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What is outbound marketing?

Learn the definition of outbound marketing and see examples.

Outbound marketing is a traditional approach to advertising. It’s when businesses initiate contact with their target audience. The ads you may see before YouTube videos exemplify outbound marketing. This approach, however, is declining in effectiveness. Learn more in this article.

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Brief Summary

Glossary

Outbound marketing is a type of marketing where businesses initiate the contact with potential customers. For example, through telemarketing or radio ads.

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Inbound vs. outbound marketing

The most significant difference between the two is who starts the conversation. In inbound marketing, the customer makes the first move. It focuses on creating customer relationships through valuable content like blog posts. So, it’s a good idea to start a blog.

People want an answer. You give it to them. The result is that people start seeing your company as an authority on the topic, making them more likely to trust your services. They will also be more prone to become recurring customers. 

Outbound marketing, however, flips this script. It initiates the conversation through traditional tactics such as the following.

Outbound marketing examples

  • Television ads.
  • Radio ads.
  • Flyers.
  • Billboards.
  • Cold calling.

Benefits of outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is one of the many digital marketing approaches you can use in your business, whether an online shop, a website, or something else. But, before using it, you need to understand its pros and cons. Let’s start with the former. 

1. Reaches more people

Outbound marketing typically works best on passive media like TV or radio. Since these are also forms of mass communication, they enable you to reach a broader audience. The downside, however, is that it can be tricky to target a specific demographic.

2. Strengthens your brand

Sharing your brand with a mass audience increases its awareness and strengthens it. As such, outbound marketing can be a valuable tool if you have a big budget, have started a new business, and aim to grow it quickly.

3. Generates more leads

Outbound marketing goes beyond TV ads. It includes any form of promotion where you initiate contact. As such, you can use tactics like newsletters and email marketing campaigns, which can result in more leads for your business. 

4. Delivers results faster

The natural consequence of sharing your brand with more people and generating more leads is driving more sales. Outbound marketing lets you experience a quick boom in your results, but public interest may fade quickly since your ad may stop being so effective after people have seen it for the 1,000th time.

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The downside of outbound marketing

Nothing is perfect. Outbound marketing is no exception to this rule, so you must learn how it can hurt your business. 

1. It’s inconvenient

You want to watch a YouTube video but must endure an unskippable ad first. Frustrating, right? Yes, and perhaps you don’t want people to associate frustration with your brand. So, this factor is one you must consider before deciding whether outbound marketing is the best choice.

2. It produces a lower conversion rate

Outbound marketing tends to focus on a mass audience instead of a specific demographic. The result is that it reaches more people but may produce lower conversion rates. If selling more to a niche demographic is your sole goal, outbound marketing might work for you, but you need to do your homework and research where to find your audience.

3. It can be expensive

Outbound marketing relies on media that can be expensive to produce, like videos for ads and printing for flyers. These costs can be prohibitive if you’re on a small budget, which is the opposite of relying on SEO and content writing.

4. Measuring its impact can be challenging

If you run TV and radio ads, you may see a spike in sales, but how do you which effort produced which results? You can run surveys asking people how they learned about your product, but that’s an extra step. Inbound marketing gets precise metrics, like how many people opened your newsletter.

Don’t let the negatives scare you from using outbound marketing. It’s another tool in your toolkit, and it’s up to you to decide when to use it. It has positives. It has negatives. So, think about them and decide how to act.

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