Taking a proactive approach is often the best option. That’s precisely what outbound lead generation focuses on. You won’t sit and rest on your laurels, waiting for leads to come knocking on your door—far from it. Instead, you’re going to focus on outbound lead generation. You’re going to initiate and drive conversations yourself.
This is a very different approach from inbound lead generation. There’s a time and a place for both. Most strategies will use a combination of the two systems. In outbound’s case, you’re not relying on your content to do the work. You’re going to be the driving force behind the message.
Grabbing someone’s attention is a battle. Gunning straight for them is a bold and effective strategy. There’s a whole lot more to it than cold calls. It’s the strategy behind building and nurturing meaningful relationships.
This process and its core components are the subject matter of this article. When you’re done reading, you’ll feel ready to launch your own outbound lead generation campaign.
- The Evolution of Outbound Lead Generation
- The Core Components of Outbound Lead Generation
- Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices
The Evolution of Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is not a new method of generating new business for companies. You’ll know of the traditional methods before the digital age. Images of door-to-door salesmen pushing vacuum cleaners up driveways and lugging around suitcases of Tupperware come to mind. That and telemarketing combined with leaflet dropping and direct mail. These were the ways that outbound leads were generated. The message was delivered right to the prospect.
Digital methods changed everything. You didn’t need to physically go to someone’s location to contact them directly. Nor did you need to pick up the phone. Social media outreach began to take root. Generic mailshots were replaced with personalized and targeted email campaigns.
This shift in strategy and method stems from the broader change in societal communication. We’ve all but stopped buying newspapers. We now browse websites and scroll social media. Businesses have had to adapt in the same way that everyone in the world has adapted.
The shift comes with considerable benefits to business owners too. The quality and volume of analytical data and campaign tracking are immeasurably superior compared to what was available only a decade ago. Where once businesses had to guess what their ROI was, now they can carefully follow each and every metric that they choose. Almost all of their efforts are quantifiable, meaning that optimization can streamline their work.
The methods have changed. That’s for sure. The principles that underpin inbound marketing haven’t. The aim is still to actively seek out and engage with potential leads.
Still, there is a question that should be asked. Seeing as content marketing, SEO, and a growing number of inbound strategies are proving to be so popular, why is outbound lead generation still worth it? Surely it’s more effort than it is worth. That’s not the case:
- Targeted Audiences: When you engage in outbound lead generation, you are specifically targeting an audience. When zeroed in on a smaller segment, you’re far more likely to have a streamlined and effective direction.
- Proactiveness: Waiting for leads to come to you isn’t the best strategy in a market as competitive as this. Using outbound lead generation strategies means that you’re on the front foot. You’re taking the initiative. That’s always welcome in the business world.
- Quick Results: Inbound lead generation is a waiting game. It might be weeks, months, or even years before a lead decides to engage with you. If you are targeting the right prospects, especially those who are in the buying phase, you’ll likely get quick answers and quick conversions.
- Your Narrative, Your Timing: Outbound strategies mean that you’re in control of timelines and terms of engagement. Businesses can choose when to reach out and how they want to position the proposition. They also get to adjust their offering and messaging in real-time, depending on the reaction of the prospect.
This is certainly not us saying that you should focus on outbound lead generation instead of or at the expense of inbound sales. There should be a balance between the two. Do that, and you can use outbound strategies to take action and be proactive. Alongside, inbound strategies build interest and cause attraction.
The Core Components of Outbound Lead Generation
How do you do this? How do you begin to create an outbound lead generation strategy that targets audiences with messaging that encourages engagement? First, you need to get your key components in place. These are the foundations of any strategy.
Data Collection and Management
Your database is your information bible. It needs to contain fresh data that your team can work with and action. The more relevant and detailed this information is, the more likely your business will be successful in outreach.
A long list of prospects isn’t going to be successful enough. You need to dig a little deeper into your leads. When you segment your list into smaller groups, you’re able to have more tailored and direct messaging. You could do this by industry, job role, buying behavior, or anything that you think is relevant.
Personalization is tied intrinsically to audience segmentation. Once you’ve segmented your audience, you’re able to craft your outreach and messaging to talk to them on a personal level. The idea is to make leads believe that you’re talking to them on an individual basis. That they’re not just receiving another mailshot to everyone in your database.
The Right Tools
There are multiple tools that you can incorporate into your business’s tech stack to make outbound lead generation easier. Dedicated CRMs are certainly a great way to track and analyze what contact individuals have received. Email marketing tools, such as Instantly, are deft at personalizing email outreach. When you add these tools to your strategy, you’re able to quickly scale your output and analyze campaigns.
Your business can find leads across many different platforms. Some of them will engage best through social media. Others will require an email or a call. There are multiple channels to consider to maximize your potential reach.
Don’t fall into the trap that once you’ve sent the initial message, that’s it. Few people will respond to the first piece of outreach. Implementing a feedback loop (where you listen and then respond to feedback) means that your outbound strategy is continuously improving and evolving. The best businesses will action, learn, adapt, improve.
Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices
Once your strategy is up and running, there are some best practices that you should be adhering to if you want to achieve the best results.
There should be a culture of learning within your organization. A method that worked well a few years ago probably won’t work the same now. Don’t risk getting left behind when you could be building. This means that both sales and marketing teams should receive regular training and pay attention to results from lead feedback.
Whenever you conduct outreach, you need to ensure that it’s obvious what the prospect needs to do next. You could craft the most engaging email you’ve ever written, but if they get to the end of it and don’t know what you want them to do, it could be all in vain. Whatever it might be, get them to complete an action.
Quality, Not Quantity
Don’t hassle or pester a potential lead. Even if they perfectly match all of your criteria and tick all of your lead qualification checklist. People will be quickly turned off and won’t engage with you. Instead, aim to develop positive, high-quality interactions with them. A handful of quality interactions is far better than 50 emails sent to junk. You definitely want to avoid that if you want to avoid email deliverability issues.
Stay Consistent With Your Brand
Every one of your outbound efforts should maintain consistency for your brand. This will increase brand awareness and recognition while building trust. When communication comes in the form of outreach, it should sound and feel like it is coming from your brand.
Developing an outbound lead generation strategy will take considerable time and effort. You’ll need to implement a series of core components and adhere to best practices. The payoff is worth it. You’ll soon gain access to leads that convert well and are engaged, all while taking the proactive approach.
- A great outbound lead generation and sales strategy relies on a tailored message that is personalized to the recipient.
- You should strike a balance between both outbound and inbound lead generation strategies to reap the benefits of both.
- Using appropriate software and tools will make the process far more manageable.
Reaching out to leads is a core component of outbound lead generation. Chances are you’ll want to do that via email and at scale. That’s precisely what Instantly offers, and you can get started with it today.