Casino direct mail campaign design and database artistry


Wouldn’t it be nice if your vendor knew your lingo, knew your challenges and also knew ways to increase your response or tweak a promotion? If you were to choose between two direct mail shops wouldn’t you select the one who could do that?

At CSG Direct Mail many of us have worked in casinos, primarily in database marketing and player rewards club positions. We also have a large team of affiliates out in the field promoting our services with their consulting packages.

With all this in mind we’d like to ask: Do you need more weekday guests? Would you like to get more return trips? How about some trip and player analysis? At CSG Direct Mail we are on your side of the equation. We have the tools, staff and experience to help you find the results you need.

In essence, you’ve found the heart of the casino direct mail industry. We specialize in bounce-backs, inactive farming, tracked redemptions, barcoding, birthdays, data appending of consumer file information, uploading NCOA files and so much more.

Casino direct mail marketing is a combination of visual art and database design. In order for this to be done effectively there are seven direct mail tasks we need to accomplish with your visual art and players club data.

1) Grab
2) Interest
3) Appeal
4) Convey
5) Compel
6) Track
7) Change

These are the 7 steps of the pros, which ones are you missing?

Grab your player’s attention at the mailbox. They get piles and piles of mail. If it doesn’t grab their attention they will surely throw it out.

Interest them enough to read your offers. Your artwork needs to pop and have catchy headlines. Make them want to open your offer!

Appeal to their personal wants and desires. With our digital variable data services we can easily rotate graphics to match the interests and personalities of your players.

Convey many details in a simple easy to follow format. People don’t like to read heavy paragraphs of text. Headlines with simple bullet points and easy descriptions are what you’re shooting for here.

Compel them to respond with physical action. Have them call to reserve their spot at that very moment! Adding personalized variable maps from their home to your casino will ease the complexity of the trip.

Track how the campaign affected response. We get stuck in the mentality that we need the best mailer quick and cheap. Don’t send out 1000 mailers to guests who aren’t interested in concerts, they won’t come. Think about cost per response as apposed to cost per piece.

Change the campaign based on the data from tracking. If the campaign didn’t work, try something new and innovative. Also keep changing it even though it worked. Your guests are constantly looking for new reasons to keep coming back to you.

The brutal reality about all this is that you probably need to accomplish everything in two days timeframe with five people critiquing your work and resubmitting changes to things they already changed. Take a breath! We’re here to help!

We become part of that process with you. We are postal Mailpiece Quality Control certified and have decades of experience on proofing copy and managing tiers. We know the data that drives the whole process. We optimize casino direct mail programs daily!

At your request we can also do the entire process for you. We do everything from creating in-house data pulling tools, customer ranking and tiers, direct mail campaigns, designs and offers as well as tracking and post-forma reporting.

We want you to relax because 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 bring greater value to the table every day.

Using Direct Mail Maps for Personalized Mailings

So you want variable maps on your mailers to give your customers directions to your business? Great! Let’s learn how to set it all up to make it work!

DESIGN AND SPECS
Your first step is deciding exactly what you want your mailing to look like and getting CSG Direct Mail your information so we can output your maps.

1) Design your mailpiece and decide where your map will be placed

Design your mailpiece

Design your mailpiece

2) Measure your map area and send us the dimensions of the map area in inches or pixels

3) Choose your markers using the pdf provided below and send us the codes for both the START and END makers you would like
DOWNLOAD MapQuestMarkers

4) Provide us with your database and tell us what locations you’d like for START and END

5) We will create your variable maps

 

PULLING IT TOGETHER
If we are doing your mailing, you’re done!
All you need to do at this point is send us your artwork and we’ll take care of everything else!

If we are providing you with maps and you are doing your own mail outputs, follow the instructions below for variable output in InDesign.

1) Set up your file in InDesign, and link to your database using your variable program

2) Define and assign your variable area however your program requires it

3) Place/link your map

4) At this point you will need to make sure that your map is scaled correctly for your variable area

Use the fitting command to do this

 

5) Once you have it looking the way you like, you can do your mail output

 

That’s all there is to it!


New iPads coming with USPS Confirm

Direct Mail iPad AppWell the new iPads are coming.  We’re still not sure if they are the iPad3 or iPad HD but the biggest bragging points are the Retina Display, faster processor and 4G connection speeds with Verizon and AT&T.

One of our favorite out-of-the-box applications on the iPad that we enjoy most at CSG Direct Mail is called Facetime.

Facetime allows us to video conference our offices when we’re on the road. It also allows us to be at company meetings remotely using the 2 built-in iPad cameras. This application alone made the iPad2 worth getting.  It will be even better in the iPad3/HD.

us mail trackingNo mention about the iPad would be complete if we didn’t mention our own iPad app called CSG Direct Mail in the iTunes app Store.

Our US Mail Tracking CSG Direct Mail app includes some very powerful USPS Confirm services built to make single piece lookup easy using your normal customer account ID’s to see how every single piece travels across the US through the mail stream.

Nobody else offers this kind of service!  The app is free in the iTunes store. Every mailing you send with us are tracked live.

CSG DIRECT MAIL includes Live Project Tracking from the CSG DIRECT MAIL Processing plant and Live US Mail Tracking as your pieces travel through the US Postal Service.

You can also track all the direct mail production steps through our multi-plant project tracking features.  Know exactly when your mailings are going out and track every penny you spend.

This app helps your planning, budgets, timing and delivery tracking.

This has been THE DREAM in direct mail for decades and we made it a reality! These newest innovations are built on our proprietary Direct Mail Tracking Systems.

USPS Confirm are registered trademarks of the US Postal Service

Digital Presses are Coming – Part 2

Digital Press PicThe saga continues at CSG Direct Mail as we have unwrapped our new digital presses and started preliminary configuration of all the components. The shipping materials are removed, all the sections mate correctly, and monitors and internal components have been installed. It is very exciting to see all the pieces come together as the machine begins to take shape!

Electricians are hard at work pulling wire, setting plugs and configuring the power necessary to feed this magnificent piece of print engineering. Our Facility Contractor is assisting us in reconfiguring the floor to accommodate our new 23 foot behemoths and new workflow it will involve.

Once power and facility upgrades are complete it will be time to slide the pieces into place, bolt it together and begin power-up and testing procedures. After this, training of operator personnel will start with full production to follow quickly.

Growth and expansion can be stressful at times pulling all the elements together, but it also gives one a sense of destiny as we see the future of our enhanced printing services forming before our eyes. Increased production capability, faster turn times and new services for our customers is that future at CSG Direct.

Check back for more updates as we move forward!

New Digital Presses Arriving

New Digital PressesOur New digital Printing Presses have started to arrive in many pieces and will be put together soon.

YES!  New Digital Presses, More Digital Presses!

This will upgrade us to 9 Digital Presses and some serious high speed variable throughput.

I will talk about the new features and newest services as they get setup as well as show you our next variable data self-marketing pieces in the weeks ahead.

But right now it feels like the night before Christmas here at CSG Direct Mail.

 

The CSG Direct Mail Story Continues

Michael and Lorrie Hemphill

Michael and Lorrie Hemphill

I have been asked by my team to rewrite our direct mail story for a new brochure where we don’t have as much room and still need to cover “the good stuff”, so to speak. I like to take this opportunity to add current details to get everyone up to speed on the future of direct mail as well.

After working in a variable statement mailroom at TRW, Michael Hemphill was hired to be an equipment installer and trainer.  This was the same time the US Postal Service introduced the postnet barcode and Michael was one of the leaders on the west coast in training his technicians and 3000 new customers on using postnet barcodes to receive postage discounts.

Michael helped companies like Sprint, MCI, Pac Bell, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the California and Nevada State Mailrooms get into automation.  “I have worked in over a thousand mailrooms installing equipment and training employees,” Michael recalls.

Michael then moved to Nevada to help casinos take advantage of some of the leading edge database management software available for direct mail. Some casinos reported increased response up to 30% over traditional responses rates after implementing Michael’s advice.

Since then CSG Direct Mail has expanded 10 times to our current 50,000 square foot Reno-Tahoe facility and has added our newest Las Vegas office.  We have helped many great companies like:

  • Raley’s
  • Scolari’s
  • Silver Legacy
  • MGM
  • Facebook
  • Wells Fargo
  • Harrah’s Entertainment
  • Tropicana Entertainment
  • Atlantis Hotel Casino
  • Peppermill Resort Casino
  • Eldorado Hotel Casino
  • Terrible’s Casinos
  • Stations Casinos
    …and many others

CSG Direct Mail has created many of the industry’s newest services:

  • LIVE direct mail job tracking portal – 1999
  • gonnahappen.com – an event marketing site – 2003
  • Bonus Bucks direct mail rewards program – 2006
  • LIVE mail piece tracking systems – 2008
  • iTunes Direct Mail tracking app – 2010
  • Variable maps for direct mail – 2011

With three decades in variable database marketing and the largest digital print plant in the West,
CSG Direct Mail continues to provide the greatest value and better results fast to our clients.

Nevada Business Journal talks to Michael Hemphill

What is the worst criticism you have overcome?
Wow, good question! Overcome? Still battling? I know my weakness is my drive to invent that comes before all else. I appear aloof in social gatherings and have no patience for small talk or television. I struggle to take time out to enjoy social gatherings like I should.

Nevada Business Journal just posted me in their face to face section for February 2012.
Michael Hemphill Nevada Business Journalhttp://www.nbj.com/issue/0212/4/2521

Here is the text:
___

Michael Hemphill

CSG Direct, Inc.
President / CEO
Las Vegas & Reno
Number of Employees: 28
Years in Nevada: 18
Years with Company: 18

What do you like most and least about your industry?
Most: The industry moves much slower than technology so we are always able to create new systems and technologies to help our clients gain advantage. Least: The industry moves much slower than technology so the adoption rate of new ideas can be slow too.

What would you want your legacy to future generations to be?
I hope my legacy is an example of the American struggle and pursuit of the American dream to inspire people to reach for their own inner greatness.  Too many people settle for average existence because their parents and friends did too. Someone has to be a guiding light in every family and every neighborhood.  I hope to inspire people to be the light in the room no matter how difficult the dream is.

What is the best perk of your career?
I get to make a difference for some fabulous community businesses.

What business advice would you give someone just starting in your industry?
A business plan doesn’t matter if you don’t have customers.  Get your first customer first!  Follow your dream but keep your feet on the ground.  Remain humble and care about every client like the blessings they are.

What do you wish you would have learned at the beginning of your career?
Employee personality types. How to place the right employee type in the best job for them, where they would flourish the most.

What was the toughest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Perfection is a journey to an impossible place that is still worth the journey.

What is the worst criticism you have overcome?
Wow, good question! Overcome? Still battling? I know my weakness is my drive to invent that comes before all else. I appear aloof in social gatherings and have no patience for small talk or television. I struggle to take time out to enjoy social gatherings like I should.
___

Thank You Nevada Business Journal!

Preparing Your Variable Mapping Mailpiece

Are you ready to use variable maps on your mailpiece to give your customers directions to your business? Great! Let’s learn how to set it all up to make it work!

DESIGN AND SPECS
Your first step is deciding exactly what you want your mailing to look like and getting CSG Direct Mail your information so we can output your maps.

1) Design your mailpiece and decide where your map will be placed

Design your mailpiece

Design your mailpiece

2) Measure your map area and send us the dimensions of the map area in inches or pixels

3) Choose your markers using the pdf provided below and send us the codes for both the START and END makers you would like
DOWNLOAD MapQuestMarkers

4) Provide us with your database and tell us what locations you’d like for START and END

5) We will create your variable maps

 

PULLING IT TOGETHER
If we are doing your mailing, you’re done!
All you need to do at this point is send us your artwork and we’ll take care of everything else!

If we are providing you with maps and you are doing your own mail outputs, follow the instructions below for variable output in InDesign.

1) Set up your file in InDesign, and link to your database using your variable program

2) Define and assign  your variable area however your program requires it

3) Place/link your map

4) At this point you will need to make sure that your map is scaled correctly for your variable area

Use the fitting command to do this

 

5) Once you have it looking the way you like, you can do your mail output

 

That’s all there is to it!


Raving's 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference Day 3

Christine FariaWednesday February 1st, Today is our 3rd day at the Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference

So far this conference is one of the coolest conferences I have had the pleasure of attending. I would like to thank Dennis Conrad and the rest of the Raving team for partnering with CSG Direct Mail.  I would also like to send a special thanks to Christine Faria (seen here in magic mode) for everything she does to make the event magical for everyone.  We are big Raving fans of Chris.  : )

csg sponsor Raving's 14th Indian Gaming MarketingToday we had another workshop and it was my largest class of the week. Great way to end the week!  Casino marketing teams are blessed with so many options and so much data to work with.

This conference has me so excited!  We are on fire and everyone is excited to implement the fresh ideas learned from this conference.  Make sure you join us next year!

Here’s a link to the Raving Consulting Website

Raving's 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference Day 2

Raving's Guest SpeakerTuesday January 31st, our second day at the Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference

Today was my first workshop for the week.  As a group we brainstormed for ways to leverage our current available data and create images and themes for our mailers. When doing this you have to think beyond a single mail piece and visualize personalized mailers for each customer to create a unique experience.

Raving's Guest Speaker That’s not a new idea, but we are working on how to make big variables easy to implement so we can get better results fast.

Lots of great ideas were shared but I’m not here to dictate that to the blog. I just want to share the fun we’re having and the great stuff everyone is learning.  Here’s a picture taken while I was setting up before the workshop.