The more you interact with something, the more likely you’ll remember it. This holds true for toys, games, and print marketing. The following are ways to increase engagement with your marketing materials and achieve better results. 

#1 – Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) enhances the effectiveness of printed marketing materials by adding interactive and engaging elements. AR-in-print allows customers to use the printed piece and a smartphone to engage with their environment in a new way. There’s no app to download with AR-in-print, so users can just point and enjoy a bit of altered reality.

Every AR experience is unique because it fills the user’s environment with your company’s 3D content. For example, when someone holds their phone up to view their surroundings, they may see a virtual model of your best-selling spork hovering over their real-life cereal bowl. 

You can incorporate AR into various materials, including print ads, direct mail, brochures, and event signage. Moreover, creating your own VR content is possible using an application like Blippar or Augment

Ways to leverage AR in print marketing include:

  • Product demos: Some products don’t need demos (for example, the spork mentioned above) — but some do (say, for example, you’re selling a medical device). Unfortunately, it can be challenging to get face time with customers. Using AR, you can create a 3D experience showing how your product works. This can help your customers visualize your product in use and increase their understanding of its features and benefits.
  • Enriched content: People remember what’s interesting. By using VR to share videos, animations and games, you can bring printed materials to life, making your products more memorable. 
  • Virtual try-ons: One of the earliest and most compelling use cases for VR has been virtual try-ons for clothing, accessories, household items and more. Not only can you find out how you’d look wearing those suspenders, but you can also see how your kitchen would look wearing that coffee pot. The financial implications of virtual try-ons are enormous since they both boost sales and reduce returns. 
  • Location-based experiences: You can use AR to create content experiences triggered by a customer’s location. So, you might promote your line of dragon toys by having one of the winged creatures show up when someone scans a printed sign in the toy aisle. 
  • Gamification: Everyone loves a little fun! A scavenger hunt is one of our favorite ways to use AR-in-print. What a fun and engaging way to encourage customers to interact with your brand at different locations or points in time. 

#2 – Personalization in Print

Let’s say you’re walking through a park, and someone calls your name. Would you stop? Of course, you would. You’d think that the person knows you. But it’s more than that. Hearing your name can trigger positive emotions and memories associated with past experiences. It also activates areas of the brain associated with self-referential processing and reward. In other words, it feels good to hear your name spoken aloud.

What’s even better is if someone remembers details about you. How’s that dog of yours? Did you ever track down bacon-themed socks? That’s why personalized marketing using variable data is so powerful — it provides the means to have a personalized conversation with customers. 

Personalization improves effectiveness and reduces costs — you can reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50% by personalizing the customer experience. It makes sense. People like it when brands know about their preferences and needs.

#3 – QR Codes

You’re not wrong if QR codes seem like a throwback to you. Depending on your age, you may remember that in the 2010s, the dotty boxes were on brochures, ads, posters, pop cans, and more. But they gained little traction because they weren’t easy to use — and you needed a special app to use them. Fast forward a decade, and technology now supports seamless interaction with QR codes. At this point, people just need a smartphone to engage with QR codes. Once they take a photo of the QR code, they’ll quickly arrive at the intended virtual destination. 

There are about a billion ways to use QR codes — and nearly as many places to include them. You can put QR codes on menus, marketing materials, signage, packaging, and invoices. You can use them to send people to a website site, trigger an app download, or open an email for the person to contact customer service directly. And these examples are just for starters. 

We’re especially excited about the personalization that’s possible with variable QR code printing. When QR codes are personalized as part of an integrated mailing campaign, you can send every participant to a unique destination. For example, when someone scans the barcode, it can lead to a webpage where they’re greeted by name. 

#4 – Terrific Textures

Marketers are far too aware of barriers to getting eyes on marketing materials. If you can’t break through the clutter, it’s impossible to create the level of interest needed to move to the consideration phase. Your materials may not even get past the gatekeeper to the decision-maker. 

Here’s the thing: If you create something worth touching, a person might just think it’s worth keeping. Printing techniques like embossing, debossing, foil stamping and raised ink can give customers the feels, literally. For other tactile touches, consider your paper stock. Options such as linen or recycled paper can add texture and dimension. 

#5 – Surprising Shapes

There are reasons why rectangular materials are so popular — they are easy to print, cost-effective to mail, and the right shape for storing. But the ubiquity of the shape can sometimes make it challenging to differentiate your brand. 

Why not think outside the box by going circular or make them stop with an octagon? Maybe use die-cutting to create windows to see through the printed piece?

#6 – Integrated Marketing 

Print becomes more interactive and engaging when it’s part of a larger campaign. A fabulous direct mail piece is one thing. Still, it has an even greater impact when the campaign message continues across paid media channels such as TV, radio, display advertising, and billboards. 

By using multiple channels, you can reach a wider audience and target specific demographics or segments more effectively, resulting in greater engagement and return on investment (ROI).

Interact With Us For Better Print Results

The more people interact with your print materials, the greater your results will be. The good news is that there are different techniques and technologies to make your materials more interesting and engaging. Not sure what will work for your company and products? We can help.

Are you ready to get started?