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PixyMe app drives sales of virtual, physical postcards

Marketing communications service provider Tukaiz’s PixyMe is a social networking application for the iPhone and iPod touch with a mobile commerce element that bridges the virtual and physical worlds.

Tukaiz claimst that PixyMe is the first postcard messaging application that uses true-to-life image personalization technology to create and send personalized postcards via email, text message, Facebook or an actual printed postcard through the mail. As mobile phones are fast becoming the primary Internet device, they offer an innovative way to drive interactive and print applications.

“Tukaiz is known as a B2B marketing production company, and we started a direct-to-consumer division,” said Frank Defino Jr., vice president and managing director of Tukaiz, Franklin Park, IL. “We said ‘Let’s take the PixyMe iPhone app and put in the new consumer products division—it’s the same imagery used in our B2B products division.

“We’re very Apple oriented—we’re part of their software development network—the day the iPhone was released we were waiting in line,” he said. “We knew there was an image-personalization market for consumers, and we wanted to allow consumers to be able to create a postcard and send it to anyone in the world.

“The PixyMe app for iPhone puts image personalization in the hands of anyone—Web to print, app to Web, app to print, etcetera.”

Founded in 1963, Tukaiz is a family-owned and operated company providing products and services to advertising agencies and corporate America.

The infrastructure of Tukaiz includes imaging, print and interactive services comprised of in-house consulting, creative, prepress, color correction and retouching, as well as prepress, offset, digital, large format and banner printing, online marketing management, data development, Web site development/hosting, multimedia solutions, finishing, and mailing and fulfillment services.

Selling multimedia postcards
Launched in January, PixyMe was chosen by Apple to be listed in iTunes’ “What’s Hot” section in February, and the application continues to rank in the top 25 “Paid Social Networking Apps” in the App Store.

Downloads of the application are currently approaching 10,000.

Users can connect with family, friends and other social networks with attention-getting images that actually integrate the name of the recipient or a short phrase into an object within the photograph, making it appear as if it were photographed that way, such as a name written in leaves on a sidewalk or as fireworks in the sky.

Some of the key features of the PixyMe application are:
• A selection of more than 100 images broken down by categories such as travel, holidays, celebration and kids
• The ability to key in a name or greeting and watch as the text gets transformed as part of the image
• Provides several custom frames that wrap the personalization around photos from users’ camera or photo library
• The ability to add a personal note on the postcard and share it via Facebook, email, text message or by mailing a print version
• Fast production of image-personalized printed postcards
• Fast delivery of printed postcards anywhere in the world including a real stamp mailed First Class

Users can visit the App Store from their mobile device or on iTunes and buy PixyMe for $1.99.

The postcards, which are 4.25 inches by 5.625 inches, are printed and mailed anywhere in the world with an actual stamp included in the price.

There is a charge of $1.99 per printed postcard mailed in the U.S., and $2.99 for postcards mailed to all other destinations.

Tukaiz has used various methods to get the word out about PixyMe, including billboard advertising at the most recent NBA All-Star Game, personalized direct mail pieces offering the chance to win an iPod touch, email blasts and, of course, word-of-mouth viral spread.

The direct mail pieces have seen a 15 percent response rate.

“The app represents differentiation for us, and it drives business back to our digital printing press—it’s a money-maker and great brand-awareness piece for ourselves as well Mr. Defino said. “‘This iPhone app does this, if you like this technology, to see more products that use this tech, go to our Web site’—it’s a great way to market ourselves.

“We didn’t do this as a hobby,” he said. “We did this to make money.”