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Imagine you’ve created a product so revolutionary the market for it doesn’t even exist yet—something like an app that teaches your dog to prepare gourmet five-course meals. You’re sitting on extremely valuable technology—the only problem is how to get your product in front of prospective customers.

The solution is straightforward: Instead of waiting for customers to find you, you go directly to them, using a set of tactics collectively known as outbound marketing.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing refers to any marketing strategy in which a company initiates contact with potential customers. In contrast with inbound marketing strategies, which encourage customers to initiate contact with a brand, outbound marketing focuses on proactively reaching out to target audiences with marketing messages.

Common outbound marketing techniques include cold calling, cold emailing, or using print, radio, or TV ads.

Outbound marketing strategies

  1. Cold calling
  2. Cold emailing
  3. In-person outreach
  4. Print ads
  5. Digital ads
  6. TV and radio ads
  7. Direct mail

An outbound marketing strategy can employ any number of marketing tactics. Here are seven examples of outbound marketing techniques:

1. Cold calling

Cold calling is contacting potential customers by phone. An outbound marketer researches potential customers, acquires contact information, and uses a cold call to establish a relationship with a potential client and discuss product benefits. Once a relationship is established, this cold call is considered a warm lead.

Cold-calling is often time-consuming and costly, though it may make sense when a business anticipates a high-value sale. For example, a business-to-business SaaS (software-as-a-service) company might use cold calling for its enterprise clients and rely on lower-cost options such as email to reach small business customers.

2. Cold emailing

Cold email outreach is an email marketing strategy in which marketers contact people who have not signed up to receive information by email. As with cold calling, cold emailing requires you to research client profiles and contact information. Although sending cold emails is less time-intensive than cold-calling, it still requires this upfront investment. Cold emails can also wind up in spam folders or get blocked by junk filters, so many marketers use cold emailing in conjunction with other outbound tactics.

3. In-person outreach

Outbound marketing also includes in-person outreach strategies, such as attending trade shows or industry networking events. Although this strategy is expensive, it can help to build personal relationships with potential customers.

4. Print ads

Running print ads is a traditional advertising strategy in which a company buys ads in physical publications popular with its target audiences. This strategy tends to be less expensive and time-consuming than personal outreach, and it often is an effective way of reaching customers who prefer print to digital content.

5. Digital ads

Outbound campaigns can also include some types of digital ads, including social media ads, and Google ads, such as display and banner ads.

Digital outbound marketing advertisements can be cost-effective and easy to track. In many cases, companies can also target customers with specific interests or who meet certain demographic criteria, making these ads an optimal way to reach specific audience segments.

Note other forms of digital advertisement, including search ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and retargeted ads, are considered inbound marketing campaign tactics because they only appear for customers who have expressed interest in your company or product.

6. TV and radio ads

Radio and TV commercials are traditional marketing tactics in an outbound strategy. They are popular with businesses targeting specific geographic areas and businesses whose customers prefer TV and radio content to digital media.

7. Direct mail

Direct mail marketing involves sending physical marketing materials to potential customers through the mail. Although direct mail typically is more expensive than email marketing or running print or digital ads, direct mailers tend to have high open rates and response rates. Many businesses use direct mail to advertise future promotions or events.

Pros of outbound marketing

Although outbound marketing often is thought of as a more traditional form of marketing, it’s also a popular method of reaching customers in the digital age. Here are three benefits:

1. Increases brand awareness

Outbound tactics can help companies spread brand awareness, potentially reaching prospective customers. It also can supplement your lead generation strategy or campaign to build brand awareness among new audience segments.

2. Can generate quick results

Outbound marketing strategies can pay off quickly. Instead of waiting for new customers to come to you, you can actively pursue them with messaging designed to motivate a purchase.

3. Facilitates targeting and personalization

Outbound marketing allows you to choose who sees your content—whether that’s as specific as deciding whom to cold call or as general as setting demographic preferences for social media ads.

Cons of outbound marketing

Outbound marketing gives companies a high degree of control over their marketing campaigns, but increased control comes with at least three drawbacks:

1. High costs

Expenses for outbound marketing strategies like cold-calling, cold emailing, and attending trade shows can add up. Although running ads is one of the more cost-effective outbound strategies, this still requires you to spend marketing budgets on people who haven’t yet expressed an interest in your business—and who may ultimately have no interest in your products.

2. Requires customer information

Most outbound marketing strategies depend on customer information, such as names, phone numbers, or email addresses. Outbound marketing ads also are more effective if you can obtain demographic information, which means you’ll need to base your strategy on understanding your audiences.

3. Spam filters

Junk mail and spam-calling filters can make some outbound marketing strategies less effective. In addition, not all customers respond well to cold calls, emails, or direct mail, which means that you can tarnish your brand reputation with customers who prefer not to be contacted.

Outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing seeks to encourage customers to contact your company. Inbound marketing can help companies generate leads, help new buyers pass through the sales funnel, and build loyalty with existing customers.

Inbound marketing tactics include search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing efforts. Here’s an overview of each:

Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM is the process of using paid search campaigns to encourage customers already looking for your company or product type to take a desired action, such as visiting your website. 

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing a site’s content and structure to increase the quantity of relevant traffic to the site. It also involves off-page activities, like building backlinks.

Content marketing

Content marketing is creating and publishing useful, relevant content (such as blog posts orsocial media campaign content) to build authority and trust with a particular target audience. It often works in tandem with a business’s SEO efforts. For example, an apparel company might create a blog that incorporates trending search terms like “transitional leather jackets” or “how to dress for spring weather” to increase the likelihood that its content shows up in search engine results for its target customers.

Outbound marketing FAQ

What is inbound vs. outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is any marketing activity in which a company initiates contact with a potential customer. Inbound marketing efforts, on the other hand, encourage potential customers to initiate contact with a company.

Does outbound marketing still work?

Yes. Although outbound marketing is often considered a more traditional form of marketing, it still can build brand awareness in the digital age.

Can you use both inbound and outbound marketing?

Yes. Most marketers use a combination of inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

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شركة النمر هي شركة متخصصة في تصميم وادارة المواقع الالكترونية والارشفة وكتابة المحتوى والتسويق الالكتروني وتقدم العديد من خدمات حلول المواقع الالكترونية والتطبيقات وهي شركة رسمية ومسجلة منذ عام 2015.

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