Inbound and Outbound marketing have a common end goal: to generate lead. These two practices are in fact allies. So why should you choose between one or the other? However, inbound and outbound are too often dissociated in marketing strategies …
What are Inbound and Outbound?
Outbound marketing (or “outbound marketing”) consists of going after the customer via mass communication. It can also be likened to prospecting. Some examples of Outbound Marketing: trade fairs, television commercials, radio spots or billboards, etc.
Inbound marketing (or “inbound marketing”) is a more recent strategy that follows the evolution of consumer behavior. Now we no longer promote a product: we inform! “Market less, inform more!”
This technique aims to bring a prospect naturally to you by offering him informative and enriching content for him. He will only be more qualified. Examples of Inbound Marketing: expert blog posts, media forums, white papers, etc.
A preference for inbound marketing
Today, it seems that marketing experts have a preference for inbound marketing as this infographic from Vocus shows.
Of the 4 techniques preferred by Marketing professionals, 3 are from Inbound.
Despite everything, inbound marketing also has disadvantages: the production process can be long and the ROI is in the medium term while outbound marketing can experience a ROI in the short term.
The question of the term of ROI is an important element because it is complicated for a company to bet only on leads in the medium term. The trade flow must be maintained and, in this, it is important to intelligently combine inbound and outbound marketing.
Identifying a prospect is a long-term job. As databases are mostly obsolete, there are only two solutions left:
- Use companies (Azalead, Iko System, Mix Data, etc.) that will help you identify the companies of interest to you based on the buy signals you have determined.
- Create your own database.
To create your own database, here is what I recommend:
- Identify the companies you want to reach. These companies must be chosen carefully because you will send them a personalized message. Concentrate on an activity sector or a geographic sector for example.
- Find the contacts that interest you in the companies you have selected (thank you LinkedIn!)
- Find their email addresses 🙂
To find their email addresses you can search the web for the usual corporate email structure. And if not you can use Datananas (they analyze the different existing structures and give you the most likely email. I tested them and for my part I detected around 15% of error. Even if it could be better, I find the success rate rather interesting when you see the time you can spend looking for an e-mail address on the Internet).
Your database is ready! You just have to write the content of your emails, personalized of course!
2. Inform your prospects via content mailings
For this emailing campaign, we are going to combine Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing.
In fact, you are going to send content to the prospects that you have identified. So there is no question of having any commercial speech.
Offer them an expert article you wrote on your blog or a white paper.
Do not go further.
Send them a second and why not a third e-mail of the same content (by changing the content of course).
You thus inform your interlocutors and arouse their curiosity on a subject which interests them (and interests you). Show empathy: put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what are their daily problems?
3. Start a slightly more commercial exchange
Only then begin to enter into a slightly more commercial exchange. Always by making the link with previous content emails and the pains that your interlocutors may encounter.
4. Don’t insist
If after the 4th or 5th e-mail you remain unanswered, do not insist. It could become clubbing. Send your prospect one last email asking if they want you to stop contacting them or if they are interested in the topic.
You will be much more “Fair” vis-à-vis your interlocutors and you will avoid, at the same time wasting your time.
What results emerge from this union?
By doing so :
- You build a trust with your prospects;
- Your prospects will start the discussion with you more naturally because you will be genuinely interested in them and their pains;
- Your trades with your interlocutors will of much better quality;
- You offer a new life to your content strategy;
- You better control the trade flow.
In the end, it seems to me that you have everything to gain.
And you what do you think ? Your feedback interests me!
Have you ever tested this approach? What did you think of it? Or maybe you have other good practices to share with us?
I look forward to your answers 🙂