NCOA and the IGT Patron System

If you have the Patron player management system from IGT, the US Postal Service says 17% is the national average of your players that move each year.

Your inactives are growing and you have no way of cleaning or updating the addresses in your system. Did you know that after every mailing your system can automatically update your in-house Patron database with change of address records from the US Postal Service?

We can help you do this!

We can also send triggered daily mailings streaming directly from your Patron database, as well as updating your entire database and automating regular updates after each mailing.

The US Postal Service requires you update your database every 90 days in order to get the lowest postage rates but too often the database is not updated internally after mailing.

We help our customers save money and increase marketing response by helping clean their in-house databases.

To find out how to make this process work for you, give us a call at 800-881-2150 or get a quote today.

 

Save

CSG Direct Mail at Casino Marketing Conference

The Casino Marketing Conference is just around the corner.  Are you going?CasinoMarketingConference

CSG Direct Mail has been asked to present our Triggered, Automated Casino Direct Mail Programs in the Casino Direct Mail session.

These programs drive casino mailers hands-free directly from your player database to our 9 digital presses for Same-Day mailings with full personalization, variable free-play, variable graphics and more.

These CSG programs are one of the Casino Direct Mail Industries “Holy Grails”!

The casino direct mail session takes place on Wednesday the 24th at 1:30 pm.
We’ll also be giving away some free automated direct mail at our booth so stop by.

The Sessions taking place during this 3 day conference include:

  • Stop Thinking of Social media as The Be-All End-All
  • The Future of Casino Marketing: The Operators’ Roundtable
  • What’s Going On With… Direct Mail?
  • What’s Going On With… Casino Advertising?
  • Managing Point Reinvestment
  • How to Gather Player Feedback
  • Developing Effective Merchandising and Incentive Programs
  • Marketing Strategy that Makes Sense
  • Secrets of Award-Winning Casino Promotions
  • Social Gaming, Who’s Playing it and what does it mean

In addition to the great lineup of casino industry sessions there will be Keynote Speakers, Lifetime Achievement Awards, The Romero Awards and tons of networking.  If you are serious about gaming you will want to be at this conference.

As a special note I am personally excited to hear from John Acres on his Casino Marketing 10th Anniversary Special Keynote Session:  Where Will Our Next Generation Of Players Come From? The Answer May Be “In The Box” Instead Of Out Of It!

This should be required continuing education for career empowerment.

I hope you can make it!!

The Magic of Yellow and Red Direct Mail

The Magic of Yellow and Red Direct Mail

Back in the day, the largest amount of direct mail was white envelopes as far as the eye could see. Bills and 8.5×11 Letters were the majority of all First-Class mail and it was easy for direct mail marketers to stand out with a little splash of color.

First-Class mail volume has dropped dramatically due to electronic banking and electronic bill pay.  Now our mailboxes are full of color and the white envelope is the rare exception.

Yellow and red direct mailMore and more marketers are skipping the use of envelopes and mailing out full-color vibrant self-mailers like flyers, coupon books, postcards and catalogs.

So how do we compete in a colorful mailbox?  How do we OWN the mailbox that day without sending a 3d box mailer?

The answers are YELLOW and RED!

I mean, if you open your mailbox and there is a box inside… Nothing Beats Box!
(Except a Yellow and Red Box)

But once you eliminate the expense of box mailers with the cost of boxes, manual assembly and increased postage costs… A Yellow and Red Mailer owns the mailbox even more as it is more affordable and has a very similar pizazz presence.

Red and Yellow colors are programmed in us internally to mean “Emergency”, “Hurry” and “Must take action”. What better way is there to get your direct mail customers and prospects to take you seriously and give you their attention?

We all know that an envelope delivered from Fed-Ex or UPS would be taken very seriously from anyone receiving them. But the cost of mailing with Fed Ex or UPS is cost prohibitive.

However, DHL will let you use their patented Red and Yellow Envelopes and you get normal USPS flat-rates. ~That’s a Tip from your #CSGMailMan.  This valuable service saves a ton of shipping costs and gets the same effect or better due to their use of Yellow and Red.

Use “Emergency Envelopes” for your event invites.

So you’re not getting enough people to your events?  Maybe people are not taking your invites seriously?  What if you double your print and mail costs but quadruple your response rates by adding a Yellow and Red emergency envelope to the mix?  Or conversely, what if you mail half as many people but double response rates?

That is the direction smart math-minded clients are going.  Response is more important than any other aspect of direct mail including expense.  Reach for high response rates! 

Use Yellow and Red as a profitable way to draw your customers in.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON DIRECT MAIL

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON DIRECT MAIL…   BUT DON’T JUST LOOK THERE!Tami Jones

As someone who has spent the better part of the last 20 years working in, around and with casinos regarding direct mail, I am often asked about the best way to cut costs from the direct marketing budget.  So…here’s my top 5 places to check costs.

1.    Re-investment – What percentage of theoretical win are you re-investing in your players?  You must look at your entire re-investment budget to answer this one.  What about special events?  Promotions?  Merchandise awards?  Direct Mail?  Others?  Are you considering all of these?  What are you getting back from your players in tracked play? If you don’t have the tracked play to justify your entire re-investment level, it’s time to make some changes.

2.    Target Audience – Are you mailing to the correct people?  There is a large portion of your database, on the high and low ends of play, that just shouldn’t be included in your regular direct mail loyalty programs.  Need to know who they are?  Call Amy at Raving and she’ll send Nicole Barker out to help you find them.

3.    Inactive Players – Are you going back too far in your database to find “active” players?  You know your property better than anyone else.  Are you a locals casino?  A regional drive-up destination?  A national stop-over?  Define an active player and include only those people in your monthly loyalty program.  Move inactive players into a recovery program and mail to them accordingly.  If you don’t get them back from there, they now become your best prospects.

4.    Mail Piece Type – Are you sending a 12 x 18 self-mailer with 16 coupons, scored, perfed and folded 6 times?  Is that the most cost-effective mail piece for your purpose?  Do you require your players to bring in coupons?  If not, why are you spending the money to print and perf coupons?  Is there a lot of fluff copy and graphic content in your mailers?  If you cut that down, could you accomplish the same outcome with a smaller, easier and less expensive to produce mailer?  If you want to know the answers to these questions, ask your guests.  They’ll tell you, trust me.  Also, ask the opinion of co-workers outside the marketing department, they’ll tell you too!

5.    Liabilities – Do your players earn points? Comps? Freeplay? All of the above?  Cut yourself some slack.  Don’t keep your liabilities hanging out there without an expiration date.  Liabilities affect your budgets.  Keep it manageable.  If they don’t use it, they lose it, but you have to tell them…no secrets!

6.  Bonus Savings –  We are now in the information age, in case you missed it.  We’ve been here a while now.  Hopefully, you are gathering email addresses?  Start using them for people who want you to (sshhh, don’t tell my boss).  You may not be able to eliminate the physical direct mailer altogether, and I don’t believe you should, but you might be able to reduce the quantity somewhat if you have permission from the player.  Whatever the method of delivery, keep the data up-to-date and you will save money by not sending out offers that won’t ever get there.

Automated New Guest Bouncebacks and Inactive Recaptures

Personalized Daily Automated MailingsAre you going to the Las Vegas Gaming show in September 23-26 2013?(I am not allowed to mention the name of the event I am told) If so, make sure to meet up with the CSG Direct Mail team to get this exclusive offer available for Raving Fans and friends. (show details on bottom)

So you had 75 new players join your players club today. Awesome!! That is a great start! Do you mail them a bounceback offer that day or do you wait for a few weeks to save up enough for a mailing?

What about Inactives? Do you wait for 18 months to treat them as inactive or do you base it on their personal frequency and send out recapture mailings as soon as someone breaks their frequency?

We automate these campaigns for you so that they run on hands free on cruise control without you having to add staff, time and labor to do it.

You get higher player retention with automated, timed, tiered and triggered campaigns.
We can Help!

The CSG Direct Mail team will be walking the floors of the September Gaming show with special certificates that waive all setup costs and get you on cruise control sooner than you can imagine.

Look for us at the Global Gaming Show in September or reach out to us early @ 800-881-2150 to setup a time and place to meet up. You will find us hanging out with team Raving too, so come on by.

Attention Marketers: Facebook is Not Your Friend

Why would you spend considerable resources marketing another companies website instead of your own? Facebook is mostly an unproductive diversion of time, talent and resources. You could get 10x more value by spending 1/2 that time adding search engine content to your own website.

Sure, Feeling popular and ‘liked’ makes us smile and feel like we matter each day. There is nothing wrong with positive affirmations from random guests and strangers to start your marketing teams day.
However, you should move your team in another direction as quickly as possible.

The goal is to bring warm, paying, profitable, fun-loving guests into your property where they buy your food, stay in your rooms and enjoy your gaming experience. There is very little to be gained by getting ‘likes’ on some other companies website that is a temporary site compared to your own.

Reason #1, When people are ready to travel, they go to Google, Yahoo or Bing, not facebook:
Marketing Statistics for facebook and Google

This website visitor report shows that search engines brought 723 guests to your website and facebook and twitter only brought in 14 combined.  So don’t double your facebook and twitter time!  It’s much easier to spend 1/2 hour per day adding content to your website for much bigger gains.

Reason#2, All efforts in facebook vanish almost immediately since Facebook hides your messages.

Facebook wants to sell advertising to companies like yours so when you post something on Facebook they filter it in the timeline so a user has to seek you out on purpose which they rarely do.  People go to Facebook to share pictures, talk with friends and play games.  They quickly move past company messages and Facebook makes it easy to skip your messages altogether.

Reason #3, Facebook hides your content from search engines and uses it for their benefit.

Remember, facebook is free for a reason.  If it sounds to good to be true it probably is.
Look at this nofollow screen capture where we show you the secret in their program.facebook nofollows all your links

See everything highlighted in Pink by our nofollow finding tools…
Facebook has told all the search engines to ignore all outbound links and not follow them.

When you invest marketing staff and resources into producing content and promotions, you don’t want it to be completely invisible or useless 24 hours later (no longer seen by guests or found online). Your efforts in your own website will bring you 50x more guests for a lot less time invested.

Your Top Priority for online marketing should be: go to your favorite search engine and type the words your guests would type when looking for a property like yours.  Type “Southern California Casino” or “North Dakota Hotels” or “Places to Stay” and see if you even show up in the results.  This is when a new customer is actually planning the details of their coming trip.  This is when you want to interact with them and book that reservation.  This is where you want to win in the online world.

The Solution is to add new content to your website daily in an event or community blog in your site. Search engines see this as new content and come back daily with new guests.  Your content remains active in your site and a magnet for guests on the internet ~ forever.

Once you get your blog up and running in your own website where guests can post, reply and interact with you directly (cutting out the middleman), we’ll show you the next steps to automate your social media campaigns and really move up in the search engine rankings which is what matters most online.

2012 Casino Marketing Conference Returns to Paris Las Vegas


July 24-26, 2012!
Marketing insiders know that Casino Marketing is a hard-hitting, straight-talking, no-holds-barred senior-level conference that addresses marketing challenges across all facets of the gaming industry, including commercial casinos, tribal casinos and racetrack casinos – virtually any gaming venue around the world.

More than 100 different gaming operators and other companies involved in the gaming industry attended the 2011 event, and they came from throughout North America – and beyond. Many companies sent their entire marketing and promotions teams, so they know the value of this unique event!


July 23-24, 2012!
In 2012 the Casino Marketing Conference is offering the popular program Drive Revenue and Grow Business: An Advanced Sales Model for Your Host Department. This one and a half-day program will run on July 23rd and 24th; separate registration is required.

If you are a senior host and player development specialist, General Manager, Player Development Senior Executive, or Marketing Director, you want to attend this program that will focus on:

• Developing and segmenting qualified sales leads from your database
• Creating compensation and specialization in a new player development model
• Managing reinvestment properly and measuring the sale
• Understanding the true value of a player through mathematics
• Acquiring the skills to complete the sales cycle

This is the advanced training you have been looking for! The program delves deep into sales skills, database management, analytics and the math of player value. This isn’t theory and a whole lotta talk — these are takeaway tools you can apply as soon as you return to your property. This is the 21st century groundwork you need to create an advanced host department.

To learn more about this conference or to register click Here.

How to Get Your Direct Mail Opened

Direct-mail is one of the most powerful marketing tools a casino has!   Getting the highest direct mail response should be the goal but there is usually a lot of pressure to keep the costs down. These can be conflicting goals. If we don’t get our mailer opened and read we will get a poor response rate so let’s focus on getting customers to open our direct mail today.Get Direct Mail Opened

Here are a few tricks to get your mail opened.

  • Use a shocking or awe inspired headline

There is a reason why every band does their “last tour” every few years. It creates shock to their fans and creates deep interest in the event. Find something spectacular about your event worth creating some drama about like “biggest jackpot ever” or this is a very rare event or last of it’s kind.

  • Use mystery to make them curious about your mailer

Curiosity is a powerful tool.  If you use some lead-in text on the address side of your mailer (the primary side they see), you can tap into their curiosity and get your mailer opened.  Try a snipe like “You’ll never guess who is coming” but make them open the mailer to find out. Your mailer open rate will increase incredibly.  They could guess, but its more natural to open the mailer and see the answer.  It is a similar technique as a scratch-off for getting your piece opened.

  • Use a scratch-off on the outside to compare on the inside

If you design your scratch off with a compelling offer and easy to understand design they work very well.  You can create a nice scratch-off on the outside and have them check the inside of the piece to see what they have won.  You can create scratch-offs with variable numbers too so make a game of your mailer and it will have a much higher open and interaction rate than the rest of the mail that day.

  • A box-mailer always gets opened

Any box place inside your customers mailbox is the most important thing in the mailbox. If we are talking strictly open-rates than there is no higher interaction rate than a box mailing.  Higher open rates translate into higher response rates. You should definitely do some box mailings throughout the year and compare the post forma math to your other mailers.  You will be very pleasantly surprised by the increased response which can more than justify the additional expense.

  • Send relevant offers about things they like

The difference between direct marketing and junk mail is if you’re sending relevant offers to someone about what they like or want. If you send a country and western invitation to a rock ‘n roll person you are pushing that client away with things they don’t want (aka junk mail).

You want to be a property that has the things they like so you are their favorite place to go.  Code your database well so you can personalize relevant offers to the right person and you’ll always get your mailers opened and higher response rate too.

Increase Direct Mail Response Rates By Learning To Fish With The Right Bait

I was invited to a charity fishing derby and was excited to go. It was a local fundraiser where every fish we caught and released earned a bonus for the charity. I wanted to catch lots of fish, so I grabbed my father’s tackle box, rod, and reel and headed to the event. I didn’t bring any special bait, so I just reached into the tackle box and pulled out the fanciest lure I could find.

This particular lure was large and full of beautiful colors. It was almost as large and colorful as a casino event postcard (hint). It caught my eye and appealed to me, so I was confident it would catch lots of fish that day. I cast my fancy lure into the pond and waited for my first response … uh, I mean fish. While waiting for my first fish to bite, I watched another guy do something very interesting. He started digging around near the edge of the water and caught a couple of small bugs. He pulled out some string and tied a lure that looked just like those bugs the fish were already eating.

To my amazement, he pulled fish after fish out of the water that day. I caught a few fish too, but I was intrigued to watch this great fisherman get such a high response to his bait that day.

It was a simple strategy: he used bait that would appeal to who he was trying to attract – I used bait that was attractive to me. He used information that was literally right in front of him.

So, how do you get a better response rate as a casino
marketer? I’ll break it down into two steps:

  1. Focus group testing
  2. Utilizing what you have learned from the focus group
  3. Testing with variable data printing

Step 1: Focus Group Testing
Just like fishing, direct mail marketing is a science of proven techniques. The one direct mail marketing science that has been proven time and time again to have huge payoffs is focus group testing (like the fisherman used to build his bait). In focus group testing, you survey your clients with different styles of images, messages, taglines, and calls-to-action to find out what is most appealing to them.

In the past, we would do this to determine the most commonly chosen items so we could design a single mailer that would suit the largest cross section of customers. That is still a solid idea, but with the advent of personalized printing, we can easily take this to a whole new level of success.

In a survey process, your guests tell you exactly what brand messages and images they want. Once we have that information, why would we send them anything else? Your clients tell you exactly how to get the best results from them and now you just have to make that happen. You can get better results fast!

The right casino initiatives can easily improve response rates for years.
The closest most casinos get to a focus group is the new guest signup survey. Let’s leverage this survey for the highest results by making some simple changes to it. Don’t be concerned about what type of gambling they will be doing because you can get that from the tracking system later. What you want to know is information to affect the visual bait that they will respond to most. Perhaps you tell them that you are considering a new tagline for your property, like “Every Player’s Best Odds” or “Stay Here, Play Here.” Give them a list of options and ask them to choose the one they like best. Then, give them a series of themed graphics, like spa services, sports, concerts, blackjack, dance club shots, and others that relate to your individual amenities so they can choose their favorite.

For the final question, maybe present 4-5 different color themes and ask which they find most appealing. For the call-to-action, you want them to tell you what message they will respond to most. This can be done many ways and could be an entire article by itself. Let’s use an example of asking guests if they like things like “last minute deals,” “monthly getaways,” “girls’ night out,” “pizza and beer,” “sportsbook parties,” “VIP parties,” or other themes.

With this simple survey your guest has designed their own mailer by choosing their own images and describing in detail your best brand and bait for them. So instead of printing one piece that you hope will please everyone, use digital variable printing to send mailers with the best bait. With rotating graphics, taglines, branding, and calls-to-action your guests chose, you can create a highly personalized appeal for each of your guests. When you communicate with guests in this manner, your results go way up.

Create an ongoing contest for your active guests as well and let them update their own style preferences as often as they want so you always send the best bait. If you do this as an ongoing game and make it fun, your marketing messages can get peak response rates.

Step 2: Utilizing the information gathered with Variable Data Printing
What is it? Well, it is not your grandpa’s mail merge! We were doing mail merges in the 1980s with word processing programs. In the late ‘90s, we started using fancy seashell and cloud fonts for fun. That was cool, but it is not relevant to modern casino marketing. Modern, advanced variable direct marketing is a graphics and database programmer’s dream. The options are truly endless and can be set up to be very simple, yet still highly effective. Everything can be different on every mailer! You can now send every single guest a direct mailer with all the bait choices they personally picked out with you. Everyone gets their favorite colors, brand messages, themes, images, and variable art. This same data can be used for variable themes, images, and calls-to-action in all of your emails and every other direct marketing effort as well.


Let your customers design your messages

Did you know that banks now let you choose what image you would like printed on your credit cards because they know you will favor it more if you design it yourself? They let me upload a picture of my dogs and now that credit card is my pride and joy. The riskiest thing you can do is to send your guests an untested, broad appeal, single branded message. Letting your guests design their own brand experience with your property individualizes the experience for each guest and maximizes your property’s direct marketing results and profits.

That is how you fish with the right bait in casino marketing!

This Article was featured in Raving’s Strategic Solutions Magazine.
Download a copy of it here.

Records Break at NIGA Tradeshow Ribbon Cutting

San Diego, CA (April 3, 2012) – Although the convention has been underway since Sunday with a Chairman’s Welcome Reception hosted at the USS Midway, the 27th Annual National Indian Gaming Association 2012 Tradeshow really kicks off at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, April 3rd.

During the meeting at the San Diego Convention Center, Tribal government gaming commissioners will get certified, and industry officials will discuss internet gaming, gain knowledge on the latest gaming technology, see gaming forecasts, and meet and surpass casino compliance.

With the organization’s Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. presiding the ribbon cutting, he shared that over 5,500 people have registered for the convention, a record-breaking number.

“Today, we have filled the 90,000 square foot floor with over 450 world-class exhibits, who are our friends in the gaming industry and Native-owned businesses who are eager to build their brands. There is a $26 billion industry behind these doors, and we welcome you,” Stevens said.

The purpose of the tradeshow and convention is to build a positive venue for Indian gaming industry professionals and foster a dialog to help reinvent and reposition their facilities to better serve their communities, better serve their customers and stay competitive at a higher level. They will discuss economic development beyond gaming.

Facing the challenging years of the recent recession, characterized in the industry by overconfident growth, and internet gaming, have taken its toll on the spirits of Tribal leaders, gaming facility managers and employees alike. Today, these challenges are facing a turnaround and the NIGA Tradeshow & Convention is the place to discuss them openly and honestly.

Joining the Chairman on the stage was Law & Order SVU Actor Adam Beach, retired U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Olympic Gold Medal winner, Billy Mills.

Michael Woestehoff
Indian Gaming Weekly
Your Membership News Source for Indian Gaming
An Online Publication Created by The National Indian Gaming Association