What is outbound marketing?
One of the top ways to generate leads is to implement outbound marketing, as it can help fill the top of the sales funnel.
Unlike inbound marketing, which is steadily gaining popularity as a strategy to pull customers in, outbound adopts a proactive approach to reach out to prospects. It’s a strategy to push your brand messaging outward to attract potential customers to your brand.
It involves marketing efforts using mass media tools like paid ads, TV commercials, trade shows, direct emails, etc., to directly reach out to customers without waiting for leads. It is how most businesses begin interacting with customers traditionally.
Examples of outbound marketing
If you have understood what is outbound marketing, you must realize that outbound marketing is a powerful tool to create brand awareness and proactively build a market for your business.
62% of marketers found outbound marketing highly effective for their business.
Outbound marketing is a unidirectional marketing strategy, but if done the right way, it can build long-standing customer relationships through engagement, targeted interactions, and building visibility before the right audience at the right time.
Some examples of outbound marketing include:
- Radio Ads
- TV ads
- Cold calling
- Warm calling
- Cold emailing
- Press releases
- Trade shows
- Email spams
- Media buys
Outbound marketing strategies
Have you ever received an email from a complete stranger about how their services/products can benefit you?
This is called cold emailing.
A cold email is an unsolicited email sent to someone with whom we have had no previous connection. Usually, businesses build a mailing list and send emails to prospects without enticing them to subscribe.
Cold emails can be a great medium to introduce your product or service to a prospective customer who may not be aware of its existence. You can reach out to people, initiate conversations, and promote your business using cold emails.
Trade shows and expos happen around the year and host businesses, giving them a chance to promote their brands, products, and services. They can connect with new audiences via one-to-one interactions and appeal to the audience’s interest.
Trade shows can be a great way to either introduce or familiarize your products and services to a large number of people simultaneously.
Social media ads
Social media ads are paid ads that strategically appear before your chosen audience to garner clicks and form submissions. These are advertisements posted on different social media platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, , Facebook, etc.
They are effective in promoting your product or service to your target audience and turning them into potential leads, unlike inbound marketing, which involves getting into conversations, posting video content, and social media listening. Since social media ads are just paid advertisements, they promote the product or service in an active yet unresponsive way.
Pros and cons of outbound marketing
Though inbound marketing strategy is considered a more efficient marketing tool than outbound today, given its effectiveness over outbound, a true and efficient marketing plan would include an optimum combination of both strategies.
There are several advantages and disadvantages of outbound marketing.
Pros of outbound marketing
Boosts brand awareness
Outbound marketing is effective in reaching out to people who have never heard about your brand. It boosts brand awareness by focusing more on the ‘reach’ aspect of marketing before a wide customer base and generating leads thereon.
For instance, an average user consumes social media for two hours and 25 minutes daily. On social media, while organic marketing is more rewarding, you would need a huge following to achieve that, as only 5% of your followers are exposed to your organic posts. Outbound marketing can help build that following and brand awareness during the early phases.
Outbound marketing strategies are about pursuing customers instead of waiting for them to discover your brand. You proactively implement strategies to witness immediate results.
When you see a brand in a YouTube ad or TV commercial, you are more likely to register and inclined to buy its products.
Outbound marketing strategies like paid ads are an immediate way to gain visibility in the eye range of your target audience. Direct mail is another way to create lasting impressions on your audience.
Easy to implement
Creating content and then optimizing for SEO can get time-consuming. But outbound marketing is generally easier to implement as you make cold calls, send emails, or even direct mail to your prospects in the hope that they convert.
Cons of outbound marketing
90% of the marketing budget is usually dedicated to outbound marketing, making it a more expensive way to garner awareness and leads.
Paid ads and participating in seminars are more costly and a recurring expense when inbound marketing can get you a whole library of content that can be updated, repurposed, and reused multiple times.
Going the commercial ad route is a large-scale effort than paid online ads. However, paid ads can take longer to show results. Outbound strategies may not be the best option for small businesses that don’t have the budget to implement such strategies.
Difficult to measure ROI
How would you track your ROI for a billboard or a TV commercial? Measuring ROI can get difficult for outbound marketing, especially because the efforts are more focused on getting across the message.
To exactly measure the number of people who noticed your ad or read your email and took action can become an impossible task to achieve due to the lack of analytics available for your outbound marketing campaigns.
An average human encounters a minimum of 2,000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and uses ad blockers, browser extensions, email spam filtering, etc., to block them out.
How many times have you clicked on ‘Skip Ads’ or impatiently waited for the ad to get over while watching a video on social media?
Your audience may consider your outbound marketing effort, which can get pretty expensive, a hindrance at times. They find learning about a subject via blogs and social media worthwhile rather than attending a seminar or expo in a far-flung location.
You can also come across legal roadblocks and compliance issues while going for outbound marketing.
Though outbound marketing is losing its sheen in current times, you can explore methods that work best for your brand and allocate your marketing budget towards it to improve your ROI.
Outbound marketing can be called both an interruptive and disruptive marketing strategy, but it can immensely benefit your business. In combination with inbound marketing strategies, it can churn out a formidable marketing plan.
While inbound marketing and SEO help with brand discovery on SERPs, outbound marketing efforts are aggressive and great for lead generation as you face your target audience directly. Outbound marketers anticipate trends and focus more on market knowledge to create the products and services that are the right fit.
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