Outbound vs. Inbound The differences between outbound and inbound email campaigns can be gleaned from this slide: Basically, outbound email marketing is a campaign that actively reaches out to people directly via email, whereas inbound marketing occurs when people fill out a lead-capture or email subscription form. We want to be particularly careful about the issue of spamming with outbound email marketing. KissMetrics offers some useful points on the spam topic. Marketers can’t simply amass a list of email addresses and put them into a program like “GetResponse” or “HubSpot”, because this is against their terms of service. We cannot subscribe someone to a newsletter or ongoing communication for which they didn’t ask directly. Because we can’t use traditional email marketing tools, we have to augment simple tools like Gmail to scale normal inquiry-based outbound messages.
Why Outbound?An outbound email campaign is used when you can identify your target market directly, and when customer lifetime value makes it invaluable to contact that prospect individually. For example, if a company refurbishes Mac computer products for universities and sells annual subscriptions, specializing in the all-too-often liquid spills that occur across campus, they might purchase a certain number of prospects from an established list and then call or email those contacts directly. That same company might also put together its own large list of institutions and people to whom they are aiming to market their service. It is worth keeping in mind that amassing a customized and targeted list is a far more powerful tool than buying a pre-existing one, thought the latter can be a good place to start.
Old Approach vs. New ApproachThe old approach to outbound email marketing used to roll out in more or less the following manner:
- Google search for prospects
- Manually email each prospect an individual pitch
- MAYBE collect prospect information together in a spreadsheet for later use
- Pay an Odesk worker(s) to accumulate a massive list of an exact prospect match
- Load lists into a tool like ToutApp, YesWare, or QuickMail (outbound email tools – read more about how to conduct a campaign using Tout)
- Send multiple emails out, automatically, to hundreds of prospects at a time
Micro Case StudiesClient 1: Video marketing business Scenario: Needs to reach out directly to fashion company CMOs to sell then on $25K video marketing projects Before:
- Expensive American workers in pricey downtown office
- Manual search for one-off messaging fashion CMOs
- Email addresses rarely saved, and CMOs who didn’t respond almost never contacted again deliberately
- Hundreds of new fashion CMO email addresses found daily by a more affordable Odesk team
- Three to four auto emails sent via outbound email software, generating appointments fast
- Addresses and phone numbers saved for future campaigns
- One-off phone calls and emails
- Occasionally sent to retailers at random times
- Hundreds of retailers collected through an oDesk worker (freeing up business owner’s time)
- Four automatic and personalized emails sent out strategically, three days apart
- All opened emails tracked
- Retailers flagged for interest and called immediately about the opportunity to stock
- Think about the most important benefits you can deliver to your prospect. In the case of the natural products company, it was (in brief) unique and attractive products.
- Paint a vivid and succinct picture in your subject lines and email body copy. Keeping with the ongoing example, our client advertised all-natural ingredients and a professional boutique appearance in its subject lines and copy, targeting what retailers look for in natural products.
- Keep body messages short and sweet. Simply put – prospects do not have time to read more than a paragraph or two.
- Actively overcome objections in email. Ask yourself, “Why might a reader ignore or resent this message?” The client knew that many retailers do not have a lot of extra shelf space. As a result, they made clear that stores could order as few as half a dozen products to start, which took away tension of large commitments.
- Effectiveness is largely dependent on the tested and provided quality of the copywriting. This includes your subject lines and calls to action, which requires considerable skill in writing. Do not settle for average – this can make or break.
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