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.

 

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New Automated ACS Services Free

ACS servicesAddress Change Service (ACS) is a trademark of the US Postal Service.

CSG Direct has built and is providing some of the newest and most cutting edge services based on our development with the USPS ACS Services.  These are so hot and new that we still consider them stage 2 beta testing services and they are free for all our customers to enjoy.

Traditionally you would have to signup for your own MailerID, plus setup and manage your own Address Correction (ACS) services with the US Postal Services.  Well we have eliminated all that hassle for you.

With our Free ACS Services, instead of getting a stack of mail returned with yellow stickers on them, you get an email instead.

We are also offering 48 month NCOA as our primary National change of Address service.  That means you will get more pieces delivered to your clients and very few pieces ever returned to you.

But when you do get a piece back….  It’s lean and green if you know what I mean.

We’re always at the front of the pack for you.  You deserve the best!

CSG Direct Mail and Mailing Lists

One of the most effective innovations provided by the USPS has been access to all National Change of Address (NCOA) records to update your mailing list. Unfortunately you have to twist some companies arms to do this service for you. That is why the US Postal Service has decided to make it mandatory.

17% of your database moves every year on average and when you mail Presorted Standard (old 3rd Class) this mail is thrown out by the Postal Service unless you pay to get it sent back you.

The value of recovering even 5% of your database is huge, let alone 17% for 1 year or 40% if you haven’t done it yet at all. We have been doing this so long (early adopter) that we have some very specific tools and methods to take it to the next level for you. Database Marketers know the value of the cleanest data possible and you will too.

If you want to maintain response rates from 2-7% you must be on top of your game and NCOA Link® is one of the tools we pros use everyday.

Direct Mailing Innovations and the best Variable Data Printing from CSG Direct Mail get you Better Results Fast. Find out how our newest innovations and decades of proven results make us the direct mailing services partner and variable data specialists you are looking for.

Ak us anything or give us a call at 800-881-2150.

Casino direct mail campaign design and database artistry


Wouldn’t it be nice if your vendor knew your lingo, knew your challenges and also knew ways to increase your response or tweak a promotion? If you were to choose between two direct mail shops wouldn’t you select the one who could do that?

At CSG Direct Mail many of us have worked in casinos, primarily in database marketing and player rewards club positions. We also have a large team of affiliates out in the field promoting our services with their consulting packages.

With all this in mind we’d like to ask: Do you need more weekday guests? Would you like to get more return trips? How about some trip and player analysis? At CSG Direct Mail we are on your side of the equation. We have the tools, staff and experience to help you find the results you need.

In essence, you’ve found the heart of the casino direct mail industry. We specialize in bounce-backs, inactive farming, tracked redemptions, barcoding, birthdays, data appending of consumer file information, uploading NCOA files and so much more.

Casino direct mail marketing is a combination of visual art and database design. In order for this to be done effectively there are seven direct mail tasks we need to accomplish with your visual art and players club data.

1) Grab
2) Interest
3) Appeal
4) Convey
5) Compel
6) Track
7) Change

These are the 7 steps of the pros, which ones are you missing?

Grab your player’s attention at the mailbox. They get piles and piles of mail. If it doesn’t grab their attention they will surely throw it out.

Interest them enough to read your offers. Your artwork needs to pop and have catchy headlines. Make them want to open your offer!

Appeal to their personal wants and desires. With our digital variable data services we can easily rotate graphics to match the interests and personalities of your players.

Convey many details in a simple easy to follow format. People don’t like to read heavy paragraphs of text. Headlines with simple bullet points and easy descriptions are what you’re shooting for here.

Compel them to respond with physical action. Have them call to reserve their spot at that very moment! Adding personalized variable maps from their home to your casino will ease the complexity of the trip.

Track how the campaign affected response. We get stuck in the mentality that we need the best mailer quick and cheap. Don’t send out 1000 mailers to guests who aren’t interested in concerts, they won’t come. Think about cost per response as apposed to cost per piece.

Change the campaign based on the data from tracking. If the campaign didn’t work, try something new and innovative. Also keep changing it even though it worked. Your guests are constantly looking for new reasons to keep coming back to you.

The brutal reality about all this is that you probably need to accomplish everything in two days timeframe with five people critiquing your work and resubmitting changes to things they already changed. Take a breath! We’re here to help!

We become part of that process with you. We are postal Mailpiece Quality Control certified and have decades of experience on proofing copy and managing tiers. We know the data that drives the whole process. We optimize casino direct mail programs daily!

At your request we can also do the entire process for you. We do everything from creating in-house data pulling tools, customer ranking and tiers, direct mail campaigns, designs and offers as well as tracking and post-forma reporting.

We want you to relax because we’re the most qualified and affordable casino direct mail team you may ever meet. We are the people that really do the work behind the scenes. Our decades of unique casino direct mail experience bring greater value to the table every day.

Database Marketing Tips, National Change of Address

Database Marketing Tips:  NCOA your data!

Database Marketing Tips

Chris Ohm from our Data and Design Team

Building a clean and efficient database is the keystone to your direct mailing projects. Without such you may subject yourself to such “side effects” of higher postage rates, returned mail, low response and turnouts, and ultimately  un-reached clients.

Compiling a completely accurate list of your clients can take a long time, such as months and sometimes even years! By the time you decide to do a mailer, a quarter of those clients could have moved.

These clients would never receive your offer in the mail, and it would be mailed to the return address…you! If you have a 10,000 list of data and 100 people may have moved, this can result in a lot of people who will not receive your mailer. That’s where NCOA processing can save you some serious cash.

“National Change of Address” or NCOA, is a process in which your data is processed through a USPS backed second party. Once ran through the NCOA process anybody who had updated their current address through the Post Office, after moving, will have their address updated to reflect the new one. This can save a bundle of money and increase your advertisement’s response percentage.

You’ll want to utilize this with all mailing lists. On top of the NCOA process appending new addresses to old ones, It also produces a batch of addresses we call “NCOA BADS” these would be your clients that have moved, but did not update their address with the post office.

Here is an example of some percentages NCOA cleans in your data:

  • 80.92% Forwarded moves containing delivery point confirmed–New address provided
  • 1.18% Moves containing unconfirmed addresses – New address not provided
  • 13.80% Moved, left no address
  • 3.92% PO Box Closed
  • 0.18% Foreign moves

As you can see, a good portion of your data can potentially be un-mailable or returned back to you at great expense. Why waste the extra money of your print and postage costs?

Very few companies offer this service correctly, and even fewer offer it with the knowledge and capability that CSG provides for its customers.  For example, CSG can return you an updated list including the records that were corrected, the ones that did not move, and the few that moved but did not update their address.  Using this service maximizes your data’s efficiency so that your mailers will have higher response rates.

NCOA your data and the results can be rewarding!

Don’t forget to ask us how to get all that cleaned data back into your system.

Where did all of your customers go?

It’s hard enough to get new clients and even more difficult at times to keep them.
Active gamblers are the bread and butter of every casino and competing casinos work hard to pry your loyal customers away.  This is more than a competition of offers, free-play and room nights.  The heart of thisCSG Direct Mail active-player tug-of-war is a database strategy competition.

How much you know about your guests, how much you record about them in your database and then how well you use that information to your advantage is the art of casino direct marketing. We need to regularly ask ourselves what information about our guests we utilize beyond the simple play tracking and tiers we have created.

The simplest and most productive additional guest information that we need to use properly is the National Change of Address database provided by the US Postal Service. I will tell you that most casinos still today are not using this at all and when they do they are using it incorrectly.  One of the leading causes of lost guests is that 17% of them move per year and casinos are not following them properly and then addressing them with that new information.

In as quick as 3 years 51% of your database has moved.  Take a quick look at your inactive database counts and you know exactly what I am talking about.  Sure, it is not the only reason but if your competition is keeping their database more current than you it is just a matter of time before they crush you in the market place.

Your profits are being mailed to a garbage can.  As you are losing guests and your responses are dropping each month, you are probably mailing more pieces to make up the difference.  This increase in expenses dramatically reduces or eliminates the profits you would have made if you were not spending much more to get your responses back up. The biggest problem with this is that any pieces mailed standard to someone that has moved are thrown away by the US Postal Service.

Here are the main steps you should take to get back on top of your database.

  1. Do a 48 Month NCOA cleanse to go as far back as the US Postal Service goes.
  2. Upload all the changes back into your database  MOST IMPORTANT STEP!
  3. Re-code your bad-address flags to reflect all the changes.
  4. Re-code your Local/Non-Local flags based on their new addresses.
  5. Repeat with upload every 30-90 days with just the 18 Month NCOA Files.

Anything less is just surrendering your best clients to your competition.

We have been performing this process for casinos all over the country. The hardest step and the most important is the upload back into your player tracking system.  If you need help with that please feel free to call us and we’ll help make you shine.

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”.

Casino NCOA is now Mandatory

National Change of Address is now mandatory.

Something VERY IMPORTANT to consider is that almost every mailshop in the country SENDS YOUR DATABASE OUT to have NCOA done. Yes, your mailshop does too.  In my neck of the gaming world this throws up huge red flags. A big no no.

Currently, CSG Direct is the only mailshop in the state of Nevada directly licensed by the USPS as an NCOALink Limited Service Provider.  [Link]  We have been providing this service for casinos for many years and have perfected the process to make your job of cleaning up your in-house database easier.

Of course, we specialize in database marketing and gaming.

We’ve worked closely with Oasis Systems and others to help you find ways to upload your data back into your master database and save yourself weeks of data entry.

NCOALink Initiatives are Working

We are really starting to see the difference the NCOALink initiative was intended for. Each year we have seen 17-20% of the population move. Over 40% change their address annually. In the past we have dealt with returned mail and undeliverable piece percentages as high as 8-12+%. Because of this CSG Direct became a direct NCOALink limited service licensee years ago. This helped, but not as much as the USPS requiring NCOA services as of November of 2008.  Now people are taking it more seriously.

These high return rates are dropping dramatically with the new NCOA initiatives.

The US Postal Service says that Almost five out of every 100 mailpieces are UAA. When you look at UAA mail by reason, approximately 75 percent is caused by people moving. In addition, when you look at UAA mail by class, Standard Mail accounts for almost 63 percent of all UAA mail volume.”

So according to them you should be seeing an average of 5% undeliverable mailpieces.

This is the main reason why the USPS has pressed the NCOA initiatives and why we became the only NCOALink licensee in the state of Nevada.

The USPS delivered 202.7 BILLION pieces of mail in 2008. So just 5% of that is 10 billion pieces of undeliverable mail bouncing around in the system. They needed a way to eliminate that waste and the NCOA process is doing just that.  We are now seeing closer to 1% (or less) of all mailings being undeliverable with the NCOA process fully in place.  However, it is only required currently every 90 days and as we approach the 90 day cycle the mailings do tend to have higher returns.  Monthly or every-job requirements are bound to follow. An example of this requirement is the CASS process that was the predecessor of NCOALink.

In short, it will only get better, but it is only as good as the people that fill out the change of address forms.

Cup-more-than-half-full: At least with direct mail you know EXACTLY how many people did not get your message. With every other medium you will never know.  If I run a TV campaign I HOPE everyone sees it, I KNOW they don’t all see it, but I will never KNOW how many did.  Same with radio, print, billboards, E-mail, newspapers, etc.

Direct mail is responsible and accountable marketing. :)

Get More Information on NCOALink here at CSG Direct, Inc

Excel is NOT a Database Marketing Program

As a mathematical mind I would normally praise Microsoft’s signature product and how it has revolutionized so many industries. I myself use it on a daily basis and I have written several programs around it.  I feel right at home using it. But it’s not how I use it that has me concerned.

Excel has ruined more mailings than anything else in our industry!!!

Besides the fact that Microsoft registers this program as the default for almost every available type of file you have, Excel also figures it knows your database better than you.

Excel is NOT a database program! However, it has found its way into the database world and destroys projects daily across our country, and probably the world.
Exell sort option

First of all Excel does not hold record integrity. You are able to sort single columns and immediately scramble your database. It is common for a customer to sort the [Last name] field prior to giving us the data. They do this to see if they are in the database.  But then I end up getting a piece of mail saying Michael Smith instead of Michael Hemphill.

Secondly, it interprets your zip-codes as math. 95841-2205 = 93636 right?  wrong!
Excel is meant for Math, it is after all a spreadsheet program.

Don’t get burned by Excel by managing mailing lists with it. Consider yourself warned.