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

RAVING Insider Party at the Tuscany Suites

Raving InvitesAre you going to be in Vegas next week?  At the same time the Gaming Expo in Las Vegas is happening Raving Consulting with CSG Direct Mail and others have put together the insider party of the season.   Our Party pulls together the best marketing and gaming folks in the business for great conversation, free drinks, free cigars and music.

This is the best chances you’ll get for valuable networking time with people that matter!

The Party is Wednesday October 5th from 9PM  ’til midnight at the Tuscany Suites & Casino Piazza Bar and Poolside.  But you must be a gamin insider… or know one ;)

Email Me if you need an invite michaelh@csgdirect.com or call my Las Vegas Direct Mail offices at 702-637-2451

New Intelligent Mail Barcode Requirements

Direct Mailing ManThe US Postal Service has come down with some new deadlines for full implementation of Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB).

Full Text Here: http://csgurl.com/IMB_Requirements

They seem to be putting a huge emphasis on packages, however mailpieces references are sprinkled into all the text as well.

” On January 7, 2013, the Postal Service finalizes the implementation of this final rule by requiring an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) for all commercial mailpieces that include a tracking or extra service barcode …” seems to refer to all customers using 2 barcodes currently which apply to people using postnet barcodes and planet codes combined. (quit laughing, some people still do this, lol)

We of course have been using these barcodes and developing  new programs around these new barcodes since 2008. It’s nice to see that they are finally asking the rest of the country to step up the plate or get out of the game.

The first deadline is January 2012 with some limited flexibility until July 2012, Then again January 2013 with flexibility until July 2013.  A weak roll-out but they are going to get to embrace their cool new features even if they have to drag all the rest of the public forward.

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?

Where did all of your customers go?

It’s hard enough to get new clients and even more difficult at times to keep them.
Active gamblers are the bread and butter of every casino and competing casinos work hard to pry your loyal customers away.  This is more than a competition of offers, free-play and room nights.  The heart of thisCSG Direct Mail active-player tug-of-war is a database strategy competition.

How much you know about your guests, how much you record about them in your database and then how well you use that information to your advantage is the art of casino direct marketing. We need to regularly ask ourselves what information about our guests we utilize beyond the simple play tracking and tiers we have created.

The simplest and most productive additional guest information that we need to use properly is the National Change of Address database provided by the US Postal Service. I will tell you that most casinos still today are not using this at all and when they do they are using it incorrectly.  One of the leading causes of lost guests is that 17% of them move per year and casinos are not following them properly and then addressing them with that new information.

In as quick as 3 years 51% of your database has moved.  Take a quick look at your inactive database counts and you know exactly what I am talking about.  Sure, it is not the only reason but if your competition is keeping their database more current than you it is just a matter of time before they crush you in the market place.

Your profits are being mailed to a garbage can.  As you are losing guests and your responses are dropping each month, you are probably mailing more pieces to make up the difference.  This increase in expenses dramatically reduces or eliminates the profits you would have made if you were not spending much more to get your responses back up. The biggest problem with this is that any pieces mailed standard to someone that has moved are thrown away by the US Postal Service.

Here are the main steps you should take to get back on top of your database.

  1. Do a 48 Month NCOA cleanse to go as far back as the US Postal Service goes.
  2. Upload all the changes back into your database  MOST IMPORTANT STEP!
  3. Re-code your bad-address flags to reflect all the changes.
  4. Re-code your Local/Non-Local flags based on their new addresses.
  5. Repeat with upload every 30-90 days with just the 18 Month NCOA Files.

Anything less is just surrendering your best clients to your competition.

We have been performing this process for casinos all over the country. The hardest step and the most important is the upload back into your player tracking system.  If you need help with that please feel free to call us and we’ll help make you shine.