This article was originally published on Sales Hacker on May 26, 2020.
Humans are susceptible to influence. We can be affected by photographs, words, and one another, especially when we’re young. That’s why the Federal Trade Commission created guidelines for advertising to children. We respond to gentle guidance, and that’s exactly why outbound marketing continues to sway consumers (even if they claim otherwise).
Think of all the outbound marketing efforts you’ve seen recently. Maybe you drove past a colorful or image-packed billboard. Perhaps your mailbox contained eye-catching brochures from local businesses. Or maybe your inbox exploded with emails from familiar brands. These are all outbound marketing touchpoints, and they have a measurable impact on your decisions. For example, 81% of small and midsize businesses rely on email marketing for acquiring customers, according to WBR Digital and Emarsys.
We all like to say that we ignore TV commercials, radio ads, and printed messaging, but we actually don’t — and we can’t. We’re hardwired to accept input, which is why outbound remains a key marketing strategy for modern businesses. A percentage of people will always respond to outbound marketing, so the trick is to get as many high-quality buyers into the sales funnel as possible.
What Are the Benefits?
Plenty of companies assume that outbound is too pushy or aggressive to work, but the numbers say otherwise. Nielsen research reveals that 30-second radio advertisements pay for themselves six times over. But other tangible benefits exist besides profit, which is likely why 98% of respondents told AdRoll they were upping their direct advertising spend.
Outbound marketing systems help you create an internal benchmark against which you can predict revenue and develop a robust sales pipeline. Once you have your baseline understanding of how an outbound method performs, you can test variations to increase the number of potential leads. This marketing method helps you reach the right audience with the best message at the perfect time.
Another advantage is outbound’s real-time response rate. Digital outbound provides you with instant data to understand how your target prospects receive your message. With feedback in hand, you can pivot as needed to re-engage and tailor your delivery and product without losing valuable time.
Case in point: Our firm built our approach by creating relatable messaging that simply defines our value proposition to prospects within our ideal customer profile. Every outbound effort is tracked, allowing us to identify yardsticks and systematically improve. We don’t rely too heavily on any one cog in the machine, though. By switching out mailboxes, senders, content, and prospects, we optimize our process and experience predictable results.
When Will You See Digital Outreach Results?
Outbound tends to produce statistically significant data points quickly, but you still need to be patient. Here’s what you can expect from a typical campaign:
1. You’ll receive immediate feedback within the first two weeks.
After two to three weeks, you’ll have a good idea of the trajectory of your outbound campaign. You’ll know whether you need to change your approach on the basis of reply feedback or a lack thereof. Frankly, any response is worthwhile because it informs the efficacy of your strategy. Use that information to understand how to tailor your messaging to appropriate buyer personas in order to increase conversion.
2. Plan for sales meetings during the first month.
If you’re starting a brand-new outbound marketing campaign, you can expect to see results in the form of sales meetings within the first month. This period is crucial for evaluating how your messaging is being received and whether your tech build is functioning properly. At this point, you should begin A/B testing different email pitches (particularly with your intro email). It’s possible to get a 45% response rate by making subtle, consistent changes and tailoring your language.
3. Review the results of the campaign after 30 days.
The first month is crucial for determining how your messaging is being received. After the initial 30 days, you should have a greater understanding of next steps in regard to changing up content or targeting in order to increase conversion. From there, it’s just like building a statue: You continuously chip away at the marble block until you’ve built the final product. Just don’t forget to nix vanity measures; one conversion is worth more than 1,000 click-throughs.
When you want to appeal to your audience, build a fan base, and inspire prospects to take action, rely on outbound marketing. Outbound might not get the Hollywood treatment, but it’s a star that definitely belongs in your sky.