Something Old…

Something Old...

A few times a year, Mary and I head up to Baltimore Print Studios to use a traditional printing press to make letterpress creations. This printing process is very manual and involves hand setting type using blocks of wood or metal. We can choose from existing ink colors or mix our own to achieve precisely the shades we like. The results are one-of-a-kind pieces infused with a human touch. The nature of letterpress means that even with the same typesetting, each copy often has slight color and texture variations-a lovely marriage of industry and art. This traditional process got us to thinking about other classic forms of communication…

While the latest innovations and technologies are absolutely indispensable to your marketing efforts, some tried and true (read: old) techniques are turning heads, making connections, and moving your audience to action.

Direct Mail

Despite dire predictions that paper as a medium is doomed, savvy marketers who use hard copy direct mail can realize major ROI, increase attendance, and boost connectivity among membership.

Mail allows you to make a physical connection with your membership by putting your message-your stories-literally in their hands.

Direct mail also invites them to take action and connect with you by calling, filling out a reply card, or visiting a personalized website. Don’t forget, you can capitalize on the fact that mail volume is seriously low and your piece will get noticed. You can’t say the same for email.

Phone Calls

So your mailer ended up in the trash. And your email didn’t make it through the spam filter. A surefire way to reach your membership is to pick up the phone and talk. Not only is a phone call a “touch” that helps your organization stay top-of-mind among members; it’s also a valuable opportunity for you to connect with your base, to hear what they’re saying, learn what keeps them up at night, and discover what you can do to make their lives better. Ring, ring.

Opportunity is calling.

Face-to-Face Networking

It doesn’t get any more old school than face-to-face oral communication. Think about it: Your annual conference is really just a glorified campfire, a meeting place that allows for oral tradition to continue-to pass on information, tell old stories, and create new ones. Consider how other face-to-face opportunities might connect your membership to your organization all year long. Would select individuals benefit from a one-on-one coffee break? How about a lunch seminar? As they say, there’s no such thing as a virtual beer.

Reach out and shake a hand.

It’s in the Mix

Good marketing is a mixture of channels and media. And it’s sometimes easy to forget about effective methods from the past.

Forge ahead with innovation, but consider adding some low-tech components to better reach your audience, make meaningful connections, and move people to action.

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