Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism. With Yin/Yang, two halves come together to create wholeness. Examples abound in everyday life: night and day; sun and shade; art and analytics.
Inbound and outbound marketing, when done right, are an example of Yin/Yang – two sides that make a whole. Inbound marketing techniques draw potential customers to you while outbound techniques go to where the customers are less likely to find you on their own.
Regardless of how leads are generated, both inbound and outbound marketing techniques must fill the pipeline with MQL’s, SQL’s, sales opportunities, and deals. The more sales opportunities and deals that marketing drives, the better the performance review in the boardroom.
Inbound marketing optimization has limitations. For example increasing the frequency of posting new blogs, adding more and more back links, modifying meta tags to comply with modifications in search algorithms might attract new leads. But at a certain point there is a limited return for all that effort. Outbound techniques allow marketers to scale their demand gen efforts significantly and produce a steady flow of high quality leads into the sales pipeline.
A Broader Range of Ways to Engage Audiences
Outbound demand gen techniques provide marketers with a much larger arsenal to generate leads. The vast audiences made available through paid media outlets – whether they are accessed directly via media buying tech (such as DSPs) or by leveraging the expertise of media partners – exponentially open up marketing’s reach.
Moreover, paid media provides additional channels through which to engage prospective customers. Not all may be right for your specific audience, but a combination of various inbound and paid media tactics is most likely the Yin-Yang equation you’ll need to scale.
Outbound marketing isn’t easy. To get the most out of your outbound initiatives, you need the strategy and processes (and usually tech as well) to:
- identify the right audiences
- engage with them in a meaningful way,
- incorporate generated leads into your nurturing tracks, and then
- measure everything so you know what’s working (and what’s not).
Finding the right leads at the right time and communicating with them in the right voice is critical to optimizing lead generation. What follows are five field-proven techniques for getting the most from your outbound lead generation efforts.
Start with the Right Content
The leads engaging at this part are in the early buying stage. They're interested in solving a problem. They want to know who may help with their situation. Grab their attention by selecting an asset that speaks to them and their challenge. The type of asset is less important than the asset content (though specific personas often have asset preferences).
What company size, industry, geography, job role, persona is most likely to buy from you or influence the buyer? Analytics on your existing customers will provide great insight into the optimal customer profile. Predictive intelligence solutions like 6Sense and AgilOne further refine where to focus. Filters or segments ensure the generated leads will eventually become customers.
Speak Your Customers' Language
The key to engaging prospects and converting leads that become customers is to focus messaging on helping your customers solve problems and address pain points. Be on-point with your messages and content. Personalize what you have to say based on the lead’s needs. Communicating in a plain problem solving voice makes it easy for the customer to see the value that your solution delivers.
Keep the Communications Going
Newly generated leads are seldom ready to buy. In fact, MarketingSherpa reports that 70% of newly generated leads are not sales ready, but long term opportunities worth nurturing. Forrester expands that point, asserting that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead. A multi-touch nurture program will keep the customer’s needs at the forefront of every message and continue to engage them until they are ready for sales. Thus, it’s crucial that you get leads into a nurture track as quickly as possible to ensure prospect interest doesn’t fade – velocity is everything.
Review Your Track Record
Analyze the results of your lead generation campaigns. Can you determine what worked and what didn’t work? Looking at the results from a multitude of different angles will provide quantitative data to optimize sources, filters, messaging, voice, media channel, etc. This information can then be used in the next campaigns that you launch to improve results and take another ROI leap.
The benefits of an optimized lead generation effort don’t stop at a strong ROI:
- Brand messaging is heard loudly by buyers
- Strong qualitative results reported at the boardroom
- Lower volume of unwanted leads at the top of the funnel
- Sales focus is on the right leads at the right time, reducing wasted time and energy
- Ability to continue conversation with leads that matter
Which side of the yin/yang sphere a lead is generated is of limited importance. Both inbound and outbound demand generation tactics are essential. The key is to focus the right message, on the right lead at the right time.