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Augmented Reality (AR) has become a bigger buzzword in the last few years, with some creative marketing campaigns using it to great success.

If you’ve been wondering how you can make your direct mail messaging more compelling and effective, AR might be the answer. Here are some things you should know:

Consumers Love Their Smartphones

According to the most recent data by Pew Research, 77% of Americans now own smartphones. And, as we mentioned in a previous post, 61% of email users now read email on mobile apps.

What’s this mean for you? Finding ways to engage smartphone users can have a huge effect on your marketing ROI.

Consumers Love Digital Media (Especially Video)

YouTube boasts over a billion users – and those users watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day. Google’s video service also claims to reach more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network.

All of that media consumption presents a great opportunity for marketers – especially if they can find creative ways to tie that digital media to their larger marketing efforts (including direct mail).

AR Can Harness That Digital Attraction

One of those creative ways to bring digital media and direct mail together is through augmented reality. In another of our recent posts, we discussed how AR shouldn’t just be used as a gimmick. It should entertain, yes, but it also needs to be useful or helpful to your customers in order to be a successful addition to your direct mail.

What’s that look like in practice? One example could be an AR smartphone game in which customers can earn coupons or discounts. Or, you can provide virtual product demonstrations overlaid on their real environment. You can even deliver 3D views of the product that the customer can rotate and see from all angles.

Bringing your direct mail to live through augmented reality can be a great way to increase customer engagement with your brand. Create a memorable experience by delivering fun and/or education, and you’ll see a big improvement in your direct mail ROI.