Outbound marketing is interruptive and pushes itself out to the audience, whether they want it or not. Examples of outbound marketing include TV and radio ads, billboards, telemarketing, cold calling and pop-up ads, among others. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is when customers and leads actually opt in to receiving your marketing messages on their own terms. For example, they might subscribe to your newsletter in exchange for a white paper or a long-form piece of content. This blog looks at inbound vs outbound marketing and the impact each can have on your business. We’ll also discuss how automating this type of marketing can lead to lower cost and a higher ROI.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing encourages potential customers to make the first move. In fact, today’s marketers realize that a marketing strategy works better when companies are listening closely to what customers want.
Rather than bombarding potential customers with cold calls and “sales-y” emails, you offer useful, generous and beautiful content free of charge. Usually, this content is in the form of blogs, infographics, white papers, videos, quizzes, etc.
Inbound marketing enables you to:
1. Engage with your buyers
Create email workflows that engage with your buyers’ needs. To do this individually takes a lot of time. An automated platform can send emails based on the actions of a lead. For example, if they have downloaded an eBook or white paper about a product, the system will automatically send emails to further that knowledge. If they made a purchase, you can set up emails that prompt them to return.
2. Turn leads into customers
It can take some time to turn leads into prospects. With automated marketing, you can continually nurture those leads. Meanwhile, your team can focus on other prospects that are ready to make a purchase.
On the other side of the spectrum is outbound marketing, which shifts the focus of everything your organization produces to the products you’re selling. Your message is about the “what,” rather than the “who” and “why.”
Outbound marketing usually includes content in the form of direct mail, telemarketing, email marketing and events (which are considered more traditional, “old school” marketing tactics).
The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
If you have grown your decade-old business with outbound marketing strategies but find that it’s become less effective recently, then consider testing out inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is interruptive with its overall intention to be loud enough and reach enough people that they will respond. But today’s customers are too savvy for these tactics.
People can now skip commercials by recording their favorite shows and fast-forwarding through the content that isn’t relevant to them. YouTube, Spotify and other streaming services allow people to listen to music without having the burden of hearing radio advertising. And telemarketers – do you remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation with one?
Beyond having methods of avoiding advertising, studies illustrate people prefer inbound. According to the research, 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. Even more notable, 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing Automation
The goal for both inbound and outbound marketing is to generate more leads to fuel the sales process. Fun fact: through marketing automation, you’ll be able to identify 98% of the web traffic that was once anonymous. Take a moment to let that number sink in – that is a lot of people.
Marketing automation refers to software platforms that help businesses automate their marketing and sales engagement processes to generate more leads, convert those leads to sales and optimize ROI.
With both inbound and outbound marketing, automation will make your life as a marketer noticeably easier by driving more leads, converting those leads into sales and maximizing marketing spend.
According to a report by VB Insight, 80% of marketing automation users saw their amount of leads increase, and 77% saw their number of conversions increase. Furthermore, companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates from initial response-to-MQL and a revenue growth rate that is 3.1% higher than non-users.
Rather than marketing at your potential customers, marketing automation allows near one-to-one, personalized messaging, which is why numbers such as those above are possible.