Inbound and outbound. Those two sound like perfect opposites. And I think many marketers see them that way. Moreover, it seems to me that many marketers feel like inbound is the only right way to go, while outbound is pure evil. Well, it’s not. It doesn’t have to be. Here’s 5 reasons why you should try outbound to empower your marketing and sales efforts and get more leads for your business.
Inbound & outbound is not either/or
For starters, let’s clear that up. It’s not that you’re going to abandon all your inbound tactics the moment you go for outbound.
If you assumed an inbound tactic like content marketing, email marketing, or SEO as your backbone tactic for lead generation – that’s great. You don’t have to change that. But you can use an outbound tactic, like cold email outreach, to support your inbound efforts.
If you haven’t decided on your backbone lead generation tactic yet, the five reasons below may help you reconsider cold outreach as one of candidates for the title. Again, if you set an outbound tactic as your core source of leads, that does not mean you’ll totally abandon creating content or stop sending your newsletter.
In fact, the key to success is picking the backbone and then synchronizing all your tactics to make your marketing and sales efforts complementary and concise.
5 reasons why outbound is worth trying
One: You deliberately choose your prospects
If you focus on inbound, you basically do everything to make your potential clients find you on the web. You can publish blog posts, you can be active on social media, you can contribute to various communities, like Quora or Reddit – you are there for your prospects waiting to be noticed.
Yes, you can craft your content in a way that will attract the right group of people, in hopes of attracting your ideal customers. But you cannot be sure who’s going to pick up your call to action.
In outbound, on the other hand, you literally choose the people you’re going to reach out to. You literally find their names and companies. If you’re going to launch a cold email campaign, the first thing you’re going to need is a contact base full of people that match your ideal customer profile.
You’re not just waiting and hoping. You pick specific people from the target group you want to contact. You have full control on who the addressee of your message is going to be.
Two: You contact your target group directly
If someone fits your ideal customer profile, there’s at least one reason for that. You can craft a message based on the reason and send it directly to your prospect’s business email address. If your email is well-thought-out, personalized and sent at the right time, you can be sure it reaches your prospect.
And if you provide some real value in the email, or address a properly diagnosed painpoint, there are great chances you start a relation with your prospective customer. And it’s not just that they read your content. They actually talk to you, which means you get to know them better.
You’re getting first-hand information on what they love, what they hate, and what they need at the very moment. You’re not guessing. You’re getting straightforward answers to your questions and reactions to the conversation triggers you provide.
Three: You test your business hypotheses fast
It usually takes some time to test what works and what doesn’t when you focus on inbound. A blog needs some time to warm up, a newsletter is being grown with time. And after that time, you’re still not sure what part of your audience will actually be proper leads. Not to mention, how many of them can be converted into customers.
Outbound allows you to test your business hypotheses way faster. You launch a cold email campaign directed to a specific group of prospects and you measure the response. You immediately see attitudes and tendencies, black on white.
This way, you can quickly verify what’s worth pursuing in your marketing and product development. And you can focus your forces on the exact solutions your target group wants and needs. That can be especially valuable when you’re building a start-up and need to test your business hypotheses as fast as possible.
For more on that topic, check my post on How We Got Our First 10 Customer Interviews with Cold Email >>
Four: You improve your messaging fast
Your ideas are one thing. The way you talk to your clients about your ideas is another. Doing outbound, you gain the opportunity to talk with people. And talking with your prospective customers is the best way to learn the way they perceive the world and to understand their problems.
And as soon as you understand the problems of your target group (and know how to name them properly) you are able to create better messaging in general – not only for your cold outreach, but also for your website copy, blog posts, ads, etc.
And by consistent and relevant messaging, it’s easier for you to gain the trust of your target group. Suddenly, you’re not just a product provider who wants to sell. You’re becoming a problem-solver, who exactly gets what’s wrong and knows how to help.
Five: You support your inbound efforts with outbound campaigns
Some of your prospects will not necessarily reply to you at once. They will need more time to assess the value they may gain from you, or they will need to check you out first. That is, they will probably check out your website, blog, or social media profile… Boom! You’ve just got yourself another visitor. And the visitor is definitely a member of your target group – you’ve picked them yourself in the first place, remember?
Finally, you can use cold emails for so much more than just outreach to potential clients. It’s a great way to get in touch with influencers, who can help you promote your content among a wider range of recipients. Influencer outreach takes some time for research and practice, but it’s a way to incredibly boost the effectiveness of your inbound marketing and get more leads as a result.
To take away
Hope the five reasons will help you decide to try, or retry, some outbound marketing and sales tactics. There are 3 things I’d like you to keep in mind after reading this post:
Outbound tactics are not evil. If carried out properly, they may be bring much good – both to you and your prospective customers.
Outbound and inbound are not mutually exclusive. They can be complementary, and if properly planned and performed, they will boost each other’s effects.
Outbound outreach allows you and your team to learn. You will learn an awful lot about your target group, faster than you would expect. Use cold outreach to learn and help instead of selling straight ahead. If you stay focused on your prospects and try to build valuable relations, your cold emails will not be treated as spam.
And I haven’t written all that because I guess it works like that. I’ve been sending cold emails for (and from) our SaaS called Woodpecker. I’m writing about what I’ve learned on our blog dedicated exclusively to cold emailing for start-up growth. Check out the blog to see how cold email works for us and how you can make it work for you.
Guest post by Cathy Patalas, Marketing Manager @Woodpecker.co