New US Postage Rates 2016

The First-Class stamp has increased to 47 cents as of April 10, 2016. The US Postal Service has officially announced the postage rates for the 2016 mailing season. The Post Office has recently switched from doing large postage increases every 4 years to a smaller increase each year to keep up with costs and industry fluctuations.

This April we actually got a postage PRICE REDUCTION.

CSG Direct likes to keep you informed of changing postage rates!

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Add Drive Time Distance to your Customer Database

Did you know you can classify your customers based on the drive time distance to your business? You can use drive time distance to configure offers, analyze trends, and identify marketing opportunities inside your customer database.

Some of the distance, drive time and address data we can add for you:

  • Drive Time (based on shortest route)Drive Time Data
  • Distance(as bird flies)
  • Longitude/Latitude
  • Zip+4
  • Address Verification (CASS)
  • National Change of Address updates (NCOA)

We offer this  valuable service as an offline bulk process or as an automated daily update to your in house customer database. Your database can be cleaned, verified, and updated daily, weekly or monthly – keeping it completely current despite your customers changing address.

We can also help you add triggered automated direct mail and/or emails to compliment this service! You can call us at 800.881.2150 or request a quote at csgdirect.com to discuss your specific needs.

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US Postage Rates will not rise January 2015

U.S. Postal Service to Maintain Current Product and Service PricesDirectMailingServices

 Oct. 1, 2014–The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have decided not to seek a price change for mail and shipping products and services in January in part because of the uncertainty regarding the exigent price increase.  This means that the current pricing of postal products and services will remain in effect through the holiday season and early part of 2015.  The Board will continue to evaluate pricing strategies and will communicate about any potential price change filings in early 2015.  As always, the Postal Service will provide customers advance notice of any price changes.

UPDATE MARCH 2015: Postage Rates are scheduled to increase slightly in April 2015

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Are your casino players getting your direct mail?

Are your casino players getting your direct mail?

You might find that not all of your good players are getting your casino direct mail offers.

If you have great players you might automatically assume that your casino is mailing direct mail offers to them. However, there are some really common reasons why your offers might not be arriving in your customers mail box.  Let me spell out for you at least common reasons why they are not.

NO PREFERRED NAME

Patron SQL Reports

Patron SQL Reports

In some player management systems you are able to maintain several “names” of the player. This includes Primary Name, Preferred name, Nick names, Alias etc. When this feature is available you must also select the ‘Preferred name’ in your direct mail queries or the person will not be included in your mailing lists.

In IGT Patron Management for example, try this query:


SELECT PN.playerid,DateEnrolled,max(cast(ispreferredname as int)) as TopPref
FROM PlayerManagement.dbo.PlayerName PN
JOIN PlayerManagement.dbo.player c on PN.playerid = c.playerid and c.Status = ‘A’ –Actives
GROUP BY PN.playerid,DateEnrolled
HAVING max(cast(ispreferredname as int)) = ‘0’

How many records do you get?

These players are not getting direct mail of any kind from your property.

Go into each players account and update the player record so they have a preferred name.
We have queries for our clients to fix these records and eliminate the problem.

BAD ADDRESSES (No Zip+4)

Usually 5-10% of your player management system if full of addresses that the US Postal Service says don’t exist or they cannot deliver to. You query these records and send them to your direct mail printing partner thinking they are going to get delivered.

They are not getting your mail.

You need to have this list of bad addresses provided back to you. There are many ways to clean these records. Many address errors will be very obvious when you look at them directly. Typos, numbers, spacing and extra typing in the address fields are usually half the problem.

NATIONAL CHANGE OF ADDRESS

When you mail presorted standard (3rd class) up to 17% of your mailing list may be going directly to a trash can.

Its OK to have your print and mail partner update your mailing list before it goes out, but it is NOT OK to leave the old address in your player system.

These days there are also many ways to update your entire player system with cleaned addresses instead of keeping dirty data and having your print and mail partner cleaning it each time.  If you are not handling this low hanging fruit than you are wasting your time building new promotions that your players may not receive.

We can clean your entire database and usually import them back into your player system for you or assist you in the process.

We’re here to help!

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NCOA IGT Patron Addresses

IGTNCOASo, you have the Patron player management system from IGT and your customers are moving at a rate of 17% per year.  (The US Postal Service says 17% is the national average amount of people that move per year)

Your inactives are growing and you have no way of cleaning or updating the addresses in your system.

This is the way it has been for years with the IGT system and it is a plague on marketing results nationwide.

It doesn’t have to be that way!!

If after every mailing your system automatically updated your in-house Patron database with change of address records from the US Postal Service  you would have clean marketing data month-after-month.  But you can’t???

We can help!

You see, as a direct mail automation facility not only can we send triggered daily same-day mailings streaming directly from you Patron database… We can also update your entire database and automate 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 cleaned by your mailshop printer, but not updated into your internal database. YOUR Database should be a clean source of up-to-date marketing information.  So why are you not updating it?

Our customer save lots of money and increase marketing response percentage by having clean in-house mailing addresses and you should too.

Give us a call at 800-881-2150 x80 or get a quote today.

It’s cheap, easy and automated.  There is no longer any excuse.

Let us help you with all your direct mail. Nobody does personalized mailers better!

We CAN Help!

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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!!

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Direct Mail Company Expansion

CSG Direct Mail and Digital Printing is combining our plants in Reno Nevada.

Direct Mail Company FacilityWe are combining our Las Vegas Facility and our Reno Facility into a single facility in Reno Nevada. Fate once again has us moving into some place bigger and better.  We are moving all our presses into one fabulous facility at 640 Maestro Dr #100, in beautiful Reno Nevada.

As a company that designs, prints and mails direct mail marketing for customers all over the country, we have lots of options as to where we want our plant.  We choose Reno Nevada based on its ideal location for distribution and its ideal location for living.

Reno is a little city with big town swagger.

IDEAL FOR DISTRIBUTION: Reno-Sparks is on Interstate-80; just East of the San Francisco ship yards, in tax-friendly Nevada. Companies from all over the world come to Reno Nevada as a major distribution point to the rest of the Country.  Some companies with handle major distribution in our area are Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, Intuit Software, JC Penny, RR Donnelly and we are now welcoming Apple to our region.

Reno is an ideal location for fast distribution across the country for our customers. We have tracked 2-3 day delivery to Texas and Colorado with US Mail tracking of standard mail.

biggestlittlecityIDEAL FOR LIFE: Living alongside Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Range is “The Biggest Little City” with Big City Swagger.  Talented people are drawn to this region for a better life and a place to flourish in a balance of work and play.

Where else can you work until 5 O’clock and by 6 O’clock you can be skiing, hiking, boating, horse-riding, snowmobiling or rafting, paragliding or motorcycle riding in many directions of beautiful mountain and country roads?  Reno-Tahoe is a very personally rewarding place to live and work.

CSG Direct is a large digital printing company for direct mail in Nevada with 9 digital presses. We invented US Mail Tracking and unique iPhone apps to track every piece of mail you send. We created variable printed maps and we are a Full Service Intelligent Mail provider with the USPS. We have very rare combination of direct mail skills, tools and innovations indeed.

As a National Direct Mail innovator we would be a leader in any city we chose to work from.  We are glad to call the Biggest Little City home. #BiggestLittleCity

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Tap into the Craft Beer Boom

Tap into the Craft Beer Boom

May 13-19th was American Craft Beer Week and it was celebrated by millions of Americans with the same passion as Christmas, 4th of July or Memorial Day weekend.  It was a full week celebrating American craft beer and boy did we enjoy some wonderful, mind bending, hard-to-find beers.

The reason I am in front of you today confessing my beer indulgences of the last 7 days is to try and plug you into one of America’s biggest, booming consumer trends.  The hottest growth sector in America right now is craft beer.

Craft beer followers are passionate. They will pay more for quality and will travel anywhere to try a beer they are interested in. They will NOT stay at your establishment if you only have “corporate beer”.  This is something you need to know.

Many customers will define you by what you have on tap!

Craft Beer Industry Growth

Craft beer industry growth reminds me of previous industries like personal computing, the internet or the 80s music boom. As business operators we are always trying to identify consumer trends to integrate into our business.

2012 U.S. Craft Beer Statistics: (courtesy of brewersassociation.org)craft beer boom

  • Craft beer sales grew 15%
  • 108,440 small brewing jobs were created
  • Craft beer sales was $10.2 Billion
  • 409 new breweries opened in 2012

The craft beer business is BOOMING because of a passionate customer base.

Customers are Passionate About Craft Beer

Millions of thriving thirsty fans are in search of great craft beer and will travel anywhere to get it.  You really should get to know these consumers.

Craft beer people are very socially connected, ready to travel and happy to spend $8-$22 for a beer.  They visit breweries as a group on a regular basis.  They spend lots of time and money trying to discover unique and hard to find craft beers.

I have been to 15-20 breweries with friends and family and happily spent lots of money on everything they offer.  They have great food, gift shops and beer. We always share our craft beer trips on social networks and also take pictures to make our friends jealous and to show we found another good craft beer location.

Craft beer fans are passionate groupies and the search for new beers is the ultimate scavenger hunt. Some of the best craft beers are brewed in small batches and there are bragging rights on great finds and lots of great stories to tell.

You want this kind of spending and sharing passion from your gaming guests, too.

Adding a Brewery, Tap-takeover or Craft Beer Event?
It is easy to “tap” into this passionate group of consumers!

Do you have a brewery or do you have craft beer events?  You too can have fans from around the country coming to see you. Which direction is right for you?

Adding a brewery to a casino to capture this passionate group of consumers is not new.  I have been to the Triple-7 Brewery at Main Street Station in Las Vegas, Brew Brothers at the Eldorado in Reno and the Feather Falls Casino in California’s in-house brewery as well.

PROS:

  • You get your own beer reputation and potential cult following
  • The most profit-per-glass is brewing beer in bulk

CONS:

  • A lot more work and commitment
  • Bigger up-front costs
  • You’ll need a seasoned brewmaster

It goes without saying that it is important you create great beer, too! To start your own brewery you’ll need a brewmaster that has passion for the art of brewing.  It will be a partnership just like you have with your chef.

The goal is to create great beer people love and consistency from batch to batch.

Tap-Takeovers, in my opinion, are the easiest way for anybody to get started. A tap-takeover is when you bring in an outside brewer and let them replace all your beer on tap with theirs for an evening event.  I love a good tap takeover.  These are all the rage right now and it’s cheap and exciting for everyone involved.

Brewers are artists who love to share their art.  A tap-takeover is a great honor for the brewer and your guests so everyone is easy to work with and eager to please.  These are very win-win situations for you, your guests and the brewer.

PROS:

  • The brewer is motivated to make this inexpensive for you for exposure
  • You can have a different brewer every week, allowing for many profitable events
  • Craft beer people will come back over and over – building great loyalty
  • Great for inexpensive VIP events and food-paring parties

CONS:

  • Someone has to arrange, negotiate and manage the brewers

A brewer normally brings 5 types of beers so your guests all find something to love and they get more people tasting their favorite craft brews.

Craft Beer Events are growing like gangbusters all over the country. Reno itself has craft beer events like Brew Ha Ha at John Ascuaga’s Nugget,  BBQ Blues and Brews at Eldorado Hotel & Casino, EuroFest at Sands Regency, CanFest held at the Peppermill, and so many more.  The crowds are quite impressive!

PROS:

  • Craft beer events sell out
  • Guest come prepared to spend time and money
  • Sell lots of food easily too
  • Guests tell their friends “you missed it, man” and the events grow each year
  • The event builds a reputation and grows easily with less marketing budget

CONS:

  • Increased marketing budget for the first events
  • Profits spikes once – only during the event
  • A large venue area is needed

These are great events and, when managed properly, guests are putty in your hands for everything else you want them to buy or do at your event.  They came to get involved in all the games, contests and fun that you can offer.

Make it fun, have fun yourself.

Cheers!

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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!

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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.

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