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Outbound Marketing Strategies: Are they really dead?

There has been plenty of speculation around the death of outbound marketing. But recent surveys have shown the speculation to be greatly exaggerated. In fact, outbound marketing is still dynamic for driving leads and sales.
Here’s what top IT executives had to say about the effectiveness of outbound marketing:

  • 60% said outbound calls or emails have led to an IT vendor’s being evaluated.
  • 75% said they’d decided to attend an event or take an appointment after having received a cold call or email.

The findings are surprising especially when inbound strategies, such as content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization have gained steam for their cost-effectiveness. But the data is crystal clear: The cold call lives.
In today’s climate, companies are increasingly pushing social selling—like blogging, content creation, search engine optimization, and social media engagement—as the best means of marketing a product or service. But studies have shown the importance of traditional outbound marketing techniques, such as cold calls, emails, TV commercials, and print ads, for driving leads and sales. A good old-fashioned call can help to humanize you to your marketing prospects, no matter the size of a business or industry.

For many companies, a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing techniques may be best. And it doesn’t take pricey TV or print ads to reap the benefits. Below I have listed a few ways companies can add outbound marketing techniques to their strategies.

Draft scripts, but don’t read from them. When making a cold call or sending out an email blast, it’s important to ensure that you don’t come off like an advertisement. Anything that sounds too extravagant will fall flat. Draft a script and practice reading through it in a conversational tone, and ensure all written copy reflects your company’s tone and brand.

Time is money. Cold-calling can be tricky, and if your contacts are busy, you run the risk of being seen as an inconvenience. Pay keen attention to the little details—particularly, time of day. Lunchtime calls are always unwanted; it’s usually when professionals take their break and don’t want to be bothered. Morning calls between 8 and 9 AM can help you to catch someone who hasn’t yet entered the office for the day. Another option is late afternoon, between 4 and 5 PM, when the workday is winding down.

Make it personal, but don’t take it to heart. Do some social media research and create a list of details about whoever you’re calling. Include those personal details in your outbound marketing efforts to lend yourself credibility. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box: These days, a handwritten letter may get you a lot farther than something generic mailed en masse. But don’t take non-interest or lack of return calls personally; some people are just not in a position to listen to how you’re going to help them make or save more money.

Offer rewards. Using outbound strategies is a great way to bring clients and customers directly to your landing page or blog. Cold calls and emails also alert them to any promotions or contests you are providing in return for participation in the strategy—like a raffle or some other chance to win a prize.

Link, Link, Link. Build your brand by including links to your online presence in all business collateral. Ensure all employees include links to your company in their email signatures, and ask that they share company updates on their personal social media profiles across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

Create a landing page. Make it easy for anyone who’s been directed to your online presence to get quick information about your company or product. Create a landing page on your company’s Facebook page—just install the application and tweak the code. Or, add one to your website. Always include a succinct company bio and a call to action.

Track results. Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track the results of your outbound and inbound marketing efforts. It will help you to tweak your strategy over time and line up your techniques to ensure your strategy is working comprehensively across multiple techniques and platforms.

Creating the perfect mix of inbound and outbound marketing techniques may just be what your company needs to improve your leads and sales. Trying these techniques will ensure your business stands out from the rest.

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