Direct Mail Printing: Our 5th Digital Printing Press

Direct Mail Printing: Our 5th Digital Printing Press is here, installed and running.
Here is our new Kodak 2500 VP. (Variable Printing)

Direct Mail Printing

We are a large direct mail printing company and one of Nevadas largest direct marketing companies.

It’s very interesting to have Canon, Xerox and now Kodak presses running side by side. Each digital press has it’s strengths and weaknesses.  We bought the Kodak because it can print in 5 colors and the others cannot.  Not that anyone is asking for the 5th color but we like to add unique services that other people cannot offer.

“Dimensional Printing” is the process of printing the 5th color without blending it in with the other colors. With Dimensional printing the 5th color is CLEAR. The idea is to lay down very precise spot coloring of clear to make for a raised feel.  The raised feel is the dimensional (as in 3D) feel.  It is pretty cool.

The growth of our digital printing department has been nothing short of historical.  I think we owe it all to printers that decided to get into mail (because they thought it was easy) and then lost customers due to screwing up major projects.

With so much print being direct mail oriented our customers find great comfort in have us (being in direct mail since birth) handling the print too.  In the age of print being commoditized, this makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, you really should get a print quote from us, digital is the bomb on price, efficiency and speed; and we have 5 presses. The direct line is 800-881-2150 x12 or you can get a direct mail or print quote online.

Update: We have grown to 9 Digital Presses

Direct Mail: Top 10 Reasons to Use Snail Mail

Direct MailGrowing up I remember waiting with anticipation for birthday cards and other sentiments to arrive in my mailbox from family and friends across the country.  It was and to this day remains a great feeling to know that someone cared enough to send me a personal note via the United States Postal Service.  Nowadays with email being so fast and free some of that personal touch is gone and it really is a shame.  Given the speed of email versus the slower delivery times of USPS mail, sending a letter or card via the USPS has now commonly been referred to as sending “Snail” mail (slow to deliver).  Well for some of us it still has a special meaning so I prepared this short list of 10 reasons to still use snail mail:

1. It’s exciting to receive a personal letter or note.  Whether it’s a love note passed in class under your desk or a carefully written letter from a loved one, reading a personal letter or note has always been exciting and feels special in direct proportion to the effort the sender went through to get it to you.
2. You can add confetti or creative designs to your letter or card.  This again points out the time and effort that can be relayed by snail mail much more easily.  For birthdays and other special events I like to fill the envelope with stars or confetti so if you get a letter from me be prepared for a surprise inside!
3. There’s more privacy to snail mail. Unlike with email it is much less likely that a letter or communication sent via postal mail will get intercepted and read by another party.  It’s possible but unlikely and the recipient can generally tell of the letter has been opened.
4. Emails can get lost in junk mail filters.  While it’s possible that a letter sent via snail mail can get lost in shipping it happens far less than emails getting lost in the abyss that is the modern day junk mail filter.
5. Emails are prone to quicker judgments and rash decisions.  It’s so easy to send an email that we can write something in haste and send it before we actually take enough time to think it through.  That is generally not the case with postal mail unless you work in a post office and have direct access.
6. You can send more variety of items via snail mail. Sort of like my confetti trick above you can also add pictures or other personal touches to a snail mail all the way up to complete packages, boxes, etc.  So far we haven’t found a way to transport something like that through our computers.
7. People tend to elaborate more with snail mail.  In general, people drop the abbreviations when they are handwriting a letter so instead of (LOL, ROFL, OMG, etc.) people tend to actually write out their words and thoughts.  If nothing else, sometimes it’s just good to know that you can still do that.
8. There’s no virus attached. Generally speaking there are no viruses attached to a snail mail that you can catch on accident by previewing the snail mail before opening it.  I’m not saying that someone couldn’t send a virus via snail mail it’s just far, far less likely.
9. It’s too easy to forward your email content to thousands of people worldwide (on accident). With a few clicks of the button, you can send it to everyone on your list, which is dangerous if the content is important.  Unfortunately there is no undo button for sending email in most cases so you are stuck with the consequences of your actions.
10. The check is in the mail… yes it still works.  One of the most important reasons to use snail mail is for cash management purposes if you need to pay a bill but have a couple of days until you are going to get paid or have the money, then snail mail is much more effective for you that online bill payment.  You can simply call the provider/vendor and let them know “the check is in the mail”.

So these aren’t the only reasons but they are some good one’s.  An honorable mention that didn’t make the list is the excuse that you can always use for a greeting being late (birthday card, graduation card, etc.).  You can say you had trouble getting to the post office or that your letter was lost in the mail, but be careful with that one though as most people are smart enough to look at the postmark date.

shared by our friends at changeofaddress.org

Hi Michael,

We would love to share with you an article that we just posted on our own blog! “Top 10 Reasons to Use Snail Mail” (http://www.changeofaddress.org/blog/2010/top-10-reasons-to-use-snail-mail/) would be an interesting story for your readers to check out and discuss on your blog, so we hope you will consider sharing it!

Thanks so much for your time, and have a wonderful day!

Sheryl Owen

Calendar of Events, Advertise Your Special Event

Calendar of EventsCalendar of Events… If you need a list of local events for your website you should checkout gonnahappen.com’s events calendar tools. Here is a shortlist of up-n-coming events.

 

For a more polished look you can try a nice customizable flash calendar like this one:

 

All Calendar of Events tools can be found here: Events Calendars

Direct Mailing is still the Best Marketing

Direct Mail

At least with CSG Direct is it !!

Even as new forms of direct marketing emerge in this new era, direct mailing is still setting the bar in response, results and accountability in marketing. Most every other media cannot get you out of the most expensive parts of marketing – prospecting. In Fact, most advertising dollars wasted on broad shotgun prospecting.

Direct Mail is very focused on sales and generating revenue.

Experience will tell you that there are 2 levels of marketing.

The first level is the most expensive and that is to find out who is interested in your product or services.  Prospecting or acquisition marketing is where you spend money to broadcast who you are to the public and see who responds with interest in your product or service. This is commonly done with Television, Radio, Newspaper, Billboards, Websites, Yellow pages, Magazine ads, Telemarketing and sure Direct Mail of course too (however it is more direct, personal and accountable in prospecting).

The second level of marketing is what you do with all the customers and prospects that contacted you with any level of interest. This is where all your long-term income is made. You see, once you have a list of people who like what you do you can build long-term relationships with a direct sales approach. This includes direct in-person sales, tele-sales, direct mail and email. (I will save social networking for a later topic – it follows email)

That is the proper order for results too:
1) In-Person sales cost the most and sell the most.
2) Tele-Sales still utilizes personality and relationship but you are easily pushed into voicemail hell.
3) Direct Mail is something they have to see and touch and they can save it and share it with others in the home or office.  They can keep it for later too. Direct mail costs much less than in-person or tele-sales but you can sell a proportionally less amount too.
4) E-mail, currently the lowest form of marketing. Sure, if you have a relationship and are working on projects with a client it is great.  But for sales and marketing it is the easiest to avoid, delete and annoy.

So the main point is that long-term SALES happen in a DIRECT approach not in broadcast prospecting or print ads. So decades of experience say you build a comprehensive database (or many) with as much detail as you can. Then you send very specific offers to very specific people.  You then follow that up in-person, via telephone and personal emails too. IN THAT ORDER FOR BEST SUCCESS!!

Only go back to prospecting when you have maximized your current list of interested customers and prospects.  Why would you go talk to 1000 people that are not interested when you have 100 that are and you haven’t sold them anything yet?

We can help you build a business plan for successful marketing too! Your first step is to contact us or let us give you a direct mail quote to start.

Direct Mail Services now on Facebook

We sure do have a lot of fun friends on Facebook. I bet you didn’t know direct mail could be so fun! Try our fun facebook direct mail quiz and see if YOU know direct mail.

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When you’ve created as much success for your customers as we have, you are bound to enjoy yourself. After creating some of our Countries greatest personalized database marketing, we hang out with our friends on Facebook and share our joy.

Why don’t you join us for a while, you might just learn a few things that help you grow your business and increase your companies sales.  Direct Marketing is.. well.. very DIRECT, so I am asking you to become friends with CSG Direct and bring us all your direct mail questions and projects.

At least with Facebook you get to hang out and get to know us first.

If you would like you can also skip all that fun and get your direct mail quote right now.  But we’d sure like to get to know you better!  The more we know about you and your goals, the more we can provide you the same high level care and support all our best customers have grown their businesses with.

That is the best way to get success with direct mailing companies like CSG Direct, Inc.  You have to get us in the game and put us shoulder to shoulder with the rest of your staff so we can get you the big gains.  It is never best practice to keep us in a corner as an outside vendor only.

Nobody wins by putting direct mail in a corner.  lol

Direct Mailing Project? Get our Quote for Success!

If you are looking for Direct Mailing Pricing or Direct Mail Quotes for any kind of Direct Mailing Services make sure you are looking for more than just price. 

GET A QUOTE FROM US!
OUR QUOTES ARE FOR SUCCESSFUL DIRECT MAIL
Direct Mailing Quote
Are we inexpensive, sure! We are The Greatest Value in Direct Mail.

We are also highly qualified, focused and more experienced than most companies you will meet. Plus, 25 of us have been USPS Mail Piece Quality Certified and we have people certified in all departments and all steps of your project.  Your Bid should require expertise and a long deep track record of no-problem mailings, correct?

..nobody matches our accountability standards! – NOBODY!

As the only direct mailing company that lets you track every stage and status of your direct mailing project, we are the most accountable direct mailer in the country. Then we take it to the next level and you are able to track each and every mailpiece as they travel through the US Postal Service with our US Mail Tracking. Additional US Mail Tracking is available through our TrackDirectMail.com tools.

Direct Mail Guy

Here are some Testimonials
Here we are on Facebook

Also, our newly launched US Mail Tracking widget is now available.

GET A QUOTE FROM US!
YOU JUST MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Direct Mail Awards

 

 

Direct Mail Services – National Change of Address

Mathematically speaking, National Change of Address (NCOA) is one of the most valuable services any Direct Mail Services company can offer you. With over 17% of the population moving per year many of today’s businesses are using mailing lists that are from 17-34% useless to begin with.

Most people send direct mail using Presorted Standard postage in order to save large sums of money in postage. The backside of this is that any pieces mailed to someone that has moved are thrown away by the US Postal Service.  This is because “Presorted Standard” (old 3rd class) doesn’t include address forwarding the same way 1st-Class does.

So, if you don’t get back the return-mail pieces with yellow stickers like you do with 1st-Class Postage, your mailing list begins to expire over time.  But 1st-Class costs 50% more to send.

So if your boss says they want a better response from their direct mail, tell them NCOA can help you find where all your people have moved.  That is what NCOA is afterall. It is the national Postal registry of every change of address database of every form submitted by moving people.  Your database is compared to this database and your movers are identified, flagged and updated.

On average, even a “clean” mailing list has 3-10% moves.  That is 3-10% of your print costs, your mailing costs and your postage costs being thrown away.  At CSG Direct we let you know where your people have moved BEFORE your mailing goes out.

We are a USPS NCOA Link Limited Service Licensee and have been doing NCOA for about 5 years now.

We got into NCOA because it helped our clients achieve greater marketing results. The US Postal Service has seen great results and is making the service mandatory within 95 days of mailing. They spend too much time and money trying to find people for your .44 cents so they are making cleaner lists a requirement.

From me to you, behind the scenes a technology revolution is happening at the US Postal Service.  Make sure you are working with a vendor that knows what’s going on. There is lots to be gained when working with a Direct Mail Company ~vs~ a printer “that does mail too”.

Database Marketing, Direct Mail vs Email

As someone that has been in database marketing for over 2 decades I have had my share of deep experience in both direct mail and email variable data driven forms of direct marketing.

Email is a dying service and is going to go away in it’s current form.

We started by building our own email broadcast and link tracking tools back in the late 90’s.  We were in email marketing from 1995 to 2005 as an add-on to our direct mail services. Back then it was HOT and NEW and everyone wanted in, but so few people knew what they were doing so we enjoyed a decade of great prosperity.

But then in 2005 we got out all together just as a swarm of vendors and competitors were getting in. There was still a lot of money to be made in email after we got out but we recognized the fight those vendors were entering into.

There is a real ugly truth about email marketing that the companys buying the service do not know that definitely hurts them.  When you send even 1 message it has to go through multiple firewalls, mutliple virus scans, multiple email processing rules and multiple spam filters.

If it makes it past all those gatekeepers and lands in your prospects in-box they can tag you as SPAM that very second. That action affects all those same gateways and spam filters for each message that follows it.

Then, 10 minutes later you send an email to your customer to ask them about an order you are working on and your email message gets blocked by their spam filters. All because now you have been recorded as a spamming company. I guess the rule of thumb is if you don’t want to be treated like garbage marketing, don’t put your message next to the garbage in someones inbox.

We saw this coming, it was getting bad years ago and the writing was clearly on the wall. Email results are also at historical record lows too.  Low responses and a technical nightmare are not a recipe for success.

I have been talking about this for months with my peers but I guess I decided to blog about it today because I spent 3 hours removing an email virus from someones computer. What a pain in the ass and an uneccessary use of everyones time. There are so many other ways to communicate that don’t risk your entire it investments.

As someone who manages a firewall, one of the biggest security breaches we deal with on any given day is EMAIL. Email my friends, will not be around in it’s current form and I would not invest any current dollars moving in that direction.  For real electronic success you should chase SEO combined with social media like facebook marketing as well as others growing in popularity.

Then, really get to know your direct mail program. Direct mail is the most courteous of all forms of non-electronic marketing. It is still also the most focused, trackable, adjustable, shareable, savable, copyable, calcuable form of marketing.

But beware, there are spammers in direct mail too.  There are more spam marketers in direct mail than there are true direct mail marketing companys. These vendors will make you look bad and get your message thrown away just like email can be.

Nothing makes me sadder for a company then when I lose a bid by $100 to a printer and that company loses thousand$ in response and the direct mail information that comes with it.  Lowering their prices is the only tool in a printers bag compared to a real direct mail company that offers full service and full results.

Find out where your vendors core focus is. If they are primarily a printer or a print broker, forget about it.  Find database junkies, variable data printing and response pros. That is our niche, that’s where real direct mail lives and breathes. Experienced direct mail people know it and their businesses thrive off their direct mail results.

Real direct mail marketing isn’t broadcast print, it is made up of multiple data sources, multiple data-relevant messages, calls to action, results tracking and offer adjusting based on results.

You don’t get that from a printer, that’s direct mail baby.

COA, Ancillary Service Endorsements and Postage Rates

Undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail is forwarded, returned to sender, or treated as dead mail as authorized for the particular mail class. An mailer endorsement is used to instruct the Postal Service regarding the mailpiece’s appropriate disposition upon determining that it is UAA. On First-Class Mail® service, the following endorsements may be used as an updating method to meet the move update standard:

Return Service Requested. If UAA, the mailpiece is returned with the new address or reason for nondelivery; no charge.

Temp-Return Service Requestd. If UAA and a temporary change-of-address has been filed, the mailpiece is forwarded at no charge. No separate notice of a new temporary change-of-address is provided.

Address Service Requested.

  • Months 1 – 12: the mailpiece is forwarded; no charge; a separate notice of the new address is provided; an address correction fee is charged.
  • Months 13 – 18: the mailpiece is returned with the new address attached; no charge.
  • After month 18 or if undeliverable: the mailpiece is returned with reason for nondelivery attached; no charge.

Change Service Requested. Separate notice of new address or reason for nondelivery provided; in either case, address-correction fee is charged; mailpiece is not forwarded or returned but disposed of by the Postal Service. This endorsement option is available for First-Class Mail only when used in conjunction with electronic ACS™ Service.

Ancillary service endorsements allow the sender to obtain on request (provided the appropriate endorsement is used) the addressee’s new (forwarding) address (if the addressee filed a Change-of-Address Order with the Postal Service) or the reason for nondelivery. These endorsements also provide the Postal Service with instructions for the disposition of UAA mail. These new endorsements provide a simpler and more consistant system than the previous endorsements.

Optional Ancillary Service Endorsement Locations

In addition to the current location under the return address (1), ancillary service endorsements may be placed above the delivery address block (2), to the left of the postage area (3), or below the postage area (4) (postage stamps, meter stamps, or permit imprints). See DMM M012.4.3 for more information.

Optional Ancillary Service Endorsement LocationsFor accuracy sake this has been taken directly from the USPS.com website http://www.usps.com/ncsc/addressservices/moveupdate/ace.htm

Does Direct Mail Experience Matter?

During difficult economic times, I find that the marketing professionals that I work with are more price-conscious than ever. Budgets are slashed, staff is reduced and expectations on marketing teams are raised. How do you do more with less?

Well, first of all you want to partner with a team that has A LOT of experience in dealing with direct mail marketing. Direct mail is the most targeted and trackable form of advertising. Savvy marketers have learned that having experienced vendors/partners is crucial when budgets are tight.

The anguish of having a budget overrun due to postage upcharges or undeliverable mail is an experience that has destroyed more than one career. One needs to analyze the true value of experience and leadership in their marketing campaigns.

You wouldn’t hire an attorney or surgeon based on price. The end results are just too important. The same philosophy holds true on your marketing – the lifeblood of your company. A vendor who is less than qualified to properly assess, critique (really), analyze, and process your mail probably is not going to save you any money on your overall campaigns.

A Direct Mail specialist, such as you will find at CSG Direct; is trained and versed on postal regulations, design elements, USPS rules and regulation changes, and targeted marketing strategies. Our staff of fully certified USPS MQC (Mailpiece Quality Control) specialists often find design elements, size constraints or data problems that would get past the most experienced of mail shops.

We also offer creative solutions to save our customers money on production and postage rates, which sometimes makes an individual project less profitable for us… but we are here as a partner, for the long haul. Your projects deserve the experience and expertise that comes from seasoned mail professionals.

Let your competitors work with the inexperienced, fly by night companies while you shop for a company that makes you shine.

You will look better for two reasons:

#1) Your campaigns are effective because you found the true value of experience and expertise. The mailings are dropped in an efficient and timely manner to the intended recipients. You can track your mail through the mail stream (a CSG Direct exclusive) to identify when your target markets are receiving their mailings. You have confidence that your projects stay within budget, and are offered the tools to fully justify the mailing.

#2) You sleep well at night because you know you are working with detail oriented partners who care about your success and are certified in every avenue as meticulous professionals.

The next time you plan a mailing campaign, take a moment to reflect on who you are working with. Are you getting true value?

Are you comfortable with the experience level of your direct mail partner? Are you taking advantage of all of the benefits of a great response and postal discounts that are available?

Either way, get a quote from us so you can compare your vendors to the benchmark in direct mail. You deserve a good nights sleep!