Every business takes part in outreach in some form. That form could be through email marketing, social media, influencers, or other methods. You might even be an academic planning to use cold email for research outreach. The key question that many businesses want to know before embarking on a campaign is, “How much does outreach cost?”

It’s an important question to bear in mind. Armed with the right information, you can make informed decisions on your budgeting constraints. It also helps you to better understand the return on investment that you’re likely to achieve should you use a certain method of outreach.

In this article, we delve into the costs of various methods, the factors that might influence the costs, and how you can maximize the all-important ROI. 

  • Why does outreach cost vary so much?
  • Do some methods cost more than others?
  • Is cost the most important factor when comparing methods?

Defining Outreach

Outreach is the first step toward forming meaningful relationships with prospects. It’s a method of effectively conveying your initial message. It includes contacting those who have had no contact with you previously. Outreach comes in many forms, some direct, others in a more passive way.

  • Email Marketing: Email marketing continues to be, arguably, the most efficient and effective form of outreach. Email outreach involves sending carefully crafted emails to either current subscribers in a campaign or to cold prospects. The aim of email outreach is to inform, engage, or persuade the recipient.
  • Social Media: Social media outreach involves a business directly engaging with its followers on a social media platform. Businesses share content, talk with their audience, and foster a community. Each platform is approached in a nuanced way.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Working with influencers can turbocharge your outreach. Rather than engaging with your own followers, you can reach the influencer’s audience. You are piggybacking on their popularity and authenticity.
  • Content Marketing: The aim of content marketing outreach is to share content so that your business is positioned as a thought leader. It’s a more passive form of outreach as your audience can engage with the content at their leisure. The content itself takes many forms, including blogs, videos, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, and infographics. The list goes on!
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Another passive form of outreach. The aim of SEO is to position your business in search engine results so that the audience selects your content. The higher you rank, the more traffic you obtain. Here, rather than actively reaching out to people, you’re waiting for them to engage with your content in their own time.
  • Paid Advertising (PPC): Similar to SEO, but more active as you choose precisely when you want your ads to show. Your adverts can be shown in search engine results or across social media platforms.

The Factors Influencing Outreach Cost

There are many variables that influence the cost of different forms of outreach. When considering your cost, bear in mind that there are considerable variables within each method of outreach.

  • Platform Choice: This is the biggest influence of outreach cost. Email marketing, for instance, is considerably more affordable than paid advertising. Some platforms require more investment than others.
  • Campaign Scale: Smaller campaigns cost considerably less than larger ones.
  • Tools and Technology: You absolutely should be using tools to help you with your outreach. These do, however, come at a cost. Those costs vary from provider to provider.
  • In-House or Outsourced: There are big variances between having someone within the company complete your outsourcing or if you use an external party. One isn’t necessarily cheaper than the other. It depends entirely on scope and ROI.
  • Quality and Complexity: If you’re creating the highest possible quality content, expect that to take time and, therefore, cost more. The same goes if you’re creating more complex outreach. It may have higher degrees of personalization or interactive elements.
  • Location: Costs vary depending on where you are. Expect to pay more in places like the USA or UK vs. more developing economies.

The Average Cost of Outreach Methods

As you survey the table below, remember to consider all of the variables above. 

Outreach Method

Average Cost Range

Email Marketing

$0.1 - $0.5 per email

Social Media Campaigns

$200 - $5000 per month

Influencer Partnerships

$250 - $10,000+ per post

Content Marketing

$2,000 - $20,000 per month


$500 - $5,000 per month

Paid Advertising

$0.5 - $25 per click

Maximizing Outreach ROI

Brand awareness is important, but your campaigns will be judged on their return on investment. That’s especially true if you’re spending the higher ends of the averages mentioned above. There are, thankfully, a few methods you can employ so that you can maximize your ROI.

The most essential element is to be targeted with your outreach. Using a scattergun approach will get you nowhere fast. Spend time understanding your audience and their needs. Then, tailor and personalize your outreach so that it resonates with them. The more relevant your outreach is, the better received it will be. 

Throughout any outreach campaign, you should pay close attention to your analytics and data. These core metrics will allow you to better understand progress toward your objectives. That means you can alter tact if it isn’t going as well as you’d like and scale if it is.

One of the best outreach tactics is to adopt a multichannel approach. Focusing solely on one channel might be appealing from a workload point of view. However, you’re putting your investment at risk should that channel fail. Spread your bets and test other channels. You may be surprised with success on a channel you weren’t planning on using.

Key Takeaways

Understanding how much outreach costs is a fundamental part of the outreach process. As you’ve learned, there are many factors that influence the cost. Remember, however, that cost alone shouldn’t influence your decision. Be sure to consider the wider picture, especially when it comes to ROI.

  • Customization and personalization are key, no matter what outreach channel you select.
  • Be sure to diversify your methods. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Purposeful, high-quality interactions with a handful of people are worth far more than hundreds of fleeting conversations.

Does cost-effective email outreach sound good to you? Absolutely, it does. You’ll need a quality tool to help you with the process. That’s where Instantly can help. Get started today.