5 Old School Marketing Methods That Still Work

We all know that the internet is a powerful way to connect to your customers and boost your sales. Email marketing, blogging and social media are digital tools every business needs. But just as you wouldn’t have only one type of tool in your toolbox (like a set of screwdrivers), you don’t want to limit yourself to online marketing alone. Let’s look at some tried-and-true methods that still yield impressive results.

Direct Mail

A staple of marketing for decades, direct mail is an effective way to reach a targeted local customer base. Types of direct mail includes postcards with an offer, product catalogs, coupons, free samples and solicitation letters (for non-profits). According to a 2015 Data and Marketing Association report, response rate is typically higher for oversized envelopes versus letter-sized mailers. Oversized envelopes generally had a 5% response rate compared to a 3.5% response rate for postcards. You’ll need to weigh cost over return to find the best approach for your particular needs. Here’s a myth buster: you might think that older people are more likely to purchase from direct mail, but studies show that millennials are quite receptive to this type of marketing (so don’t believe all the hype that “print is dead”).

Radio Ads

According to a June 2017 Nielsen report, nearly 250 million Americans over the age of 12 listen to the radio each week. That’s a lot of ears and makes radio a highly effective, affordable tool for reaching a wide audience. One of radio’s biggest benefits is the ability to target local customers with your message. Radio is also part of many people’s daily routine, especially driving to and from work or school. On average, Americans spend 104 minutes per day listening to radio and listeners tend to be loyal to stations, something you can use to your advantage.

Promotional Items

Everyone loves free stuff. Promotional products with your company name help build your brand and reach customers — without breaking the bank. Low-cost promotional items can be highly effective. Think about pens, magnets, calendars, coasters, plastic water bottles and even coffee mugs. Apparel is also something you might want to try, but be careful. People may not want to wear a shirt or hat with a company name. If you go this route, consider including a witty phrase or a unique design as added incentive.


We’ve covered billboards in a previous blog, and they’re a very effective way to get local eyes on your business or service. Billboards can build your customer base, allow you to tailor your message to your audience, and are great for non-profits.

Sign Spinners

Standing on a street corner waving a cardboard sign might seem like a truly antiquated way of getting someone’s attention, but it works. One big reason is that, as drivers, we’re trained to notice other people. Sign Spinners are a very low-cost promotional tool, which means you really do get more bang (and spin!) for your buck. Market analysis shows that impulse buyers are the most likely to make a purchase suggested by sign spinners. Plus they’re fun to watch!

Want more ideas to help market your business? Feel free to contact us. Farmhouse Creative is here to help.