Interactive Print & AR – More Powerful than You Might Think

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Interactive Print & AR – More Powerful than You Might Think

Up until recently, print advertising, including direct mail campaigns, along with ads in magazines, brochures, and sign advertising took a back seat to the digital transformation of marketing strategies, as it was thought of as too slow and too expensive to compete with digital marketing through email and social media campaigns.

However, since digital ads have inundated every aspect of our lives, print marketing is making inroads in hyper-targeted, personalized marketing initiatives due to fact that, according to the Harvard Business Review 82% of consumers trust print advertisements the most when making a purchase decision.  Also, according to the USPS:

  • 73% of consumers said that they prefer receiving print advertisements.
  • 33% of millennials alone have an active subscription to a newspaper or magazine while only 19% report opening marketing emails frequently.
  • 88% of people take the time to look through the print advertisements they receive
  • 80% of people look forward to receiving print advertisements in the mail.

For many businesses, AR-enhanced print marketing is a gamechanger

As more businesses and agencies are looking to expand their omnichannel marketing strategies to include AR-enhanced print in their marketing plans, some may be thinking that the cost to implement AR may be prohibitive, but that is simply no longer the case. Purpose-built Interactive print platforms, such as UnifiedAR, can provide all of the tools you need to get your AR-enhanced print campaigns up and running in very little time, as well as provide the tools to track important metrics, such as engagement time and conversions.

This month, we highlight how businesses from various industries can transform their marketing strategies, lead in digital transformation and upgrade their existing marketing campaigns.  engaging property content that generates increased customer engaging property content that generates increased customer interaction and satisfaction.

Real Estate

Traditionally, the real estate marketing channels that attracted potential buyers and converted them into sales included real estate listings, property magazines, websites, plus street and window signage. Highly competitive, the real estate market today works with a variety of printed advertising materials that readily lend themselves to AR-enhancements. While buyers have had digital access to images of properties for sale or rent for some time, with the help of printed marketing materials, AR’s web-based media can immerse buyers in more personalized, engaging property content that generates increased customer experience and satisfaction.

Some of the ways the real estate industry is using AR include direct mail, magazines, brochures, street signs, yard signs, and other printed advertising that can guide buyers through a variety of AR experiences. Real estate agencies, property  owners, and property developers can create blueprint overlays of available properties, as well as show potential buyers a peek into the future. For example:

  • Loucas Zahos Architects’s AR-enabled residential property development brochure allowed potential buyers to view a 3D model of the completed development off the plan, using Interactive Print brochures, powered by AR. Buyers could then make inquiries seamlessly straight from the AR experience, and the developer could respond, monitor engagement and other metrics in real-time.
  • Real estate agency Harcourts Stafford created AR-enabled street signage that allowed passers-by to see an AR-enhanced video overview of the completed property. Potential buyers could then connect with the managing agent for more information or schedule an in-person tour directly from the property street signage.

Another industry where AR can be used to expand reach, educate, and inform customers through personalized interactive mail is the finance industry.


Banks and credit unions can dramatically increase their customer bases, by launching a direct mail campaign geared towards new move-ins. Wisconsin’s UnitedOne Credit Union introduced new residents to their local branch managers and took them on a personalized virtual tour of their local branch, after scanning a WebAR QR code on their interactive mailer.

Other areas where financial institutions can increase brand loyalty and inform customers of their many services through AR-enabled direct mail, include:

  • Introduction to new products and services
  • Updates on policies
  • Interest rate updates
  • Tips for saving money
  • Tutorials about how to invest money
  • Tips for building credit
  • Information about how to keep your banking information private

Personalized AR-enabled interactive direct mail can use WebAR QR codes to introduce and break down basic financial service information, as well as some of the more complex products financial institutions offer, such as:

  • Securities
  • Derivatives
  • Commodities
  • Currencies


Another industry that can streamline operations and keep customers better informed is the healthcare industry. Private healthcare practices looking to expand their reach and attract more patients can launch an interactive direct mail campaign that is personalized to specific demographic groups, with WebAR QR codes that, when scanned, introduce potential patients to their staff and provide  links to their websites. New patients can scan a mailer that delivers an interactive AR introduction that then links an introduction mailer to patients’ portals. The addition of videos that explain procedures and medications instill trust in patients. In waiting rooms, scanning a WebAR QR code can allow patients to access exclusive AR content, such as an interactive welcome from a virtual nurse that then prompts them to check in for their appointment and places them in the queue. AR-enhanced direct mail is making inroads in education, as well.


Colleges and universities are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from other schools, when attracting and retaining students. Personalized direct mail enrollment campaigns can invite potential students and their parents to tour their campuses, and include WebAR QR codes that deliver interactive videos of the school leader introducing their school, overlays of maps that show the best ways to get around campus, and other pertinent information that will sway prospective students and their parents.

When Oklahoma State was looking for a way to combine the personalization of print with ground-breaking technology, to welcome incoming students, the university connected with and UnifiedAR to send out a mailer that engaged students with an interactive AR experience that included:

  • A unique QR code
  • A connection to a personalized landing page
  • A high quality, professionally created intro video
  • A personalized call to action
  • Direct access to the OSU website for more pertinent information about course enrollment and upcoming Orientation procedure


Speaking of visiting, the tourism industry can revolutionize their businesses, by providing visitors with more engaging  and immersive state-of-the-art experiences via AR-enabled print.  A personalized direct mail ad can invite visitors to resort areas, by linking to an interactive 360-degree video tour of the location, with palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the sound of waves crashing on a beach, or feature a tour of the property.  Signage at tourist sites can contain WebAR QR codes that deliver engaging and interactive historical information or interesting facts about the site, while visitors are viewing the site.

Brisbane’s World Science Festival used Augmented Reality to power the delivery of interactive engagements to fourteen exhibits across the city. “Through their own smart devices, tourists and festival goers were treated to intriguing animations, images, and stories created by internationally acclaimed artists.” Yet another industry that will benefit exponentially by using AR-enabled direct mail campaigns is Food Kits.

Food Kits

As Food Kits are gaining in popularity, as a way to learn how to cook, and a way to eat healthier food, interactive direct mail campaigns are starting to be used to entice potential customers to sign up to create delicious meals pictured in AR-enabled images or videos, Interactive Print and Direct Mail, powered by Augmented Reality is also now used in the food kit industry to deliver engaging cooking and utensil use tips from chefs and even interactive guides on nutrition and ingredient use and storage.

Enter Augmented Reality

Additionally, since Augmented Reality enhancements brought the world Pokemon Go, Coca Cola’s ice melting in a mall, and Warby Parker’s eyeglasses try-ons, AR has gained ground as a marketing channel that boosts engagement and expedites conversion rates in the online shopping journey. According to another HBR article, some of the reasons consumers respond well to AR-enhanced print ads include:

  • Meaningful content
  • Convincing and realistic interaction of the virtual with the physical environment
  • Unique value that goes beyond what other technologies deliver

UnifiedAR is a world leading provider of white label Augmented Reality and Interactive Print solutions.

Our solutions have been designed specifically to provide businesses with the ability to easily evolve their marketing to meet a growing customer demand while reinforcing their position as an innovative leader in their vertical.

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