You can’t get much more traditional than direct mail and coupons, but local marketers are still using it widely and are generally satisfied with the results they are seeing, according to the 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report.

Direct mail is popular among local affiliates, with 81% using it and three out of four of those (75%) saying they are somewhat or very pleased with the results. Respondents overwhelmingly stated that direct mail is more effective at retaining existing customers than at attracting new ones. This is what they told us:

  • “Direct mailers tend to be brought in more than any other item.”
  • “Mailing and postcards are great for retention but it’s still tough bringing in new customers.”
  • “Thank you postcards give return customers an incentive to come back.”
  • “Direct mail is a benefit to bringing customers back.”
  • “Direct mail – it got customers in the door!”

There was some disagreement, however, with some respondents saying they were less than enthusiastic about direct mail:

  • “Direct mail is just more junk mail for most people.”
  • “Direct mail is not interactive.”
  • “A very small percentage converted from direct mail campaigns.”

The top reason some local marketers avoid using direct mail is the cost.

Coupons performed well in terms of overall satisfaction and were the most widely used tactic on our list with 83% of respondents using them and 77% of those saying they were either somewhat or very satisfied with the results.  Here’s what they had to say:

  • “People seem to be drawn to discounts.”
  • “Print coupons on the backs of receipts of grocery stores have been highly effective.”
  • “Handing out coupons at retail locations seems to do well .”
  • “Coupons work best for me.”
  • “Everyone likes coupons.”

The news wasn’t quite as good for “digital coupons.” Daily deal sites like Groupon were used by only 29% of respondents and nearly one in four stated they were “least satisfied” with the results. Daily deals also topped the list of tactics that affiliates felt were “too risky” (14%). In this case, the traditional tactic — coupons — outperformed the trendy up-and-comers.

To learn more about the tactics local marketers are using to drive business, download the 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report.