measures. They may slowly choke the casino to death or to marginalism.

But if you get behind the scenes at a flourishing casino you will see a well-oiled machine of database marketers, graphic artists, results analysts and special events coordinators led by an experienced marketing director.  This team is the most valuable team in a casino and they drive 80% of hotel nights booked month after month.

Many of the other casinos fall prey to the thousands of television, radio and print ad reps that knock on their door daily and offer package after package of broadcast media. Add to that the hundreds of advertising agency reps that call on them to offer them the exact same media options with some add-ons and markups.  (Some have great value, don’t get me wrong).

But, at the end of the day, all other media are merely additions to your budget to augment your direct marketing, not the other way around!

If direct mail has been proven to fill 80% of your occupancy, why would you spend 80% of your budget on billboards, radio and television?

I’ll tell you why. It feels simpler to manage.

You shoot a quick spot or design a quick ad and, based on what the sales rep tells you, it reaches XXXX number of people.  Then you feel good.  Blanket marketing – unfocused and simple – feels good.  But, as everyone knows, it shows very few measurable results.

Direct mail on the other hand can be more complicated if you don’t use someone like CSG Direct. Direct mail takes analysis, testing, tiers, segmenting, tracking, events, redemptions, planning and implementing. But that is what it takes to market a casino.

That’s the whole reason you built a players club!

Don’t be overwhelmed! CSG Direct has mailed over 200 million casino direct mail pieces and has all the tools you need for direct marketing your casino. We are industry innovators and some of the easiest people to work with.

At same time, we are deeply skilled professionals. CSG Direct has over 25 individual employees Mailpiece Quality Control certified by the US Postal Service and we created America’s first public bulk mail tracking systems.

This doesn’t have to be difficult. You should make it your goal to sit down and make a serious direct mail plan for 2009.  Call us and we can show you how to both save a fortune and make a profit with direct mail marketing.