Raving's 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference Day 1

Raving's 14th Annual Indian Gaming conferenceWe drove 4.5 hours from Las Vegas to Rancho Mirage, California today to get set up at the Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference.  It was a crazy drive through 29 Palms but I trusted my GPS! We’re just getting setup today so there will be more to talk about tomorrow.  Here is the sign from the registration table.

Agua Caliente is the host property for this event. This is my first visit to Agua Caliente. It is a beautiful property.  It reminds me of a mix between Thunder Valley Resort and Redhawk Resort in Nor Cal or possibly Red Rock in LasVegas.

We got our booth set up and met with everyone, but for the night I will be working at my mobile office in my room (below). The rooms are fricken’ sweet!

My Room Workspace

These are cell-phone pics. I will have much better photos for my next update.

Tomorrow I lead a workshop on personalized direct mail and variable graphics and themes.

Very exciting!

Raving Consulting tells its fans about 21% response rate from QR code direct mail campagin

Raving Flash. Late Breaking News, Compelling Ideas, Just Plain Good Stuff for the Gaming Industry!

We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast! This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.

Read the original article here.

CSG Direct Mail has over two decades in variable data printing, casino direct mail, variable direct mail maps, US Mail Tracking, randomization, personalized emails, personalized websites, QR codes and much more.

For more information about Raving Consulting call 775-329-7864.
To learn more about CSG Direct Mail visit the CSG direct mail website.

Modern Casino Direct Mail Personalization Workshops

CSG Direct Mail CEO, Michael Hemphill; is teaching modern casino direct mail personalization workshops at Raving’s 14th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference January 30th – February 1st, 2012.

Modern Casino Direct Mail PersonalizationLearn modern personalization secrets from a variable data casino industry veteran. Learn how to create much higher response casino direct mail programs.

Michael Hemphill leads a hands-on variable data printing casino direct mail workshop at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa,
in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Learn modern Casino Direct Mail personalization secrets at the 14th Annual Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference. Variable printing pro Michael Hemphill will show you how to make an offer more appealing to each guest individually creating a much higher response program.

Michael Hemphill brings decades of experience in results driven casino direct mail marketing to teach how to use available data to personalize the guests’ perception of a casino.

Learn the secrets to high response modern casino direct mail marketing.

Participants in this hands-on workshop will brainstorm creative opportunities for personalizing their direct mail, email and text message communications driven by data available to them through their player tracking systems.

By the end of this one-hour session, attendees will have learned easy, medium and difficult variables in personalization that can increase direct mail responses in their current campaigns and drive more bang for their marketing buck. They will learn how to easily be more relevant to your guests’ specific tastes and purchasing style.

If you don’t know enough about them to truly personalize and get better results, you can append tons of additional consumer data from known purchase data. You can personalize your direct marketing using all kinds of personal interest information, home and family structure, gaming preferences, shopping habits and wealth.

Variable direct mail marketing is one of the most powerful mediums of our times. However, most people who sell this to their clients aren’t really doing variable printing. Mail merge and fancy fonts is not variable personalized printing.

The largest benefit from modern personalization (besides higher response rates) is that each person in your database feels like your property is their favorite venue. 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 you get a greater share of their annual gaming budget.

CSG Direct Mail has over two decades in variable data printing, casino direct mail, variable direct mail maps, US Mail Tracking, randomization, personalized emails, personalized websites, QR codes and much more.

For more information about the conference call Raving Consulting at 775-329-7864.
To learn more about casino direct mail visit the CSG direct mail website.

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

I’ve worked with CSG Direct for many years, and they are absolutely the best mail partner a casino could hope for. They are innovative Leaders at what they do and a friendly hard working company as well. Not just a vendor but a true Casino Partner. They know a good part of the casino marketing side so it helps to have this company on your side when it comes to making decisions about what types of mailings will work best.

Randy Tidwell
Database Marketing Manager
Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

CSG Direct is so easy to work with.  They just know how the casino business works and “they get it”. In my 15 years of working with CSG, they have never made a mistake or missed a deadline!
Lisa Rahme
Director of Marketing
Gold Dust West Reno

Casino Direct Mail Client Testimonial

We love our clients and we are blessed that they love us too.
Here is a note from one of our clients.

CSG makes me successful and our company shines because of their diligence. Nothing goes out to our players unless it is perfect.  I love CSG Direct!
Jeri St. Onge
Database Direct Mail Manager
Tropicana Laughlin

21% Direct Mail Response Rate

Digital Personalized Christmas Cards

Personalized Christmas Card Campaign

There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing the light bulbs come on when I teach people how to use player databases to personalize the players direct mail experience. Personalization is not about using your customer names in the art anymore, that isn’t the secret sauce.

Instead of “telling you” about personalization I am going to show you how. You’re about to learn how to personalize the content of your direct marketing to get better results on your next mailing. I have a great example of a mailing that many of you got to play with recently.

Our personalized Christmas card program got a 21% response rate.
Sharing the details of our own database marketing efforts is the best way to share some of our better ideas. It’s a behind the scenes look at a high response campaign you’ll get ideas from.

Campaign Layers make it fun and effective
We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast so lets walk through them.

Personalized outgoing campaign touch 1

Touch 1: They received a personalized Christmas card with multiple fascinating components worth sharing with co-workers for greater brand sharing and interaction. This included variable maps from Santas house to show how Santa would travel to deliver gifts to you. It also included a personalized message and a personalized QR code embedded with customer# that was scanned to get a gift.

We also created variable outside envelopes to personalize and localize the message from our closest facility.  Customers nearest to our Las Vegas direct mail plant received their mailer from our Las Vegas plant for example. Variable envelopes are very effective and a huge upgrade on traditional ‘static’ direct mail envelope mailings.

Try the Mobile Site here

Touch 2: is our clients interaction with the personalized card and their smartphone. 21% of our recipients scanned these barcodes with their phones so don’t underestimate the smartphone evolution. The personalized QR Code (a working sample to the right) was used to drive a personalized mini-site. We built the QR Code so that no log-in is required and we could track who is using the program. There is a hundred uses for these barcodes when tied to mobile mini-sites.

High Response Direct Mail Mobile Site

Direct Mail Mobile Site

Touch 3: was a personalized mobile-website driven with auto-login we built into the QR Code in Touch#2. These really are easy to make and there is no end to the automated tasks that can be triggered by these small but powerful mini-sites. Our mini site was a Christmas question to see if you were naughty or nice. Your response drove a variable gift card held by Santa on your cell phone.  This was very cool as we watched the live tracking behind the scenes as entire marketing teams were playing with this and sharing it with co-workers. Gifts were tiered and variable.

Database drives personalization

The database varied gifts and triggered campaign steps

Touch 4: was triggered by the live program database to send a timed text-only personalized email. We integrated our normal corporate email footer and personalized message from your favorite member of our staff congratulating you for winning something in our Christmas program. I love this part for many reasons; it plays to our service brand and engages the customer with their CSG rep in a positive way. (a real behind-the-scenes tour)

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Touch 5: was the final campaign step where gifts cards were sent out each day triggered by the database. We designed a gift card mailer for delivery of Santas gift card. The primary mailer and the followup mailer were designed together and the second mailing was triggered for immediate response to the first mailer. This easy step is not done enough these days.

That was easy and fun!
This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.

30% Better Results Fast | Direct Mail Marketing Strategy

What’s Better:  saving 30% on your marketing costs OR getting 30% better results?

In the Casino Direct Marketing world the answer is always mathematically about getting the 30% better results.  30% better results means more guests in your hotel and more people gambling and enjoying your food and beverage.

Better Results Profit Math

math is your guide

The Math provides the answer to this question but if $5000 normally earns you $50,000 in gaming revenue then you are better off spending $500 more to get a greater return than you are saving $1500.

To survive the economic downturn we looked for ways to save money and cheaper vendors looks like easy savings, however your response rates and profits have dropped as the cheaper vendors delayed projects, had higher levels of mistakes and didn’t keep you up with technology and marketing advances that bring more guests.

Marketing is not a commodity, make vendors compete for highest response, not lowest cost.

The services look similar but our recipe is different!  Our customers have seen 30% increased response rates working with us after switching from other vendors.  They always wonder what we do different and it really is just how we approach the problems.  Cheap print does not increase response in any way. We are a direct marketing company disguised as a direct mail printing company.  We look at your data differently. We look at your offers differently.  We care about every single record and every single piece and how it affects response.

As your direct mail partner we affect response in a positive way.
That is our reputation with customers that switch to CSG Direct Mail.

30% cheaper no longer possible
We really have found the bottom price in the last 2 years.  Many vendors are closing their doors now as the “going price” is below the cost of doing business. The people still offering that price are doing so hoping in the long hall they are the last plant standing and then can raise their rates back much much higher. In the meantime a lot of industry talent is getting crushed and destroyed by this horrible industry direction.

When the current price becomes the norm you can’t find 30% more savings so this exercise has played out and is no longer a future option. Cheaper vendors don’t have better ideas, an R&D budget or talented people on staff or they wouldn’t be the cheaper vendors.

It’s the dumbing-down of an important industry as your vendors shed the most talented employees to save costs in order to survive with the lower bids.  Eventually you end up with untalented companies with beaten down equipment as your primary vendor and that is not going to bring you more guests or better ideas.

It’s time to reverse course and get better results
Lower costs vendor picking is lazy and unproductive in the end. The goal now is to quit looking for the lower costs and start looking for the best results. Better Results means more income, prosperity, more guests and job security.  That the big picture everyone wants, right?

Would you know how to gauge Better Results?
The biggest difficulty most teams have with the “Better Results” scenario is that it is harder for them to demonstrate in a simple manner.  I mean, it’s easy to see 2 bids side by side when you get them but it is not as easy to see the end results side by side.  The best way really is to use each new vendor for 3 months to gauge their recipe and track the overall results with your post-formas.  It’s the easiest way to spot a deeper trend.  However there are really easy ways to tell during the interview process too.

Ask ALL vendors about response rates and what they do to improve results.
My goodness, shouldn’t everyone be doing that every month anyway. Some people are so focused on price they forget to keep up with competition by interviewing everyone for new ideas.  If during the process some vendors look like a deer in the headlights you will recognize that.  However, if given the opportunity to shine; the better vendors will give you all kinds of modern trends and ideas.

Better Results is the new goal and the only way forward
Once you figure out which vendors have the ideas and response growing tools… USE THEM! If you want those kinds of tools and better results in your arsenal you need to support those vendors to get better results.  Choosing cheaper vendors only encourages “cheap” and bankrupts “Better”.  Support “Better” with your purchasing dollars and Better Results is what you get.  Make it part of your overall strategy to find “better” and keep it on your team.

Even if you only give them half of your business you have just upgraded your whole marketing teams capabilities and results. If that costs you only 10-20% more than it is worth it’s weight in gold.

CSG Direct Mail is known for 30% better results, call on us to see the difference a focused marketing vendor makes. We have all kinds of tricks and tools of the trade. Tools like Variable Maps, Email and Cell phone capture add-ons, Data Append strategies, strategic mailing lists, direct mail delivery tracking, timing and so much more.

We’re fairly cheap too.

CSG Direct Mail is the Greatest Value in Direct Mail and known for 30% Better Results.

Data Tips: Deduping and Suppressing

Cleaning a database of dedupes is one of the simplest ways to maximize its efficiency for your data marketing needs. This includes many small steps, but two are imperative when mailing to your customers.

The first is deduping. Deduping is simply the process of removing duplicate records. There are several different options you can choose to go by when deduping, this allows your marketing campaign to be as efficient and direct as you would like. For example, here is a list of deduping options that CSG offers.

One Per Individual Deduping

Individual Exact – This matches the address, first and last name, and zip code. So, if there is a Bob Smith at 123 Liberty Lane in your list twice one will be exported out of your list.

Individual Tight – Compares the same as above, but those that sound alike, such as: Christopher Ryan at 123 Liberty Lane, Chris Ryan at Liberty Lane or Jonathan Smith or John Smith. These are considered the same person and therefor a dedupe.

Individual Exact and Tight deduping comes in handy when your mailer has individual offers like the example below.

John Smith at 150 Freedom Dr. gets 100 bonus points
Sally Smith at 150 Freedom Dr. gets 120 bonus points

Although both live at the same address, they both have different first names therefor are not deduped out by using Individual Exact and Tight. This allows you to market to multiple people within a single household. Furthermore, you can market variable offers to every unique individual inside your data list.

One Per Household Deduping

Resident Exact – Dedupes the list by address and zip code only. So regardless of name if two or more records have the same exact address all but one record will be exported out of the main list.

Family Tight – Compares the last name, address, and zip code. This catches and slight variation of spelling that may occur between dedupes.

For example:
John Smith, 123 Liberty Lane, Apt B302
John Smith, 123 Liberty Lane

The above is a dedupe, although one of the above addresses contains an apartment number, the bottom record must be deleted in order to prevent the targeted clientele receiving multiple mailers for the same marketing campaign.

Resident Exact and Family Tight are handy for generic mailers that don’t have variable offers. There is really no need to send a mailer to everyone in a household for the same event, not only is it over marketing and annoying to those receiving the offer, but it is a waste of print and postage expenditures.

One Per Company Deduping

Company Exact – Much like Individual Exact with the exception that it compares the Company Name instead of the First and last along with the address/zip code.

Company Tight – Matches Company names that sound alike and have the same address/zip code.

For example:
Flag Makers Incorporation, 123 Freedom Way Suite 202
Flag Makers Inc. 123 Freedom Way Suite 202

This is obviously a dedupe, but wasn’t picked out by Company Exact because “Incorporation” was abbreviated in one and not the other.

Company Exact and Tight is only used when a list contains a company field.

There are instances where you will have First and last name fields along with a company field. This opens the possibility that several individuals at the same company and address will be in your list. Whether you want each of those instances to be mailed to will be entirely up to you.

Suppression

Suppression is when two different data lists are deduped against each other; whether it be Individual Exact, Resident Exact, etc.

This is typically utilized when you don’t want to mail to customers that were previously mailed to in recent marketing campaign.

So you can see that there is a lot that can be done to with these two data processes that can save you some big bucks, prevent your mailers from annoying your targeted audience, and ultimately insuring that you are getting the best out of your data.

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.