Tracking Results

Tracking Direct Mail Results

Tracking Direct Mail

Direct Mail is one of the most track-able and accountable forms of marketing today. The science and art of direct mail is the ability to test variables, track the results and adjust a campaign based on what you learn.  Only database driven marketing like direct mail has this valuable feature.

We’re constantly tracking:

  • Mailed Pieces
  • Intelligent Mail Barcodes
  • Mail Piece Delivery Times
  • Mail Piece Delivery Routes
  • QR Code Activity
  • Customer Logins and Uploads
  • Driving Directions usage
  • Duplicate Records
  • Changes of Address
  • Clicks, Scans and Exposure
  • Live Job Production flow
  • Postage and Service costs

TRACKING PORTAL

Login 24/7 for live details and tracking on all your projects.
Reports include:

  • LIVE Jobs
  • Job History
  • Postage Calculator
  • Bonus Bucks
  • Mail Piece Tracking and more

Our systems send detailed full job reports in daily or weekly emails. When each project is completed an email is sent summarizing details. Mailing projects get emailed live links to interactive maps of geographical areas targeted and the live USPS delivery data.

Our Portal first launched in 1999 and has since become an important part of our many Direct Mail Cloud Services.

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - iPhone

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - Top Zips

Tracking Map

Tracking Map - USPS

 

 

 

 

BONUS BUCKS

Track all the bonus bucks you earn in the CSG Direct Bonus Bucks program.  “Bonus Bucks” is our customer rewards program.  You earn a series of different bonuses based on the type of programs you took advantage of at CSG Direct Mail.

Our customers have earned over $50,000 in Bonus Bucks over the last year and they are redeemable up to $1000 per month at a time.  This is a real valuable program and our clients use them for free mailings and digital printing services all year long.

INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODES

Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) are the newest USPS Barcode that combines US Postnet and Planet Code Barcodes. CSG Direct is a Full Service Intelligent Mail Barcode with Confirm provider and leads the industry with some of the newest IMB innovations.

CSG Direct US Mail Tracking Systems track every single piece of direct mail you send with simple look-ups using your in-house customer account numbers.

CSG Direct Mail tours the National Postal Forum

Sometimes when you have your head buried in your own innovations you forget to look up and see what everyone else is doing. This year we decided to go to NPF (National Postal Forum) and get inspired. We want to be ready for our next series of innovations. NPF is the fundamental basis for the entire industry and it’s a great place to see if anyone’s catching up to us. Unfortunately NPF has yet to amaze us, but it is always interesting to see what if can offer to the direct mail marketing bunch.

You can have lots of great marketing ideas but at the end of the day you still need to fold the letter and insert it into an envelope. That is where NPF plays its roll. The National Postal Forum is a national event that brings mailing equipment manufacturers. It allows them to show off their goods to the mail processing industry. I have been ‘the manufacturer’ at many of these over the years but this year we come as the mail processor.

Michael at National Postal Forum My interest this year in NPF was new US Mail Tracking solutions that have popped up with the new IMB Barcodes. There were a few, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

The show was held in sunny San Diego California right on the oceanfront. It was beautiful!

 

San Diego Convention CenterSunny San DiegoSan Diego Convention Center

 

 

 

 

National Postal ForumUS Postal Service

 

 

 

 

We’ll, like I said I am here for tracking mostly. However we thought it would be a great chance to peek at some of the newest inkjets and other technologies too. For those who haven’t followed me until now I have been talking about direct mail tracking since about 1990 when I was an early trainer of the original postnet barcodes introduced by the US Postal Service. Even then I was fascinated by the idea that we could track pieces of mail in “the near future”, however it has taken almost 20 years for that technology to get here.

The real breakthrough was the introduction of the newer barcodes including planet codes and the new Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB). The 1st company to create tracking was originally a mail shop that built track-my-mail and then got bought by Pitney Bowes. They were the originals, however their systems (imho) are not based on the right angles of consumer need ( I’m here Pitney, come by and see us ☺ ).

Vendors at the show talked about their particular angle on US Mail Tracking. As I watched and listened to each company explain in detail how their systems worked, I could easily see they were missing the point. Yes, there are tons and tons of data being stored and tons of pieces being tracked, but what does that mean to the consumer? Not once did they answer this question, lol. Anyway, I don’t like to kiss and tell too much. We see the entire US Mail Tracking system in a different spectrum of light.

The new vendors have some roadblocks ahead of them. For example, one of the vendors is putting your entire mailing list online for you to do a lookup by address or name. Is mailing data not private? Hackers are everywhere and even data in the cloud isn’t safe. Why would you put a customer’s private database online when they wont even do that for themselves? There are other ways to go about these procedures gentlemen.

Other vendors we saw struggled with the naming of their new products. Where we own TrackDirectMail.COM others have had to dabble in .NET addresses. Take for example findmymail.NET where the .COM is owned by Pitney Bowes. That is going to cause you some legal expenses if you ask me. Perhaps they should buy one of the extra tracking URL domains that we own.

Only one vendor was talking about a future mobile app and everyone knows we currently own that space. We have the only direct mail app in iTunes and we have been there for over a year now. I found their business models lacking in reality too. For example, the average tracking cost per mailing is now about $25. The end game is free people, might as well get a grip on reality now.

At $25 they need to sell/track 40,000 mailings per year to earn just $1 million dollars. With trade show expenses, sales people, phones, R&D, computers, servers, marketing and other expenses this is a losing deal. Just think of the sales staff expense and the idea that they are selling $25 items. If they sell 10 per day they sell $250 and they cost you probably $125 of that or more. Good Luck my fellow tracking brothers. I think you will need it, we offer our tracking FREE already.

US Mail Tracking for Smartphones

US Mail Tracking

It has been over a year now since we designed our first tools for US Mail Tracking using the US Postal Services Confirm Services. The US Postal Service got the ball rolling with the new Intelligent Mail Barcodes and we ran with it to create some of the nations most innovative US Mail Tracking Tools to-date.

Today we launched a website that takes this innovation even further. www.trackdirectmail.com is the launch of what will become the nations most publicly accessible US Mail Tracking tools in the nation.

At Trackdirectmail.com you can demo the live mapping tools that are incorporated into CSG Direct’s Direct Mail Portal for live project tracking. You can also directly track any Live tracking numbers that CSG Direct has assigned for your mailpieces.

Last but not least, We have also launched our 3rd and most impressive US Mail Tracking Widget.

With this US Mail Tracking widget you can have IMB based direct mail tracking embedded into any website in the country. This takes direct mail tracking to the next level.

If you would like US Mail Tracking embedded into your website or if you would like to be one of our additional beta sites just contact me and we can arrange it.

Are new postage rates justified in direct mail?

All things being what they are, I am normally one of the first people to bash large bureaucratic entities such as the US Postal Service. The monopoly that they hold over the industry, the civil service mentality and attitude as well as the constant increases in the cost of doing business leave them as a wide-open target.

In thinking about the new Postage Rates, however, I also feel compelled to compliment the postal service for the latest developments that they have introduced. It has been quite an undertaking! Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of room for improvement and a many areas that they can improve on. Today let’s look at some of the positives, because they deserve to be recognized.

One of the most amazing new developments with the US Postal Service is the implementation of the intelligent mail barcode systems. It is mind-boggling to think of the amount of data retrieval, data collection and data distribution that this system is capable of. This helps the post office to track delivery times and pinpoint problematic areas within their system.

It has also been a great tool for mail service providers such as CSG Direct to build systems around for individual US Mail tracking. This is a dream come true for Direct Marketing professionals to be able to track their mailings online. It allows them to gauge delivery times, track individual pieces and better plan their projects.

Another item that I believe bears consideration is the expense of fuel that has spiked and dropped several times in recent memory. As a transportation and delivery entity, the postal service is sharply affected by fuel costs. I know in my household fuel prices have strained the budget considerably. These costs cannot be absorbed for long periods of time – especially at the volumes that the USPS consumes.

I believe that the postal service is working diligently to improve service and delivery times. With some of the new requirements for NCOA standards, enhanced barcoding and ongoing customer relationship building. I am seeing great strides of improvement in a large entity that is slow to change.

If we can only get them to work in a more customer friendly atmosphere in regard to the incessant changes and rules for mailpiece design and construction. They change the rules – industry adjusts – then they change the rules because they do not like the industry adjustments. The recent flat changes are a good example of this.

In May of 2007, the flat rate increase was harsh, so the industry started changing to smaller booklets and slimjims that were subject to the letter rate category. Now the post office is implementing new rules on these types of mailers that will cost the preparers more money to process and slow down the production. This should have been taken into consideration in 2007 when the USPS raised the flat rates to get mailers to change their formats and remove some of the burden from the flat sorters.

OOPS… I am going off on a rant – not the intention here.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the positive changes that the post office and the mailing industry are encountering. The new technologies are very cool, and very useful. If you are not taking advantage of these new technologies, then you are missing the boat! If you would like to learn more about US Mail Tracking, give one of the Direct Mail Specialists at CSG Direct a call. We are here to help!

Casino Marketing, Bulk US Mail Tracking is making a difference

Well, the word is definitely spreading about the unique direct mail innovations coming out of Reno, Nevada.  Ironically, the US Postal Service is worried about record profit losses just when the final direct mail dream is realized with US Mail Tracking.

Our innovations on the cover of Casino City Vendors Guide:

We have really started making an impact on reducing the postage expenses of all our Casino Marketing customers.

No matter where your direct mail is processed you have to correctly time your direct mail delivery. For the rest of the country this is still just guessing and estimation, at CSG Direct we’re hitting bullseyes.

We’re about to roll out three new tools to add to these innovations. I’ll tell you about them as we get closer to release.

US Mail Tracking – aka Bulk Mail Tracking

Haven’t you always wished you could see inside the mail system and figure out where your mailpieces were?

Here’s where we hit the rocket boosters!

CSG Direct, Inc has America’s first public direct mail tracking system in the countryWHAT? you say.

This is a dream decades in the making and just another example of why we should be on your team. Isn’t this the kind of tool you need or deserve to do your job right?

This is a revolution! But it’s ready for you right now.

Our proprietary process converts USPS tracking gobbledeygook into very easily searchable reports using your very familiar customer account numbers. A revolution!

It’s called TrackDirectMail.com and is only available here at CSG Direct, Inc. (24/7 of course).

You’ve really got to see this in action to see the dream come to life.

Track Direct Mail Portal in Works

We are working feverishly to provide a direct mail tracking portal site sole and separate from the CSG Direct website. This will provide other mailers an opportunity to track direct mail.

Track Direct Mail Confirm system development

I’ll keep you up to date as we near completion but much of what we are doing there will remain secret until we roll out the program.  If you have ideas or suggestions on what you would like included, just contact me.

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

More Media Coverage of our Bulk Mail Direct Mail Tracking

Here is a new link to more of the media coverage surrounding our new direct mail tracking systems: http://www.nnbw.biz/ArticleRead.aspx?storyID=12294

The true beauty of being able to hold direct mail more accountable is really sinking in with our new inventions!

I would like to remind everyone that this is just ONE thing that we have built that we are talking about today.  We have a large collection of tools and services we have built before this that no one else has either.

I know, this is a big one!

However, you may just very well be shocked by what we have coming next.
It’s a whopper too.

It takes time to roll out inventions in our industry, but believe me when I say our pipeline is full of them and they will continue to see daylight over the coming months and years.