In today’s world everyone is all about digital. But whatever happened to the tried-and-true marketing tactics of yesteryear? Do they still work?

In many cases, yes, but they need a 21st century twist.

Give traditional #marketing another chance and add a 21st century twist to tried-and-true tactics. Click To Tweet

1. Direct Mail

Junk mail used to be a huge problem for most of us, but today I’m more irritated by the stuff in my inbox than the stuff in my mail box. That’s why direct mail can be a counterintuitive way to break through the noise and get noticed!

Serendipity Catering Company out of Denver, CO, devised a direct mail campaign to boost holiday sales that was aimed at 4,000 of their previous customers. In just the first three weeks they received 12-15 responses and generated $25,000 in new catering jobs!

Pro Tip: Repetition is key here. In this campaign the Serendipity team sent four unique postcards to each customer, so they were always top-of-mind.

If mailers aren’t your thing, a similar tactic that can also have some strong results is door hangers. No, they’re not sexy, but Quiznos spent some of their budget distributing 4,500 door hangers for each of their 1,400 stores. Throughout the campaign they saw about 12% of recipients bring in the attached coupon to a store location and become a customer!

For a few techniques on how to make your direct mail efforts really stand out, learn some direct marketing secrets from Small Biz Trends.

2. Local Event Sponsorships

Usually event sponsorships bring to mind local celebrations like Oktoberfest or your neighborhood farmer’s market, but now that sites like exist, you can truly participate in events that target your niche. No matter who you’re trying to reach, buying food and drinks for a Meetup group can be an easy, inexpensive way to track down potential customers.

When you lock in a sponsorship, there are three things you can do to get the most out of it:

  • Ask the organization to mention your business in any emails they send out to promote the event. Many people who don’t attend the event still get the group emails, so this can really extend your reach. Asking for social shout outs are another great way to expose more potential customers to your brand through the organization.
  • Actually attend the event! I know it sounds obvious, but you don’t want to rely on the organization to promote your business. Plus, it’s much easier to attract customers when they can see and like you face to face, so ask if you can set up a little table and introduce yourself while you’re there.
  • Bring a signup sheet for people who want to learn more about your business. The opportunity to continually contact potential customers via email is really valuable and you don’t want to lose those warm leads.

3. Advertise in Community Newsletters

Just a few years ago, community newsletters were printed and sent to people’s mailboxes. Even though this type of communication has largely shifted to email, it can still be a great place to promote your brand!

Many municipalities are happy to spread the word about a promotion you’re doing for a minimal fee or even free. A great example of this in the Phoenix area is Downtown Tempe. Every month they share new events, happy hours and deals to Tempe residents, so local businesses stay on the community’s radar.

Remember, it doesn’t matter whether your marketing efforts are digital or traditional. If they’re not targeted toward the right audience with a clear, unique value proposition, your dollars will be wasted on any medium. That’s why you need to figure out who you’re selling to before you decide how to reach them!

Has your business tried any traditional marketing tactics? What was the ROI? We’d love to hear about your experiences!