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12 traditional marketing media to mix with your digital marketing

12 traditional marketing media to mix with your digital marketing

By on Dec 25, 2017

Wait a minute… you said traditional marketing?

Before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between “traditional” and “digital” marketing.

Traditional, or offline, marketing focuses on “older” communications media like television, radio, print, and direct mail. You could also say simply that traditional marketing (or offline marketing) is virtually everything except digital (or online) marketing.

The concept of “offline vs. online marketing” can definitely be a misnomer these days, due to the fact that social media and other web-based marketing channels are always beneficial to offline, brick-and-mortar businesses. But that doesn’t mean that you have to go online every time you’re developing a marketing campaign.

Especially those who have a store or sell in a limited geographic area can benefit greatly from the use of traditional marketing media. They can be used effectively to supplement online marketing efforts (with good results in almost every industry) to make your marketing strategy even stronger.

The combination of both approaches can bring your marketing full circle by boosting your visibility and bringing you more leads.

Why use traditional marketing in a digital world?

While newer marketing methods do work and can increase your client base, completely replacing traditional marketing with the latest marketing techniques can prove dangerous.

Traditional methods still have a high success rate and are proven. Internet methods are subject to customers having access to an online medium and being Internet savvy.

With traditional marketing, anyone with a newspaper, mailbox, or radio can learn about your business or service. Rather than customers going online to find your business or service (and possibly stumbling on your competitor’s website), you bring your business or service directly to potential customers through print advertisements, direct mail, and other traditional methods.

The most effective marketing plans integrate elements from both traditional and digital marketing, and make them work together to maximize their impact.

1. Flyers

Flyers can be one of the most important tools for a local business. The use of flyers has been around forever, and was once one of the most popular advertising tools. Now that most marketers have taken their game online, you may find that there’s a significant communication gap in your area that is wide open to sending out your latest offers using “old school” methods.

A flyer is basically your “ad”. You should create your flyers based on the facts:

–       Exciting headline

–       Compelling offer

–       Call to action

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2. Cross-marketing campaigns

Cross-marketing campaigns are great way to boost your business without a lot of expensive advertising. They can also tie together multiple marketing channels, such as flyers, contests, and more.

What is a cross-marketing campaign? Imagine if you have an awesome product that is great by itself, but also ties in well with another product or service that you don’t offer, but another local company may. Sometimes the connections are pretty obvious, like a bakery and a café, or a dry cleaner and an alteration service. Others might not be, such as a bar and a cab service, or heating/cooling company and a window company.

Ultimately, they should work well together but not be direct competition. The end result of any cross-marketing campaign should benefit both businesses, by bringing two separate groups of customers together into a single shared pool of customers that are more likely to purchase from one business because of what they might purchase from the other.

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How to create a successful cross-marketing campaign

  • Determine which company or companies you wish to partner with. Find local companies who have the same client base as your own targeted customers, but aren’t actual competitors. Ideally, these should be companies with products or services that are complementary to your own, for example, if you own a gym, perhaps a supplement shop or tanning salon. If you own a café, you might look at a bakery, or a local bookstore or newsstand.
  • Give this company or companies an incentive to partner with you by giving your flyers to their customers, and provide them with the flyers for your campaign.

Nobody likes to give away their own customers, so you have to come up with a strategy that would make them want to help you instead of simply sending you away. The strategy has to be a win-win for both parties; otherwise it won’t work.

In order to share your flyers with their customers, offer the business owner an incentive that they could use for themselves, or potentially as a promotion they could use to boost their own business, as well. For our gym owner example, you could give them a free training program for 12 weeks, or a free 6-month gym membership—something big and very tempting that makes them want to buy in.

  • Determine how you will promote your partners in your business. For example, offer to share their flyers or brochures with your members, possibly include a display of their product in your business, provide them a selling space in your business (if you have a café, selling cookies and pastries from a partner bakery would be a perfect tie-in), or show their logo somewhere in your business.
  • Provide some sort of incentive or bonus to new clients just for referencing or showing that flyer. It may be a discounted price, a free product or service, a gift of some sort, or an entry in a drawing to win a special prize—potentially even a prize from one of your cross-marketing partners.


Consider a cross-promotion where each business offers a prize package, but must enter at the other business. That boosts awareness, and encourages clients to check out both locations, making it a win-win for both companies!

Give your partners a good deal because they are promoting you in their own business. And reward your new customers because they are about to spend a lot of money with your business, if you treat them well.

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3. Direct Mail

Even though direct mail (DM) can be more expensive than online marketing, it can be a very effective lead generating tool. Some of your target customers may be more inclined to open a direct mail piece because it seems more personal than emails. In fact, some members of your target market may prefer direct mail over online communication such as email or Facebook advertising.

The average consumer sees approximately 5,000 advertisements each day. It may be something you hear on the radio when driving in your car, in stores and other businesses, on billboards, on TV, in our mailbox and our email inbox, on Facebook, even in movies through product placement. Advertising is everywhere—so much so, that it often becomes background noise and we don’t even notice most of it.

So how do you stand out in this constant promotional onslaught? You have to be somehow different, smart, more engaging than other businesses. Your DM has to provide entertainment instead of just an offer or list of services. You want to not only get the client’s attention, you want to hold it.

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How do I get my client to actually read my direct mail piece?

–       Instead of sending just a flyer, put it in an envelope. If you are brave enough, put in a bigger one. The kind that makes you always check who the sender is.

–       Instead of printing a label, address it by hand.

–       Put a real stamp on it, not one of those mass-mailing postage meter stamps. It may cost a few cents more, but it shows that you care about the impression you make.

–       Put something thick and intriguing in the envelope. Some small gift for your readers. Everybody opens and envelope for a free gift.

4. Newsletters

Newsletters can be a powerful part of your direct mail efforts. A newsletter may be a single sheet with an interesting article and updates about the latest new offerings and products. Or it could be a multi-page mini-magazine with multiple articles, motivational quotes and stories, interviews, information on the latest trends, cool pictures, and more. Make it informative, entertaining, and relevant.

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5. Posters

What does your office look like? You probably have a desk and chairs in it, maybe a bookshelf. But what else?

Put some larger posters on your wall with product- or offer- related images and quotes that will help inspire the client to buy. Have them imprinted with your name or logo. If you are creative enough, design your own!

6. Brochures

The purpose of the brochure is to complete the selling job. When developing a brochure, ask yourself:

–       Is the brochure designed with your customer in mind?

–       Is the presentation suited to the products or services being offered?

–       Is the brochure consistent with the rest of your printed mail or marketing campaign?

–       What is the idea behind the brochure?

–       Is the headline catchy and interesting?

–       Does the entire presentation in the brochure follow a logical sequence and tell a story?

Brochures can take a lot of different forms, from a simple, inexpensive tri-fold to multi-page designs.

Determining the best format depends on a number of factors, including your marketing campaign(s), your target audience, and your budget.

For example, you may want to develop a series of lower-cost brochures, each targeting different offers, that can be used for direct mail purposes, while you may want a nicer overview brochure for your business that you give to your most serious prospects.

For great looking brochures, work with a graphic design specialist who can help you develop powerful pieces that effectively convey your message, and assist you with the optimal designs for printing.

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7. Envelopes

Don’t ignore the outer envelopes when developing your Direct Mail campaign. The envelope has one job: to get your potential customer to open it. Making your DM package stand out in the mailbox is the first challenge. People are looking for an excuse to throw your Direct Mail communication away – so tease, excite, or dazzle them. Make it so that if the prospect throws out your communication, they feel they are missing out on something.

Studies have shown that when weighing all the elements of a Direct Mail campaign, the outer envelope impacts about 10% of the final decision of whether to respond or not, but can be the critical factor in whether a person chooses to look at all.

Typically, if you can make the envelope look more personal, your mailers have a better chance of not ending up in the trashcan right away. A great way to achieve this is hand-written envelopes, or if mass printing, a font that looks hand-written, combined with a regular stamp. Because many people sort their mail at the trashcan, you only have a split-second for them to decide if they’ll open your letter or not. Labels are impersonal. Addresses printed directly onto an envelope or written by hand give a much more personal touch.

The overall appearance of the envelope can be a big factor, as well.

Test different envelope designs. Test instructional one, test out a window envelope, test a provocative statement, or bold graphic. If you’re giving away a premium, feature it on the envelope.

Traditional postage stamps are much more personalized than postage meter stamps or any other postal mark. After taking the proper steps to create a really excited DM campaign, don’t blow it by being cheap on the postage. Nothing says mass mailing like that little red postage meter stamp in the corner. If something looks like it’s bulk mail it is more likely to get tossed. If you want your Direct Mail pieces to get respected, and most important, get opened, send them out first class mail with a real stamp.

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