Interactive Printing – Connecting Print and Digital Content
By Tom Bulleit
Today, there are many ways beyond traditional print for direct marketers to connect with their audience. Over the last several years, all of us in the direct marketing community have seen a trending away from traditional print to digital online marketing as a means of connecting with that audience. I have always been one who believes the physical, tactile features of the printed piece do more to entice and incite donors than anything else. Statistical research backs this up, showing that printed mail still yields the highest response rates for the nonprofit and fundraising sectors.
According to a study published in the 2013 YouGov Giving Report, 21 percent of respondents cited direct mail solicitations as most successful in prompting them to act, whereas a mere 10 percent revealed email solicitations had the same effect.
Fundraisers know that the key to getting people to support their organization is having a compelling story to tell. To get the story out there, direct marketers struggle with finding the proper balance between traditional print and digital online marketing. The use of interactive print along with Augmented Reality to connect the two worlds may be the key.
Interactive print isn’t altogether new, even though it’s relatively young. There are a few staple practices that have become the norm in adding depth and dimension to printed pieces and 2-dimensional media—specifically barcodes and quick response (QR) codes. But, barcodes are unsightly, and they take up valuable space on printed pieces. QR codes, while having a measurably more significant capacity than barcodes, are becoming antiquated as marketing culture continues to advance. People want to participate. They want to be engaged and interact.
Augmented Reality interactive print using LayarAR is an ideal way to enhance your story and get people involved. LayarAR helps connect the printed direct mail piece to your online content. LayarAR is the most popular free augmented reality app available. Unlike bar and QR codes, LayarAR embeds information within real, attractive images in the printed piece, which the prospect can scan with a smartphone. LayarAR will take donors and consumers to your organization’s growing world of online digital media.
Printed pieces can now offer calls-to-action, take the reader to new destinations, drive prospects to online forums, and link them to your organization’s latest presentations, videos, or donation page. What’s so compelling about LayarAR is that the organization can change the digital content viewed at any time. The digital content is no longer static over the lifetime of the printed piece.
Augmented Reality lets your printed pieces tell a story and allows the story to grow and change. It pulls people in and draws them up out of problems and into solutions, from inactivity to impassioned participation.
The printed direct marketing piece is still the biggest door-opener for fundraisers and nonprofits. Now with Augmented Reality apps like LayarAR, there’s an innovative way to make your printed piece more interactive, compelling, and relevant. Print on!
Tom Bulleit is a senior sales representative for Intelligencer in the Washington, DC, market, and longtime DMAW member. He is also a former DMAW board member. Intelligencer, located in Lancaster, PA, has been providing innovative print and marketing solutions for over 200 years. This includes web, sheetfed, and digital printing, plus mailing, data, and digital marketing services. Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 410-771-0437 for LayarAR interactive print samples.
Intelligencer became one of the oldest printing companies in North America by constantly improving and innovating printing, direct mail, fulfillment and customized services. We don’t rest on our 200 years of experience. Intelligencer continually pushes the boundaries of technology to provide the latest advances in the art and science of printing. It’s no wonder we’re the preferred print supplier for so many Fortune 500 companies throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.