Offline Advertising In The Digital Age: Why Traditional Advertising Isn't Dead

Updated: April 23rd, 2024


Print + Traditional
Brand Exposure
Cost Details
A company can spend thousands, even millions, to some traditional avenues.

What Is Traditional Advertising?

Offline advertising refers to the advertising tactics carried out using the traditional media such as billboards, television, and even radio ads.

Although digital advertising drives a higher ROI for many brands, traditional offline channels still matter for startups.

According to Oberlo, 10% of the US population says they never use the internet. Besides, only 81% of US adults go online on a daily basis.

Thus, running an offline advertising campaign is the best approach for targeting people who never use the internet, or do not log in on a daily basis.

Offline Advertising Key Takeaways

  • Make sure there is a way to convert offline prospects into online sales by including a URL to a landing page or a QR code leading to a form for capturing visitor information.
  • Be selective to the type of offline advertising you choose, so that you target your customer base directly.
  • Hone in on your sole objective of the ad rather than communicating too many messages
  • Use online analytics to track the performance of your offline campaigns

Understanding How Offline Advertising Works

Offline advertising targets consumers through the traditional channels such as:

How Much Does Offline Advertising Cost?

Some traditional advertising channels require paying for the advertisement slot. The cost of traditional advertising depends on so many variables.

For instance, if you are running an advert just before or during a news bulletin, the cost is relatively higher than an advert airing past midnight, and depending on the target audience.

Likewise, if you choose to place a billboard at times square, expect to pay much more compared to a billboard within rural areas.

Real World Examples: Start an Offline Advertising Campaign

Offline advertising ideas:

1. How Flyers Helped A Junk Removal Company Gain Customers

You Call We Haul is one great example of startups that leveraged flyers to gain their first customers.


According to Sam Evans, founder and CEO at You Call We Haul, flyers and free craigslist posts were really the reason they started to get business.

When the company was launched in 2016, it did not have a website, Facebook page, or Instagram account. They spread the word by taping flyers to mailboxes, free Craigslist posts, and sharing screenshots of our flyers in local Facebook groups which were our biggest source of customers.


It took the company about a week to get the first customers and we were profitable by the end of month one in which we did about $2,000 in sales.

2. Burger King Direct Mail Campaigns Increase Gross Profit on Coupons by 40%

Burger King understood the value of offline advertising and occasionally sends consumer coupon inserts by mail. Besides, Burger King includes inserts in the coupon section of the Sunday paper.


In the age of the smartphone, it is easy for advertisers to assume that digital marketing is more effective when it comes to highlighting discounts and special offers. However, for Burger King, the approach is slightly different, as they combine digital and traditional marketing.

Sending coupons via direct mail helped the company to attain a 40% gross profit increase.

How To Set Up a Successful Traditional Advertising Campaign

  • Identify your audience
  • Focus on one key message
  • Highlight the benefits you know your local audience wants
  • Create a custom call-to-action
  • Ensure your campaign reflects local features
  • Keep the advert short and simple
  • Consider better targeting alternatives

Designing your first traditional advert can feel overwhelming.

Luckily, you can use design tools to come up with flyers, brochures for your traditional advertising campaigns. Alternatively, you may hire a designer to come up with an optimized advert.


A graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The app already includes templates for users to use. The platform is free to use but offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.

Businesses using Canva:

361 successful businesses are using Canva ➜

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Strata Design 3D CX

Strata Design 3D CX designed for businesses of all sizes, it is a 3D designing tool that helps manage professional 3D projects and models through texturing, scene composition, animation, and more.

  • Strata Design 3D CX pricing starts at $595 as a flat rate, as a one-time payment.
  • They do not have a free version.
  • Strata Design 3D CX offers a free trial.

  • Pricing: Paid

  • Twitter: @Strata3DDesign

  • Website:

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Get Exposure with Offline Ads

Offline ads are essentially meant to reach an audience off the internet, and can be very effective when looking for new customers, or remaining front of mind for current ones.

This can be anything from billboards to the radio, to even posting flyers in your area.

You may be thinking to yourself, is this even a valuable way to market in our world today?

As old-school as it may sound, these techniques are still valid, and if you're able to balance both online and offline marketing, this could have a big impact on your business.

One great example of this is when Sam Evans launched a junk removal company and posted flyers around his town:

Case Study

"My flyers and free craigslist posts were really the reason I started to get business."

In my area, saying you are a Penn State student or graduate holds a lot of weight and people love to support a fellow Penn Stater. On these flyers and posts, I really honed in on the fact that I was a current PSU student home for summer vacation, looking for a way to make some extra money. The original flyer had a picture of a roommate of mine holding up a random couch that we found sitting in a field by campus.

When we first started we did not have a website, Facebook page, or Instagram account. We spread the word by taping flyers to mailboxes, free Craigslist posts, and sharing screenshots of our flyers in local Facebook groups which were our biggest source of customers.

It took us about a week to get our first customers and we were profitable by the end of month one in which we did about $2,000 in sales.

Our biggest successes from organic marketing have come from midnight bandit sign drops. Going out in the middle of the night allows us to put out 50-60 signs in high traffic areas in under three hours. We map out where to put them based on incomes in various local zip codes. Zip code incomes can be found through USPS Every Door Direct Mail tool. We’ve also been utilizing the Nextdoor app which is tremendous for home services. If you are recommended on that app, customers treat it like the bible. They will hire you blindly and agree to any price you say.


Sam Evans, on starting You Call We Haul Junk Removal ($25,000/month) full story ➜
meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.