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

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.

I’m a Digital Variable Data Printing Press Operator and Technician

The people that ask what I do for a living are frequently taken aback by my initial, truncated answer.

I’m a Digital Press/Machine Operator and Technician for a company called CSG Direct Inc.

Such conversations tend to go one of two ways at this point:
Those that have seen our commercial, usually hilariously start singing the jingle to me.
Those that haven’t often question the nature of what I do or ask, “What is that”?

The longer I work at CSG Direct, the more I’m finding the most appropriate and accurate answer to the second question. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a clear and concise execution of verbal symmetry:

We’re not only in the business of Direct Mailing, We are the future of Direct Mail!

It is, all too frequently, easy to write this off as your standard brainwashed stock phrase and go with the reductive viewpoint of Direct Mail being the junk mail that you ask for as unfortunately, this is what I find most people presently understand it to be.

However, people’s minds begin to open to the idea of what’s involved when I tell them I can expand no further upon the nature of my work as sensitive information is involved.

My experience has taught me that this is important and priceless (both in the short and long run) in an age where competitors (telemarketers and maverick consultants) flippantly use Client/Vendor biometrics in a way that’s arguably fiscally and ethically invasive and offensive.

The team at CSG Direct Inc. aims to either refine these crude attempts into something valuable or make such situations a thing of the past. Value. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

That is why we, as a company can afford to make the ostentatious claims; because we get the job done, efficiently, timely, respectfully and in a manner that keeps all-around satisfaction at a high.

I Print. Therefore, I am. Still, I’d like to leave you with the idea that whatever may happen to come off my machine, if it has your name on it, it will be something that you can value. It’s not just MY focus it’s ours.

Regards,

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.

 

Why We Love Variable Data Printing #1!

We have been in the variable data printing (VDP) business for nearly fifteen years. Nothing gives the team at CSG Direct Mail more of a rush than taking a job and applying the advanced concepts of conditional programming and intensive personalization to create a highly-targeted VDP campaign that brings excellent responses. We thrive on complex VDP projects that take all the elements of a customer’s project and weaving them into a grand, personalized tapestry.

Many Direct Mail companies brag that they do VDP, but do they really understand the height and depth that really constitutes VDP? Do they understand that personalization is more than just putting “Dear First Name” in a letter? Can they take multiple tiers, hundreds of graphics, text elements and styling, and intensive data to create a campaign that can be run as one version to maximize postal savings and project timeliness? This is where the rubber hits the road!

VDP is a wonderful ballet of data and graphics woven together with conditional programming to create a custom-tailored personalized message that is unique and desirable to catch the attention of your customer. The more targeted your data and graphic assets are constructed, the more likely of a positive response. In addition, one is almost unlimited in what can be created in a VDP project. The only limitations are the complexity of the data, design assets and one’s imagination!

It’s just not enough to have a person who “crunches” your data and prepares it for postal output. They must understand how to code a database to work in conjunction with graphic assets to make a VDP project sing. One can have the most talented graphic designer on their team, but if the designer doesn’t have a basic understanding how a database can be used to power all their designs with conditional programming, then the project is reduced to creating many separate outputs according to level/tier. A huge waste of time and money! For a successful VDP project, both data and design must work in tandem and understand each other’s skill sets to make the final product shine!

This is when we shine at CSG Direct Mail. Data, Design and Print personnel working in tandem to produce some crazy and wonderful VDP! Multi levels, multi Property, graphics switching out on the fly, fonts changing size, face and color, with conditional programming humming in the background while the data conducts the process like a maestro! It’s magic!

Next…VDP in action!

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.

Mailpiece Design Part One: The Postcard

Postcard Design

Variable data on casino postcards are a good way to grab your prospect's attention!

Designing postcards for your direct mail campaigns can be both fun and challenging. You have to walk a balancing line between using art to grab your prospect’s attention and the amount of text you include. Too much text and the reader gets bored – too much art and your message is lost. You can have the most awesome design in the world and not get the response you desire if your prospects can’t figure out what you’re offering. Conversely, if you fill your postcard with text, your prospects might not want to takethe time to read it, thus lowering your response.

At CSG Direct Mail, we will work with you to design a postcard for your direct mail campaign that not only draws your prospect/client’s attention, but also presents your offer/information in the most eye-catching, response generating way possible. Our designers are experts at walking this fine line and can create a postcard for you that balances “WOW!” with “I need to call now!”. Or, you can design your own postcard and we will be happy to look it over for you and give you our professional opinion of how well your piece will generate response. Either way, the marketing experts at CSG Direct Mail will work with your team to help make your mailing a success!

Ineffective postcards

LEFT: I don't know about you, but I'm probably not reading all that! RIGHT: Everyone loves baby animals, right? But what do they have to do with your business?

The physical layout of the postcard itself is also very important.

If you are designing a postcard to be mailed, make sure you leave enough room for addressing! CSG Direct Mail recommends allowing a 2 inch tall by 4 inch wide clear space on the right bottom of the mailing panel side of the postcard for addressing. This might seem like a large amount of space, but it ensures that you will have enough space in your address area for your IMB barcode and large addresses that may contain two address lines, a company name, etc. By leaving a large enough address area on your postcard, you guarantee that you will get the BEST postage rates and that the Post Office will not find any problems with your mailing!

CSG Direct Mail is happy to provide vector PDF format layered postcard templates that you can use to design the postcards for your direct mail campaign!

You can download templates for standard 4×6 postcards, oversized 6×9 postcards and jumbo 6×11 postcards and use them in your design programs to make sure that your postcards are worry free and receive the best postage rates possible.

Postcard Template

Example of a mail panel postcard template available from CSG Direct Mail

DOWNLOAD EDITABLE POSTCARD TEMPLATES
(Illustrator CS5 layered PDF)

CSG_DIRECT_4x6_template1

CSG_DIRECT_6x9_template1

CSG_DIRECT_6x11_template1

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.