I do not know if you are old enough to remember how the web was back then. Searching back then was not optimized and the results that get to the top of the search list are most probably a site stuffed with keywords. With the changes brought forth by the search engine giants such as Google, White hat and Black hat became muddled. Keyword stuffing ends you up in the bottom of the list while a good readable content with not much link spamming would bring you up the search rankings.
But this does not mean that being old school in SEO is bad. There are legitimate SEO marketing companies who have been established since the infancy of the internet. They utilize creating great content, impeccable marketing, and other techniques. However due to the bad practices and exploitation stated above. Search engines have changed the way on how they rank pages. And now we must change with the times to keep up or be left behind.
Using old marketing strategies in new ways is a great way to refresh and diversify your means of reaching out to you intended clients. The use of emails may seem like old school, however having an updated mailing list allows you to have a fast and efficient marketing tool.
Both approaches work. Old school SEO and New School SEO has their advantages and disadvantages. But technology changes in such a fast pace that we are sometimes made to choose on which style to employ. Do we go for the tried and tested old school or do we go with the young guns and be more on the up to date techniques. The bottomline is without utilizing or hiring an SEO company it would be a hard competition in trying to get our page to be visible in web searches.