Direct mail campaigns has one of the leading ROI of all marketing strategies, according to Forbes. There are many reasons for its success. A digital world has made tangible materials and communication more valued. Strategies for holding a customer’s attention have become more creative. It’s difficult to predict how we will continue to innovate direct mail, but one new strategy may change it forever. Augmented reality (AR) is digital content overlayed onto your view of the real world and it’s arrived in print. Don’t confuse it with virtual reality (VR), which is a full sensory digital experience. Whereas VR’s capabilities are limited because it requires an apparatus or hardware to experience, a customer needs only a smartphone to render AR. 


Layar, a mobile app for AR rendering has made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to open the app, hold their phone over AR content, and watch the still image come to life with video and sound. Layar allows companies to render any print materials into a diversity of multimedia content. A customer can scan a still image and watch video on their, join a social media hub or enter a conversation with instant polls and surveys. This technology provides a bold and creative opportunity for companies to bring their direct mail pieces to life.


Let’s say you send a furniture catalog to your customers showcasing new products for the year. Inside the catalog is a full page image of a well-designed living room. Imagine that your customer opens the Layar app, holds their phone over the page, and has instant access to a video of an interior designer giving advice on how to choose the best coffee table for a small apartment. Or let’s say Portland, Maine’s travel and tourism office sends a catalog to New England residents encouraging summertime travel to the city. Inside is a static, illustrated map of the city. The recipient need only to download the Layar app, hold their phone over the map and at once experience a satellite version of downtown Portland and all its attractions in 3D. You get the idea—with 12 different AR options in the Layar app, the possibilities are truly endless.


If you’re wondering what the catch is for this technology, you’d be hard pressed to find one. Recipients of AR mail won’t need too much persuasion to try out this new form of communication—they’ll simply be curious! Dingley Press can assist with AR digital content for your print campaigns. Connect to readers, add more value to your catalog experience, create more leads, and drive more sales with this exciting advancement in interactive print.