How Triggered Direct Mailings Work

Triggered mailings are mailings that go out every single day that nobody has to  micro-manage. These mailings are known for better results than other mailings because they are ‘triggered’ when all the ideal details come together for the guests you want most.

Triggered Direct Mail

Triggered Daily Direct Mail is personalized too

When you get stuck in budget meetings and everybody is putting out fires, there are mailings being sent out automatically from your player database to people matching your perfect criteria with your best segmented offer.

You can build perfectly timed, segmented and personalized mailings and put them on cruise control.
You can send these daily offers to 1 person or thousands.

  • Nobody has to pull a mailing list
  • Nobody has to deal with postage
  • Timed and optimized with your favorite tiered offers

This is not a new concept so put those mailing labels down

In each phase of technology we usually hang on too long because it becomes engrained.

Do you remember printing labels and giving those labels to the mail shop to apply onto your mailers? From labels we eventually gave the mailshop a diskette.  Then we started using thumb drives, email and ftp. Data moves fairly quickly now, but emailing a mailing list to a printer or a mailshop is the equivalent to printing labels these days.

In comes 2012 and casinos all over the world transfer data automatically outside of the player database to allow players to login to websites and see their points and what offers they have earned. The player database is being used to communicate in Kiosks and personalized offers are displayed directly on the machines too, automatically.

This is possible because your player database is updating outside vendor databases directly on a timed schedule.  Your player database has come a long way in how it communicates with your guests.

Why are we sending out mailings every 2-3 weeks when we can send them daily?

We tend to think in monthly cycles. We send out 2-3 mailings each month and we have a 1 week breather before we start working on next months. Usually companies use the art from last month with a few changes then pull new data and send all the mailing out.  Rinse, Repeat.

Sure, you analyze the results to make changes to next month’s offers but the next mailer will go out before you have results from the last one so…  let’s just get this in the mail, it’s late right?

This monthly rinse and repeat cycle is the ‘labels’ of 2012.

For at least 2 of your 3 mailings you are using the exact same queries each month, applying the same reinvestment curve and just adjusting your event schedule.  I am by no means saying this is ideal but these things can be automated so you can focus more on the recipe and less on the processes.

Your time is best spent designing ideal client-relationship segments and reinvestment curves to match. You should not have to spend so much time pulling and sending lists, dealing with postage, handling return mail, uploading art and proofing content.

Build each player segment, matching art and put each one on cruise control.

“Triggers” send your ideal offers, timed perfectly, AUTOMATICALLY

Mailing Triggers

Set Daily Triggers to create Daily Mailings

Player guest Mary has been playing video poker for 3 days. She has accumulated enough points to move up to the Platinum level. The database notices this (we told it to watch for this) and triggers(1) a text to Mary’s cell phone “Hey Mary, you just made it to the platinum club. We are sending you a free Room offer as your first reward”.

The database also triggers(2) a personalized letter sent that day welcoming Mary to the platinum level with her Free Room night in it. This letter goes out by noon at the completion of her trip because the database triggered the data to merge and print directly on a waiting, automated press; hands-free.  She gets this offer letter 1 or 2 days after she gets home, not a month later when ‘the batch’ goes out.

The database also triggers(3) an email to be sent in 1 week later telling Mary that she earned some freeplay for her next trip (segmented and personalized based on your reinvestment plan). If she makes her reservation this week we can upgrade her to a 2-night stay.

The final scenario the database is looking for is to see if Mary comes back in or redeems our offers. If after 6 weeks Mary has not returned for a trip the database triggers(4) an increased reinvestment mailer where she is offered a free dinner for her and a friend if she books her room this week.

Design many trigger scenarios easily

Marys’ sample story is just that, a sample.
Triggers(1-4) included :

  1. Text on her cell phone (if she provided it)
  2. Personalized Bounceback letter
  3. Personalized Email offer coordinated with her letter
  4. An increased reinvestment mailer

You could have even triggered a text to her host to visit her on the floor if possible.

You can design as many scenarios that you can think of to create an endless array of personalized and automated triggered guest experiences that run all year long instead of bulk batches of mailings done monthly. Guests don’t always think in monthly batches like we do.  They are all on their own individual journeys and when we treat them that way we get our best results.

Marketing Parcels Build Customer Loyalty

In this article we talk about how Marketing Parcels increase customer loyalty.

Marketing Parcel for higher responseI went to my mailbox today as part of my regular check for bills, offers and coupons.  Normally I expect a stack of envelopes, postcards and newspaper coupons that I pull apart and sort into stacks.

Today was just like every other day but when I opened the mailbox I was surprised to find a box inside. “What is this?” I wondered.

My birthday was over a month ago. Could it be a belated birthday gift? I don’t know.  Maybe I ordered checks and forgot to expect them.  Maybe it’s something from Amazon.com or Ebay?

WHAT IS IT?  All the other mail was quickly forgotten.

As I walked back to the house that the box was all I remember about my mailbox.  I stuffed the rest of the mail in my folded arm and carried the box home like it was something special; something fragile and that box had all my attention.

We are all so easily excited and highly curious about sealed boxes.  It’s like we are programmed as a child on Christmas day or birthdays and special occasions.  This curiosity of this moment was no exception, my heart actually raced a little. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

In the marketing space of the mailbox, the box wins, hands down.

When you think about that moment at your mailbox don’t you think we should all be mailing boxes to our most important customers?  If we can make them feel special and have them hold our brand in their hands with excitement and curiosity then we can create a lifetime relationship.

It’s not as expensive as you might think; especially when you look at the increased response rates and long-term relationship the investment creates for you.  Our best guests have so many options delivered to them each month.  A box from you can increase your wallet-share of business.

What’s that worth?  Perhaps millions!

Quite honestly it doesn’t have to be too elaborate either.  You can use a very thin box and insert an invitation, 2 tickets to your event and a special parking pass.  I would also include a personal note from the host as well.  Make it special!

The US Postal Service even has a special category of box mailing called “Marketing Parcels” that allow for up to 16 ounces of weight and up to a 9”x12”x2” box that gets special discounts.

Get your best clients to brag about your casino to their friends. Make them feel special and prove you care about their business.  Postcards have their place but don’t let them replace the more effective approach to client loyalty that includes irregular parcels, boxes and fed-ex or UPS envelopes.  Show guests they are special to you and that you look forward to spending more time with them.

The increased loyalty will be obvious to your bottom line.

Increase Direct Mail Response Rates By Learning To Fish With The Right Bait

I was invited to a charity fishing derby and was excited to go. It was a local fundraiser where every fish we caught and released earned a bonus for the charity. I wanted to catch lots of fish, so I grabbed my father’s tackle box, rod, and reel and headed to the event. I didn’t bring any special bait, so I just reached into the tackle box and pulled out the fanciest lure I could find.

This particular lure was large and full of beautiful colors. It was almost as large and colorful as a casino event postcard (hint). It caught my eye and appealed to me, so I was confident it would catch lots of fish that day. I cast my fancy lure into the pond and waited for my first response … uh, I mean fish. While waiting for my first fish to bite, I watched another guy do something very interesting. He started digging around near the edge of the water and caught a couple of small bugs. He pulled out some string and tied a lure that looked just like those bugs the fish were already eating.

To my amazement, he pulled fish after fish out of the water that day. I caught a few fish too, but I was intrigued to watch this great fisherman get such a high response to his bait that day.

It was a simple strategy: he used bait that would appeal to who he was trying to attract – I used bait that was attractive to me. He used information that was literally right in front of him.

So, how do you get a better response rate as a casino
marketer? I’ll break it down into two steps:

  1. Focus group testing
  2. Utilizing what you have learned from the focus group
  3. Testing with variable data printing

Step 1: Focus Group Testing
Just like fishing, direct mail marketing is a science of proven techniques. The one direct mail marketing science that has been proven time and time again to have huge payoffs is focus group testing (like the fisherman used to build his bait). In focus group testing, you survey your clients with different styles of images, messages, taglines, and calls-to-action to find out what is most appealing to them.

In the past, we would do this to determine the most commonly chosen items so we could design a single mailer that would suit the largest cross section of customers. That is still a solid idea, but with the advent of personalized printing, we can easily take this to a whole new level of success.

In a survey process, your guests tell you exactly what brand messages and images they want. Once we have that information, why would we send them anything else? Your clients tell you exactly how to get the best results from them and now you just have to make that happen. You can get better results fast!

The right casino initiatives can easily improve response rates for years.
The closest most casinos get to a focus group is the new guest signup survey. Let’s leverage this survey for the highest results by making some simple changes to it. Don’t be concerned about what type of gambling they will be doing because you can get that from the tracking system later. What you want to know is information to affect the visual bait that they will respond to most. Perhaps you tell them that you are considering a new tagline for your property, like “Every Player’s Best Odds” or “Stay Here, Play Here.” Give them a list of options and ask them to choose the one they like best. Then, give them a series of themed graphics, like spa services, sports, concerts, blackjack, dance club shots, and others that relate to your individual amenities so they can choose their favorite.

For the final question, maybe present 4-5 different color themes and ask which they find most appealing. For the call-to-action, you want them to tell you what message they will respond to most. This can be done many ways and could be an entire article by itself. Let’s use an example of asking guests if they like things like “last minute deals,” “monthly getaways,” “girls’ night out,” “pizza and beer,” “sportsbook parties,” “VIP parties,” or other themes.

With this simple survey your guest has designed their own mailer by choosing their own images and describing in detail your best brand and bait for them. So instead of printing one piece that you hope will please everyone, use digital variable printing to send mailers with the best bait. With rotating graphics, taglines, branding, and calls-to-action your guests chose, you can create a highly personalized appeal for each of your guests. When you communicate with guests in this manner, your results go way up.

Create an ongoing contest for your active guests as well and let them update their own style preferences as often as they want so you always send the best bait. If you do this as an ongoing game and make it fun, your marketing messages can get peak response rates.

Step 2: Utilizing the information gathered with Variable Data Printing
What is it? Well, it is not your grandpa’s mail merge! We were doing mail merges in the 1980s with word processing programs. In the late ‘90s, we started using fancy seashell and cloud fonts for fun. That was cool, but it is not relevant to modern casino marketing. Modern, advanced variable direct marketing is a graphics and database programmer’s dream. The options are truly endless and can be set up to be very simple, yet still highly effective. Everything can be different on every mailer! You can now send every single guest a direct mailer with all the bait choices they personally picked out with you. Everyone gets their favorite colors, brand messages, themes, images, and variable art. This same data can be used for variable themes, images, and calls-to-action in all of your emails and every other direct marketing effort as well.


Let your customers design your messages

Did you know that banks now let you choose what image you would like printed on your credit cards because they know you will favor it more if you design it yourself? They let me upload a picture of my dogs and now that credit card is my pride and joy. The riskiest thing you can do is to send your guests an untested, broad appeal, single branded message. Letting your guests design their own brand experience with your property individualizes the experience for each guest and maximizes your property’s direct marketing results and profits.

That is how you fish with the right bait in casino marketing!

This Article was featured in Raving’s Strategic Solutions Magazine.
Download a copy of it here.

Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion Update

Additional Information on the Mobile Commerce and Personalization Summer 2012 Promotion: A Notice of Price Adjustment was filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on February 21, 2012, and the promotion is still pending PRC approval.

Building upon last summers mobile barcode promotions success, the USPS is offering it again from July 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012. In the final rule Federal Register posted today on Postal Explorer, they describe the conditions for eligibility for the promotion and the revised mailing standards to implement it.

Here is information to help you take advantage of this revised special offering:

· Qualifying mailings are Presorted and automation mailings of First-Class Mail cards, letters, and flats and Standard Mail (including Nonprofit Standard Mail) letters and flats with a mobile barcode inside or on the mailpiece.

· The mobile barcode must lead the recipient of the mailpiece either to a webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device, or to a personalized URL, which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient.

· Qualifying mailings may receive an upfront price reduction of 2 percent of the eligible postage.

· Participation requires electronic documentation.

· Commingled, combined and co-mail mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for pieces with mobile barcodes.

Using mobile barcodes is a great way to integrate direct mail with mobile technology.

For more information visit our previous blog on This Summer’s 2012 Barcode Promotion or visit the RIBBS website. You can also email mobilebarcode@usps.gov

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!

Mailpiece Design Part One: The Postcard

Postcard Design

Variable data on casino postcards are a good way to grab your prospect's attention!

Designing postcards for your direct mail campaigns can be both fun and challenging. You have to walk a balancing line between using art to grab your prospect’s attention and the amount of text you include. Too much text and the reader gets bored – too much art and your message is lost. You can have the most awesome design in the world and not get the response you desire if your prospects can’t figure out what you’re offering. Conversely, if you fill your postcard with text, your prospects might not want to takethe time to read it, thus lowering your response.

At CSG Direct Mail, we will work with you to design a postcard for your direct mail campaign that not only draws your prospect/client’s attention, but also presents your offer/information in the most eye-catching, response generating way possible. Our designers are experts at walking this fine line and can create a postcard for you that balances “WOW!” with “I need to call now!”. Or, you can design your own postcard and we will be happy to look it over for you and give you our professional opinion of how well your piece will generate response. Either way, the marketing experts at CSG Direct Mail will work with your team to help make your mailing a success!

Ineffective postcards

LEFT: I don't know about you, but I'm probably not reading all that! RIGHT: Everyone loves baby animals, right? But what do they have to do with your business?

The physical layout of the postcard itself is also very important.

If you are designing a postcard to be mailed, make sure you leave enough room for addressing! CSG Direct Mail recommends allowing a 2 inch tall by 4 inch wide clear space on the right bottom of the mailing panel side of the postcard for addressing. This might seem like a large amount of space, but it ensures that you will have enough space in your address area for your IMB barcode and large addresses that may contain two address lines, a company name, etc. By leaving a large enough address area on your postcard, you guarantee that you will get the BEST postage rates and that the Post Office will not find any problems with your mailing!

CSG Direct Mail is happy to provide vector PDF format layered postcard templates that you can use to design the postcards for your direct mail campaign!

You can download templates for standard 4×6 postcards, oversized 6×9 postcards and jumbo 6×11 postcards and use them in your design programs to make sure that your postcards are worry free and receive the best postage rates possible.

Postcard Template

Example of a mail panel postcard template available from CSG Direct Mail

DOWNLOAD EDITABLE POSTCARD TEMPLATES
(Illustrator CS5 layered PDF)

CSG_DIRECT_4x6_template1

CSG_DIRECT_6x9_template1

CSG_DIRECT_6x11_template1

Mail Shop, Print Shop

PRINT SHOP

Printing is an art that goes back in some form to the beginning of man. It is an art form of ink, paper and design that come together to make a visual presentation.  The real art of print is the design if it attracts the attention of the person we want it to attract (like bait).

At CSG Direct we are a modern day Digital Printing facility specializing in some of the newest features available in static, personalized and dimensional printing.

Print Shop Mail Shop vs. Mail Shop Print Shop

direct-mailing

Leadership - Quality - Innovation

Putting ink on paper is the easiest step.

The real challenge is designing pieces that attract response and delivering them through a single source federal US Postal Service.

The real talent is designing, printing, folding and die-cutting multiple critical personalized components and then matching them together in postal sorted order to achieve the lowest postage rates too.

“Direct Mailers” out-think “Printers”.

MAIL SHOP

Direct Mail Marketing is the art of getting the right visual presentation to the right person at the right time with a relevant message to attract a response and generate sales.

Direct Mail requires database programing prowess and a lifelong pursuit of all the changing rules, regulations, barcodes and loopholes of the US Postal Service.  Direct Mail Marketing requires years of studying databases, barcodes and tracking results.

You have to have the right mind for direct mail. You need a Direct Mailer that prints.
Direct Mail with a Direct Mailer, not a printer “that does direct mail too”.

You get Better Results Fast with a “Mail Shop, Print Shop” like CSG Direct.

Direct Mail app

CSG Direct is most famous for innovations in direct mail tracking and the 1st Direct Mail Smartphone app to market. We are a Direct Mail Marketing and Digital Printing company with deep roots in barcodes and tracking.  Our Direct Mail app is Amazing!

DirectMail-Iphone

CSG Direct Mail app

When you have to work with less, you need a vendor that brings more to the table. We continue to redefine what people expect from their direct mail vendors. We are the direct mail business model of the future and The Greatest Value in Direct Mail.

You deserve live job tracking, piece tracking and the highest level of accountability in the palm of your hands and available for whenever you are questioned about your work.

iTunes app link

LIVE PROJECT TRACKING

Have all project details at your fingertips.  Is it printing? Maybe it’s being folded? Did they receive the mailing list? Did it go out yet? When is it going out? Active marketers juggle lots of details and there is no standardized way to tell how well a project is going or why it is taking so long.
Until Now!

No more making phone calls every day, leaving messages and waiting for callbacks.

Direct Mail Cloud Based Services

With a complete Red Light / Green Light system you know if we are waiting on you or if the project is moving as planned. You get live access to the status of each project updated directly from our production floor as the project progresses.  You deserve a high level of accountability from the direct mail industry and we are leading the industry with unmatched minute-by-minute accountability.

USPS CONFIRM

After we complete your mailing and it is delivered to the US Postal Service the accountability goes to the next level.  Our Direct Mail app offers live feedback from all the US Mail sorting equipment across the country so you can tell when it is actually getting delivered. You get unprecedented accountability on the U.S. Mail delivery.

HISTORICAL DETAILS

Look-up past projects to get full audited details on postage, pieces, processing and final delivery timing.  See how long it took to get delivered and then adjust your next mailing for greater success. This is just one way we help you get Better Results Fast.

INTERACTIVE MAPS

Interactive Google Maps show the areas you targeted in your mailing. Zoom in-out and touch any zip-code to see how many pieces you mailed. This is a direct mail cloud service that our customers use and enjoy on the fly, in their hands and available 24/7.

CUSTOMER LOOKUP

Customer Lookup inside the US Postal Service nationwide mail stream is the holy grail for the direct mail industry and we invented it. Using your own customer ID numbers you can find the mailing you have sent them and then see the route, dates and times of the entire delivery process mapped out in interactive Google maps. We Dream Big!

All of this is available only at CSG Direct Mail and live on your smartphone.

iPhone Direct Mail app

iPhone Direct Mail app

CUSTOMERS GET THIS SERVICE FREE AND YOU DESERVE IT!

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.

Variable Maps

Variable Maps for Personalized Direct Mail

old style direct mail map

old style direct mail map

We’ve all placed a static map on a direct mail piece or on a brochure or website to help a prospective client understand where we are and help them find us.  Depending on where we are and how far out we are mailing to we might show great local street detail or just a star on a national map to indicate where we are on the country.

Variable Maps Sample

Variable Maps Sample

 

In this modern age of internet, GPS and live driving directions why not personalize this experience and provide a map for each client that gives very specific turn by turn directions to your facility, branches or event locations?

Direct Mail Maps program

CSG Variable Maps program

At CSG Direct Mail we built our own proprietary programs licensed with MapQuest. We built these systems here at CSG so we can customize these maps in many ways.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We produce “licensed for print” MapQuest personalized map images and personalized driving directions for each mail piece.

Personalized driving directions and a physical map on your direct mail makes your offer more actionable and keeps your brand in your clients hand for the entire trip.  These maps add value to the direct mail piece beyond the easy driving directions.

You engage on a personal level that few marketing mediums can reach.

Variable-Maps-Sample

Variable Maps Art Sample

We can also beautify this variable map graphically by sizing them to match other graphics and layering them into other art elements. This sample map art is layered into a dashboard GPS.

Variable Direct Mail maps are rare, leading edge and licensed for print.

 


CSGurl

Our variable mapping is also supported by our url conversion and tracking systems. CSGurl converts lengthy url strings like:  http://renodirectmail.com/index.php/2011/07/personalized-printing/ to a string like: http://csgurl.com/print

This is the easiest way to pass digital driving directions on a direct mail piece.  Direct mail recipients can use smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to see full detailed driving directions and a live map online.

You can also embed the variable CSGurl string into a Quick Response barcode.