Lately, it seems like inbound marketing has taken the front stage and outbound strategies have been pushed to the background. Many of them seem outdated and inefficient, so some marketers simply choose to avoid them.
However, there’s a reason outbound strategies have stayed in the game for so long. In fact, they are not nearly as useless as they are deemed to be nowadays.
Sure, some of them like print ads aren’t as effective as they used to be, but others like cold emailing and cold calling still rank high among marketers.
In 2020, many businesses faced new sales challenges as they struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. That’s why it’s important to consider broadening your strategy and trying new sales tactics in the months to come.
Let’s go over some of the best outbound marketing strategies and see why you should use them in 2021.
To cold call or not to cold call
Cold calling is one of the oldest outbound strategies, and it’s probably the first one that pops into everyone’s mind. However, this method has a pretty bad reputation. It seems like most people are actively trying to avoid these calls and that if they fail to do so, they just get annoyed by the sales reps.
You might be wondering why does cold calling even exist anymore well, it’s because it actually still works.
The reason why it is still effective is that it is not so cold anymore. Most cold calls today are preceded by thorough prospect research and the contact lists are carefully segmented into meaningful groups. This gives sales reps enough information to warm up their pitches and make them as personalized as possible.
With the right sales engagement software, you ll be able to optimize your sales process by eliminating menial tasks and automating the workflow. This will leave your sales reps with more time on their hands to focus on engaging with prospects and make the selling process more personalized and efficient.
Automate your email outreach
If you’re using cold emails, automation is an absolute must. If you want your email outreach to bring results, sending one email is simply not gonna do it. Chances are, you’ll have to send multiple follow-ups in order to get your leads interested.
Even when you manage to get a response, it can take up to 5 times to actually get a “yes” from a prospect.
Needless to say, it’s nearly impossible to type out and send each of these emails individually (or at least it would be too time-consuming and inefficient).
That’s where email automation comes to play.
Whether you set up certain behavioral triggers or simply create a follow-up schedule, email automation platforms will help you streamline every step of your outreach process from providing you with a perfect sales email template to allowing you to set up automatic email sequences in order to save time and achieve better results.
To make the most out of email automation, make sure to track delivery, bounce, open, and click-through rates. Monitoring those KPIs is especially useful for A/B testing, as it gives you insight into which version is yielding better results and constantly testing and tweaking your outreach strategy is key to more conversions.
Personalization is crucial
If you want to build strong and meaningful relationships with your customers, you need to get to know them on a personal level. One of the most effective ways to establish these connections is through personalization.
Personalization goes well beyond including your customer’s name in the email subject line. It’s a complex approach to sales that becomes increasingly more tailored as your prospects move through the sales funnel.
With so much noise and competition fighting for valuable customer attention, it’s more important than ever to set your business apart from the others and show potential customers that you really care about them.
In such a competitive environment, it can be difficult to get a prospect to engage with your emails or calls. Their inbox is most likely already overflowing with offers and promotions. That’s why your initial connection needs to be brief. Just briefly let your prospect know who you are and what you do and use this opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve really done your research.
After you’ve already established the connection, you should gain deeper insight into the company and try to understand what their challenges are. Use all the information you find and combine it with information you gathered during your initial call to keep the conversation moving forward.
Make sure to always share content that’s extremely relevant to your prospect and that could help them overcome their specific challenges. This will push the conversation to progress further and encourage them to make a purchase.
Use videos to humanize your messages
Emails are a great way to reach out to many prospects in almost no time, however, even though it’s way more time-efficient than face-to-face interactions, we all know it’s much easier to say “no” via email than in person.
It can be challenging to make your messages seem personal, but there are some creative ways you can make your emails stand out and make them more humanized. You can film video messages and put a face in front of your prospects, which will make the entire interaction seem way more personalized and engaging, increasing your chances of actually getting a response.
Besides, videos allow you to convey your message much more clearly, without using too much text that’s almost certain to bore your prospects and make them just click away.
Keep in mind that you still need to follow some basic principles for creating effective video emails, such as keeping them short, including call-to-action, and writing catchy subject lines (don’t forget that your prospect won’t know how awesome your video message is until they actually open the email).
Connect on social media
Social media offers great opportunities to drive sales. You might think of social media as a mostly inbound marketing channel. However, social platforms can also be a very powerful tool in your outbound marketing arsenal.
Although they’re not necessarily a place for pushy selling strategies, social networks can be a great place to connect and engage with your prospect and essentially make them “warmer”. Use social media to do research about your prospects and learn about their needs and interests, then combine the information you collected with other outbound strategies.
You can also send direct messages on social networks but bear in mind that some platforms are more suitable for outbound marketing than others. Sending sales pitches to someone’s personal inbox can seem pretty intrusive.
On the other hand, platforms such as LinkedIn can be a great place, especially for B2B sales. It’s best to start these messages with referencing something personal whether it’s a mutual connection or the article they just shared, just be careful not to seem too creepy.
Outbound marketing strategies are not what they used to be. With every change in the marketing landscape, they are also adapting and becoming more and more efficient. New tools and technologies are allowing marketers to automate their sales process, get to know their prospects, and find new and creative ways to reach out to them.
Combining classic outbound strategies with new marketing trends can be a winning combination that can bring you more leads and help you boost conversion rates faster, so give these tactics a try in 2020 if you haven’t already.
Hayley Hoskins is a San Francisco-based business and tech blogger, internet nerd, and data enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter @hay_hoskins.