Almost every company sends out emails. Whether large or small, your business most likely uses email in some way to communicate with your customers. Companies across the world rarely employ (and invest in) email marketing strategies for fun - they do it because, across the decades’ marketeers have found that email is a very effective, presentative, tool for speaking to individuals in a personalised and efficient way.
The ever-present problem for marketeers that specialise in CRM, and businesses as a whole, is how to make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. Smartphones make serving content through email extremely valuable but what can you offer customers that will make you stand out from the hundreds of other businesses clamouring for their attention? Why should a customer focus on your email when they receive hundreds, if not thousands of emails into their inbox a day?
In the email game, every little helps when it comes to setting yourself apart from the crowd. Even the slightest differentiator between your emails and those of your competitors can have a massive influence on your email engagement metrics and thus, in theory, your ROI from CRM.
Everyone does email, but not everyone does it well so how can you turn a good email into a great email? By utilizing AR.
What is Augmented Reality?
AR is a form of immersive technology that opens up the world around you by overlaying digital content with the real world through your mobile device, allowing you to engage with digital elements in an accessible and interactive way. It can be used to turn almost anything (print, POS, product, packaging, place) into an interactive delivery channel, serving immersive experiences that drive awareness and engagement with your brand.
Why use AR in your emails?
Augmented Reality (and new developments in WebAR) can now enable your emails to be more than just text on a screen - AR can now act as a portal (or means) for your content to transcend the device screen and be interacted with by your consumers.
The content that you’re currently sharing through email can now virtually materialize outside of a device screen and into the physical world for your users to interact with (via WebAR experiences served through a CTA deeplink). How much more likely do you think a customer is to remember your new product or retail space if they’ve been able to experience it themselves through a digital interface that you’ve sent to them in your email?
Likewise, AR content can be updated and published at the drop of a hat. With the frequency and speed that CRM and email more specifically operate at, AR can support and match the speed and scale of your comms whether you're a small business owner or household brand.
How to incorporate AR in your CRM campaigns?
Putting AR experiences into emails could not be easier. ZapWorks Studio allows you to make impressive AR experiences with ease and, by simply selecting a ‘deeplink’ WebAR trigger for any non-image tracked experiences made, you can serve these to your customers via email with a simple URL in a CTA button.
That way, all your customers have to do is click on a button in your email to access truly memorable pieces of AR content that can be personalised and branded to your company’s aesthetic and purposes.
We trialed this process by embedding an unbranded face-filter into our Valentine’s Day email campaign this year and (by using ZapWork’s integrated Zapalytics tools) achieved a new level of understanding about our customer base - gaining insight not just on experience access locations worldwide but also dwell times within the experience and repeat experiential engagements from the same device.
The fact that AR experiences can be activated by both physical and digital triggers also means that an above-the-line campaign or in-store activation can be directly supported by, and aligned with, your email communication content. Under the same ZapWorks subscription, you can create AR materials and experiences for a single campaign (or multiple) and serve that digitized content to individuals onsite and in emails or messages informing them of, or discussing, the activation - allowing for a broader range of campaign synergy and cohesiveness.
What AR experiences can be used in email campaigns?
A ZapWorks subscription allows you to make a vast range of AR experiences. As a general rule of thumb, I’d advise against constructing any image-tracked experiences for use in email (as your user would need to have an image in front of them to scan for the experience to work successfully). However, you could try the following...
Face-tracking experiences are surprisingly easy to build using ZapWorks Studio and are very user-friendly so would typically be my personal AR preference. Here’s a great example of a face filter that with some tweaks could be deep-linked into an email:
Helping customers visualise a product, by placing a digital version of it in the physical space in front of them is something that AR does incredibly well. Here’s a great example from Groove Jones of product visualisation that could placed into a product launch campaign as well as in stores:
Panoramic or virtual portal experiences are incredibly engaging and help customers experience spaces in a really immersive and memorable manner. Here’s a great example created by one of our ZapWorks community that could be converted for use in email:
What’s so cool about embedding AR experiences into email is that it’s such a new piece of functionality it is yet to be truly capitalised on - meaning now is the time to get ahead of the curve and to start testing AR within your own email campaigns.
If you want to be one of the early adopters of this great usage of AR technology and revolutionize your CRM content and strategy with ZapWorks, get in touch today.