New iPads coming with USPS Confirm

Direct Mail iPad AppWell the new iPads are coming.  We’re still not sure if they are the iPad3 or iPad HD but the biggest bragging points are the Retina Display, faster processor and 4G connection speeds with Verizon and AT&T.

One of our favorite out-of-the-box applications on the iPad that we enjoy most at CSG Direct Mail is called Facetime.

Facetime allows us to video conference our offices when we’re on the road. It also allows us to be at company meetings remotely using the 2 built-in iPad cameras. This application alone made the iPad2 worth getting.  It will be even better in the iPad3/HD.

us mail trackingNo mention about the iPad would be complete if we didn’t mention our own iPad app called CSG Direct Mail in the iTunes app Store.

Our US Mail Tracking CSG Direct Mail app includes some very powerful USPS Confirm services built to make single piece lookup easy using your normal customer account ID’s to see how every single piece travels across the US through the mail stream.

Nobody else offers this kind of service!  The app is free in the iTunes store. Every mailing you send with us are tracked live.

CSG DIRECT MAIL includes Live Project Tracking from the CSG DIRECT MAIL Processing plant and Live US Mail Tracking as your pieces travel through the US Postal Service.

You can also track all the direct mail production steps through our multi-plant project tracking features.  Know exactly when your mailings are going out and track every penny you spend.

This app helps your planning, budgets, timing and delivery tracking.

This has been THE DREAM in direct mail for decades and we made it a reality! These newest innovations are built on our proprietary Direct Mail Tracking Systems.

USPS Confirm are registered trademarks of the US Postal Service

Digital Presses are Coming – Part 2

Digital Press PicThe saga continues at CSG Direct Mail as we have unwrapped our new digital presses and started preliminary configuration of all the components. The shipping materials are removed, all the sections mate correctly, and monitors and internal components have been installed. It is very exciting to see all the pieces come together as the machine begins to take shape!

Electricians are hard at work pulling wire, setting plugs and configuring the power necessary to feed this magnificent piece of print engineering. Our Facility Contractor is assisting us in reconfiguring the floor to accommodate our new 23 foot behemoths and new workflow it will involve.

Once power and facility upgrades are complete it will be time to slide the pieces into place, bolt it together and begin power-up and testing procedures. After this, training of operator personnel will start with full production to follow quickly.

Growth and expansion can be stressful at times pulling all the elements together, but it also gives one a sense of destiny as we see the future of our enhanced printing services forming before our eyes. Increased production capability, faster turn times and new services for our customers is that future at CSG Direct.

Check back for more updates as we move forward!

Managing Personal Worth Deflation

Most of us understand that asset values go up as the value of the dollar and your buying power go down due to inflation (I bought a $1.20 standard size candy bar today), but what about your personal worth and why do Americans keep losing jobs?Personal-Worth

There is a lot of conversation lately about the economy, unemployment and jobs as well as who should provide them and who should get them. One statistic you should understand is the employment ratio of Americans from age 15-64 years old which was 66.7% as of 2010.

That means 33.3% unemployment. This does not account for stay at home parents, students and early retirees who do not wish to be employed. However, The numbers do tell us that we should feel blessed to be part of the “haves” with gainful employment.
104 million people are unemployed!

I want you to think about your personal worth as businesses and employers all over the globe struggle to keep doors open in this bankrupt economy. What are you doing to make sure you stay employed in your lifetime? What makes you different than the 33.3% unemployed people that don’t have jobs?

Let’s compare business competition for sales to your personal competition for jobs.

A business owner has two paths to choose to sustain business. The most common method (the most dangerous) revolves around trying to be low-cost leaders for easier sales. In this method they usually hire the cheapest employees to create a profit at the lowest prices with this undertrained and under-appreciated workforce. They then attempt to copy what their competitors are doing long after they are doing it for as cheap as possible since tiny profit margins don’t afford you to lead at anything.

This is service and value deflation, you are behind your competition and worth less than those around you. This could easily describe the personal struggle for good paying jobs or the struggle for businesses to remain relevant and profitable.

In the personal-worth world (as a person), if you follow this model you will never create personal wealth because you quit creating personal worth. Businesses go broke everyday using this model too when just a small drop in the business cycle sends them to bankruptcy.

People lose their jobs everyday because they quit learning new skills and fail to increase their value to employers including the one they currently depend on. They become a labor commodity and they are easily replaced with cheaper labor or someone more eager to work and/or more skilled.

The other path for businesses is to increase value to their clients every year with new services, new products, unique programs and ways to help customers make money when they use your company. This is service and value inflation. This is where we inflate the worth of our services by increasing the value of those services to our clients. This is positive for all parties involved. It helps a business keep up with inflation, it provides an R&D budget for new products, helps your clients make more money and helps them inflate their values and worth to their clients as well.

What is your personal business model?
You compete in the marketplace for jobs and wages, what are you doing to increase your worth?
Are you unknowingly becoming a lowest wage commodity by not increasing your worth each year?

You are in a very weak position if you ever come to your employer for a “cost of living increase”. This means you are doing so little to better yourself that you are hoping your employer will give you more money for the exact same skills you had last year. You are asking for more money to offset your rising expenses in your personal world even though you have never invested in yourself or increased your skills, your offerings to your employer or your worth. You are not actively managing your personal worth.

Just think about those 33.3% unemployment rate. Those are college grads, ex-military men and women, machine operators, graphic artists, sales people and managers all looking for work just like what you have. How are you worth more than they are if they have skills a business can use and you are on personal-skill-cruise control?

As your value declines due to lack of growth (deflation), everyone else’s ongoing improvement makes them much more valuable (inflation) than you are. Who would get cut first if it came down to cutbacks and layoffs? This is how people lose jobs. They lose value (deflation) compared to those around them and they are pulling down the entire team by being the weakest part of the team. You need to help the team and yourself by getting better with new skills, knowledge and experience.

Even as a business owner I take new classes every year. I study and create new technology on my own time. I come up with ways to help clients save or make money without reducing our costs. I study the competition, I study industry trends and I do everything I can to stay ahead of my competition. That is what it takes to survive as a business.

Do you forget about work after 5pm or do you study and learn tricks and trends that make you more competitive in the workplace? Do you create value for your employer and yourself in a win win situation and inflate your skills and worth? Maybe you are unknowingly on skill-stand-still and will one day be worthless to any high paying employer. It’s worth your time to understand the difference.

It’s up to you to judge your personal growth and long-term goals but if you are not a valued leg of your company team you may want to rethink your long-term job prospects and the 104 million people that are looking for a job just like yours. Businesses are all looking for growth oriented employees and the win-win partnership of a truly growing and expanding skill set. Alternately, the skill-stand-still team are the first ones to get cut in a business down cycle. Don’t let that be you.

In the ultimate example of personal worth deflation (with no disrespect intended) the average Wal Mart greeter was once a very popular employee in the workforce that just let their skill set devalue against the rest of the population until they had no real value in the common workforce. We all joke about not wanting to end up there, but in all seriousness don’t let society required skill growth pass you by.

Here are some things you should ALL know by now:

  • MS Office
  • Blogging
  • Company Products
  • Customer Service
  • Twitter
  • Calendar Management
  • SQL
  • Smart phones
  • Online banking
  • email setup
  • online research
  • Linkedin
  • HTML
  • posting pictures
  • online security
  • virus avoidance

These are all skills needed to just get caught up with the rest of the workforce. To get ahead you should take classes related to your employment every year the rest of your working life. Step up your game folks. Survival of the fittest is a law of nature that you should not be ignoring.

New Digital Presses Arriving

New Digital PressesOur New digital Printing Presses have started to arrive in many pieces and will be put together soon.

YES!  New Digital Presses, More Digital Presses!

This will upgrade us to 9 Digital Presses and some serious high speed variable throughput.

I will talk about the new features and newest services as they get setup as well as show you our next variable data self-marketing pieces in the weeks ahead.

But right now it feels like the night before Christmas here at CSG Direct Mail.


The CSG Direct Mail Story Continues

Michael and Lorrie Hemphill

Michael and Lorrie Hemphill

I have been asked by my team to rewrite our direct mail story for a new brochure where we don’t have as much room and still need to cover “the good stuff”, so to speak. I like to take this opportunity to add current details to get everyone up to speed on the future of direct mail as well.

After working in a variable statement mailroom at TRW, Michael Hemphill was hired to be an equipment installer and trainer.  This was the same time the US Postal Service introduced the postnet barcode and Michael was one of the leaders on the west coast in training his technicians and 3000 new customers on using postnet barcodes to receive postage discounts.

Michael helped companies like Sprint, MCI, Pac Bell, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the California and Nevada State Mailrooms get into automation.  “I have worked in over a thousand mailrooms installing equipment and training employees,” Michael recalls.

Michael then moved to Nevada to help casinos take advantage of some of the leading edge database management software available for direct mail. Some casinos reported increased response up to 30% over traditional responses rates after implementing Michael’s advice.

Since then CSG Direct Mail has expanded 10 times to our current 50,000 square foot Reno-Tahoe facility and has added our newest Las Vegas office.  We have helped many great companies like:

  • Raley’s
  • Scolari’s
  • Silver Legacy
  • MGM
  • Facebook
  • Wells Fargo
  • Harrah’s Entertainment
  • Tropicana Entertainment
  • Atlantis Hotel Casino
  • Peppermill Resort Casino
  • Eldorado Hotel Casino
  • Terrible’s Casinos
  • Stations Casinos
    …and many others

CSG Direct Mail has created many of the industry’s newest services:

  • LIVE direct mail job tracking portal – 1999
  • – an event marketing site – 2003
  • Bonus Bucks direct mail rewards program – 2006
  • LIVE mail piece tracking systems – 2008
  • iTunes Direct Mail tracking app – 2010
  • Variable maps for direct mail – 2011

With three decades in variable database marketing and the largest digital print plant in the West,
CSG Direct Mail continues to provide the greatest value and better results fast to our clients.

POSTNET Barcode Discontinuation Proposed

dmm-advisoryToday, the POSTNET™ Barcode Discontinuation proposed rule was posted on the Federal Register website and soon it will be posted on the Postal Explorer® website under Federal Register.

The proposed rule includes the basis for discontinuing use of POSTNET™ barcodes and allowing only Intelligent Mail® barcodes (IMb™) for automation price eligibility by January 2013. The Postal Service™ understands that many mailers currently use POSTNET barcodes and we are committed to providing information to and working with individual mailers and software providers to ensure that the use of an Intelligent Mail barcode is achievable for all mailing customers.

The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) is available on Postal Explorer ( To subscribe to the DMM Advisory, send an e-mail to Simply indicate “subscribe” in the subject line