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.

New Intelligent Mail Barcode Requirements

Direct Mailing ManThe US Postal Service has come down with some new deadlines for full implementation of Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB).

Full Text Here: http://csgurl.com/IMB_Requirements

They seem to be putting a huge emphasis on packages, however mailpieces references are sprinkled into all the text as well.

” On January 7, 2013, the Postal Service finalizes the implementation of this final rule by requiring an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) for all commercial mailpieces that include a tracking or extra service barcode …” seems to refer to all customers using 2 barcodes currently which apply to people using postnet barcodes and planet codes combined. (quit laughing, some people still do this, lol)

We of course have been using these barcodes and developing  new programs around these new barcodes since 2008. It’s nice to see that they are finally asking the rest of the country to step up the plate or get out of the game.

The first deadline is January 2012 with some limited flexibility until July 2012, Then again January 2013 with flexibility until July 2013.  A weak roll-out but they are going to get to embrace their cool new features even if they have to drag all the rest of the public forward.

The symbol versions of QR Codes

Each QR Code symbol version has a max data capacity according to the amount of data, character type and error correction level. In other words, as the amount of data increases, more modules are needed to make up the QR code. Let’s say for example you have a rather long web link or you want to include multiple fields in a contact form. This is what makes larger QR Code symbols.

The symbol versions of QR Code range from Version 1 to Version 40. Each version has a different module configuration or number of modules. The module refers to the black and white dots that make up QR Code.

“Module configuration” refers to the number of modules contained in a symbol, commencing with Version 1 up to Version 40. Version 1 is 21 x 21 modules and Version 40 is 177 x 177 modules. As you can see in the image below each higher version number comprises 4 additional modules per side.

Error Correction

QR Codes have error correction capability to restore data if the code is dirty or damaged. Four error correction levels are available. Raising this level improves error correction capability but also increases the amount of data QR Code size. The bigger the QR code, the better chance it has of being read properly without error.

To select error correction level, various factors such as the operating environment and QR Code size need to be considered.
Level Q or H may be selected for factory environment where QR Codes get dirty, whereas Level L may be selected for clean environment with the large amount of data. Typically, Level M (15%) is most frequently selected.

From a graphic design perspective Level Q or H are great to work with. One can remove parts of the code, implement an image, icon, or design and still get full functional readability. On thing to keep in mind while doing this is that most people don’t have a fancy smartphone and may be using an older less effective camera-phone when scanning your code. You want to make sure that the code will work with all smart phones.

You can color a QR code as long as you use dark enough colors that maintain good contrast for the camera to recognize. You can also use the black areas as a mask over a photograph. Indeed you can be very creative with QR and not have the boring robotic look of generic QR codes.

Another thing to keep in mind while designing is to leave the white border around the code. This border allows the camera to zero-out and know what areas to read and decode. A general rule-of-thumb is to maintain a 4:1 scale of white border to the smallest module, or pixel, within your QR code.

State of the Postal Service Part 2

Continued from Part 1

As we continue to review our volume, revenue and financial projections for fiscal years 2012 through 2015, it has become apparent that our financial situation is becoming even more precarious. First-Class Mail volume is declining even more rapidly than we had previously predicted. Standard Mail volume is flat, and in any event cannot adequately compensate for the declines in the much more profitable First-Class Mail that we are experiencing. Therefore, it is clear that we must reduce costs at an accelerated pace.

Our most significant area of cost is in compensation and benefits, and one key driver of those costs is simply the sheer size of our workforce. Therefore, the Postal Service has to be able to reduce the size of our workforce if we are to have any hope of insuring that our costs are less than our revenue. Based on current revenue and cost trends, and assuming a move to 5-day delivery, the Postal Service can only afford a total workforce by 2015 of 425,000, which includes approximately 30% lower cost, more flexible, non- career employees.

Attrition and certain other measures will allow us to achieve a portion of the savings needed to match expenses with revenue by 2015. We estimate that attrition will only result in a staff reduction of approximately 100,000. However, in order for the Postal Service to reduce complement to meet projected volume degradation, we must eliminate roughly 220,000 career positions between now and 2015.

In order to eliminate the remaining 120,000 career positions by 2015, to restore the Postal Service to financial viability, it is imperative that we have the ability to reduce our workforce rapidly. Unfortunately, the collective bargaining agreements between the Postal Service and our unionized employees contain layoff restrictions that make it impossible to reduce the size of our workforce by the amount required by 2015. As explained below, it is not likely that the Postal Service will be able to eliminate these layoff protections through collective bargaining, given the nature of collective bargaining and interest arbitration. Therefore, a legislative change is needed to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements.

As a Solution we recommend that reductions in bargaining unit postal employees should be governed by the RIF provisions applicable to federal competitive service employees. These provisions must supersede existing contract provisions and should not be subject to modification or supplementation through collective bargaining to avoid conflicts of law and to maintain necessary continuity among bargaining units.

Applying the federal statutory and regulatory competitive service process to the postal bargaining unit workforce could be done in a manner that would produce the following positive results:

The Postal Service could quickly reorganize and right size its bargaining unit workforce utilizing one set of established rules.
Postal bargaining unit employees would have the substantive and procedural protections provided by RIF rules, but collective bargaining agreements would be prohibited from having no lay-off clauses. Issues related to lay-off and reassignment to lower levels would be removed as subjects for collective bargaining.
Postal bargaining unit employees would challenge their lay-offs or involuntary reassignments to lower levels to the MSPB rather than through the grievance procedure.
Veterans’ preference is preserved.
The Postal Service would have a significant tool to return to financial solvency, thus protecting businesses and the majority of jobs for the hundreds of thousands of postal and other employees in the postal industry.

The recommended statutory change would be to modify Title 39, United States Code, to apply the RIF provisions of Title 5 and implementing regulations governing the competitive service to the Postal Service’s bargaining unit employees and to make clear that collective bargaining cannot modify or add to such rights, nor limit the rights of management that are part of the current federal competitive service RIF process.

In Conclusion We recognize that asking Congress to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements is an extraordinary request by the Postal Service, and we do not make this request lightly. Indeed, the Postal Service generally believes that it and its unions should be free from Congressional mandates as to the provisions of its collective bargaining agreements and that the Postal Service is best served when the bargaining parties can resolve their differences through collective bargaining. However, exceptional circumstances require exceptional remedies.

The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence and, therefore, threaten the livelihoods of our employees and the businesses and employees in the broader postal industry and overall economy, of which the Postal Service continues to play a large part. If the Postal Service was a private sector business, it would have filed for bankruptcy and utilized the reorganization process to restructure its labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality. Because this option is not available to the Postal Service, we believe that this extraordinary request is a key to securing our future and our continuing ability to provide universal service to our nation.

We are urgently engaged with Congress and the Administration to achieve a legislative resolution that will allow us to best serve our customers. Whatever the outcome, not only will it affect the Postal Service – it will shape the future of the entire mailing industry. Meanwhile, our commitment to providing excellent delivery service and connecting senders and receivers across the nation remains unchanged. We will continue to focus on our customers, and to partner with the mailing industry to ensure that together we are positioned to fulfill the changing needs of American customers.

State of the Postal Service Part 1

Information provided by the US Postal Service:

This recession has been particularly cruel to the postal service, already battered by the popularity of e-mail. Total mail volume is declining and just Last year we saw the biggest decline in mail since the Depression: volume fell by 4.5%, or about 9 billion pieces.

The postal service continues to loose volume in it’s largest, most profitable segment: First class mail. The postal service ended the 2008 fiscal year with a $2.8 billion loss, and the next two years may well be worse.

In response to the continuing decline in mail volume and revenue, the Postal Service has taken unprecedented steps over the past decade to reduce cost in areas within its control, including cost reductions totaling $12 billion in the past four fiscal years. The Postal Service has already identified and is pursuing a number of needed legislative changes that would help to return it to solvency.

Actions have been taken across the board to address the financial situation including: Work hour reductions, distribution compression, national distribution center realignment, facility optimization, equipment optimization and restructuring efforts.

The Postal Service is also undertaking, or has proposed, a number of additional steps to help it achieve the cost savings necessary to restore financial solvency. With respect to its delivery network, the Postal Service has and continues to aggressively pursue an optimization initiative that has led to fewer delivery routes, despite the growth in delivery points, along with more efficient usage of vehicles and fuel. In addition, the Postal service has urged Congress to allow 5-day delivery, an essential step in right-sizing the delivery network to reflect the fact that the Postal Service is now delivering a decreasing amount of mail to an ever-expanding number of delivery points.

The Postal Service is also closely examining its retail network, to identify opportunities where postal-operated facilities can be consolidated or replaced with alternate access channels that are both more cost-effective and provide greater access and more convenience for customers. The first step in this process was recently taken by the identification of approximately 3,700 retail facilities that will be studied for possible closure or conversion to contract postal services.
The Postal Service is also moving forward with efforts to streamline its mail processing network.

Currently, the Postal Service has over 500 facilities where mail is processed. Because of the decline in mail volume, referenced above, and the change in mail mix that has led to fewer pieces of mail requiring end-to-end processing, efforts are underway to continue to optimize this network using Area Mail Processing studies and other consolidation initiatives. We anticipate reducing transportation miles and costs and reducing the number of processing facilities to below 200.

Continue to State of the Postal Service Part 2

Lower Postage Rates for Full Service Intelligent Mail Option

The Intelligent Mail Barcode is a 65-bar code for use on mail in the United States. The term “Intelligent Mail” refers to services offered by the United States Postal Service for domestic mail delivery. IM is intended to provide greater information and functionality than its predecessors POSTNET and PLANET. The Postal Service was going to require use of the Intelligent Mail barcode to qualify for automation prices beginning May 2011.

Some of the benefits for Full Service Intelligent Mail barcodes include: Better visibility into the mailstream, Ability to track individual pieces, handling units and containers, Receive information about mail preparation and address quality, Determine when a mailing was inducted to the postal system, Address correction services, if requested Mail induction (start-the-clock) information and Optional Confirm Service.

Mail pieces prepared in accordance with full-service requirements are eligible for the applicable discount. Full-service discounts are summarized as follows:
• First-Class Mail Letters, Cards, and Flats: Subtract $0.003 for each automation piece that meets the requirements of the full-service Intelligent Mail option.
• Standard Mail Regular and Nonprofit Letters: Subtract $0.001 for each letter that meets the requirements of the full-service Intelligent Mail option.
• Standard Mail Regular and Nonprofit Flats: Subtract $0.001 for each flat that meets the requirements of the full-service Intelligent Mail option (not available for saturation).
• Periodicals Letters and Flats: Subtract $0.001 for each addressed piece that meets the requirements of the full-service Intelligent Mail option.
• Bound Printed Matter (BPM) Flats: Subtract $0.001 for each flat that meets the requirements of the full- service Intelligent Mail option.

The Future of Direct Mail

the-future-of-direct-mailTHE FUTURE OF DIRECT MAIL

When you work on the leading edge in direct mail innovation you have to be excited about what the future has in store for direct mail marketing. As innovators, our view of the future of direct mail marketing is quite a bit different than most peoples.

To most people direct mail is a pile of paper inside their mailbox filled with postcards, coupons and hiding bills and checks amongst the pile.

We see a trusted delivery system accountable to every home in America with a box for us to place any kind of relevant message or offer to whomever we choose. We can specifically choose an audience from a long list of local and national consumer profiles and individual personal data and speak to that person on an individual relevant level.

What other form of media has a long-standing trusted space to place portable and sharable physical messages with your brand, offers and contact information on it?
A huge advantage!
Every other form of media requires consumers to take notes, remember details, act on impulse or dig through spam and viruses to receive.

Billboards clog the roads and sky distracting you when you are driving. TV Commercials hit you one after another for products and services you don’t want or need when you are watching your favorite show.  Nobody likes commercials in their movie or music entertainment.  Online ads, spam and new website viruses are ruining the internet.

With the advances in digital variable printing and the personalization and accuracy of database driven marketing, Direct Mail is going to be the only legitimate form of marketing in the future. Everything else will be spam and annoying!

To win you have to stand out! You cannot just be another postcard in the mailbox. Make “New Innovations” part of your bid requests. When you work with the right vendor you get actionable and inexpensive ideas to keep you ahead of the pack.

It’s time for the world to learn “cost-per-response” as well.
Accountable marketing will always win the day.

WHO WE SERVE BEST

Every company that markets a product or a service is a potential client but may not be who we serve best.  Many companies fall pray to the armies of salespeople for Radio and Television ads. Many people are also confused by all the Postal regulations, databases, permits, design and print aspects of direct mail marketing.  We understand.

We tend to work with people that understand all the forms of media and have lived with the results of lack of results of each. You can find a weakness in every form of marketing but there are very few you can find a return on investment in like Direct Mail. Experienced marketers get that and we enjoy working with them the most.

Experienced marketers understand testing, versions, tracking results and adjusting. Direct mail marketing is the most accountable and adjustable to those that apply the science.

Our Favorite Industries:

  • Banking
  • Gaming
  • Tourism
  • Medical
  • Grocery
  • Dot.com
  • Non-profits
  • Education

Mail Shop, Print Shop

PRINT SHOP

Printing is an art that goes back in some form to the beginning of man. It is an art form of ink, paper and design that come together to make a visual presentation.  The real art of print is the design if it attracts the attention of the person we want it to attract (like bait).

At CSG Direct we are a modern day Digital Printing facility specializing in some of the newest features available in static, personalized and dimensional printing.

Print Shop Mail Shop vs. Mail Shop Print Shop

direct-mailing

Leadership - Quality - Innovation

Putting ink on paper is the easiest step.

The real challenge is designing pieces that attract response and delivering them through a single source federal US Postal Service.

The real talent is designing, printing, folding and die-cutting multiple critical personalized components and then matching them together in postal sorted order to achieve the lowest postage rates too.

“Direct Mailers” out-think “Printers”.

MAIL SHOP

Direct Mail Marketing is the art of getting the right visual presentation to the right person at the right time with a relevant message to attract a response and generate sales.

Direct Mail requires database programing prowess and a lifelong pursuit of all the changing rules, regulations, barcodes and loopholes of the US Postal Service.  Direct Mail Marketing requires years of studying databases, barcodes and tracking results.

You have to have the right mind for direct mail. You need a Direct Mailer that prints.
Direct Mail with a Direct Mailer, not a printer “that does direct mail too”.

You get Better Results Fast with a “Mail Shop, Print Shop” like CSG Direct.

Uses for QR Codes in Direct Mail

QR Codes… What are they? …What do they do? Are they for me?

These are all good questions and we will cover them. You should be asking “What do I want to appear on someone’s smart phone when they scan it”?.
…an image?
…a webpage?
…a signup page?
…a Facebook page?

Let’s start from the basics. QR codes or Quick Response codes are just like any barcode, they hold bits of information in them a computer can read. They only take it one step further! With the use of a smart phone they can connect to your company’s website, your social media site or even contact information.

These codes originally developed in Japan. If you ask anyone that’s been there they will tell you that QR Codes are everywhere and everyone has a smart phone. Here in the United States they are starting to become popular, but the downside is that not everyone has a smart phone.

There are lots of options but the most common option would be to have a QR code connect to your website, sign up page, or a certain promotion going on at your website.

Other options can be:

1. Variable Driving Directions
2. Email signup form on your site
3. Your social media promotion page, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
4. Hotel Registration page
5. Event calendar
6. YouTube Video
7. Special casino promotion
8. Shopping cart
9. Contact information
10. Coupon

Just tell us what URL you’d like embedded and we’ll take care of the rest!
Of course at CSG Direct mail you know they can have variable content too!