Outbound marketing strategies prioritize a brand’s interaction with the market through traditional advertising, pitches or in-person meetings, and cold-call-like activities. Very interruptive, outbound marketing prioritizes the exact opposite of inbound marketing activities.
Outbound marketing overlaps significantly with similar terms, including offline marketing and traditional marketing, with some nuanced differences. Outbound marketing can occur both online and offline. Offline marketing may include inbound marketing approaches such as guerrilla marketing and traditional marketing, which includes only the historic offline marketing activities.
Forms of outbound marketing include television advertisements, door-to-door sales, telemarketing, mass emails, direct mail, and print advertisements. While outbound marketing often receives a bad reputation for its comparatively aggressive approach, it can serve as an appealing complement to inbound marketing activities.
Consider a business that needs to increase visibility and sales within a relatively short period without an existing customer base. Inbound marketing strategies such as SEO and content marketing take the time to build and deliver a return. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, provides immediate and measurable results. With a few quick phone calls per day, a large value-driven mailer, and brand representation at a local tradeshow, a business can convert interested consumers in a matter of days.
Outbound marketers who take a few best practices from inbound marketers can address consumers in a traditional marketing environment without diminishing a brand’s quality. For example, a business representative making a cold call can clarify the relevance of the pitch and the convenience of the time before starting in on a rehearsed script. If the lead does not seem interested, the representative can thank him or her for the time and move on to the next person on the list.
One of the most effective combinations of outbound marketing strategies is to send unsolicited email to a targeted audience, and if anyone opens or clicks through one of your emails, pass them an inside sales team or telemarketing team to call with a direct mail follow up. Rarely does a one off outbound marketing touch generate significant results and requires multiple touches. Statistics suggest its takes 12-15 marketing touches before seeing any significant results using outbound tactics to targeting consumers unfamiliar with your brand of the company.
However, new companies in the early startup phase can’t afford to wait around for search engines to index and rank their content and hope to receive some traffic or drive leads. These companies don’t have any choice but to focus on outbound marketing activities. Over time as the company becomes more established, they can begin to focus less on outbound marketing and more on inbound marketing. The goal will be to find a balance between the two marketing practices.
Bottom line, outbound marketing can deliver effective and immediate results.