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Outbound marketing – what is it?

Imagine your job is to sell a product to another person. Actually, you probably don’t have to imagine it to read this text. Nevertheless, consider: what techniques would you use to close the deal? What would you do to convince the customer to buy? Outbound marketing is one of the most popular paths. What is it really and does it work in modern strategies? See!

Competition in the market is growing year by year – no matter what industry you operate in. Therefore, it is obvious that you are looking for newer and newer methods that will guarantee that the customer will reach you and not another entity. You win primarily with the good quality of products or services. However, this is not all. After all, a customer needs to:

A. be aware that your brand exists,
B. know that you offer solutions that they need (and feel the need to reach for them),
C. be convinced that your products meet his needs and are better than what the competition offers.

That is why marketing is such an important element of the sales process. However, the question remains: what? In modern terminology, two types can be distinguished: inbound and outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing vs inbound marketing

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about inbound marketing – it has become extremely popular and is increasingly used in the digital space. Outbound marketing is somehow contrasted with it – often as less beneficial or outdated. But is it really so? Not necessarily. It all depends on how you approach it.

Before we go into a specific analysis, however, it is worth explaining both concepts to understand the difference between them.

What is outbound marketing?

Outbound marketing is outbound marketing (this statement does not hide anything from us), i.e. any activity in which the company addresses the client, directly encouraging him to take advantage of its offer. The initiator of the entire process is a brand that has a whole range of tools at its disposal.

As you may have guessed, inbound marketing is inbound marketing (this statement does not hide anything from us). In practice, it is about communicating with the market in such a way that the customer himself expresses his interest in your offer, and then lead him down the sales funnel to the finalization of the transaction.

At first glance, the inbound strategy seems to be more attractive and effective. Indeed, in many situations the “inbound” direction is the best one to choose. However, not always.

What are the advantages of outbound marketing?

The key advantages of using an outbound strategy are:

– full control over the course of communication
Inbound traffic is focused on interaction, to a large extent relies on the reaction of recipients to the message. This is where you speak more, waiting for specific actions from potential customers.

– the ability to achieve quick results
Inbound strategies are usually long-term in nature. But what if you want to carry out a quick sale in your e-shop? Then you reach for a specific, direct advertising message and direct it to a wide audience.

– possibility of application on a large scale
Outbound are activities that you can address to a mass audience – e.g. to radio listeners or to all recipients of a given website. Contrary to appearances, you also have the option of targeting, but of course it will not be as accurate as in the case of the Internet.

What about the disadvantages?

Like any advertising strategy, this one has two sides of the coin. So you need to remember that outbound marketing messages:
can be considered disturbing and undesirable – if the campaign is not carried out properly,
can be ignored – it must be remembered that the huge number of advertising messages that reach us has made the recipients used to “filtering” them,
can be expensive – requires active actions throughout the campaign, its carriers (television or press) are usually expensive, and moreover, the target groups are less targeted, which means that the investment is less effective.

Therefore, you must use the tools in this range wisely. However, this does not mean that outbound marketing is a thing of the past. On the contrary! There are many ways to use it effectively!

What are outbound marketing tools?

The tools used in this communication strategy are basically all techniques that are aimed at advertising the product and encouraging the customer to take advantage of the offer. However, you can very specifically indicate the most commonly used among them. Here is their overview – both in digital and traditional channels.

Let’s start with the most traditional forms of outbound marketing – outside the world of the Internet.

ATL
All “Above the Line” channels in traditional media. It is mainly about: TV and radio advertisements, outdoor advertisements, advertisements in the press.

… All those that are well known and widely used both by large concerns and local companies. Their disadvantage may be the high cost of publication. The advantage – wide coverage and reputation.

Direct marketing
We are talking here both about direct contact with the customer, conducted by sales representatives, but also about telephone contact – when the telemarketer calls with a specific offer.

POS, leaflets etc.
Any catalogs, advertising leaflets, folders and the like are also a direct offer to encourage the customer to make a specific product.

Outbound marketing on the Internet

Of course, outbound techniques are also commonly used in digital advertising. There are many tools that you can use in this area. Here is an overview of the most widely used.

Paid advertising (PPC and PPV)
The most popular form of promotion on the Web – consisting in the publication of various types of banners and other messages. This group includes all ads that are published on websites, but also in search engines and social media. It is about, for example:

– Google Ads – and therefore paid promotion in search results, in the form of sponsored links, but also promotional banners,
– Facebook Ads – and therefore about ads that are displayed both on the wall and in the side panel of the website,
– banners and (recently less popular) pop-up ads.

It is worth remembering that there are different accounting systems. The most popular are pay-per-click, where you pay only for ads that have been clicked, and pay-per-view, where payment is made in relation to the page views of the message.

It may seem that the challenge for this promotion system is the fact that many people use software to block such advertising messages. Nevertheless, more and more portals encourage their recipients to unblock promotional content or protect themselves against it by preventing access to the content while using a blocker. Therefore, reasonably prepared outbound marketing ads create an opportunity to effectively reach the customer.

You cannot forget about remarketing, i.e. the strategy of displaying personalized advertising banners, based on the user’s cookie files. It is a very effective outbound tool that directs a potential customer straight to the offer they were already interested in.

Mailing
Mailing is often viewed in terms of inbound promotions. Indeed, it is often the case that a company obtains leads from potentially interested people, and then sends e-mails encouraging people to read blog articles etc. ? What if the messages are purely advertising? While many of these messages can be classified as spam, some will “make it through”. So when such messages are sent on a mass scale – and this is a relatively cheap solution – there is the prospect of profit.

SMS messages
Although in order to receive them, you must subscribe to a specific SMS newsletter, it is a typical form of outbound advertising. The recipient usually receives very specific advertising messages, with information about current promotional campaigns or discounts available to him. The company therefore directly encourages to take advantage of its offer and aims to obtain a quick conversion.

Is it working? This form of promotion can be beneficial, for example, when the target group includes many middle-aged people. They are still attached to sending traditional SMS messages in exchange for communication using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

On-site advertising
So, all those that appear directly on the company’s website. The website itself is obviously a promotional tool. However, you can use additional tools to increase conversion. Those from the outbound catalog include, for example:

– pop-up pop-ups – e.g. those with messages about promotions or with a discount code for purchases,
– on-line chats – they also appear on the website, not called by the recipient, to encourage him to contact,
– web push notifications – i.e. pop-up notifications for the client or “flashing” page header in browser tabs.

These types of messages can be highly effective and carry a lot of sales potential.

How to conduct outbound marketing and what mistakes should be avoided?

Outbound marketing, as you can see, can be an effective sales tool. Nevertheless, the method of conducting activities must be adapted to the expectations of a modern recipient.

Remember: times of intrusive communication, in which the client might feel pressured and persuaded, are a thing of the past. That is why in outbound communication it is worth focusing on:

– relative personalization of communication – wherever possible. When preparing each advertising message, its purpose should be precisely defined, the expected reaction of the recipients, as well as the characteristics of the target group,
– advisory tone – modern sales is about accompanying the customer in making decisions, and not about persuading him by force,
– skillful selection of outbound channels – others will be suitable for running a nationwide campaign, and others for promoting a niche e-shop.

And finally, the most important thing: if you want to achieve marketing success, mix inbound and outbound strategies. If you are not sure how to find the balance between the two tools, get help from experts.

Why is it so important? The answer to this question is simple. Specialists:

– they will analyze your market situation as well as what you have to offer to your customers,
– define what the target group of your recipients looks like – outline their personas, thanks to which you will know who and in what form to address,
– they will adjust marketing tools to your budget and the time range of the goals to be achieved,
– prepare a specific advertising publication plan – with the selection of media, tools and specific messages,
– they will watch over the effectiveness of campaigns and report their results.

Thanks to this, you will be sure that the funds invested in the inbound and outbound promotion will work for themselves and return in the form of an expanded customer portfolio.

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