Engage your audience with direct mail enhanced by augmented reality

December 19, 2019

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There is a common misconception that direct mail's time has come and gone. Though direct mail might not be as popular as it was years ago, it is still quite effective. In particular, direct mail is especially popular for those targeting the customers in the millennial age cohort. Millennials are engaging with direct mail more than other demographics. This is important as millennials are the most coveted age cohort for a wide variety of businesses. This age cohort is entering its prime earning years, meaning millennials will have a considerable amount of money to spend in the years and decades ahead.

Millennial Interest in Direct Mail

A large part of the reason why direct mail is more relevant today than ever before is the fact that millennials are highly responsive to it. This fact surprises most people as there is a common misconception that millennials are strictly interested in email, text messages, social media and other screen-based content. Though millennials certainly gravitate toward screens, they still receive and open direct mail. In fact, the average millennial spends 8 minutes per day reading direct mail.

The USPS Office of Inspector General reports millennials are likely to invest the time necessary to read their mail and pass the most interesting messages on to family, friends, etc. This is precisely why companies looking to connect with this important age cohort should rely on direct mail. Add in the fact that there are USPS incentives and USPS promotions available for direct mail campaigns and it is that much more tempting to use this marketing method to connect with target customers. However, merely sending a single piece of direct mail to your target audience once in a blue moon won't make much of an impact. Send direct mail to your target customers at specific intervals, enhance that direct mail with augmented reality and you will notice a considerable uptick in the number of millennial customers inquiring about your products/services. Though some baby boomers and even some members of Generation X are a bit more hesitant to engage in direct mail highlighted by augmented reality, millennials are especially interested in this high-tech means of communication.

Why Direct Mail is Still Relevant

Contrary to popular opinion, direct mail is not dead. In fact, direct mail is thriving. This form of customer outreach has a high return on investment (ROI). In fact, direct mail still pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium. The prudent use of direct mail with other components of a digital marketing strategy helps businesses reinforce their advertising efforts across multiple channels. Furthermore, direct mail has slightly declined in recent years, making it that much easier for those who still use this marketing tactic to connect with their target audience.

The Basics of Augmented Reality

Plenty of people are unaware of what, exactly, augmented reality is and why it is so important. This technology started to gain mainstream traction when used for Nintendo 2DS video games such as Face Raiders. The popular mobile phone game, Pokemon Go, bolstered the technology's popularity a couple years ago. Augmented reality is the act of placing digital content (video, buttons, 3d animations, etc.) in a person's physical surrounding, enhancing that experience and providing extra value. This is accomplished with the use of a smartphone and other hand-held devices. In the context of direct mail, augmented reality creates a bridge between company and mail audience where the company can interact with their mail audience in real time with fun, engaging, shareable content.

Direct Mail is That Much More Effective With Augmented Reality

Direct mail can now be transformed into a much more engaging manner thanks to the rise of augmented reality. Millennials are especially likely to engage in direct mailings enhanced with augmented reality. Businesses that use augmented reality save 2% on postage, ultimately resulting in upwards of $76,000 in savings using a platform like AVO. Though some elderly individuals have no interest in augmented reality, millennials are eager to use augmented reality as well as other breakthrough technology that enhance the consumer experience. In fact, some argue augmented reality is the future of direct mail.

Here's how it works. Direct mail is improved with augmented reality by connecting it to an engaging digital channel. Companies that make the minor investment to enhance their direct mail with augmented create longer mail engagement and retention, ultimately enhancing the "mail moment". In particular, millennials are especially likely to engage with and remember direct mailings highlighted by this unique technology. The prudent use of augmented reality in direct mail really makes the message come to life. Companies that use direct mail improved with augmented reality are empowered to track consumer activity with those mailings. Everything from the number of downloads to clicks, scans and beyond can be measured. If the experience proves enjoyable, direct mail recipients are likely to pass the direct mailing highlighted by augmented reality features to friends, family and others.

Grab the Reader's Attention With Augmented Reality

Augmented reality transforms idle images used in traditional direct mail marketing efforts into digital experiences. This is the perfect way to get customers to spend that much more time with your mailings, educate them about your value offering and ultimately bring them into the fold as loyal customers willing to pay for your services/products. The magic of augmented reality direct mailings is that the level of engagement encourages prompt action. Action can be taken directly from the mailer. It is now possible for direct mail recipients to simply tap their phone or other device to make a purchase directly from the mailer. The best direct mailings highlighted by augmented reality include unique digital content, three-dimensional models, animations and links that empower customers to better understand the offering and make immediate purchases.

Adding Direct Mail to Your Omnichannel

Omnichannel marketing is essential for truly effective marketing. If target customers can be reached at several different touch points, it will be that much easier to make a lasting impression. The use of augmented reality in direct mail empowers marketers to link direct mail to the company website, social media, etc. The end result is a synergy that greatly enhances consumer interest in the value offering as well as the company itself. If your business is struggling to get website traffic or engage target members on your social media pages, give augmented reality direct mailings a chance and provide a customer journey that stays top of mind.

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