Does this still work?

There are still businesses out there that use marketing activities from the past, despite the vast number of newer and more effective marketing tools. Are you one of these businesses?

Old school advertisements  – do we still need them?

This morning I opened a letter that was sent to me by Allied Fin Serv of rural NC.  Here what was in the letter:

{Allied letter head logo with phone & fax number }

Teddy L. Burriss Jr.
{My home address}

CONGRATULATIONS! You have been selected as a Allied Fin Serv Preferred Customer by virtue of an excellent recommendation.

A Cash reserve Fund has been set up in your name and you are invited to use this money at any time. Our loan service is fast, friendly, and strictly confidential. You can borrow any amount from $200.00 to $2,500.00 with terms to suit you, subject to our liberal credit policy.

Just call me at the above number, state the amount you need, give us a little time to complete the details, and upon approval, we will have the money waiting when you stop in.

This is a genuine offer. Allied Fin Serv and I look forward to serving your money needs.

B. F.

Included in the mailing was a crudely crafted ad regarding using my Tax Refund as a down payment on an automobile purchase of <$10,000.

So, if you received this letter and needed some hard cold cash, what would you do?

  • I decided to do some research on the letter and company.  Here is what I discovered:
  • First of all, the letter looks as if it were printed on a typewriter.  Really, ink left a mirror image on the paper when it was folded
  • The font spacing and line spacing resembled a typewriter or old style printer.
  • B. CONGRATULATED me because I got an excellent recommendation.  This was likely my credit score, since I have no idea who Allied is.
  • In the last paragraph, B. says, “this is a genuine offer.” Really, if you have to say this in a letter, this must mean many people are going to ignore this letter.
  • The only contact info on the letter is the address, telephone & fax numbers.
  • B. did not take the time to sign the letter she sent to me.

I decided to call B. and ask her a few questions. Here is what I also learned:

  • The owner of the company does not want a web site.
  • He does not want a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn presence.
  • They got my name off of a marketing list they bought
  • They have an email address, but it’s “only for business.”
  • B. said they get a good response on their mailings, but would not elaborate.
  • This is the only marketing activity they have ever done, it works and the owner will not do anything different, or new.
  • I asked B. if I could talk with her about some new ideas and she said, “don’t waste your time.”
  • I failed to remember to ask B. to take me off her mailing list.  That could be a waste of time as well, likely they have no idea how.

A new marketing perspective that could provide business value for Allied Fin Serv:

  • You don’t need to say, “this is a genuine offer”, if I were able to learn more about your business through even a simple online presence.
  • If the printing were more traditional, vs. old school, I’d trust you business just a little more.
  • If B. had actually signed the letter, even if digitally, the letter would seem more welcoming.
  • Instead of leading with a bogus “Congratulations” and ridiculous “selection” statement, lead with a “why” statement. This could encourage your targets to trust the business more.
  • Consider having some professional help crafting your (Spam) letters and advertisements.


Please, consider using professionals to build your marketing plans, craft your message, design your follow up and measurement of your programs.  Otherwise, you’ll be considered too old school to be trusted & respected in business.

And, have an online presence so that your prospects can learn more about your business.

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