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Outbound Marketing is not dead, it just needs to change.

end of outbound marketing

I recently read that outbound marketing is all but dead – well traditional outbound marketing anyway. ROI on traditional outbound marketing is definitely on the decrease. So what’s the solution?

You’ve probably read an awful lot on “Content Marketing” and Inbound Marketing, so why not combine all three? So how is this achieved? Well the principle, like all good business is simple :

Send highly targeted mailings to help drive traffic to your content.

The secret is to offer something that is genuinely useful to that individual(s). This can be tricky and will require that you carefully research your target markets – don’t whatever you do purchase lists and randomly send information out. The more research you do and the more targeted you get, the better your results will be.

So here are some practical tips and advice you can action to drive traffic to your web content (not your home page) using outbound marketing :-

  1. Send them information that is quickly accessed (could be a tips sheet, people have little time to read) with a link to further content online.
  2. When designing your mailing, make it hard for them to throw it away (e.g. a keep piece, use great quality paper stock etc).
  3. Incentivize them to download further content from your website (in exchange for an email address of course).
  4. Send them a series of how to mailings (all with links to further in depth content online), gradually build awareness.
  5. Encourage them to connect with your brands social profiles (be creative, you come include some linkedin recommendations for example).
  6. Invite them to join and participate in your linkedin group or follow your company on linkedin (provide an incentive).
  7. Make them feel special. Get them to join your content “hub” and make them feel part of the club.
  8. Never, never sell to them, the demand for your services/product will come only when confidence and trust is built.
  9. When driving traffic to your web site and content from a mailing, never send them to your default home page. Create a landing page that makes it super easy for them to sign up and/or access your content.
  10. Some of your prospects may not spend a lot of time reading content online, so for these people, getting their email address and sending them content summaries via email may be the best strategy.
  11. Remember people like to receive information in their preferred style, in your mailing, ask them or give them the option to choose.
  12. Keep your mailing simple and specific. The only key objective is to get them to engage with your content.
  13. Give it time. It can take a while to build awareness and trust. Hang on in there.

So, I think it is time to think of outbound marketing as working in harmony with inbound and content marketing. They’re not separate marketing activities. A finely tuned integrated campaign is always, in my option, going to out gun a standalone campaign, certainly in the B2B space.

As ever, thoughts would be appreciated! Comments below.