Rumor has it that outbound marketing is dying.
Like any rumor there is some truth behind it. The Internet has made inbound marketing easier than ever, putting who becomes a lead in the hands of the consumer and whatever channel they used to find your brand.
But, also like other rumors, it seems this one might be over exaggerated.
Even though the internet has made inbound marketing easier and cheaper than ever, it has done a similar favor to outbound marketing. In fact, many experts say that outbound marketing is rising from the ashes of its former self.
What is outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is the practice of reaching out to potential customers to convince them that they need your product or service. Outbound marketing commonly thought to use the traditional sales approaches. This includes cold-calling, cold-emailing and advertisements.
It all sounds so… cold. Which is likely why it fell out of favor with marketers when they started inbound marketing tactics, which are often called a conversational approach to marketing.
But what if I told you just because the weather is getting cold doesn’t mean that your outbound marketing has to be.
Outbound marketing doesn’t have to be impersonal and with just a little effort, cold calls are no longer cold.
And the leads you generate will likely make you feel pretty warm.
In a survey done in 2013, 60% of IT executives said outbound calls or emails have led to an IT vendor’s offering being evaluated. That’s an impressive figure, considering how hard it can be to get your foot in the door during B2B transactions. Here’s another figure that will set your outbound marketing heart ablaze: 75% of the same executives said they’d decided to attend an event or take an appointment after receiving a cold call or email.
After hearing those figures, you should be feeling a little less frosty about outbound marketing. These are people that you oftentimes would have never reached with inbound marketing, because the potential customer didn’t even realize that this was a service that they needed.
Until you offer it to them.
Remember, the people who get annoyed by your call likely don’t feel the need to respond to your call to action. So when your team first reaches out, you will encounter those with reservations about your call or those who even respond with downright hostility.
This negative reaction can be tempered or avoided by sending a lead relevant information at a reasonable rate, best utilizing your time and theirs.
But those who are really interested and are purchase- ready will be obvious immediately. That is the advantage of outbound lead generation. With inbound, you may get a larger quantity of leads but they are lacking the quality you are looking for or the immediacy you need.
Where does outbound lead generation work the best?
In the places where inbound is less effective, of course.
This is particularly true in the case of new products or inventions. When no one has heard of you, no one can come to you. So it is your job to get the word out using outbound techniques. Is your new software going to revolutionize an industry? Get to spreading the word to those who need it most through emails and phone calls.
Another place where outbound campaigns work the best are in supersaturated markets such as marketing, tech and business. These markets are flooded with content, so while creating content is all well and good, in all likelihood it often doesn’t drive sales effectively.
And when people say that outbound marketing is dead, they are forgetting about some of the prime examples of outbound marketing, like Superbowl advertisements, which bring brands a high level of prestige (highly expensive, but brings worldwide awareness).
The Necessity of Outbound Marketing
With the marketing world continuing to embrace inbound marketing, there has been an exciting change in outbound marketing tactics. Instead of dramatic, in your face outbound marketing techniques that scream for the lead to “Buy!!!” this has been replaced with “Read!” or “Download!” or a similarly less threatening message.
In essence, there is no way to promote inbound content without outbound methods. This is done through the promotional tweet, directing potential leads to an engaging eBook or article about the topic.
This content can then serve as a channel for a salesperson to make a cold call,or should I say an informed warm call, as the person is already versed in the product you are selling.
Inbound marketing has been described as setting traps, while outbound is hunting with a spear. This is a really apt description and any experienced survivalist would tell you that if you want to maximize your efforts, using both is the only way to go. You capture different types of people and leads by using both strategies.
“Your primary goal with outbound marketing is to churn up conversations with pre-qualified prospects that you can develop into relationships over time,” said Eric Boggs, who wrote an article on the merits of outbound marketing.
Focus your outbound marketing correctly and you’ll find that you are starting conversations with the right people. Those are the conversations that matter.
Share with us! Which tactic do you utilize more of, outbound or inbound marketing? Why? What benefits do you see in each?