Raving Insider Party

Fellow ravers and NIGA attendees, you’re invited to the Raving Insider Party! Tuesday, April 3 from 9pm to midnight. At the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, San Diego, in the Gaslamp.

401 G Street, 4th Street Entrance

Enjoy a night infused with Cocktails, Cigars & cool conversation!

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.

I’m a Digital Variable Data Printing Press Operator and Technician

The people that ask what I do for a living are frequently taken aback by my initial, truncated answer.

I’m a Digital Press/Machine Operator and Technician for a company called CSG Direct Inc.

Such conversations tend to go one of two ways at this point:
Those that have seen our commercial, usually hilariously start singing the jingle to me.
Those that haven’t often question the nature of what I do or ask, “What is that”?

The longer I work at CSG Direct, the more I’m finding the most appropriate and accurate answer to the second question. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a clear and concise execution of verbal symmetry:

We’re not only in the business of Direct Mailing, We are the future of Direct Mail!

It is, all too frequently, easy to write this off as your standard brainwashed stock phrase and go with the reductive viewpoint of Direct Mail being the junk mail that you ask for as unfortunately, this is what I find most people presently understand it to be.

However, people’s minds begin to open to the idea of what’s involved when I tell them I can expand no further upon the nature of my work as sensitive information is involved.

My experience has taught me that this is important and priceless (both in the short and long run) in an age where competitors (telemarketers and maverick consultants) flippantly use Client/Vendor biometrics in a way that’s arguably fiscally and ethically invasive and offensive.

The team at CSG Direct Inc. aims to either refine these crude attempts into something valuable or make such situations a thing of the past. Value. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

That is why we, as a company can afford to make the ostentatious claims; because we get the job done, efficiently, timely, respectfully and in a manner that keeps all-around satisfaction at a high.

I Print. Therefore, I am. Still, I’d like to leave you with the idea that whatever may happen to come off my machine, if it has your name on it, it will be something that you can value. It’s not just MY focus it’s ours.


CSG Direct Mail and the Postal Customer Council

The Postal Customer Council® (PCC®) program is a valuable resource for business mailers, large and small. Local PCCs serve as an open channel for USPS-to-business communication, providing information and best practices for cost-effective and profitable mailing, education and training, and solving local challenges. Though most PCC members include large business mailers, government agencies, and business mail service providers, small businesses can benefit from PCC membership, too.

Your local PCC offers these benefits…

• Learn from postal experts about marketing through the mail.
• Find new sources for mailing lists. Printing, database management, and more.
• Get discounts to major mailing industry events.
• Network with other mailers, business mail service providers, and USPS executives to discover new ways to make your mailings more efficient and profitable.
• Hear first-hand from other decision-makers on how they deal with the same challenges you face.
• Leverage best practices to improve mailing effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability.
• Gain knowledge about postal products, services, and tools to improve mail quality through workshops and events—and earn a professional certificate to boot.

The US Postal Service continues to modernize and automate steps to keep postage low and better serve its clients. Every event put on by your local Postal Costumer Council is a chance to come learn about new and innovative features.

For example the new Business Customer Gateway from the US Postal Service. The Business Customer Gateway gives you a single, unified landing point to access the Postal Services’ online business offerings. These channels consist of the products that support intelligent Mail Full Service Mailing. This includes PostalOne!, FAST (Facility Access and Shipment Tracking), CLDS (Customer Label Distribution System) and Mailer IDs (MID).

For more information and PCC locations in Nevada:

Northern Nevada PCC
2000 Vassar Street
Reno, NV 89510-9998Cindy Cornelison,
PCC Postal Co-Chairman

T (775) 788-0690
F 775-333-2805Matt Balzer,
PCC Industry Co-Chairman

T 775-331-5554
Southern Nevada PCC
1001 E Sunset Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89199-9996
Web siteCraig Colton,

T (702) 361-9200
F (702) 361-9215Marilyn Fenimore,
Customer Relations Coordinator

T 702-361-9544

CSG Direct Mail is proud member of the Better Business Bureau

You cannot be a trusted Direct Mailing and Variable Data Printer if you are not A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau

The vision of the better business bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. In order for a business or company to be a part of the Better Business Bureau one needs to follow certain standards. These Standards for Trust are a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and best practices focused on how businesses should treat the public – fairly and honestly in all circumstances.

Build Trust
Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.

Advertise Honestly
Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.

Tell the Truth

Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.

Be Transparent
Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy.

Honor Promises
Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.

Be Responsive
Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

Safeguard Privacy
Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.

Embody Integrity
Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

All BBB accredited businesses as well as CSG Direct Inc. have agreed to live up to the Standards for Trust. At CSG Direct, we have a long history in honoring these trusts. Our direct mail team helps us create new mailing services that help you out from the moment you pick the phone to call us.

We are direct mail trainers, mailroom managers, database marketing managers, mail room service equipment operators and technicians. We know you aren’t “dabbling” in direct mail and neither are we. We have one of the friendliest, most experienced mailing services teams in the direct mail business.

“There are a lot of direct mail companies out there and everyone talks a good talk. We know that our gaming clients need this critical resource to execute their direct mail campaigns. We believe we have found the right partners in Michael Hemphill and his team at CSG Direct Mail. What’s unique about CSG, and especially boy “technical wonder” Michael, is that they are always looking for the latest tools to keep their clients at their most effective. They are not only a partner of Raving’s, we have been their client as well. We look to our partnership with the CSG Team – and sharing them as a strategic resource with our customers.” -Dennis Conrad, President and Chief Strategist, Raving Consulting Company

We live and breathe direct mail strategy, digital printing and results! From experience; if you always reach for ‘the cheapest bid’ it may be best to not mail at all. The road to Direct Mail success is littered with the bones of people who thought they tried direct mail only to have failed because they thought they we’re saving a couple bucks.

gonnahappen.com calendar of events add yours free

We all know how difficult it is to find FREE event advertising. Gonnahappen.com is everywhere, use us as your Events Calendarfor Reno Events, Las Vegas Events, Northern California and Southern California Events too.  Really nationwide, but big in the West!

gonnahappen.com has all the events that are gonnahappen

It’s easy as 1,2,FREE, 4

Easy! -create an account within seconds and start posting your events!

Cheap! -want more coverage for your events, simple upgrade cheap!

Effective! -anywhere from 600-6000 people will hear about your event!

Did we mention it’s FREE! -FREE to sign up, upgrade cheap! Ask about free ad space!

Signing up for a free account on gonnahappen is as simple as 1,2,FREE,4! If you sign up today, add all the cheap upgrades to your account and you’ll receive free ad space! Load 5 events and get a FREE banner size of 120×90. Load 10 events and you get a FREE banner size of 400×75. These banners rotate spontaneously on our home page so you get even more coverage.

Add your events today! gonnahappen.com is your events calendar!

The upgrades include a hosted image, reminders, tell a friend, a calendar network, an extended text feature and a forum. The normal upload form usually does the trick but in order to add some visual appeal and more information to your event use the upgrades to spice it up!

Our famous “Remind Me Later” service gives visitors the ability to set reminders to your event so they don’t forget to come.
This is one of the most active services on our site. The stats on how many people do set reminders are in your “myStuff” control panel stats. Aside from setting reminders for you events, your visitors can spread the word with the “Tell a Friend” service. This is very popular, common and effective word-of-mouth service.

Calendar-Network is a service that puts your events into our Calendar-Network. This means that your event will be in our Calendar-Tools all over the web. If someone had taken our calendar feature and embedded it into their website your event will go right along with it. The possibilities for exposure are limitless!


If you’re throwing a large event such as a Brew fest, Carnival, Car Show, etc. you might be interested in our Review Travel Package. All you need to do is send us four tickets to your public event.

Two of those tickets we give away on gonnahappen.com. Anywhere from 600-6000 people will hear about your event. The other two tickets are for our staff to attend the event. We take high quality photos; Twitter and Facebook while at the event and write a full blog review including permanent links from our site to yours.

Government vs Americans on spending and taxation

Government vs the People

This is off topic but important for all of us.

The government as a whole is in big trouble and they want to drag us all down with them.  Pretty rough waters ahead guys.  some words of caution…

There are 4 new back to back tax increases coming our way:
1) The New “Jobs bill” requires 447 billion in new taxes with over 80% planned to come from small business owners like us and that affects you too.

2)  End of tax cuts from last administration’s for small business

3) “Super committee” Tax increases are coming to recover 1.5 trillion over 10 years.

4) New Healthcare Taxes and mandates with increases in your healthcare costs too.

*) We are also getting huge increases in “fees” on everything we buy.

This is a really tough time to be a business owner or employee in America,
and they are just getting started.

This is just 4 new taxes coming and NONE of it will balance our budget so we still will have 19 Trillion to pay back after all this.  19 Trillion will require massive new taxes on top of that.  MASSIVE, CRUSHING TAXES AND FEES ON EVERYTHING will still be needed

This is just the stuff on the surface you see, the government is also buying stuff from itself by printing money in a never ending loop that increases the costs of food, gas, energy and everything else you buy. It creates price inflation on everything you buy so every dollar you make is only worth $.40 after Federal Taxes, Sales Taxes, Gas Taxes and then price inflation on the food you buy.  Geez, this is not going to get better either.

my point…
We cannot pay back the money our government has spent all around the world.
…and they still wont stop spending it every single day.

The government is bankrupt and they would rather drown you and I in a great depression than lose a moment of luxury and power that they enjoy. (politicians)

The government is bankrupt and they think you care more about the American system than you do about the food you put on your family table.

Don’t vote for their crushing new taxes on you, your parents, your job, your grocery store.
Have one clear message when you talk with your friends:
“POLITICIANS need to quit spending your money all over the world”

If THEY go bankrupt than THEY should go bankrupt.  They should not rob the American people for our entire life’s work and tonight’s dinner for our families to bankrupt you and I instead of them.  Remember when you gave $10 billion dollars to that foreign country??
You didn’t do it, you didn’t vote on it, you were never asked…  but they want you to pay for it.

I would rather see our government bk collapse and get rebuilt with the peoples wealth
than to see all of us go bankrupt to pay for a government that just goes bk anyway too.

Lets use the American peoples money (yours) to prop up the American people (you) instead of propping up the bankrupt American government.

What if you got your paycheck without the taxes taken out?
Then just paid sales tax on things you buy (like you do now).

Right now you have money taxed from you paycheck and then they charge you a sales tax when you buy something with your already taxed money.

Demand Tax Reform!!
Cut up their credit cards!
Demand a balanced budget like all cities and states have!

I care about all of you more than I do the Bankrupt American government,
you are family and they are just out of control over-promising elite house of politicians.

This is not meant as a political, it’s a conversation about your wages, the cost of what you can buy with your wages, the taxes coming down on you and me and some thoughts on the big picture of what is more important…  Our Families!

Protect your family, your community and all our incomes
by realizing it is GOVERNMENT –vs- THE PEOPLE.

Don’t let them fool you into thinking “taxing the rich” doesn’t mean “taxing everyone”
Anything they take from Americans takes jobs and increases the costs of things we buy.

Is the Government going to go Bankrupt or the American People?  Which matters more?

State of the Postal Service Part 2

Continued from Part 1

As we continue to review our volume, revenue and financial projections for fiscal years 2012 through 2015, it has become apparent that our financial situation is becoming even more precarious. First-Class Mail volume is declining even more rapidly than we had previously predicted. Standard Mail volume is flat, and in any event cannot adequately compensate for the declines in the much more profitable First-Class Mail that we are experiencing. Therefore, it is clear that we must reduce costs at an accelerated pace.

Our most significant area of cost is in compensation and benefits, and one key driver of those costs is simply the sheer size of our workforce. Therefore, the Postal Service has to be able to reduce the size of our workforce if we are to have any hope of insuring that our costs are less than our revenue. Based on current revenue and cost trends, and assuming a move to 5-day delivery, the Postal Service can only afford a total workforce by 2015 of 425,000, which includes approximately 30% lower cost, more flexible, non- career employees.

Attrition and certain other measures will allow us to achieve a portion of the savings needed to match expenses with revenue by 2015. We estimate that attrition will only result in a staff reduction of approximately 100,000. However, in order for the Postal Service to reduce complement to meet projected volume degradation, we must eliminate roughly 220,000 career positions between now and 2015.

In order to eliminate the remaining 120,000 career positions by 2015, to restore the Postal Service to financial viability, it is imperative that we have the ability to reduce our workforce rapidly. Unfortunately, the collective bargaining agreements between the Postal Service and our unionized employees contain layoff restrictions that make it impossible to reduce the size of our workforce by the amount required by 2015. As explained below, it is not likely that the Postal Service will be able to eliminate these layoff protections through collective bargaining, given the nature of collective bargaining and interest arbitration. Therefore, a legislative change is needed to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements.

As a Solution we recommend that reductions in bargaining unit postal employees should be governed by the RIF provisions applicable to federal competitive service employees. These provisions must supersede existing contract provisions and should not be subject to modification or supplementation through collective bargaining to avoid conflicts of law and to maintain necessary continuity among bargaining units.

Applying the federal statutory and regulatory competitive service process to the postal bargaining unit workforce could be done in a manner that would produce the following positive results:

The Postal Service could quickly reorganize and right size its bargaining unit workforce utilizing one set of established rules.
Postal bargaining unit employees would have the substantive and procedural protections provided by RIF rules, but collective bargaining agreements would be prohibited from having no lay-off clauses. Issues related to lay-off and reassignment to lower levels would be removed as subjects for collective bargaining.
Postal bargaining unit employees would challenge their lay-offs or involuntary reassignments to lower levels to the MSPB rather than through the grievance procedure.
Veterans’ preference is preserved.
The Postal Service would have a significant tool to return to financial solvency, thus protecting businesses and the majority of jobs for the hundreds of thousands of postal and other employees in the postal industry.

The recommended statutory change would be to modify Title 39, United States Code, to apply the RIF provisions of Title 5 and implementing regulations governing the competitive service to the Postal Service’s bargaining unit employees and to make clear that collective bargaining cannot modify or add to such rights, nor limit the rights of management that are part of the current federal competitive service RIF process.

In Conclusion We recognize that asking Congress to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements is an extraordinary request by the Postal Service, and we do not make this request lightly. Indeed, the Postal Service generally believes that it and its unions should be free from Congressional mandates as to the provisions of its collective bargaining agreements and that the Postal Service is best served when the bargaining parties can resolve their differences through collective bargaining. However, exceptional circumstances require exceptional remedies.

The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence and, therefore, threaten the livelihoods of our employees and the businesses and employees in the broader postal industry and overall economy, of which the Postal Service continues to play a large part. If the Postal Service was a private sector business, it would have filed for bankruptcy and utilized the reorganization process to restructure its labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality. Because this option is not available to the Postal Service, we believe that this extraordinary request is a key to securing our future and our continuing ability to provide universal service to our nation.

We are urgently engaged with Congress and the Administration to achieve a legislative resolution that will allow us to best serve our customers. Whatever the outcome, not only will it affect the Postal Service – it will shape the future of the entire mailing industry. Meanwhile, our commitment to providing excellent delivery service and connecting senders and receivers across the nation remains unchanged. We will continue to focus on our customers, and to partner with the mailing industry to ensure that together we are positioned to fulfill the changing needs of American customers.