Augmented Reality in Marketing

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a new image recognition protocol that can launch a mobile device to your website, social site, search tool or shopping system.  Think of the QR Code and how you use it now.  Well that ugly black QR Barcode square is replaced by your logo or any picture you so desire.

Because it can be ANY picture, you usually have to tell people to scan the picture in some way. Where the QR barcode was obvious, augmented reality is not obvious unless you make it that way.

Augmented Reality is very cool and it will be trendy in the future so don’t be afraid to play with it!  Creative marketers always find a fun way to use these special interactive ideas with their guests. You can do anything with augmented reality that you could with a QR barcode and the future is bright in image recognition with cell phones.

In Conclusion, Augmented Reality (AR) is a programmable image that works much like a Quick Response (QR) barcode

SQL Address Correction over the web (CASS)

I just wanted to share that we have finished building our Address Correction program to CASS certify records directly inside SQL over the internet.

We have deployed it into our daily triggered mailings so that every record a customer transfers to us is cleaned and updated to the USPS Addressing standards, zip+4 etc

We are updating Canadians in the same pass.

To Expand on the possibilities…
This means that we could connect this CASS program directly into a timed process with any customer to clean their internal databases as well.

What if a Casino uploaded their new signups to us each day, me cleaned and mailed them, then they import those database changes back into their system?  This would be easy to do at this point.  Too easy.

I would suggest going deeper and query:
SELECT TOP (1000) *

They could send us 1000 records per day where zip+4 has not been coded.
This could be a nice daily cleansing ritual that runs Hands-Free and over the course of 30 days their database would be pristine. Plus it would continue to check for records to clean each day so it always stayed pristine.

Another milestone of capabilities for us here at CSG.

Never stop learning and growing!

Your favorite direct mail piece may be obsolete

Your favorite direct mail piece may be obsolete

We’ll it’s that time of year again.  The holidays are behind us, there is snow on the ground and the US Postal Service just rolled out their new postage rates.  Yes, it’s a seasonal change that now happens every year about this time.

Every year the US Postal Service evaluates their efficiencies and adjusts their rates according to what kind services and mail-pieces cost them the most and what types of mail-pieces are most efficient.  This year is no different.  The new postage rates for 2013 take effect on the 27th of January. A CSG-Simplified 2013 postage rate chart available HERE.

Here are some changes you really need to know most:

The US Postal service has determined that the type of mailer that gets stuck in their equipment the most is a mailpiece that opens “under the address area”.  We call these “Open on the bottom” mailers and they always required more tabs on these.    Make sure all of your mail-piece designs are folded so that any tabs to seal the mailer are above the address area, not below it.
If you present the wrong type of folded mailpiece it will be rejected, so be careful on this one.

It used to be that we either had to apply 1 tab on the top of a mailer or 2 tabs if we had to seal the bottom of a mailer.  Now we have to apply 2 tabs on any self-mailer and you cannot seal the bottom of a mailer or even mail that type of piece (see above).  This additional sealing is so your mailing travels smoothest to its destination through postal automation equipment.

Finally, Really!  This is a good thing.  The new barcodes have been around a long time and yet so many companies had not adopted them yet.  The new barcodes are called “Intelligent Mail Barcodes” and between these barcodes and the QR “Quick Response” barcodes Direct Mail is regaining its throne in the marketing and response world.

The wrong barcode you will cost you your automation discounts, make sure you are covered.

OK, this might be the one that will catch the most people off-guard.  In the Casino world we are all familiar with the “Oversized Postcard”.  Well the maximum size of that postcard has just been changed. If you present a postcard bigger than 6×10.5” it will be considered a flat and your postage could triple.

This could be additional income to the US Postal Service but these expenses would be lost income to you,  so it makes a lot of sense to get this information to your design teams right away.

For greater details on these changes you can check out more of our blog or give us a quick call.  We are always happy to help you with your direct mail questions and guide you in the right direction.