Augmented Reality Impact on the Longevity of Direct Mail

This is a case study on the longevity and success of using augmented reality with direct mail marketing. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this service.

The Company

United Direct Solutions is a direct marketing company rooted in mail, data analytics, and variable-print. Founded in 1980, United Direct Solutions directive has remained unchanged: to enrich connections between companies and their audiences. With locations in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH, United Direct Solutions serves small-to-medium businesses and Fortune 500 companies nationwide. With more than 120,000 sq. ft. of office and warehouse space, 250 employees, an expansive logistics network, and an array of traditional and digital services, United Direct Solutions  delivers on the promise of relevant and meaningful communications at any scale. United Direct Solutions added augmented reality to the suite of United Direct Solutions services to maintain its commitment to relevant marketing practices.

The Project

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology in which a computer-generated image is superimposed on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view of the images together. In-house, United Direct Solutions created an interactive card to send to a select number of clients to send holiday greetings as well as showcase the capabilities of AR in direct mail marketing pieces.

The Solution

United Direct Solutions sent out 90 Augmented Reality Christmas cards in early December 2016 to a select number of clients demonstrating the capabilities of AR. In addition to an interactive AR image, the card had a personalized URL (PURL) for each card recipient. When the recipient typed in their PURL into a web browser, it took them to a custom page where they could select a gift from three options, including gift cards from Starbucks, and gift baskets from Feeder’s Supply (a regional pet supply store in Kentucky). Recipients of the card downloaded an APP with iPhone and Android capabilities to interact with the AR.

augmented reality United Direct Solutions
The Results

One month after the card was sent out, in January of 2017, the initial download rate of the app was 23%. Recipients of the card from December 2016 are still passing it along and sharing it with others well into 2017. Fast forward five months later, iPhone downloads increased 106%, and Android downloads increased 915% indicating viewers not only held onto the piece, but shared it with others. The results of the AR Christmas Card are still having an impact for United Direct Solutions today.

This longevity of the continued use of the card with augmented reality is a testament to the multi-faceted benefits of this advanced technology. A marketing piece with AR not only provides a ‘WOW factor’ people like to see over and over, it also makes them more inclined to share the piece with others, enhancing the impact of the marketing campaign.

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