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Direct Marketing » Trends, Best Practice | 23.10.2014

Getting personal with direct mail


Using direct mail and augmented reality helped to bring to life the call to take part in the UK’s charity fundraising sport events, Sport Relief. Different codes were used, to make the messages bespoke for recipients in various cities.

The recipients: 1 million homes across London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester.

The idea: Sport Relief is a charity event for Comic Relief held every other year in the UK. It brings together the worlds of sport and entertainment to raise money to help vulnerable people in the country, as well as in the world's poorest countries. But rather than just rely on spontaneous donations, it requires plenty of people to get involved, take part in organised sporting events – or host their own. A direct mail leaflet has to work incredibly hard to help build the necessary interest and excitement.

The execution: For the second time, Sport Relief turned to augmented reality to help, using Zappar technology. Using their mobile phones, recipients could watch a pep-talk from Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy. And through the use of different zapcodes for every city, each one got a bespoke message as well as custom URLs linking to local sign-up pages. A further interactive element let users pose for photos with the headgear and medals worn by sports stars Jessica Ennis-Hill, Johnnie Peacock, Ellie Simmons, Rebecca Adlington and Victoria Pendleton within the mailing. A follow-up mailing focused on raising donations, with the Zappar-powered Cedric the bulldog giving his money raising tips.

The results: Thousands of people signed up for runs, swims and cycling events in the recipient cities, helping to raise nearly £72m for Sport Relief 2014.

Got inspired? Have a more detailed look right away at this best practice.