When it comes to developing a strategy to acquire more B2B sales leads, there are so many lead generation channels to choose from. At the start of your sales pipeline, your target audience is learning about your business through multiple marketing mediums. It’s at this stage — the awareness stage — that they need to get a clear picture of who you are and what you do before they go on to make an inquiry and, in turn, become a lead. Businesses should identify a number of key accounts, target audiences or industries that they want to get in front of, and then do what they can to get noticed by them. Let’s explore what outbound marketing is and where it fits into your wider lead generation strategy.
What is outbound lead generation?
Outbound lead generation — also known as ‘interruption marketing’ — is the act of pushing out messages to an audience that hasn’t necessarily asked for them. In this instance, your organization is the one initiating the conversation. Typically, the majority of outbound lead generation activities are paid-for. And, they are generally considered more traditional or old-fashioned than inbound — especially with the increase of highly personalized sales and marketing approaches. Not to mention that in most cases, outbound can be more expensive, more difficult to track ROI, and is seeing an increase in techniques that block success — such as spam filters and changes to data protection that stop messages getting through.
Outbound lead generation strategies and measuring success
Now we’re clear on what outbound lead generation means — let’s explore some of the tactics it includes, what they look like, and how to measure their success with just a few of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you should know about.
● Online advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is measurable, trackable and works effectively when used alongside other marketing tactics to drive traffic and increase awareness.
KPIs: Impressions, clicks, total cost (for all clicks), click-through rate (clicks divided by impressions)
● Print advertising
Printed ads help improve credibility — in fact, according to Marketing Sherpa, 82% of people trust them more than any other type of advertising.
KPIs: Monitor website traffic during campaign run, use QR codes and social hashtags to encourage engagement
● Direct mail marketing
Sending a gift or piece of marketing material directly to a business is a great way to get noticed — it can be expensive but is an effective tactic as part of an account-based marketing plan.
KPIs: Include a dedicated URL in your direct mail piece to see traffic generated by the campaign, and monitor the response rate or cost per acquisition (CPA).
● Mass email marketing
Build an email list, identify the best time to send marketing messages to your audience and reach a large number of people all at once.
KPIs: Open rate, click-through rate, conversion-rate, number of subscribers
● Cold calling
As one of the most traditional sales lead generation tactics, there is still a place for cold-calling in your strategy — you will just need to update your approach for a modern audience.
KPIs: Calls per result (the number of calls it takes to see an action), appointments per hour, number of calls, number of sales
● Public relations
Getting endorsed and noticed by third parties and leading publications in your industry is important for your reputation and brand image. Don’t dismiss the importance of PR!
KPIs: Potential reach, engagement, amount and quality of coverage, earned traffic
● Event marketing
Meeting decision-makers face-to-face at relevant events is a good way to build relationships, increase word-of-mouth marketing and build a presence in key areas and industries.
KPIs: Number of new leads, networking results (scheduled meetings, calls or demonstrations), social engagement
Using inbound and outbound together
According to Instapage, one study suggests that inbound and outbound marketing techniques generate an even number of leads. However, according to Digital Media Stream, 53% of respondents said inbound provides higher ROI, and HubSpot discovered that 59% of marketers believe it produces higher quality leads. While inbound strategies are increasing in popularity — that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for both approaches in your wider lead generation strategy. The B2B buyer journey isn’t a straight line. So, an effective mix of inbound and outbound messages could be your best solution to reaching the maximum number of people and, in turn, increasing opportunities.
Lead Forensics is an innovative lead generation software that transforms website visitors into high-quality engaged leads. The tool works by revealing the identity of your previously anonymous website visitors and notifying you in real-time. Utilizing a global leading database of business IP addresses, our leading reverse IP tool can tell you the exact business exploring your site — as well as providing you with detailed visitor journeys and contact details of key decision-makers. This way, marketers and sales teams have everything they need to reach the right person, from the right organization, at just the right time. Discover a bounty of leads directly through your B2B website and book your free Lead Forensics demonstration today.