Outbound Vs Inbound Lead Generation

Outbound VS Inbound Lead Generation


One of the hottest debates in the lead generation world is outbound vs. inbound lead generation. And the main cause of the debate is the emergence of inbound lead generation in the last decade. Generating a consistent lead flow is a dream that many businesses would love to achieve. However, most companies rely on the effectiveness of their current marketing techniques for the type of leads that can bring them profit.

But the advent of digital marketing and changing of times have brought a lot of marketing terms that are difficult to distinguish from one another. Terms such as “inbound” and “outbound” lead generation just look the same to a lot of businesses. I know.. It’s crazy right?

And that's why most of them have missed out on big opportunities they can get from using the right type of lead generation.

At the start of each lead generation initiative, it is vital to know the difference between outbound and inbound lead generation. Each of the these lead generation techniques use different execution methods, so you need to comprehend the logic behind each of them before you begin.

While both inbound and outbound lead generation can be similar in some ways, there are significant differences that you need to consider when you are planning your campaigns.

But, before we go into the outbound vs inbound lead generation main issue, let's look at the meaning of each of them.

What do you want to learn about first?

Definition and examples of outbound marketing

Definition and examples of inbound marketing

outbound lead generation vs inbound lead generation

How Do I Use Outbound Marketing To Generate Leads?

How Do I Use inbound Marketing To Generate Leads?

Choosing A Lead Generation Style That Is Right For Your Small Business

Definition of outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is a type of marketing where a business initiates the conversation by sending a message out to the audience. It is precisely the opposite of inbound marketing.

Outbound lead generation (aka interruption lead generation) uses a different method to inbound lead gen. Using this marketing technique, you can send a message to potential leads to initiate the first interaction. The best examples of outbound marketing are phone calls and direct emails.

In this highly connected planet, there has been a lot of talk about how effective the outbound lead generation strategies are. While it can be regarded as an old school method, the approach can still work if you add some of the modern technologies and tactics to it.

It is quite easy to pick out some of the outbound methods like TV commercials, internet pop-ups, and cold calls, which are overwhelmingly outbound.

Examples of outbound marketing are:

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    Radio/ TV Ads
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    Outdoor advertising
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    Press releases
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    TV commercials
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    Print ads
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    Pay Per Click Ads
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    Direct mail
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    Internet pop-ups
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    Cold calls

Outbound marketing does not nurture leads nearly as effectively as inbound marketing does.

A tool like an email that is synonymous with outbound marketing has had its image tarnished due to abuse.

But if you have a great understanding of factors affecting outbound marketing including incentive and response, you can generate excellent results with outbound lead generation.

Definition of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is the kind of marketing strategy that utilizes different forms of pull marketing – blogs, content marketing, social media, SEO and more – to create awareness about business and attract new clients. This approach is about getting found by prospects instead of forcing your message on those that may not have interest in what you do.

Rather than vying for customer’s attention, inbound marketing focuses on attracting leads or customers through company-created content.

Examples of inbound marketing tactics and content are:

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    Blog posts
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    Search engine optimization
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    Social media marketing

Inbound marketing uses online platforms like search engines, social media, and blogs to target customers. The motive behind this is to create content that will show up in right places (where your target audience is) to drive organic traffic (instead of advertising-driven traffic) to your business’s website.

Inbound links are used to generate traffic that maximizes content visibility on search engines.

Inbound marketing offers the best way to save your money because it will make you depend less on old outbound marketing strategies like radio and TV advertisements, direct mail, cold-emailing and cold-calling to generate leads.

Most of the platforms where you share content such as Twitter, blogging websites, YouTube and Facebook, are free to use, which further reduce costs.

Inbound marketing is easy and cheap to execute in comparison to outbound marketing, so small businesses can compete for leads with bigger businesses on the internet. The search engine optimization of your content can replace other advertising spend.

Since you can promote inbound marketing content on social media, you can quickly spread awareness about your business and expect a long-term effect. Even older content can help you attract leads over time without much effort and time on creating new content.

You can get feedback through leads initiating conversation on social media or leaving a comment.

A great way to check how your inbound presence is working out is by starting with a website analysis! 

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Outbound vS inbound lead generation

We all know that lead generation is a process that helps to identify and attract potential clients, so understanding difference between inbound and outbound lead generation is essential.

Here are some of the differences between the two marketing strategies:

#1. Outbound leads are dying

Because outbound marketing uses old marketing strategies, it is getting less effective. Now that a lot of businesses are relying more on inbound lead generation, the effectiveness of outbound marketing is diminishing.

Also, as we are immersed in a highly tech oriented world, the buying process has changed significantly.

Consumers expect personalization.

With hundreds of thousands of ads consumers encounter every day, they are gradually running away from outbound campaigns. When most of the prospects need something, they turn to the internet to look for it, making inbound marketing a great marketing strategy to get more leads.

#2 Inbound leads are more familiar with your business

If you are using outbound marketing approach, you need to understand that any lead you generate knows next to nothing about your business at the first touch point. This means that your sales team needs to spend some money to educate them.

On the other hand, inbound leads have already researched and know about you.

They have possibly read your blog, know what your company is about and downloaded your content.

Inbound marketing campaigns does a great job using content to convince them that the company is worth their time and money.

​#3. Salespeople like outbound leads less than inbound leads

Leads generated through outbound marketing such as direct mail, trade shows, and telemarketing is less valuable.

This means more time and resources are needed to educate outbound leads about your business. Inbound marketing will help your business to simplify and shorten the sales process, which exciting for your sales team.

​#4. You need more money to acquire outbound leads

On average, outbound lead generation cost 61 percent more than inbound lead generation.

This is probably the most significant difference between inbound and outbound leads. This means that inbound leads are not only of higher quality than outbound leads, they also cost less.

How Do i use outbound marketing to generate leads?

Having mentioned that outbound marketing is the traditional approach that has been existing for years; you can still generate quality leads with it.

You can use outbound marketing in several ways to create success for your business.

You can also use it to amplify inbound efforts and target certain opportunities.

In many cases, outbound strategies can wow you and make your business stand out because the techniques being employed are often highly targeted with excellent call-to-action.

So if you understand how to use outbound marketing to your advantage, it can quickly lead consumers down your sales funnel, assuming they are good leads.

Here are examples of outbound marketing that can bring you a lot of quality leads: 

​Pay per click advertising (PPC)

You can get your message across to leads searching for keywords related to your company by paying search engines like Yahoo!, Bing and Google to advertise your company. PPC (Pay Per Click) ads show up at the top and bottom of the organic search results with a tempting copy. You can also use banners for your PPC ads on other websites and social channels like LinkedIn.

However, you need to spend money on PPC, and a click could cost $5 or even $0.5 depending on the competitiveness of the keyword you choose to target.

And if you don’t want to throw your money in the bin, you need to get PPC ads setting right to generate quality leads.

​Content syndication

Excellent content fuels your lead generation efforts. However, putting content only on your site is not enough because you want to be seen by millions of potential leads. This can take the form of guest posting on websites related to your site and sharing your content through social media. Most content syndicators ask leads to fill out their contact information like company name, address, phone number, email address, etc.

​Email Marketing

Although direct emailing has turned to a source of abuse, combining other efforts with it can make it highly effective. If you are creative enough, you can grab the attention of consumer who did not respond to your other lead generation efforts.

The best part of this marketing technique is that it is less time consuming and you can easily cold call thousands of people.

Investing in creating quality email list can help you generate quality leads.

The most popular email services around are the MailChimp and Aweber, but there are other email services out there that can allow you to manage your email list with ease such as Drip which is what we use.

But make sure your email service provider supports importation of data from outside the website.

​Event Marketing

This outbound marketing technique is a great way to generate leads and nurture them by creating a great relationship. And for upsell and cross-sell opportunities, you need to engage with your current clients. Event marketing often takes the form of seminars, tradeshows, conferences and webinars, which provide your business the opportunity to meet your leads face-to-face to form a lasting impression. This kind of marketing allows you to cement relationships and prepare your lead to take the right action.

​Ebook Giveaways

Virtually everybody likes free stuff, but not just anything that's free, it must be valuable. You can use free ebooks as effective outbound marketing tool. Write an ebook or hire someone to write it for you and once it’s ready, just add a few links to your business and start giving it away.

​Inside Sales

Your ability to turn your marketing leads into sales pipeline is an essential part that can help you get results from your lead generation efforts and your inside sales team should be able to help you with it.

Your inside sales team takes your marketing-generated calls, leads and qualifies them.

The team will after qualifying them, hand them over to an experienced sales person or account executive to close.

The team is important because, without its help, leads won’t get called and can dry up – no one wants quality leads he has worked hard to get to sit in the dark.

​How to use inbound marketing to generate leads

Just a few years back, the change in buying behavior that brought about inbound movement has spread throughout customer’s experience. The way people communicate and their expectations have changed, but the good news is that the inbound marketing strategy continues to help companies adapt to quick-changing needs – not only with marketing but also the customer experience.

With the use of inbound lead generation method, you have an unfair chance to grow your company and get clients to purchase more, stay much longer with you, refer their friends without thinking twice, and tell the world they really love you.

​Phases of inbound marketing

There are four phases of inbound marketing, and they are as follow:

​#1. Attract

You really don’t need just anyone on your website; you need those that are most likely going to become leads and happy customers.

But how do you get these kinds of people?

You attract them with relevant content at the right time they are looking for it.

You can attract leads using:

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    Blogging: Inbound marketing begins with content. To attract new visitors to your site, blogging is the best way to achieve it. To place your business where the prospective customer will find it, you should create educative and engaging content that answer their questions.
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    Social media: Remarkable content brings successful inbound marketing, and social media gives you an opportunity to share that valuable content with prospects to engage them and turn them into happy customers. Research the platforms where your ideal prospects spend their time and meet them there.
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    Content strategy: Your clients start the process of buying online, usually through searching for something they have questions about. This means you have to ensure you are showing up where and when they search. You can easily do that by increasing your presence using tools that will help you define and implement your content method.

#2. ​Convert

Once you have attracted site visitors, then you need to convert them into leads. This can be done through the opening of a conversation in any form that works best – with meetings, form or messages.

Once you get in touch with them, answer their questions and provide interesting and valuable content to each of them – and continue your conversation with them.

Here are the best ways to begin conversation with your leads:

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    Meetings: You need to speak to your leads either via phone or virtual meeting to win new deals. Give your prospects an easy way to meet you without the back and forth. As your calendar stays filled up, you should also stay productive. Ensure you show up to engage and win new customers whenever there is a meeting.
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    Forms: You can put up a form on your website to allow your visitors fill out their information and become leads. Optimize the form to make it as easy as possible process.
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    Messages: Embed live chat tool on your website to start chatting with visitors. Making chat a part of your sale processes will help you generate the right leads, so it is good to communicate with your prospects actively.

#3. Close

You are already on the right track because you have been able to attract the right web visitors and converted them to leads. The next thing you need to do is to transform your leads into customers.

You would ask, how can I do this efficiently?

There are several tools that you can use to close the right leads faster and more comfortable.

Here are some of them:

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    Pipeline management: how can you identify the marketing efforts that are bringing you the best leads? Is your sales team closing the best leads into clients effectively? You need to analyze this to move forward.
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    Lead nurturing: You should nurture each lead you generate to their interest and lifecycle stage. The content they have read, pages they have visited and whitepapers indicate shifting interests. You have to adapt your messaging to remain relevant and win new customers quicker.
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    Email: What should you do if a web visitor clicks your CTA (call-to-action), submit information on your landing page and downloads your ebook, but isn’t ready to become your customer? You need to start a series of emails that will focus on relevant, useful content that can help you build trust with the prospect and turn the prospect to a buyer.
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    Predictive lead scoring: One excellent technique to handle the growth of your business is lead scoring. As your company grows and more leads are trooping in, it does not always make sense to contact every leads you have. You should make sure your sales team is prioritizing time-based on how ready the leads are.

#4. Delight

Inbound marketing is all about providing an outstanding experience for customers. The customers expect even more from your business, and they want to be treated in the best way than ever before.

So you need to engage them with delight and make them successful. If you delight them, they will be happy to buy more from you, stay with you for long, refer friends and be delighted to tell the whole world they love your company.

Here is how to delight your customers:

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    Customer hub: It depends on how you go about your business, but you can make your customers your biggest fans or otherwise. With customer hub, you can easily find out more about your customers, connect with them and help them succeed.
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    Smart content: With creative content, you won’t be showing loyal customer content meant for the first time buyers or CTAs. Using smart CTA (call-to-action), you’ll be able to present each visitor with offers based on their persona and lifecycle stage.
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    Conversion: Collaborate, manage and respond to messages from customers. Keep track of comments, requests, questions and potential deals - and start meaningful conversations with your customers.

Having discussed outbound vs inbound marketing, the differences between each methods can be used to their advantages in an integrated marketing approach to maximize your lead generation activity.

 Trying to figure out your own inbound marketing plan? We can help!
starting with a website analysis! 

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Choose a lead generation style that is right for your company

Although there is no huge difference between the two marketing methods, at first sight, it’s all about the first person to initiate contact. When the potential client initiates the contact, it is called inbound, but when it is another way-round, it is outbound.

Despite the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing, both have the same goal, which is lead generation… and ultimately sales.

However, if implement outbound lead generation properly, it can generate results quickly.

Inbound usually takes more time to implement, but you'll tend to generate higher quality leads. 

If we have to choose for you here, we’ll go for inbound marketing because it is the most valuable strategy to generate high-quality leads.

The main thing here is to understand the audience you are targeting and leverage on effective marketing technique to reach them. If you ask us, the journey to closing the leads is not an easy one, but it will surely worth your time and money in the end.If you need the whole process done for you by experts, check out this tested and trusted experts who can help you generate high-quality leads quickly.

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(Last Updated On: March 5, 2018)

About the Author Kemar Lawrence

Entrepreneur | Business & Marketing Strategist | Co-Founder @goldminddigital. I am a business & marketing strategist. I bring more than 6 years of experience to projects I take on with a track record of success. I help entrepreneurs win at business.

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