What is outbound marketing
This is known as cold calling, and it’s an example of outbound marketing. Outbound marketing refers to any kind of marketing where a business directly approaches potential (or not so potential) customers. A business can take many directions with its marketing strategies, but outbound marketing is one of the most common types. It stands in contrast to inbound marketing, where a business creates content that draws customers in.
A business might utilize either or both forms of marketing, depending on the business type and its marketing strategy. There are pros and cons to inbound versus outbound marketing, which are important to understand in order to create the most effective marketing strategy for your business.
So, what exactly is outbound marketing, and how do you know if it’s right for your business? In this article, you can learn more about the definition of outbound marketing, examples of outbound marketing, inbound vs. outbound marketing, and more.
What is Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is when a business proactively reaches out to potential customers to generate interest in a product or service they’re selling. With outbound marketing, the company initiates the conversation and sends a message to its customers, rather than waiting for customers to come to them. The opposite of outbound marketing is inbound marketing, which involves a business using marketing strategies to attract customers to them.
Outbound marketing is often described as interruption marketing since it typically “interrupts” the user’s experience.
Traditional techniques include television commercials, radio or print ads (in newspapers, brochures, catalogs, etc.), trade shows or business events, cold calling, and cold emailing.
Outbound marketing contrasts with inbound marketing, which aims to draw customers in when they identify a solution to their need (SEO, content marketing, opt-in email marketing, etc.), and paid advertisements targeting an audience that has already searched for the product or brand.
Therefore, outbound marketing is often less profitable than inbound marketing…
Why is this the case?
This is because outbound marketing applies generalized, non-segmented, and non-personalized advertising. It does not target the needs and characteristics of a buyer persona but seeks to reach all types of audiences, hoping to attract its target audience from there.
However, even today, some marketing specialists believe that this type of strategy is not entirely obsolete.
Examples of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing generally includes more traditional forms of marketing compared to inbound marketing. Examples of outbound marketing include:
- TV ads
- Radio ads
- Cold calling
- Cold emails
- Press releases
- Trade shows
- Spam emails
- Mass media buys
In these examples, the business initiates contact with the customer. Outbound marketing is one-way communication aimed at generating potential customers’ interest in a company’s products or services.
¿What’s the Problem with Outbound Marketing?
Outbound marketing accounts for a significant portion of many companies’ marketing budgets. It has been around for decades, with some viewing it as a necessary business expense or cost of acquisition. However, outbound marketing faces several challenges, and tradition or past mistakes should never hinder adapting to evolving marketing trends. Issues with outbound marketing include:
- Difficulty tracking return on investment (ROI).
- Increased blocking techniques (e.g., ‘Do Not Call’ lists, spam filters).
- High costs, low returns.
CRM Daily reports that “nearly half of the companies implementing inbound marketing efforts see a 25% higher ROI in those programs than companies that do not. The survey found that inbound marketing channels can deliver up to 30 times the conversion rate of traditional outbound marketing direct mail campaigns.” Inbound marketing is easier to track, offers higher ROI, and incurs lower overall costs than outbound marketing. Your next step, of course, is to reduce costs and increase conversions by shifting from outbound to inbound marketing.
Effective Outbound Marketing Techniques
At Dazzet, we recommend applying inbound marketing strategies, as they offer broader reach in digital marketing strategies. The internet provides many tools and data you can use to improve your advertising campaigns.
However, if you’re looking to combine both forms of marketing, ensure that the offer is relevant to the person you’re communicating with. Otherwise, methods like cold calling and cold emails can be annoying, especially when the person is not interested in the product and receives multiple advertising notices about it.
Let’s see how to apply some outbound strategies effectively…
As we’ve mentioned cold emails, they involve sending an “unsolicited” email to someone who has not previously interacted with your brand.
Even though these are unexpected emails, it’s necessary to select your target audience and personalize the emails in a way that, while mass-sent, they provide attractive, high-quality information focused on your target audience.
You can use the QVC strategy:
- Question: Start with a question related to your product to attract attention.
- Value Proposition: Ensure your message highlights what makes your product unique.
- Call to Action: Include opt-in buttons or calls to action, asking if your company can contact the person by other means or indicate some action you expect from them.
Billboards or Advertising Posters
These may seem outdated, but as you walk around the city, you’ll encounter quite a few…
Billboards are an excellent outbound marketing method because you can place them in highly visible and frequented locations, even near where you know your target audience regularly visits.
In this strategy, you must unleash all your creativity, as they can often be overlooked or ignored if they look too plain—they really need to grab attention!
Canva published an article with very creative examples that will surely give you many ideas.
Flyer distribution might be considered one of the more intrusive marketing strategies. It could lead to a waste of resources if you’re not strategic about where and how to distribute them…
The most effective approach is to use flyers in events or locations where your target market is likely to be. For instance, if you’re at a business expo, flyers can be an excellent way to introduce your business.
Always aim to add value with your flyer. For example, offering a discount, or access to a free trial for a limited period, can be compelling incentives.
By doing this, you can decrease the likelihood of your flyer ending up in the trash without being read first.
Pros and Cons of Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing offers many benefits, yet it’s accompanied by several challenges. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of adopting an outbound marketing strategy to promote your business. Done right, outbound marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach new prospects and turn them into customers. However, it can be challenging to execute properly.
To get you started, here are some pros and cons of outbound marketing you should consider:
Pros of Outbound Marketing
1. Increases Brand Awareness: If you’re aiming to boost brand awareness, outbound marketing is an excellent way to do so. A key benefit of outbound marketing is its ability to reach people who probably have never heard of your business. With inbound marketing, your strategies are focused on reaching your target audience and connecting with existing customers, but outbound marketing is more about reaching new prospects. This makes it a great way to market your business if your goal is to expand your customer base and generate new leads.
2. Immediate Results: Another advantage of outbound marketing is the possibility of immediate results. Instead of waiting for customers to come to you, you’re actively pursuing them. People who see your ads on TV or social media are more likely to take immediate action and do what you’re asking. The same goes for cold calling. If you’re fortunate enough to have someone stay on the line and they’re interested in what you’re saying, they’re more likely to purchase your product or service, resulting in immediate outcomes.
3. Ease of Implementation: Outbound marketing strategies are generally easier to implement than inbound marketing strategies, as content creation can be very labor-intensive. For example, making cold calls, sending emails, and dropping letters in mailboxes are much simpler than crafting a social media campaign.
Cons of Outbound Marketing
1. Cost: While outbound marketing might be easier to implement and execute, it can be quite expensive. The cost of attending trade shows and paying for advertisements can quickly add up, potentially costing more than the revenue you’re generating. Online ads, like social media ads, tend to be cheaper than traditional ads, but it might take longer to see results. That’s why smaller companies often don’t engage in outbound marketing due to budget constraints.
2. Difficulty in Measuring ROI: Tracking the return on investment (ROI) with outbound marketing can be very challenging, especially with more traditional forms of advertising like TV ads and billboards. Outbound marketing focuses more on delivering a message, so while it’s easy to track how many people you reach, collecting more specific metrics, like how many people actually take action after seeing your ad, is difficult.
3. Legal Hurdles and Resistance: Outbound marketing can involve unsolicited calls and emails, which means you’re likely to encounter legal hurdles. Your emails might get filtered into people’s spam folders, and your calls could end up on their do-not-call lists, making it nearly impossible to reach potential customers. It’s also easy for people to ignore outbound marketing, such as muting the TV or discarding unwanted mail.
Juan Esteban Yepes