It’s clear to see the number of promotional letters and brochures we’re sent in the post has reduced in recent years. Online marketing seems to have taken over as it’s perceived to be a more cost-effective way to promote your business. Is this still the case and can offline marketing work for you and your business?

Last week I received a little booklet in the post with information and tips about how to manage your time effectively in the office. It instantly caught my attention – most direct marketing sits in my inbox, and sometimes I have so many emails, it takes hours to sift through them. And, unless it really stands out, it’s deleted.

We’ve all become used to being bombarded with emails every day. That’s why, when a well-designed booklet or leaflet hits my doormat, I pay attention. Now I’m not saying we should all revert to traditional marketing methods, but I think a healthy mix of the two would work well for most businesses.

This booklet was well-designed and I was curious. Its front cover was personalised with my name and company, and it read: ‘Claire-Marie, do you manage your time effectively at WorkPR?’. I connected the brochure with a website I’d visited a week ago, whilst doing research for a client. I’d noticed a clear call to action on the website and entered my basic details to download a free e-book.

The company had taken the information I’d provided, along with the title of the e-book I’d downloaded, and followed up with a handy booklet sent to me in the post a week later. I was impressed. This is something we do, but it was refreshing to see other businesses using this highly effective way of engaging with prospects.

A lot of businesses have reduced their offline marketing efforts due to the cost. If cost and ROI has been an issue for these businesses, I think it’s to do with the way they’re doing it, as opposed to the method itself. After all, we live in the real world, not the digital one. We’re exposed to newspapers, billboards, bus advertising, exhibitions, events and more on a daily basis. We know it works.

Most promotional post or emails I see aren’t personalised or even relevant to anything I’m interested in. Sending out blanket marketing post or emails is never a good idea. You should always create a targeted mailing list, only including those who have opted in to receive your mail. Then, once you have your targeted list, dividing it into segments is your next step.

When you understand your buyers wants and needs, it helps to segment them into groups based on shared characteristics. This makes it easier for you to target different groups with specific topics relevant to them. It’s going to help you personalise the mail shots, brochures, emails or anything else you send them. And if you do this properly, it will help increase your response rate.

I know the mix of both offline and online isn’t going to work for every business out there. It really depends on who your target audience is, and what they’re looking for. Knowing your audience well is key to giving people what they want, which is what we’re all trying to achieve in today’s competitive world of business.

If you’re not sure which methods to use, or need help or advice as to which marketing methods are the right fit for your business, it may be time to consult a professional.

We’ve given targeted offline marketing another chance, and we think you should too!