68 Great Old-School Marketing Tips!

Most marketing ideas you read online nowadays centre around the internet itself. While internet marketing is important, there are many old-fashioned ideas that are both simple and profitable.

Here are 68 of them:

Business Cards

Put your contact details on so people can contact you. The card design should state the obvious: what you offer.

Add More Info On Your Business Cards

A card has two sides. Put something punchy and pertinent on the reverse.

Memorable Business Cards

Do something to make them look unusual, in a way which reflects well on your business and its type

Thank-You Cards

Your customers will remember you above the guys who don't send them. Which is most. It adds a nice personal touch.

Branded Clothing

Wear T-shirts with your logo and web address and get your staff to do so too. Good quality cotton shirts can be worn for years. Give them away at trade fairs. Let other people become a walking advert for your business.

Send A Newsletter To Existing Clients

Email existing clients with your latest news, especially new offers, so they keep you in mind. Make sure the content is genuinely interesting. To them!

Plain White Envelopes

If it looks like junk mail, it will be binned. Use a First Class stamp initially and a frank when you get bigger.

Ask Customers For Feedback

Ask them how you can improve your service and what they liked about it to become your client in the first place. This will give you ideas.

Listen To Customer Feedback

You can get great ideas and fix problems you didn't know existed.

Great Customer Service

Work that extra bit harder; your word-of-mouth will increase and you'll get more clients.

Offer A 'Lite' Version

This encourages people try out your good or service with less risk to them.

Find A Niche

Find out what people really want which isn't currently available. Make sure you can make a profit on it!

"New Product Offers Benefit"

This is how to write a headline. Focus on what your clients want, not what you think they need.

Follow Up Twice

Follow up serious enquiries or hot leads more than once.

Email Signature

This is a reminder of who you are, what you do and how to contact you, on every email you send.

Send A Press Release To Your Local Newspaper

Find a template online. Or go direct: call a local journalist with your news item and he'll do the rest.

Write For Your Local Paper

Offer to write an expert column in your business speciality, where you answer questions. Even just reporting local news can be useful if it makes you a 'local hero'. There's nothing like free publicity!

Press Kit

Create one so you have something to push to reporters when they ask. Have it on your website as well.

Sponsor A Competition, Award Or Prize

You know the classic shot of the local businessman giving a supersized cheque to a local charity in the local paper? That should be you. Papers need stories, you need the publicity. It's a no-brainer!

Do A Survey

Survey results can be passed to newpapers as a news item. You'll often see private survey results presented as news on local and national media. Your survey can be on there, too.

Be An Expert Spokesman

Contact your local TV, radio and newspapers to put yourself forward as an expert in your own field. Be available for interviews. Get some media training so you look OK on camera.

Time-Dependent Discounts

This is a classic: "10% discount if you buy before 30 Sept!" It creates urgency. If people think they can buy anytime, they might not at all.

Traditional Mail Out

The success of posting offers to your existing clients depends on how desirable what you're offering is. Good ideas are coupons with an expiry date which are designed to look valuable.

Charity Auction

Offer your service as an item. You can network, meet potential new clients and raise your profile.

Teach Others

Teach others and you could find they turn into customers.

Price Correctly

Research the common price of what you're selling. Price a bit lower when you're starting out then raise it when you become popular. Never compromise on quality, however!


People like free gifts. It also creates an obligation, which helps sales. Put your logo, URL and contact number on them


Put your logo, URL and contact number on pens, diaries, calendars: things people will keep and use.

Mobile Advertising

Create a sticker for your car that shows directly what you offer, with your URL, telephone number and maybe a discount code.

Memorable Phone Number

Get a number with repeating or sequential digits and which is easy to say.

Reward Repeat Sales

Give a bonus or discount to people who buy more from you. They'll appreciate it and you'll get more custom.

Sales During Slow Periods

Have a 1 day sale to get some business in at times when business is slow.

Package Deals

Pair a slow-moving item with a popular one: "Buy 1 get the other half price."

Get Accreditation

Display membership badges on your website and stationery. It helps you look more credible.

Offer A Guarantee

Guarantees make clients more comfortable in buying from you.


Create a Unique Selling Proposition that differentiates you from your competition and that will persuade people to switch over to you.

Offer A Trial Period

A 30-day money back guarantee puts purchasers minds at ease. You remove an obstacle to purchase. (You only offer this if there's no significant loss to you i.e. the product is so good no one will take you up on the offer or, if they do, you won't lose much.)


Market additional products to existing clients when appropriate.

Offer Free Expert Advice

A few might copy your tips and trick but most people just want someone to do the job for them. And that can be you.

Enter Awards Competitions

Put your business up for awards. You get free publicity and credibility.

Affiliate Programme

Give people a percentage of any sale they put your way. Make it more formal as you go along. Keep a database and put a system online as soon as feasible; there are affiliate program softwares that can be bought off the shelf. The most important thing is to PAY YOUR AFFILIATES EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE OWED AND ON TIME AND THANK THEM. They're expecting you to gip them because that's how the world works. Don't be that guy!

Increase Your Prices

It makes you look more up-market. You'll win more higher-value clients and the bottom feeders will go elsewhere. As these are often the most trouble, you save yourself hassle.

Your Answering Machine Is A Marketing Tool

Tell the caller to go to your website. They may not know you have one. Follow-up on calls ASAP. You paid money to get that call; don't let them go elsewhere!

Ignore Your Competition

Research your competition for inspiration, then forget about them. Work on making your business the best. What they're doing may not be working for them, so don't just copy them willy-nilly.

Join Forces With Others

Ally with complementary firms. If you're in the building trade then partnering with architects and hardware stores is a good way for you all to get more business. Put work each other's way. Affiliate!

Network At Conferences

Bring your business cards and hand them out. You'll slowly become a more substantial person within your industry. You make useful contacts. People respond to other people, not websites.

Always Be Selling

Always say your company name and who's speaking when you answer the phone. Always make sure your email signature contains your company name and logo.

Be Polite And friendly At All Times

Your next caller could be a big sale. The small client you were nice to could refer a bigger one.

Make Your Clients Feel Special

Be friendly and accessible. Good manners cost nothing. Give a little extra. If they perceive you as a friend they're more likely to stay with you.

Offer To Speak At Local Universities

This will help embed you with the local business community.

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

It can offer valuable help and is a means to network with other local business owners.

Sponsor Local Sports

Your name on their kit = great advertising. They win a game = free photos in the local papers with your name on their kit.

Add Value

Add extra services at a discount to your main offering. It makes the whole deal more appetising.

Notice Boards

Some shops have these. Most are dead. There's often one which acts as a hub. Put your flyer on it, with little tear-off strips with your number on each one.

Offer Exclusive Deals To Existing Customers

They've bought from you once, they're more likely to buy again. Make the deal worthwhile and in keeping with the season.

Use Friends And Family

Give them your cards and ask them to promote you. No need to be shy about it.

Do Something Unusual

Is there anything you can do to stand out from your competition? You aim to be 'top of mind' when people think about the niche you're in.

Your Service As A Free Prize

A fun competition or one with a great prize can go viral.

Buy Marketing Lists

They can be expensive, but a good list is gold. Make sure you offer readers something of real value to them. Think of benefits to them rather than just blowing your own trumpet.

Advertise On Other's Email Newsletters

It's cheaper to buy an ad on someone else's list than collate your own. Make sure the target group is relevant to your business and don't pay silly money.

Organise Your Own Network

Can't meet new people easily? Organise a network of people in the same niche and then meet up.

Make Video(s)

Videos create credibility. They let people see who you are and what you do. Crooks don't like to front their operations. You can leap over the competition if you make professional-looking presentations.


Ask clients for testimonials. Put them on site and on your advertising materials. Don't rewrite them; they need to look natural. Testimonials from happy customers encourage more sales.

Video Testimonials

A client promoting your product on-camera creates real credibility. So much so that some companies try to fake this!

Follow Up On Leads

Don't let the lead get stale, turn it into a sale! Keep in contact with people you meet in your business.

Simple Charity

Others have helped you for free. You do likewise. People will remember it and you may reap the benefits later. It will also help your reputation.

Build Your Brand

Your brand is a sign that should contain the essence of your business. It is its symbol. How strong is yours? Perhaps a clever designer could make it better?

Always be Selling

Encapsulate your business in an 11-word elevator speech. Most people you meet will ask you what you do. Make it easy for them to grasp. Then it's easier for them to tell others.

LASTLY: The internet. In all the hype remember the most fundemental thing: word of mouth. People will market your product for you if it's a truly great product, which meets a substantial demand and is priced to sell.

So make it so!

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