6 Old Digital Marketing Channels that Still Work

Today, the world is in the digital space. We live in a time when 170 million active users are connected to the internet every day. The most significant impact on marketing in the previous years was when the internet became an integral part of people’s everyday lives. Since then evolved the notion of digital marketing, which made it possible to promote products/services through social media, search engines, emails, and so on.

History of Digital Marketing

The inception of digital marketing dates back to the mid-1980s when computers managed to store more massive information. The changes in the digital world affected marketers’ mindsets, turning it towards “relationship marketing,” which focused more on customer connections. 

In 1986, the first database marketing software was introduced to the business world. It was essentially a digital Rolodex. By that time, it could not store too large volumes of customer contact information alone. However, it still allowed brands to track their consumers like never before. But the process was still manual. 

The surge of computers and the advancement of server architecture at the turn of the decade opened the way for explosive growth in revolutionary marketing technology in the 1990s known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. 

In the early 2000s, there were new technologies and opportunities. Marketers had to learn, experiment, and adapt quickly to fall into the “early adopter” category and get ahead of their competition.

Now let’s see which old digital marketing channels are still effective as they were years ago. 


Emails are still a cost-efficient and practical method of communication. While it seems like a relatively new term, email has been around much longer than most people are aware of. Massachusetts Institute of Technology pioneered one of the first email systems back in 1965.

In the first period of email development, the servers could keep up to 100 users at the same time. All of the work was on one server that could keep limited information back then. Eventually, computers evolved and started communicating with each other over networks. This made emails more useable. 

Today, email is one of the most commonly-used means of communication anywhere in the world. And it continually adopts newer features to go hand in hand with today’s digital world.

Social Media 

The history of social media has its roots in as early as the 1940s. Technology began to change very fast in the 20th century. After the invention of computers in the 1940s, engineers began developing bonds to connect them with each other. This later pioneered the creation of the internet.

Eventually, the first social media website called Six Degrees was created in 1997. Just like Facebook, Instagram, and others, it allowed users to upload images, meet and become friends with each other, etc. Later in 1999, the first blogging websites came to the stage. They created an unprecedented boom in the online world, which still has its TRACES today.

Since the early 2000s, social media channels have been everywhere, and it has been growing at exponential rates since then. Currently, everyone spends most of their spare time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp. It’s hard to imagine a world without it. 

Search Engine Optimization SEO 

The birth of SEO is predicted to fall somewhere around the 1990s. The first search engine was known as Archie. It was the catalyst for a whole flood of search engines. Then many others launched between 1990 and 1999, including Yahoo, Google, MSN (now Bing), and Ask Jeeves (now Ask.com).  All of them have come a long way to be relevant today. Today, SEO has become a tricky and thrilling game for marketers. As much as there are dangerous things to avoid in SEO, it is still a highly useful channel. Today, SEO very much revolves around Google. 


Search engines, or internet portals, have been around since the early days of the internet. But it was Google that would go on to become the premier destination for finding just about anything on the World Wide Web. Google was created in 1995 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working on the project called in a garage. 

The company mission statement was direct and straightforward: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

After a couple of years, Google started its unstoppable rise. The company began to hire the best engineers, computer scientists, sales professionals, administrative and marketing staff to boost their sales. Later they upgraded their garage office into a new headquarters located in California. It is not a coincidence that Fortune magazine named Google the number one place to work in the U.S. 

Today, Google continues its strategy to create a “relentless search for better answers.” The co-founders of Google now have a net worth of $54.4 billion (thestreet.com). Coming from a Stanford dorm room to the top billionaires of the world is a long path. It is still one of the most engaging and interesting business success stories of all time. 

SMS Marketing 

SMS marketing is also one of the old digital marketing channels. MS marketing dates back to 1992 when Neil Papworth sent the first text message from his computer to Richard Jarvis’s mobile phone. The next year the first mobile phone capable of sending and receiving text messages was introduced. From 1999 messages were sent between users on different wireless providers.

In 2007 the number of active SMS users worldwide reached 2.4 billion (EZTexting). Although SMS marketing has been around since the early 2000s, it is still a relevant marketing channel now, when it faces high competition from modern communication channels. 

It is 27 years since the first text message was sent. And this method of communication is still relevant. All over the world, millions of text messages are now being sent every minute. It’s a vital part of the mobile-focused world we live in. 


Content is the key to success for every digital marketing campaign. We can assert that it will remain relevant, despite the changes in the marketing world. Part of the reason for its success lays beyond the fact that content marketing, especially for startups, is one of the most affordable and effective channels. Without even noticing, brands started to use content marketing from the late 20th century. The inception of the internet shifted the marketers’ attention from television, radio, and newspapers to the online atmosphere. 

In 2014 the majority of businesses had already been using content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), in 2014, 93% of B2B marketers used content marketing. Today content marketing continues to grow, and companies all over the world use it as an efficient way for their success. 


So we saw that at some point, online marketing used to be a new and different channel of marketing. It created a unique platform to advertise a product on. Year to year, new changes happened in digital marketing. Search engines, websites, apps, ads, everything was changing rapidly. And within the development of the digital world, some channels appeared and disappeared. But there were also the ones that had their stable place no matter what. These channels are surely going to flourish and develop in the future.

Saten Aghajanyan

Saten Aghajanyan

Saten Aghajanyan has been working at Dexatel OU as a sales manager for over a year and is now a part of the newly-formed marketing team representing their recently-launched product SendSMS, which provides wholesale SMS services. Currently, she works as a digital marketer helping develop the brand name.
Saten Aghajanyan

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