Direct Mail Goes Digital with Augmented Reality

amg_blog_img_arRecent advancements in technology along with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets have opened the door for direct mail to go digital.  Augmented Reality (AR) provides marketers the ability to give their prospects and customers a complete interactive experience in the palm of their hand.

AR allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet to transform a 2D printed mail piece into a 3D experience by simply downloading an app and pointing their camera at the mail piece.  It gives consumers a personalized experience that expands beyond the limited borders of a printed mail piece.  In addition, it draws consumers in, engages them, and gives them a reason to hold onto the mail piece.

Why Is this Important for Marketers?

According to the Pew Research Center, “Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world.”  Smartphone usage is growing exponentially every year, and savvy marketers understand that digital integration is with traditional print marketing is next step.

In our increasingly digital world, it is easy for email messages to get missed in an inbox.  However, a physical mail piece is an attention grabber and an extremely effective tool to begin the sales process. In fact, 74% of consumers prefer direct mail over other advertising methods.  Want more proof?  Check out our infographic, Direct Mail by the Numbers for statistics on who sends it, who reads it, why it works and what works best.

How does AR Work?

AR uses the latest techniques in 3-D modeling, live streaming video, and computer animation to integrate digital marketing technology with traditional direct mail.  This new innovative direct mail tool allows your targeted mail recipients to watch your commercials or other video, flip through a slideshow of products, and interactively review products in 3D. Augmented Reality Program features include:

  • AR Photo Gallery or Slideshow A multi-page slideshow or photo gallery can be displayed right on the mailer. The slideshow is sized to fit the exact size of the mailer, making it appear to be an interactive screen.  Users can swipe their mobile device to move between images and each image can be linked to a web page, allowing users to tap for more info.
  • AR Video A video can be displayed on the surface of the mailer; creating the appearance it has become a video screen. This feature also animates the mailer, making the printed piece appear to “come alive” and then transition into a client provided video or spokesperson video.  Users can also select between multiple videos through a virtual menu screen on the mailer and everything can be linked to specified web pages.
  • 3D Animation A three dimensional object can be created and attached to the mailer, appearing to sit on top. This might be a product sitting above the mailer, allowing users to get a full view of the product from all angles.  Multiple 4D objects can be attached to one mailer with swipe transitions, allowing users to see multiple three dimensional objects—all linkable to web pages.
  • Interactive/Complex 3D Objects Complex three-dimensional objects can be programmed with full user interactivity. As an example, this feature might allow users to pick a color or trim level for a 4D car and “build” the exact model they want, right on top of the mailer.  Or it might allow the hood of a 4D car to be opened and the engine pulled out for a better view, or the roof peeled off to see the seat configuration—all in 4D space above the mailer—and all linkable to web pages.

In addition, AR experiences can be customized with your branding, push notifications (such as ongoing deals added to a loyalty card or coupons) and even be integrated into an existing app.

What are the Results?

Campaigns with AR have routinely received a 33% response rate!!  And, the average amount of time spent on the app is 31 seconds.  Think of it as if all the people who downloaded the app watched your 30 second commercial.

Ready to Begin?

Contact us to learn more about how our Augmented Reality Program can make your direct mail a truly interactive experience for your customers and prospects, boost your sales and increase your ROI.

Eric Weisgarber

Eric Weisgarber is the founder and President of Allegiant Marketing Group, Inc. His calling is helping business professionals grow their gross profits, net profits, and cash-flow through through marketing services, systems implementation and consulting. His business calling is aligned with his life\’s purpose – developing people and serving the community through discipleship.

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