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When it comes to B2B cold outreach, businesses can choose to have in-house teams or outsourcing to help launch a successful campaign—a great source of...
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November 14, 2022
I promise it’s not a joke.
It’s actually my daughter selling Girl Guide cookies at your door. And the best part? It’s the perfect example of outbound marketing. Why not teach her business while she’s young? And selling cookies door to door isn’t that different from selling tech products to businesses.
It may not be as popular as its inbound marketing, but outbound marketing remains a vital part of any business’ sales strategy. Outbound lead generation is particularly valuable for B2B companies which often find it hard to generate leads through inbound methods alone.
In this article, we’ll go through what outbound marketing is, its many benefits, and the marketing channels it falls under.
Outbound marketing refers to marketing strategies where companies send their message out themselves. Rather than rely on social media and other online channels, they instead initiate the conversation with their target audience. Examples include trade shows, cold calling, and seminars. But we’ll get into all that later.
Outbound marketing is the complete opposite of inbound marketing, where customers find you only when they need you. Here are a few more differences between the two:
|Inbound Marketing||Outbound Marketing|
|Digital content that aims to provide solutions to the target audience’s problems||Non-digital content designed to sell a specific product directly to the target audience|
|Content mostly involves interactive and engaging posts, such as blogs, webinars, and the like||Passive content usually displayed in print ads or shown through TV commercials|
|Strategy that encompasses multiple channels||Strategy that is limited to a single channel|
|Targeted content to a specific customer segment||Content isn’t targeted at all and must capture consumers’ attention, even though they likely see hundreds of other ads each day|
|Digital marketing software allows for easy tracking and analysis||Fairly hard to track and measure marketing attribution|
Inbound marketing may seem easier and more effective, but that doesn’t mean you should completely disregard outbound marketing. Even though newer and trendier brands tend to view it as outdated, these strategies can still bring a ton of value to your business.
When comparing inbound and outbound marketing, most people fixate on how the former allows for tailor-made content to the brand’s audience. Yes, inbound marketing does have this edge, but here’s what outbound marketing brings to the table that its cousin doesn’t:
There’s no doubt that personalized content is a powerful medium; however, it’s also labor-intensive. Given the noise on social media, a brand has to regularly create innovative and engaging concepts, which some have neither the time nor the budget for.
On the other hand, outbound marketing activities like print advertisements and dropping letters directly into mailboxes are more feasible for small with limited resources. They may not be as targeted or as personalized, but they still reach consumers and that’s what matters.
Because of inbound marketing’s highly-targeted strategies, a company solely relying on it limits itself to only the customer segment it defined. If it targets Millennials living in New York, then people who might be interested in their brand but don’t fit those exact criteria likely won’t hear of them at all.
However, outbound marketing techniques reach a wide audience across diverse demographics. Apart from raising brand awareness, they expose you to customer segments you may not have previously considered. Ultimately, this ensures the long-term prospects of your business.
As popular as online platforms are, they’re far from effective marketing channels for businesses that target local consumers. For instance, if you’re a law firm licensed to practice only in your state, creating content for residents outside your state would be worthless.
Instead, consider print media and mail marketing methods. Not only are they quick and easy to do, but they’ll also allow you to reach your target customers at a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind that in marketing, you must meet your audience where they are. When they’re in your vicinity, why invest too much into inbound marketing activities?
Outbound marketing may get a bad rep, but in specific industries, it’s a non-negotiable. It’s especially worth considering if your business has limited resources or targets a local audience.
Now that we’ve gone through the definition of outbound marketing, its advantages, and how it’s different from inbound marketing, let’s now take a look at the different channels that fall under it.
Here are a few examples of outbound marketing your business can use to generate leads and drive sales.
In 2014, a study conducted by consulting firm McKinsey found that email is nearly 40 times more effective at generating new customers than social media. Big brands and successful entrepreneurs continue to trust this marketing channel, too.
For example, copywriter Laura Lopuch grew her freelance business by 1,400% with this method, while B2B podcasting expert Jake Jorgovan earned more than $12,000 by cold emailing alone. He even landed several Fortune 500 clients, which proves how effective this outbound marketing channel can be if done right.
Sending unsolicited emails may seem like a nuisance, but in reality, they’re often the first touchpoint a customer has with your brand. If your message includes persuasion triggers, such as customer testimonials, exclusive deals, and even quick polls, they’ll likely be so intrigued that they would do their own research into your business.
Cold emails also work best if you use them to foster trust in your brand. This means no clickbait, which, unfortunately, a lot of businesses tend to do. Consider including social proof too, like your credentials, reviews from past customers, and even celebrity endorsements, if any!
Personalize your messages to your audience, as well. Consider this – a consultant at digital marketing company Zettasphere consistently sees open rates of over 40% on his cold emails when he customizes them with information relevant to his prospects.
More than 850 million people worldwide use LinkedIn. In the United States, 16.2% of users log into the platform every day. LinkedIn isn’t just a website for job hunting––it’s also a powerful tool for raising brand awareness and generating leads.
Apart from the countless professionals and businesses active on the platform, the website’s many features also make LinkedIn an effective outbound marketing channel. For instance, it allows users to join groups dedicated to interests or specific niches. You can also search for leads and send messages to potential customers.
LinkedIn also has a “connect” feature, which allows you to reach out to people you don’t know. But avoid sending random invites to connect! Rather, personalize the message by mentioning a shared interest or another common ground. Also, it would be better if you share a mutual connection––based on research, 20-55% of prospects will accept the connection request if you use second-degree contacts.
Much like other outbound marketing channels, LinkedIn will only be effective if you’re “social,” rather than “salesy.” Refrain from aggressively selling your products or services. Instead, experts recommend talking about the prospect 90% of the time and only spending 10% discussing your offer.
Lastly, update your personal LinkedIn profile before reaching out to prospects. Are your qualifications and past work experience succinctly explained? Does your profile photo make you look like a professional? If you want to grow your audience, consider sharing relevant articles or even publishing your own posts!
What’s one of the oldest yet most trusted marketing techniques? Good old-fashioned cold-calling. It’s a great way to reach out to potential customers who may not be familiar with your brand, product, or service. Doing so also allows you to build relationships with potential customers, getting them interested in what you have to offer.
Brands riding the inbound marketing wave often regard cold calling as an outdated and ineffective strategy but consider these statistics:
Additionally, here’s what Stuart Leung, the SEO manager at CRM software solution Salesforce, says about cold-calling:
“A phone call will get someone’s attention much quicker than an email and you’re able to customize your sales pitch. With actual, real customer interactions, you will be able to pinpoint the problem by asking specific questions and offer the prospect a solution.”
When cold-calling, you must establish yourself as reputable and trustworthy, which you can achieve by demonstrating you understand the prospect’s needs. For instance, provide them with something relevant, such as white papers, webinars, or use cases that your company produced.
Your cold-call conversations should also aim to build relationships, not sell. Rather than stick to a script, write down questions instead that help uncover the prospect’s pain points. You should also prepare answers to their potential concerns so you can easily overcome objections.
Another old-fashioned—yet effective—way to generate leads is by attending trade shows and events. These provide you with an opportunity to meet potential customers face-to-face and get them interested in your product or service. They can also be a way for you to connect with relevant brands and top experts in your industry.
Preparing for a trade show can be time-consuming, though. For one thing, you have to make sure your booth staff knows your product or service inside-out. They should also be aware of the goals you’ve established. For example, they should know the target number of new prospects your company wants to secure before the event ends.
The design of your booth will matter, too. It’s best to keep it clean and simple with targeted keywords on your signage. Everything in it––from the banners you use to the outfits worn by your staff––should be branded. Apart from creating a unified experience for prospects, this will also help drive home your brand’s message and what it can do for potential clients.
Lastly, consider who will manage your booth. Ideally, you’d want to have enough staff members to manage the flow of people but not too many that potential clients feel smothered or aggressively sold to. Your team should be inviting and engaging too, so make sure you train them properly before the event.
Research from marketing company MSP shows that marketers make $2,095 in sales for every $167 they spend on direct mail, which means they make a staggering 1,300% ROI. While various factors will undoubtedly determine your numbers, there’s no denying that this statistic proves how effective direct mail is.
Similar to other marketing strategies, direct mail works best if your messages include a clear call-to-action. For instance, do you want them to go to your website’s “contact” page? Or perhaps you’re hoping they book an appointment with you?
Don’t try to be subtle–CTAs are only successful if they’re straightforward and visible.
As much as possible, try to personalize the message by including the prospect’s first name or a sales representative’s phone number and email address. Research shows that doing this can increase response rates by up to 135%. On the other hand, messages that look and feel generic often fall flat and suffer low returns.
This outbound marketing strategy allows for a ton of creativity, so don’t be afraid to spice it up. Take advantage of relevant current events, such as movie releases or fashion trends. Or, why not anchor your message to a fun holiday, like Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or even the lesser-known National Emoji Day? Let your creative juices flow.
PR and media is an outbound marketing technique that involves reaching out to journalists and influencers to get them to hype up your product or service. This is a quick and effective way to reach your target audience simply because customers trust recommendations made by people they know. Doing this also helps generate buzz and interest in your business.
Note that this outbound marketing strategy requires a ton of research. After all, if your product’s target users are young professionals, you wouldn’t want to partner with an influencer whose audience mainly consists of stay-at-home moms.
When using this outbound marketing technique, make sure to compensate content creators fairly. Even 6-second videos take a ton of time to produce, so as much as possible, meet their rates. Remember—these influencers can serve as mouthpieces for your brand. If they expose your shady payment habits, you’ll likely see a huge drop in sales.
If you’re looking for some examples of outbound marketing in action, look no further than these successful brands. From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, they’ve mastered the art of outbound marketing, using it to generate leads and sales daily.
In July 2012, entrepreneur Wilbur Yu established Youtech, a creative ad agency that he founded while living in his parents’ basement. He set a goal of cold-calling a hundred companies per day and in two weeks, landed two clients. Referrals began rolling in from there and today, his company has three office locations and more than $1 billion in sales generated.
Entrepreneur Dancho Dimkov established his B2B lead generation agency, BizzBee Solutions, in 2015. To grow it, he reached out to people through LinkedIn, engaging them in conversations where he aimed to discover their problems and pain points. Thanks to this strategy, his business now brings in over $18,000 per month.
GirlZ, a youth marketing consultancy that helps brands engage with today’s youth, was founded by Maddie Bregman in 2017. Her entrepreneurship journey began with a connection she made through a cold email. Since then, her business has worked with some of the world’s most well-known brands including Gatorade, Nickelodeon, Burger King, and Chipotle.
These three are just some of the many brands out there that are killing it with outbound marketing strategies. They prove that this technique isn’t as outdated as everyone believes them to be. Rather, they remain effective and powerful, bringing sales and success to the businesses that use them.
As you can see, outbound marketing is still an effective way to generate leads and sales for your business. So, don’t forget about it in your marketing mix. If you’re not sure where to start, try testing out a few different channels and strategies to see what works best for your business. And, if you need some help getting started, we’re always here to lend a hand.
From creating persuasive email nurturing campaigns to engaging lead magnets for your website, our team of experts can scale your business like no tomorrow. Contact us today!