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QR code use skyrocketed during the pandemic, and it didn’t take long for marketers everywhere to capitalize on the QR code’s potential to support multi-channel experiences. Examples of phygital marketing can include elements on a mailpiece that drive users to a digital platform, such as AR and QR codes. 

The increased use of QR codes was driven by the need for contactless interactions during the height of the pandemic. In June 2011, just 6.2% of mobile users in the U.S. had scanned a QR code with their smartphone. By September of 2020, 85% of survey respondents had used a QR code—more than 30% of them in the last week.  

Some studies project as much as a 22% increase in the use of QR codes by 2025. Whether it’s a well-designed landing page, irresistible promotion, immersive video or even another reality, QR codes can activate nearly any virtual experience.  

Augmented reality (AR) is another technology transforming the direct mail experience. It allows users to see previously static AR-capable images (e.g., a mailpiece) on their mobile devices, but in a new, interactive way. By superimposing a digital image onto a user’s screen, it comes to life and creates a more immersive experience.  

For example, a furniture company could use AR to show a customer what a chair would look like in their home. Or a shopper might “try on” glasses before choosing the perfect frames. A landscaping or home improvement company could show customers what their updated space would look like before they make a big investment.  

These easily scannable black-and-white grids can jumpstart a campaign by signaling to audiences that a printed mail piece is the first step in a multi-channel experience. QR and AR codes are applicable across industries, and can be used with any number of Tension products, including:  

where print and digital meet

Download Tension’s “Phygital Marketing: Where Print and Digital Meet” white paper to learn more about this marketing strategy.

Stay tuned for part three in our ‘Phygital’ series!

About Tension Corporation

A global leader in envelopes, printed products, packaging and packaging automation solutions, the Tension Corporation is a privately held and operated company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Tension manufactures billions of envelopes annually and their envelope and printed products division serves a variety of industries, including third-party billing, financial, insurance and direct marketing. The packaging and automation division of Tension provides software, consumables, automation and service and support for fulfillment to the e-commerce and pharmaceutical industries.