Outbound Marketing is the effort to reach your customers by spreading word about your product or service through traditional methods like tv ads, radio, or newspaper. By today’s standards, they’re often dubbed old-school methods. Although used less and less, they are still highly regarded by some marketers.
Outbound is called “outbound” because the message is being pushed OUT by the marketing team v.s. Inbound marketing, which attracts customers IN to your brand via content marketing, social media, email subscriptions, etc.
What are some examples of outbound marketing?
Examples of outbound marketing include traditional tv, radio, newspaper ads. As well as canvassing, flyers, and mailers (snail mail, delivered by your mailperson).
Have you ever attended a trade show? This is an excellent example of outbound marketing. You’re in your booth, talking to random people that walk by, trying to gain their interest.
There are modern methods considered outbound as well, like running a cold email campaign or making cold calls. These tend to be handled by the sales department, but depending on circumstances, might be managed by the marketing team.
Is outbound marketing cost effective?
When you’re a new company, with a limited marketing budget, outbound marketing can be cost-effective and efficient in garnering the attention of your market.
For example, you might not have the money to run a big Facebook or LinkedIn ad campaign, but you can easily afford hiring an intern to mine contact data so that you can send an introductory email to thousands of potential customers. Or, you could attend a trade show (not necessarily buy a booth, which can cost thousands of dollars), and hand out brochures or info cards to other attendees.
So, outbound is cost-effective in that it may require less money upfront, but compared to inbound marketing opportunities, you may see less return on investment (ROI). Higher ROI often results in a lower customer acquisition cost. Outbound methods are also harder to measure empirically. Meaning, it might be harder to get accurate data regarding the performance of your outbound campaigns. I mean, can you measure the success of flyers or snail mail?
Who benefits from outbound marketing?
The older your prospects, the more likely these outbound methods are to work. That’s because these are the methods that older generations are used to.
B2B companies may also benefit from outbound marketing methods as they often need to network (at events or tradeshows) to find the decision maker and build a relationship. This is particularly important for companies selling high-end and more expensive products as closing a deal may require building a relationship over time.
End of the day, you’ve got to determine what works for you and what’s right for your marketing budget. It’s all a matter of defining a target market and finding out where they are. You might attend a trade show for free to get your first client or two and then use that money to help fund inbound efforts. You can also try our method of scoring your marketing ideas before employing them, so you know which ideas to prioritize.