Inbound marketing is great. Customers arrive at your website ready to buy.
What's not to love?
But there's a problem.
You don't have control over who your customers are.
If you're looking to move upmarket or pivot your offering, you'll need to have more control over whom you're talking to. After all, if your past SEO efforts were all designed to attract a specific type of customer, and now you're moving upmarket, that content won't be attracting the right people anymore.
That's where outbound lead generation process comes in.
With outbound marketing, you can pick and choose your ideal customers, then reach out directly to them.
If you're looking to grow, your sales and marketing team need to consider using outbound lead generation services or tactics as a lever for growth.
In this article, I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know about outbound lead generation strategies and tactics.
- What are Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices and Tactics?
- Why Outbound Lead Generation Work
- 5 Proven Outbound Lead Gen Strategies
- How to Improve Your Existing Outbound Lead Generation Campaigns
By the end, you'll have a solid understanding of how best to approach your next campaigns and how to make good lead lists for outbound efforts.
Without further ado, let's jump into the article.
What is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation is the process of focusing your marketing or sales efforts on activities that involve you approaching people that fit your ideal customer profile.
It's the opposite of inbound strategies like content marketing that rely on customers approaching your business.
Why Outbound Lead Generation Still Work
Outbound sales and marketing tactics can be daunting at first.
You have to approach people who may have never heard of you to pitch your solution to them.
As you can expect, it's not easy. Most business owners, CFOS, or other key decision-makers won't immediately be receptive to you asking them to hand over their credit card details.
However, it's still worth doing.
Outbound tactics are the single best way to get in front of people you know are a perfect fit for your product or service.
If you sell to busy decision-makers, it's unlikely they're spending that much of their time browsing social media or scrolling through business directories to find the right solution.
The vendors that end up in their consideration set will be the ones who approached them directly.
By using outbound lead generation tactics, you can get yourself into that consideration set.
Let's take a look at some of the most effective outbound strategies.
Proven Outbound Lead Gen Strategies
1. Use Personalised Cold Emails
Whatever your personal take on cold emails is, the truth is that they still work.
Data shows that even when emailing key decision-makers, you can get up to a 45% open rate if you make them relevant enough.
Cold email should be one of the first outbound lead generation strategies that you consider.
It's easy to start doing.
The ROI can be huge. McKinsey found that email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
As long as your email list is highly relevant to your offer and your emails are personalised, relevant, and genuine, you can see great results.
2. Cold Calling Isn't Dead
Cold calling gets a bad rep, but it's extremely effective (when done well).
HubSpot research found that 69% of buyers are happy to accept calls from vendors. It's clear proof that your phone is still a valuable asset to your sales efforts.
There's no better way to talk directly with a decision-maker, assuming your direct dials are accurate and your cold call script is polished.
It's important to remember that it's not about sheer numbers.
It's about the right numbers.
If you focus on calling highly qualified leads whom you've vetted for relevance, it's a great way to build initial rapport and quickly learn about their pain points or areas that you can help.
3. Get Eyes on Your Content with Syndication
Content syndication is another effective tactic that can be used alongside your cold calls and emails.
Content syndication is all about getting your best content in front of the right people.
For example, if your team published an in-depth whitepaper, it's going to act as a powerful lever to start a conversation with a prospect.
With effective content syndication and distribution, you'll be able to:
- Provide value to your prospects
- Start a conversation that can lead to a sale
This tactic mixes inbound (content) with outbound (promotion) tactics and can be highly effective.
Content syndication works well as part of a broader ABM strategy as you can use your content as part of a targeted ad campaign at the same time.
4. Network with LinkedIn Automation
59% of B2B marketers say they generate leads on LinkedIn. It's the most popular place for B2B decision-makers to spend their time.
It remains an excellent place for networking as long as you use it correctly.
Saying that, you can't be spending hours every day on social media, even if it is for work-related reasons.
Luckily, there are a range of LinkedIn automation tools out there to help you.
These tools let you take actions like:
- Send automatic connection requests with prospects
- Send introductory and follow up messages
- See detailed analytics on how prospects are engaging with you
You can use your presence on LinkedIn to build rapport with prospects, then send an email or call those who are most engaged and interested in your solution.
It's important to note that you should learn the ins and outs of the tool you choose before committing to it. Some automation tools in the past have been banned by LinkedIn due to them violating Terms of Service.
However, if you can use LinkedIn automation in a sustainable way it's going to pay dividends. Not only is is it a strong outbound lead generation strategy, but it has the side effect of building your personal brand.
5. Let Your Customers do the Work with Referrals
While it's not a traditional outbound lead generation tactic, if you can make referrals work for your business, it's going to be extremely beneficial.
Not only do you let your customers help you with your acquisition strategies, you get to benefit from the social proof that a referral provides.
Depending on your business, this could look different.
Here are a few ideas for referral programs that could work for your brand:
- For SaaS: Offer free credits or upgrades for referring new customers
- For services/agencies: Offer a commission on new referrals
Your referral program doesn't have to be complicated.
If your customers like your solution, they'll be happy to share it with colleagues or friends in their professional network.
The more your customers can help you, the better.
How to Improve Your Existing Outbound Lead Generation Campaigns
If your outbound lead generation campaigns aren't generating the results you're hoping for, here are some easy ways to improve things.
1. Get More Personal
Many marketers start a cold email or cold calling campaign and quickly forget who their ideal customer is and why they're running an outbound campaign in the first place.
Cold email outreach tools or similar make it tempting to rely too much on automation and templates.
It's important to remember that's your campaigns won't work if you only care about volume of new emails sent, or how many cold calls you can do in a day.
You outbound campaigns have to be personal.
Your prospects only care what you have to say to them.
They don't care that you had to send a watered down email template to ensure you could send 200 emails in a day.
If your campaigns aren't working, the first thing you should do is review your approach and the messaging you're using.
2. Use Better B2B Data
If your emails are bouncing and your cold calls are getting through to the wrong people, you'll need to review the B2B data you're using.
Databases decay at 22.5% per year. If your data is out of date, your outbound lead generation efforts won't pay off.
If you need accurate B2B data, consider working with a team like Internal Results. Our contact database includes contact data for B2B decision-makers in over 40 countries and it's verified regularly.
Scale Your Lead Generation Efforts with Internal Results
If you're ready to grow but don't have the in-house capacity, we'd love to help.
We help brands execute multi-channel, data-driven marketing that gets them talking with their ideal customers.
It's the ideal way to grow your lead pipeline in a scalable way that generates the ROI you need it to.
We'll be able to quickly identify and contact your ideal customers using tactics like telemarketing, email marketing, and content syndication.
Outbound marketing campaigns are the best way to start a conversation with key decision-makers in companies you know are a good fit for your solution.
You won't be waiting for new customers to arrive at your website, then hoping that they're a good fit.
You get to decide who you're contacting and how you communicate with them.
The strategies in this article will help you get started with your outbound lead generation campaigns, but if you need help, have a chat with our team to see how Internal Results can help you grow.