Old typewriter with laptop, concept of technology progress

As marketers, we are forward thinking and fickle creatures. Always quick to jump into something new, and throw the old tactics out the door. Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise and rise of social media. We’ve seen direct mail give way to “outbound marketing”, and we’ve seen display ads all but usurped by inbound and content marketing. So let’s take a moment to appreciate the top 4 extinct marketing tactics of yesteryear.


The Long Form Homepage


You remember these right? They began with a super-intense, fictional sob story about how hard it was to work a 16-hour day and raise a child with a serious health condition. Especially when your wife has an addiction to Jimmy Choos. They would invariably end with the promise of a 6-figure salary, a supermodel wife, and a child with a football scholarship to an Ivy League college. Thankfully, these “sales letters” often turned out to be little more than Ponzi schemes. And have all but died out in a world where everyone is Googlable.


Direct Mail


This might be a point of contention for some. But in the digital age, savvy marketers soon realised the traditional direct mailer – often a simple flyer sent to your secretary, and often binned before it reached your desk – was a waste of time, and budget. Particularly in the world where every digital interaction is trackable. The reality is Direct Mail hasn’t gone extinct, it’s just evolved into the pseudo-personal email campaigns we know and love today.


“Link me and I’ll link you back”: Link farms


Do you remember when SEO first became a buzzword in the business world? When everyone began stuffing their websites with a word they thought would make them show up at the top of search? Well, that wasn’t the only dodgy tactic. For many, swapping inbound links was a great way to boost your SEO credentials, and from credible sources, it still can be. But back in the day, there were a few marketers who tried gaming the search engines. Using aggressive linking strategies from parked domains, to build up the number of inbound links to a website. Or offering reciprocated links, no matter the relevance. It wasn’t long before search engines cottoned on and began penalizing those pesky link farmers.


Phone Book Ads


Ah, the Yellow Pages. Nowadays, as consumers, we take it for granted that we’ll be able to find contact details for a specific business. But before search engines, those garish, almost fluorescent pages got us out of many tight spots. From finding a same-day florist on the morning of your anniversary to providing the number of that great takeout, they always had our backs. For marketers, they offered an unparalleled opportunity and the potential to reach millions of people. Or at least those who had the patience to sift through their finger-staining, carbon covered pages!