Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Inbound Marketing Versus Cold Calling

Posted by Michael Karp

October 10, 2015

Welcome to another edition of “Inbound Marketing Versus…”

The Inbound Out marketing methodology has been up against some fierce competitors, but it has managed to give each of them a run for their money.

In this installment, Inbound Out marketing faces another time-tested technique:

Cold calling.

Everyone’s heard the mantra, “Always be closing!” It comes from cold calling and the way salespeople go through a list of prospects, calling each person to pitch their product or service.

This technique is still used today, but, unfortunately, scammers and telemarketers have given it a bad rap. However, it can still be used effectively in certain industries and under different circumstances.

Here’s how the two compare:

  • With multiple people on your team, both Inbound Out marketing and cold calling allow you to contact many prospects at one time. Both are also more personal marketing methods, but Inbound Out lets your prospects receive your marketing when it suits them best.
  • Cold calling has a high rejection rate. Inbound Out gives you many points of entry into a person’s life with lower levels of interruption.
  • Cold calling is often used by scammers. This has reduced consumer trust in this form of marketing and increased trust in other forms, like social media, email, and doing their own research through useful content.

Inbound Marketing Versus Cold Calling

Let the battle commence!

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Cold Calling — Reach

With multiple salespeople, you can contact many people at one time through cold calling. It’s a more personal form of marketing than many other methods, as you speak directly with your prospects.

If you’re getting a positive ROI, to expand your business you simply need to expand your sales team and scale up.

However, there is one major constriction:

In order to receive your marketing, your prospects need to pick up the phone at the particular moment you’re trying to contact them.

Yes, they can call you back, but people tend to distrust numbers they don’t recognize.

With Inbound Out marketing, you can also contact many people at one time with numerous people on your team, but you’re not constrained by whether your prospects happen to be available to receive your marketing at that time.

You enter their inbox or social media feed and let prospects receive your marketing when it suits them best.

They get back to you on their own time. They don’t feel pressured to respond.

Ironically, this increases response rates and trust in your marketing.

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Cold Calling — Interruption and Rejection

Every form of marketing interrupts a prospect’s life in some way. Even the least salesy form of content marketing still asks prospects to accept an opportunity cost to read and engage with their content.

However, the level of interruption associated with different marketing methods can have drastic effects on the trust you build, your rejection rates, and your business’s image in prospect’s minds.

Cold calling has a high level of interruption. It involves unsolicited calls to people who may only have a marginal interest in your product or service.

You’re also not providing any upfront value. Cold callers are sprinting to the finish line by pushing hard for the sale.

This leads to high rejection rates. Multiple rejections from any one customer can completely cut off that customer from your business, which can have harmful effects on your word-of-mouth exposure.

It can also affect the salesperson’s mentality. Imagine being rejected multiple times a day on most of the calls you make. It can hurt your confidence and zest for the product or service. This erodes their ability to be effective salespeople.

Inbound Out marketing gives you many points of entry into a person’s life, including their social media accounts and email.

The level of interruption is not nearly as high as cold calling. Rejection rates are much lower, because you start the relationship with a lower level of commitment. Your business also provides value first, through free educational content, rather than immediately asking for the sale.

This establishes trust with prospects, while showcasing your business as an authority in their eyes. The content you produce and promote positions you as a teacher.

People trust teachers. They tend to distrust salespeople.

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Cold Calling — Trust and Outreach

If executed the right way, personal outreach is powerful. It establishes connections on a personal level that most prospects aren’t used to from businesses.

And they appreciated it. That’s what makes it effective.

Unfortunately, cold calling does not handle one-on-one outreach effectively. It’s often used by scammers, who have tarnished it in consumers’ eyes (like the Microsoft support scams).

As consumers have gained more power through information available on the Internet, they’re better at identifying scammers who are cold calling. This means they’re more aware of how many scammers use this technique, and they tend to associate the technique with people attempting to swindle them.

On the other hand, reaching out through social media and email is natural. Inbound Out marketing is powerful because it’s personal outreach that’s executed unobtrusively.

You’re not mass messaging people, but rather entering their lives on a one-on-one basis in ways that let them choose whether or not to listen to you.

That freedom of choice is what prospects want. Inbound Out marketing gives it to them.

Traditional marketing no longer works well because buyers have changed. You must learn to adapt. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now and learn to execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Both cold calling and Inbound Out marketing allow you to contact many people at one time. But Inbound Out lets your prospects receive your marketing when it suits them best—on their own terms.
  • Cold calling involves a high level of interruption into prospects’ lives, which leads to a high rejection rate. Inbound Out marketing gives you many points of entry into a person’s life. Rejection rates are much lower because your business provides value first.
  • Cold calling does not handle one-on-one outreach effectively, as it’s often used by scammers. Inbound Out marketing focuses on social media and email, two channels where people accept marketing more naturally.
more

Topics: Inbound Marketing


Why Can't I Predict My Sales?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

October 8, 2015

Marketing and sales don't work like they used to. Gone are the days when a little advertising and cold calling could lead to steady stream of appointments. Everyone has caller ID and ad blockers, so interruption marketing tactics rarely work. 

Smart phones and the Internet have given all the power to buyers—the buying process has changed. Your selling process must adapt to meet the needs of your prospects and close the sale.

The key to building a predictable, scalable marketing engine is to start with strategy. Marketing strategy involves identifying and understanding your best prospects and then sending the right messages.

As you build your strategy, think about the following questions:

1. Who are your best prospects? The more precise you can be the better. What messages do they need to hear to get interested and ultimately become a customer.

2. What makes your company remarkable? Remarkables are things about your business that make prospects say "Wow!" and cause them to tell their friends. 

3. Do you have a strategy, including an execution plan? You need an editorial publishing calendar that lays out the plan for your marketing team. It should describe the content and schedule, and also cover how the content will be promoted and distributed to prospects. 

Why Can't I Predict My Sales?

Dark and difficult times lie ahead for those that don't adjust to the new reality. Read the CEO’s 2016 Guide to Marketing and learn what has changed and will bring you results in this new climate.

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

more

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing


Inbound Marketing Versus Radio Advertising

Posted by Michael Karp

October 6, 2015

Today, I’m going to place Inbound Out marketing against an old-school, time-tested advertising technique:

Radio advertising.

Radio advertising has been around for decades, almost as long as radio itself. The first radio commercial aired almost 100 years ago.

That’s almost 100 years of testing, iterating, and optimizing.

Needless to say, radio advertisers have honed their craft. They use a combination of words and sounds to tickle our aural senses and influence our imaginations.

They can reach hundreds or thousands of people at one time, and have an entire local area buzzing about their business.

Radio advertising is powerful, but Inbound Out marketing is a tough opponent. Here’s how they compare:

  • Radio limits your prospects to receiving the ad aurally. With Inbound Out, your marketing can be received through any medium you want.
  • Targeting any metric except a local area through radio is a hassle and costly. Inbound Out marketing allows you to target individuals who have the highest likelihood of becoming customers.
  • Inbound Out marketing isn’t restricted by other costs, like the timing of your ad. It stays consistent over time, while your results compound in the long-term.

Inbound Marketing Versus Radio Advertising

Let’s get started!

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Radio Advertising — Receiving The Ad

The ways prospects can receive your advertising either limits or expands your options. More options means you have more opportunity to figure out what works best for your audience.

With radio advertising, you’re limited to delivering your ad aurally.

Granted, advertisers have become experts at combining words and sounds to elicit the thoughts and emotions they want their prospects to have. Instead of viewing or reading the ad, prospects use their imagination. As we all know, imagination can be very powerful.

Either way, you’re still limited to a combination of words and sounds.

With Inbound Out, your marketing can be received any way you want:

  • Aural
  • Written
  • Video
  • Infographic
  • Etc.

Inbound Out also supports podcasting, so your prospects can listen any time they want (such as during their commute or while working out). It’s just like radio, but targeted and inbound-friendly.

Blogging and other forms of written content are also a huge part of Inbound Out marketing. This means prospects can always come back, read your content, and get to know your business when it fits their schedule. Your marketing doesn’t come and go in 30-second sprints.

You can also employ videos, infographics, mindmaps, and other visual content to convey marketing messages in ways people are more receptive to.

All of this expands your options and gives you enough room to figure out what works best for your audience, so you can scale up from there.

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Radio Advertising — Targeting

Being able to target your ads to the right audience is crucial for any successful marketing campaign.

Radio advertising is particularly useful for one type of targeting:

Location.

If you’re focused in a local area, radio is the perfect medium to target a large amount of people in one area at the same time. Your message spreads quickly and effectively.

However, other types of targeting (such as demographics and interests) can be more difficult and costly.

For example, if you want to target a certain age range, you need to subscribe to a U.S. provider of ratings data (like Arbitron). You then use this data to try to purchase airtime when this demographic is most likely to be listening.

It’s a shotgun approach, but it can be hit-or-miss depending if the right people are listening at that particular time.

Inbound Out marketing allows you to target individuals who have the highest likelihood of becoming customers. The targeting is planned (through the Precise Prospect Profile) and specific, because you’re targeting individual people.

You know exactly who you’re trying to reach, and you can calculate your success rate in real time. This allows you to test, iterate, and improve your ROI as you conduct subsequent campaigns.

Inbound Out Marketing Versus Radio Advertising — Cost Constrictions

The cost of radio advertising is subject to two main things:

  1. How big an area the station serves (local, national, etc)
  2. How many people are listening at a particular time

So in order to reach your target demographic at the most ideal time for your business, your ad cost is subject to how many people tend to listen to the radio at a particular time.

“Driving times,” for instance, are for morning and evening commutes, and they’re the most popular/expensive times to book airtime. Other times are less expensive, but you reach less people.

Depending on your budget, this vastly constricts how effective your advertising will be.

With Inbound Out marketing, you aren't constricted by other costs. The cost stays consistent over time, whether you hire an inbound marketing agency or implement it in-house. And your results compound in the long-term, through word-of-mouth and social media.

This makes it easier to fit Inbound Out into your budget, and your ROI increases over time.

Wrap Up

Radio advertising can be an effective technique, especially for certain types of businesses.

It’s one of the best ways to target a local area, and you can use a combination of words and sounds to influence your audience’s imaginations.

However, Inbound Out marketing has some characteristics that can make it a valuable addition to your strategy. These include:

  • Being able to deliver your marketing any way you want to (aurally and visually).
  • Being able to target specific individuals who have the highest likelihood of becoming customers.
  • The cost of Inbound Out marketing stays consistent over time.

Traditional marketing no longer works well because buyers have changed. You must learn to adapt. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now and learn to execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Radio advertising can be an effective technique, but Inbound Out gives you more options to deliver your marketing.
  • Inbound Out marketing offers diverse targeting options and your costs stay consistent over time.
more

Topics: Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing Versus Online Advertising

Posted by Michael Karp

October 3, 2015

Part 6 of the “Inbound Out Marketing versus” series features another strong opponent:

Online advertising.

Online advertising involves paying a popular website, like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google, to display ads that promote your business.

You get to piggyback on the popularity of those sites to drive traffic back to yours, generate leads, and convert customers. Paid advertising is a powerful way to grow your business online.

If online advertising is right for your business, Inbound Out marketing can incorporate it. It becomes a tactic within your larger inbound marketing strategy.

However, when deciding between the two, there are some key differences that make Inbound Out marketing more effective for achieving certain goals.

Here’s how Inbound Out marketing compares to online advertising:

  • For many companies, there’s a learning curve to online advertising. If you hire an inbound marketing agency, they will already understand and execute online advertising as a tactic in your overall inbound marketing strategy.
  • Online advertising allows you to target an audience that’s likely to want your products and services. However, Inbound Out marketing adds extremely targeted outreach. Rather than letting another website choose who to market your business to, you have a master list of specific prospects who have the highest likelihood of wanting to work with you.
  • Online advertising isn’t as personal, which means prospects don’t establish as strong of a connection with your business.

Inbound Marketing Versus Online Advertising

Let’s break it down:

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Learning Curve

There are many options to choose from in online advertising. Here are a few of them:

  • Facebook ads
  • Google Adwords
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Twitter promotions
  • Other pay-per-click (PPC) avenues

Learning online advertising is just like any digital marketing tactic; it takes time and practice to become good at it.

Too many companies pay the "stupidity tax." That's the cost of all the things you don't know that ends up costing you money. No one knows for sure, but 80% or more of all AdWords accounts may suffer from significant stupidity costs.

Not only do you need to know which channel is best for your business, you need to know how to get a positive return on your investment.

You can hire a PPC agency to execute online advertising for you, but that’s all you get out of it. You don’t get any high level strategy.

If you hire an inbound marketing agency, especially one that’s skilled in Inbound Out marketing, they will already know how to get a positive ROI from paid advertising. They will also be able to optimize it based on your overall inbound marketing and growth strategy.

This allows you to make better decisions and get faster online marketing results.

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Targeted Promotion

Paid advertising allows you to target a specific demographic of people.

You can promote your website based on someone’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Job title
  • If they’ve visited your website before
  • If they’ve visited certain pages on your website
  • The keywords they’re searching for
  • And a lot more characteristics

This makes online advertising one of the most diverse and powerful marketing tools available.

Inbound Out marketing can be an effective complement to this type of advertising. First, create your Precise Prospect Profile. You'll need to do this anyway to know how to target your ads. Even better, use the profile to build a master list of potential customers.

These individuals have the highest likelihood of wanting and needing your products. Rather than letting another website choose who to market your business to, you have a master list of specific prospects to reach out to.

Inbound Out Marketing versus Online Advertising—Personal Connection

Paid advertising gives you the ability to reach a lot of prospects in a short amount of time. And once the campaigns are set, they continue passively without extra work. This is one of its biggest advantages.

However, it sacrifices the personal nature marketing can have. Your prospects are engaged by a promoted post or an ad, not a real person.

Prospects who are engaged through Inbound Out marketing establish a personal connection with representatives at your company and/or with the agency you hire. This personal connection leads to trust in you and your products, and it helps you stand out over your competitors.

Wrap Up

Paid advertising is an effective digital marketing tactic that every company should consider. You can:

  • Hire an inbound marketing agency with experience in online advertising, so you can avoid the learning curve.
  • Target your marketing to a specific audience.
  • Promote your business to a lot of people at the same time.
  • And let your campaigns run passively.

However, it isn’t as targeted as reaching out to prospects directly, and those prospects don’t establish as personal of a connection with your business.

Inbound Out marketing allows you to reach prospect’s with a strong likelihood of wanting to work with you, and they develop a personal connection with people at your company.

This is why the Targeted Outreach part of Inbound Out can complement online advertising, while giving you the guidance of a high level strategy at the same time.

Traditional marketing is changing. Why? Because buyers have changed. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now to learn and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Paid advertising and Inbound Out marketing make a smart pairing.
  • Inbound Out is more targeted than online advertising, as you’re reaching out to prospects directly.
  • Inbound Out marketing allows you to develop strong personal connections with your prospects.

 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing


Oops! You've Lost Control Of Your Sales Process

Posted by Clarke Bishop

October 1, 2015

The buying process has changed. Buyers now go much longer before being available to talk with your sales team. Studies have estimated that 60% or even more of the buying process is over before the buyer is ready to get a salesperson involved.

Buyers are almost fully in control. Your best strategy is to give them what they want! Provide useful and educational information that answers their questions and helps them feel good about your company. Do this, and you’ll be positioned to make the sale once they’re actually ready.

You've Lost Control Of Your Sales Process - Oops!

If your prospects are searching, you'll start to show up. And over time you'll get more and more visitors. That's the best thing about this kind of marketing, your results keep improving!

If your prospects are not searching, something else is needed. Targeted outreach. The right prospects are open to helpful information, they just don't want to wait for, or deal with an annoying salesperson.

Today's Internet offers a variety of ways to identify your best prospects and get their attention with valuable content. Prospects get what they want on their terms, and they like it this way. Give them what they want and they'll love you.

Dark times are on the horizon for companies that don't adjust to the new reality. The buying process has changed but also created new opportunities. Read the CEO’s 2016 Guide to Marketing and learn what no longer works and what will bring you results in this new climate.

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

more

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing Versus Search Engine Optimization

Posted by Michael Karp

September 29, 2015

The “Inbound Out Marketing versus…” series has been an eventful one.

So far, we’ve found that Inbound Out marketing can make a valuable addition to trade shows, direct mail advertising, and social media marketing in your overall strategy.

Let’s add another competitor to the mix:

Search Engine Optimization.

I love SEO. I think any smart digital marketing strategy takes it into account. You simply can’t beat search engines’ potential for sending loads of targeted traffic to your site.

And the best part?

Once you’ve got this traffic, it’s completely passive. You can let it be and focus on other parts of your business, or work on increasing it even more.

However, certain characteristics of Inbound Out marketing make it a smarter play than SEO. Here they are:

  • Inbound Out marketing can be implemented immediately. While SEO is a long-term tactic with valuable long-term results, Inbound Out marketing can achieve measurable results right away.

  • The variables to consider are simple -- response rates, lead generation, sales.

  • Almost immediate feedback allows you to continually optimize your strategy and improve your results.

Inbound_Marketing_vs_Search_Engine_Optimization

And we’re off!

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization — Time to See Results

In order to see results from SEO, a number of things need to happen:

  1. You need to optimize your page(s)

  1. You need to build/attract links and social signals

  1. You need to wait for these links and social signals to be indexed by Google

  1. You need to wait for that link juice to pass on to your page(s)

  1. And finally, you need to wait for that link juice to be reflected in your rankings. If it’s not enough, you need to attract more (or higher quality) links and social signals.

Only a few of these steps are under your control. Once you have carried out a step, the rest is up to the search engine’s algorithm. It’s a waiting game.

And there isn’t a distinct end to the game until you hit that first page. Until then, you have to continually guess whether or not you need to put more effort into the campaign, or whether you need to wait longer for those signals to sink in.

For this reason, many people dial back their SEO and focus on other tactics to grow their business -- like Inbound Out marketing.

Inbound Out marketing can be implemented immediately. There are preparation phases (Strategy, Precise Prospect Profile, gathering a list of targeted prospects, and creating buyer-focused content), but all of these phases are entirely under your control. You control how long they take.

Then you immediately transition into the Targeted Outreach phase. This is where the magic happens and the results begin. You establish connections with your direct target audience, entice them to become leads, and convert them into sales.

No waiting. Just direct results from your efforts.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization

— The Variables

When conducting an SEO campaign, there are many variables to consider:

  1. On-page SEO (keyword placement, content length, title tags, external linking, internal linking, etc.)

  1. Off-page SEO (social signals, number of links, PR of those links, DA of those websites, anchor text variation, relevancy, etc.)

  1. Search engine algorithm changes

All of these variables affect your results. And since search engines keep their algorithms secret, much of this is guess work (even for SEO “gurus”).

But here’s what we know about Inbound Out marketing:

The variables are concrete.

You know your response rates in real time, you know how many leads you’ve generated from each campaign, and you know the percentage of sales that came from those leads.

This makes budgeting for your campaigns much easier. And because these variables are easy to measure, you can continually optimize and improve your results.

Which leads us to our next battle:

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization

— Iterating and Improving

It’s inherently tough to measure what’s working best in SEO until 6 months to a year down the line.

This is because 1) it takes a while for your efforts to be reflected in your rankings and traffic, and 2) you don’t truly know which efforts contributed more or less to those results (since the algorithms are secret). Things that are tough to measure are tough to improve. 

With Inbound Out marketing, since you get almost immediate feedback from your prospects (even if they don’t respond to your marketing, that’s still feedback you can use), you can continually optimize your strategy.

You can consistently analyze what’s working and what isn’t. In terms of business growth, this is the most valuable information to have at your disposal.

Wrap Up

The benefits of SEO are too great to ignore:

  • Targeted traffic

  • Long term traffic growth

  • Passive traffic

But it has certain pitfalls that Inbound Out marketing can make up for.

Inbound Out marketing can be implemented immediately and achieve results much faster. The variables involved are simple and easy to measure, and since you get almost immediate feedback from your marketing, you can optimize your strategy and improve your results in real time.

Traditional marketing is changing. Why? Because buyers have changed. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now to learn and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Inbound Out marketing can make up for a lot of the pitfalls of SEO.
  • SEO is a long term strategy, while Inbound Out can be implemented immediately.
  • The variables are more measurable, allowing you to get feedback and optimize your strategy more efficiently.
more

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, SEO


How Marketing Will Change In 2016

Posted by Clarke Bishop

September 26, 2015

Marketing and sales don’t work like they used to. Buyers have changed and don’t behave in the same old ways.

Many businesses are finding it hard to grow because traditional marketing doesn’t work well any more. A little advertising or cold calling used to lead to a steady stream of appointments. Not today.

Storms Ahead CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

What’s changed is that buyers now have control over the sales process. The Internet has made information available to anyone who wants to be connected.

Sellers used to control most of the information and buyers were forced to interact with salespeople. Now, buyers have all the needed information at their fingertips—through their browser and even their smart phone.

Buyers refuse to engage with salespeople until they are ready. Even then, it’s only on their terms.

Buyers Have Changed & You Must Adapt

Since the buying process has changed, you must adapt your selling process. The CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing will teach you the steps that buyers go through in any buying decision and how you can use marketing that matches this new modern buying process.  

Marketing has changed, but also created new opportunities. There are storms ahead for companies that don’t adjust to the new reality. Read the CEO’s 2016 Guide to Marketing and learn what will bring you results in this new climate.

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

more

Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing Versus Social Media Marketing

Posted by Michael Karp

September 24, 2015

Welcome to the third installment of our “Inbound Out Marketing Versus…” series.

So far, we’ve compared Inbound Out Marketing to two other strategies:

  1. Trade shows

  1. Direct mail

Both have their merits, but Inbound Out Marketing makes for a formidable opponent.

This time, we’re putting it against a more modern adversary:

Social Media Marketing

I’m a big fan of social media marketing. The prospect pool is too great to ignore, and the paid advertising power of these networks (namely Facebook) is unparalleled.

However, there are some shortfalls to social media marketing that make Inbound Out marketing a smart addition to your strategy.

Here’s how this process compares to social media marketing:

  • A more targeted approach. You promote your business directly to your target audience, rather than just on a network.

  • You develop one-on-one relationships faster and more efficiently. The relationship begins as soon as someone from your company reaches out.

  • Better reach. You can reach prospects who are not on social media or aren’t willing to engage your business there.

  • Faster results. Results happen faster from initial contact to sale.

Inbound_Marketing_vs_Social_Media_Marketing 

Let the battle begin!

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Approach

Promoting your business on social media typically looks like this:

  1. Create a piece of content

  1. Share it on your social media accounts

  1. Automate it to be shared multiple times

  1. If it gains traction, do a paid promotion

This is an effective method for driving traffic, but it’s a blanket approach. You send your posts to the social network and attract whoever decides to click and engage (and whoever happens to be online at the time).

Only a certain percentage of the people who you want to see your post actually do see it.

Targeted Outreach is a key part of Inbound Out marketing. You promote your business directly to your target audience. It's prospecting through the web.

This lays the foundation for the rest of the process:

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Building Relationships

Social media helps prospects and fans build connections with businesses that would never have been possible in the past.

Brands can come off as cool, hip, fun, smart, ambitious -- whatever brand managers decide. The level of transparency is higher on social media, allowing for stronger relationships to develop.

Those relationships end up as leads, customers, shares, and word-of-mouth—all valuable assets for any business.

This is one of the greatest benefits of social media marketing, but it also happens to be one of the greatest benefits of Inbound Out marketing.

Targeted outreach to your prospects is a key component of Inbound Out marketing. This outreach builds a one-on-one connection with your audience. You establish micro-rapport with each interaction, build a connection with your business, and prospects start trusting you more and more.

Social media marketing can achieve the same results, but due to its blanket approach, this result isn’t as targeted and it happens more slowly.

With targeted outreach that's part of Inbound Out marketing, that relationship builds immediately.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Reach

Social media allows you to reach a large amount of people at any moment in time. This is one of the reasons it has become so popular for building and growing businesses.

But here’s the thing:

What if your prospects aren’t that active on social media? Social media marketing becomes less effective.

Inbound Out marketing gives your business the ability to reach prospects no matter where they hang out online. And personalized contact through social media or email is much more likely to get a response.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing — Results

What are the results you look for when promoting your business online?

  • Engagement with your brand

  • Traffic to your website

  • Lead generation

  • Sales

With social media marketing, the time from initial contact to sale can take a while. Their emotional investment in your business starts off low and gradually builds over time.

Eventually, that emotional investment turns into a commitment (lead generation) and a conversion (sale).

With targeted outreach and Inbound Out marketing, their emotional investment starts off much higher. They’re interacting with a real human being. They’re getting a hands on look at your business right off the bat.

Any questions they have can be answered immediately. Any objections can be handled as soon as possible.

Your prospects go from emotional investment to commitment to conversion much faster with Inbound Out marketing. This gives you a leg up against your competitors who rely heavily on social media for their success.

Wrap Up

Social media marketing is an effective strategy. Prospects are waiting to engage your business—if you know how to do it the right way.

However, social media marketing lacks a few characteristics that Inbound Out marketing can make up for.

With the combination of Inbound Out marketing and social media marketing in your overall mix of tactics, your business becomes a strong force to be reckoned with.

Traditional marketing no longer works well because buyers have changed. You must learn to adapt. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now to learn and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Inbound Out marketing offers a more targeted approach to engaging your prospects

  • One-on-one relationships develop faster and more efficiently

  • You can reach the prospects who aren’t on social media or don’t want to be engaged there

  • Combine social media marketing and Inbound Out marketing for a well-rounded, powerful growth strategy

more

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Social Media


Stop Changing Buttons — Really Optimize Your Pages

Posted by Clarke Bishop

September 22, 2015

I'm very pleased to have an article in the September 2015 issue of 2Inbound magazine. The issue is all about how to improve your conversion rates, and my article specifically covers all the areas you should consider. 

For now, subscriptions are free, so get your copy right away. My article starts on page 12, but the magazine is full of good ideas.

2Inbound Magazine September

As a summary, below are the seven areas to consider as you start optimizing your pages for better conversion rates.

Read the full 2Inbound article for more details and for Quick Tips on how to improve each area. 

 

1 - Traffic

Who is visiting your page and where are they coming from? If you have the wrong kind of visitors coming to your page, they are not going to take the desired action. 

2 - Alignment

Alignment means going through the entire flow from search result or ad to landing page to offer to premium content to thank you page.  Ensure that you always deliver on your promise and that you have a consistent message throughout the flow. 

3 - Offer Value

The value of an offer is determined by the buyer and by what they want. You may have spent a lot of time and money creating a beautiful PDF. But, if the buyer thinks it’s off topic or is a bunch of self-promotion, it has no value. Not to them.

4 - Clarity

Is your landing page as clear as possible? Can visitors tell exactly what to do?

Most of us don’t pay close attention when reading websites. We are skimming and just want to get what we want as fast as possible. So, make it easy for visitors. Don’t force people to think.

5 - Anxiety

What might worry your landing page visitors? How can you keep them safe and help them relax?

6 - Distraction & Urgency

What could distract your visitors and stop them from moving forward?

Images can help tell your story. Just watch out for photos that are more interesting than your offer or your copy.

7 - Friction

What might be hard to use or confusing? Friction occurs when the page or form is hard to use.

Long forms look hard to use even if the requested information is simple. Only ask for the information you absolutely must have right now. First name and Email for example. 

There's a lot more, so read the full article, make your pages convert, and get more leads! 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing Versus Direct Mail

Posted by Michael Karp

September 19, 2015

Last time, I showed you how Inbound Out marketing compares to trade shows.

You learned that Inbound Out marketing offers a better return on your investment, longer term results, and that it’s a consistent strategy that builds your business over time.

Now it’s time to put it against another Goliath:

Direct mail.

My goal with this series isn’t to convince you to drop other methods in favor of Inbound Out marketing. It’s to make a strong case for this marketing methodology as a valuable addition to your overall strategy.

Direct mail is a time-tested technique, but Inbound Out marketing has been moving with the times much more rapidly.

Here’s how Inbound Out compares to direct mail:

  • Cheaper one-on-one communication with your target audience — Inbound Out marketing takes direct mail’s #1 benefit and makes it more cost-effective.

  • Faster response — This means you can test, iterate, and improve your campaigns much faster.

  • Provide value — Direct mail is often associated with messages that are too salesy with too much hype. Email can be, but not as much. Inbound Out marketing makes sure of this.

Inbound_Marketing_vs_Direct_Mail

And we’re off!

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Direct Mail — One-On-One Communication

Direct mail’s top benefit is having one-on-one communication with your target audience.

You identify the people who are most likely to want your products/services, tailor your copy to elicit that desire, and send your message straight to them.

With the rise of the Internet, technology has made it cheaper to do many of the things we could previously only do in the physical world. This includes direct mail.

Still, direct mail has been an effective method for decades. And as more marketers have moved to the web, there are actually fewer direct mail campaigns. If anything, direct mail may now work better than it did in the past.

The full cost of a direct mail campaign depends on a number of factors:

  • Number of inserts

  • Color application

  • Personalization

  • Volume

  • Presorting

  • Size of postage

  • Address hygiene

  • Mail tracking

  • Working with a provider

  • Mail format

  • Delivery choice

  • And more

The cost of sending an email is almost $0.

Now, this does not mean that your ROI will be greater with email marketing, but with a lower upfront cost, it means that it’s more likely you’ll get a greater return on your investment through email.

The key factor in Inbound Out marketing is targeted outreach. Just like direct mail, you identify your target audience, tailor your outreach to elicit desire in your products or services, and send your message straight to their inbox…

... but for much, much less money.

This means you can redirect the costs you would’ve spent on direct mail to other important services, like a CRM to manage and optimize your list. (Or an agency to guarantee ROI on your campaigns.)

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Direct Mail — Response Time

The key with any outreach is getting a response from your target audience.

This response means they’re engaging with your business, and it allows you to analyze those responses and optimize your next campaign.

In direct mail, this typically involves filling out a form, checking a box, enclosing stickers, etc. These are then returned to the business.

The entire process can take a week just to get one response back. And if you want to follow up, that’s another few days for your mail to arrive and another few days for it to get back to you (if they even respond).

Needless to say, this is inefficient if you’re trying to maximize your ROI as fast as possible.

The Targeted Outreach part of Inbound Out marketing can send the same message to the same audience, instantly.

Those prospects can reply instantly, or you can follow up within a matter of hours if you want to.

Within two days, you will immediately know what worked and what didn’t so you can make your next campaign more effective. In the fast-paced world of business, this efficiency is vital.

Inbound Out Marketing vs. Direct Mail — Providing Value

Everyone hates junk mail.

Everyone hates junk email.

Everyone loves free value.

With direct mail, you’re trying to make the best first impression you can and get people to take action as soon as possible.

You put all of your copywriting skills into those letters and hope they achieve the result you’re looking for. Hardly ever do you send them an article or a piece of free value first, because this would lower your ROI.

Because Inbound Out marketing is less expensive, you can take your time and nurture prospects. You send them free value, build a relationship, and give your prospects the time they need to become customers.

By sending them free value first, they build trust in your business. They open your emails more often and engage with people at your company.

This personal interaction is invaluable when it comes to lead generation. Building this connection over time make your prospects more likely to become customers when they’re really ready to buy.

Wrap Up

Direct mail has its place in business. It has been used for so long because it’s effective. If anything, it may now be more effective.

However, Inbound Out marketing can achieve many of the same results that direct mail can. Those results are just less expensive, faster, and build a relationship with your audience that isn’t feasible with direct mail.

If you’re thinking about adding Inbound Out marketing to your growth strategy, talk to a specialist today or learn more about the process here.

Direct mail like all forms of traditional marketing are changing. Why? Because buyers have changed. Download the CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing now to learn and execute your own 2016 marketing strategy today. 

CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

Takeaways

  • Direct mail is a time-tested technique, but Inbound Out marketing is new and offers important advantages.

  • It allows for lower cost one-on-one communication with your audience.

  • It returns faster results so you can iterate and improve your campaigns.

  • Inbound Out marketing builds a connection with prospects that isn’t feasible with direct mail.
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Topics: Inbound Marketing


CEO's 2016 Guide to Marketing

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