Developing an Outbound Marketing Strategy That Delivers Qualified Leads
We’ve talked about outbound marketing a lot. At this point, we hope you’re on board with it. Outbound marketing, when created for 21st-century consumers, is effective. It’s the creating part that’s hard, though.
If done without research or data, your outbound marketing strategy can be both broad and expensive. Read: you’re spending a lot of money on leads you don’t actually want.
That’s why it’s so important to put in the time up front to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads. If you’re struggling to build an outbound marketing strategy that pulls in more money than you spend, here are a few ways to turn it around. If you haven’t even begun your outbound marketing strategy, this will help you start off strong.
Here’s what you need to do to develop an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads:
Understand Your Audience
The first step to developing an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads is understanding who your qualified leads are. The thing about outbound marketing is that it usually costs money. You don’t want to spend on a campaign that’s not hitting the right audience.
Before you even think about building an outbound marketing strategy, you need to fully understand who you're marketing to, and why. Click To Tweet This is called developing your buyer personas. And in case you’re new to buyer personas, we’ve put together an entire step-by-step guide to creating your buyer personas to help you out.
No matter what your outbound strategy looks like, it’s important that you’ve started with clearly defined buyer personas. When you know your audience, you can better develop ad campaigns and outbound strategies that speak directly to them.
Set Goals for your Outbound Marketing Strategy
You also need to figure out your goals before you launch, or even build, your outbound marketing strategy.
What are you hoping to achieve with outbound marketing? If you’re reading this, my guess is that you want more qualified leads. In that case, how many qualified leads would you like to generate from this strategy? Where do you want those leads to go?
Make Sure You're Setting SMART Goals
If you’re planning a specific ad campaign, what action do you want those leads to take? Like your Facebook Page? Convert on your content offer? Or are you launching a remarketing campaign that you’d like to end in a sale?
What you’d like to achieve with your outbound marketing strategy doesn’t matter so much as having a reason for your outbound marketing strategy. You shouldn’t be running ads just to run them — that’s a quick trip to an unsuccessful campaign.
Set your goals for your outbound marketing strategy, whether that’s to build brand awareness or draw in more of a certain type of lead, and then you can get started on building the strategy itself.
Develop an Outbound Marketing Strategy Based on Data
What sets outbound marketing apart from inbound marketing is that you have a massive amount of data at your fingertips. Inbound marketing is exceptionally successful, but you don’t see results immediately, and some tactics can be tough to master.
This is why an outbound marketing strategy is such a great complement to a quality inbound marketing strategy — it gives you the data you need to make specific, targeted marketing efforts.
Use data to build your outbound marketing strategy. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about:
- Know Your Keywords – If you’re working on paid search ads, it pays to know your keywords. What search queries are your target buyers putting in? And really look at the data. Don’t bid on a broad term with a massive cost per click if a long-tail keyword can deliver similar, or more qualified results.
- Get Good at Identifying and Setting Your Audiences – You’ve done a lot of work establishing your buyer personas. Put that research to use when you set audiences for your paid campaigns. Especially on social media advertising, this is where you want to spend the most time — if your ads aren’t hitting the right people, you’re spending money for nothing.
- Only Pay for the Leads You Want – If your paid outbound tactics aren’t delivering qualified leads, change them! Excluding certain audiences is a great way to optimize ads that consistently deliver leads who aren’t quite warm enough for your sales team. You can also adjust audiences, spend, and more on the fly. Give your ads some time to build, but if they’re not delivering the right results after a few weeks, don’t be afraid to make adjustments.
- Send Emails with Intention – We’ll talk about email marketing more, but make sure you’re using data to send emails with intention. When do your subscribers tend to open emails most? Is there certain content they prefer? Could you segment your email list to deliver more targeted, relevant emails? Use data to build your email marketing campaigns, and you’ll see higher open rates, click-throughs, and more leads coming in from that outbound marketing strategy.
Deliver Quality Information
It doesn’t matter if your outbound marketing strategy is built of paid search campaigns, social media advertising, email marketing, or a combination of those three and more. No matter what tactics you use, you need to have quality information behind every single campaign.
Ad campaigns have to lead to a page that’s helpful and informative.
Emails should provide content that helps those warm leads learn more about your product, determine which product or service is best for them, and make a purchasing decision.
This is a big component of a successful outbound marketing strategy. If you’re developing ad campaigns that just lead visitors to your home page, you’re missing out.
Check out this blog about landing pages to learn more about optimizing outbound lead conversions with the right content.
Craft Relevant, Specific, Timely, and Helpful Emails
People have volunteered in some way to get your emails. Whether they subscribed to your newsletter or gave up their email address in exchange for a content offer, they made a conscious decision to receive email from you.
It’s your job to ensure they don’t regret that decision.
Basic Email Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t email too often.
- Once a month is great
- Once a week is okay if you really have something to say
- Once a day is way too much
- Do craft relevant content
- Generic newsletters sent to your entire list will fail
- Develop specific, relevant content that speaks to a specific pain point or question
- Deliver that specific, relevant content to the right people
- Do segment your email lists
- Remember those buyer personas? They’re a great place to start with segmentation.
- Think about how often you’re emailing each segment. If you have a list of leads in the awareness phase and a list of leads in a particular industry, remember that there could be overlap. Be conscious of the overlap so no one gets bombarded.
If email is a part of your outbound marketing strategy (it should be, it’s useful!) you need to have a purpose for every email you send.
Before you press send, ask yourself:
- Why am I sending this email?
- What are my goals with this email?
- Will the people receiving this email appreciate the content?
If you have an answer to all of those questions, and the answer to the third question is yes, then you’re doing email marketing right.
Remeber that Outbound Marketing Doesn’t Stop With a New Lead
Outbound marketing doesn’t stop when you get a new lead. In fact, outbound marketing is often most successful when it’s used on visitors you already know are qualified leads.
The people in your email list, those visitors who have shopped around your site a few times, and the leads who keep downloading your content offers are all great opportunities for your outbound marketing strategy.
The goal of any marketing strategy is to generate leads that turn into sales. You can’t abandon leads after you get them to your site.
You can continue using your outbound marketing strategy to pull those leads closer to a sale with lead nurturing.
Incorporating lead nurturing into your outbound marketing strategy
Believe it or not, lead nurturing is an essential component of any outbound marketing strategy. While there are plenty of inbound lead nurturing tactics, like publishing helpful content that addresses every stage of the buyer’s journey — outbound lead nurturing is particularly effective, since it gives you the opportunity to speak directly to leads you know are already interested in your product or service.
Two great lead nurturing tactics to add to your outbound marketing strategy include:
Remarketing is a form of digital advertising. When people come to your site and browse your products, cookies track their activity. When they make it to a page on your site that indicates they’re close to making a purchasing decision, they get thrown into your remarketing ad campaign. Then, ads for the product or service they were just browsing pop up on other websites.
If you’ve ever gotten ads for that pair of jeans you were looking at on your Facebook page or Instagram feed, you’ve gotten remarketing ads.
These are a super-effective way to draw warm leads right back to your site. They’re a good investment for any outbound marketing strategy because they tend to have a solid success rate.
Email workflows are an intuitive, easy outbound lead nurturing strategy. You’ll have to take a little time to get them set up, but once they’re going, they’re seriously helpful.
When we talk about email workflows, we’re talking about a succession of emails that kicks off when a lead takes an action.
- Let’s say they downloaded a content offer. They’ll get a thank you email right after downloading that gives them the link to the offer.
- Then, two days later, your workflow could send out another email asking that lead what they thought, and if they had any questions.
- And the workflow goes on like that until they reach the end (a breakup email), or convert to a sale.
In general, email workflows are about three or four emails long, with about two or three days between emails.
They are so useful for nurturing leads.
First of all, your sales team doesn’t have to remember to send all of those follow-ups — you can automate them with most email software services.
Second, it helps pull those leads through the buyer’s journey with relevant, helpful information.
When done right, everyone’s happy.
The takeaway here is that your outbound marketing strategy should always include tactics that nurture leads once they’ve come to your sales or marketing team. There’s not much point in generating leads if you don’t have a plan to help them convert to a sale.
Optimize Your Outbound Marketing Strategy Constantly
The key to an outbound marketing strategy that meets your goals?
Constant analysis and optimization.
Your outbound marketing strategy is never done. You should always be analyzing your results, and applying what you’ve learned to new ad campaigns and email marketing workflows.
The best way to continue growing is to continue working. Keep a close eye on your outbound marketing strategy, and make changes as you can.
While it’s not a good idea to stop and start ad campaigns all the time, or change your email templates every month, there’s a lot you can learn over time. Small changes often have the biggest impact.
The data you get from your outbound marketing strategy is right at your fingertips, and it tells the story of your success. Use it to keep improving.
The Most Successful Outbound Strategy is the One that Complements an Inbound Strategy
And finally, I’d like to leave you with a quick reminder. The most successful outbound marketing strategy is the one that complements an inbound strategy.
Inbound and outbound marketing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Click To Tweet They each fill in the gaps of the other strategy. While they’re both strong ways to grow your business and pull in qualified leads in their own right, you’ll see the biggest success when you use them together.
Check out this blog on how Inbound and Outbound Work Together for more info on developing a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
A quality outbound marketing strategy takes a lot of work upfront, and quality maintenance to keep it going. Let us lighten the load. For more info about optimizing your outbound marketing strategy to pull in the right leads, or for help getting your paid ad campaigns off the ground, just drop us a line.