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Outbound Marketing [Definition, Strategies and Examples]

Outbound Marketing [Definition, Strategies and Examples]
Last updated: March 19, 2024
Reading time: 14 minutes
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Outbound marketing is often treated as an afterthought or an approach only specific business sectors can adopt. But in reality, it’s much more than that. Outbound marketing is a powerful strategy for reaching your potential customers, even when they aren’t searching for you (yet). 

Outbound marketing encompasses various tactics and activities designed to introduce your business or brand to new customers. It’s often overlooked because it feels like “push” rather than “pull” marketing. However, outbound marketing is exactly what we need in this digital age to reach our target audience outside of their comfort zones.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything about outbound marketing, from the basics to benefits and problems to strategies. We’ll also share tools, tips, and resources to help craft a solid outbound marketing strategy.

But first, let us assure you that outbound marketing can bring serious results when done correctly. And by automating your outbound prospecting efforts, you can build relationships with potential customers at scale.

What Is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is a type of marketing that uses traditional marketing techniques to reach out to potential customers. 

This can include advertising, public relations, direct mail, etc. It involves actively reaching out to potential customers through various channels, including:

  • Emails
  • Events
  • Paid ads
  • Cold calls
  • TV commercials

What’s more? Outbound marketing aims to generate leads and create interest in a product or service. It’s the opposite of inbound marketing, which focuses on getting customers to come to you (usually through content marketing). 

More on this later!

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What’s the Problem With Outbound Marketing?

With so many benefits, you might be wondering why outbound marketing gets a bad rap or why marketing peeps avoid this approach. Well, there are many reasons.

It’s Expensive

Outbound marketing requires time and money to deliver effective results. And it can quickly be ineffective at any time because of many variables.

It Can Be Intrusive

Some people don’t like being bombarded with ads and cold calls, making them less likely to buy from you. And now, with the advent of the internet, people savvier about ignoring ads and are likely to do their research before making a purchase.

It’s Not as Targeted

Outbound marketing techniques like TV commercials and billboards reach a large audience, but not all of the recipients will be interested in your product or service. This can be a waste of time and resources.

It Lacks Trust

People are likely to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. With outbound marketing, there’s little to no relationship between the customer and the business, so it can be harder to build trust.

But don’t worry! We’ll be sharing some strategies that can help you overcome these problems.

Top 9 Outbound Marketing Strategies to Try

Despite the challenges, outbound marketing can still be effective when done right. Let us share our nine favorite strategies and outbound marketing types to try in the new year.

1. Cold Emailing

Cold emailing is a cost-effective way to reach new prospects. It’s much cheaper than traditional outbound methods like cold calling or advertising.

You can also target a specific audience with your cold email campaign. You’re not wasting your time and money reaching people who are unlikely to be interested in your product or service.

Another advantage of cold emailing is that you can track the results of your campaign. You can see how many people opened your email, clicked on your links, and made a purchase. This information helps you to fine-tune your campaign and improve your results.

Just make sure to follow these tips:

  • Keep cleaning your email list.
  • Write engaging subject lines.
  • Run A/B tests for everything.
  • Send your cold emails at the right time.
  • Include a powerful CTA.
  • Personalize your emails based on segments.

Overall, cold emailing is cost-effective, targeted, and easily tracks results.

2. Search Ads

Outbound Marketing: Search Ads

Advertising is one of the most common outbound marketing techniques. And for a good reason! It’s a great way to reach a large audience and generate leads.

Search ads are especially effective because they allow you to target people who are already interested in what you’re selling. When people search for a keyword related to your product or service, your ad will appear at the top of the search results in search engines like Google.But it can be expensive, so you’ll need to carefully consider your options and budget. So you must focus on these things:

  • Target audience
  • Keywords
  • Budget
  • Ad copy
  • Call to action

And not to forget, track your results to improve your campaign over time.

3. Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is one of the most popular outbound marketing techniques because it’s effective and relatively affordable.

You can target a specific audience with laser precision with social media ads. For example, Facebook allows you to target people based on their interests, demographics, and behavior.

As for B2B, LinkedIn plays a vital role in outbound marketing. LinkedIn ads allow you to target people based on their job titles, company size, or even the specific industry in which they work.

This means you’re not wasting your time and money reaching people who are unlikely to be interested in your product or service. Besides running LinkedIn ads, we recommend you use LinkedIn SEO strategies to have your content reach more audiences. 

Plus, you can automate LinkedIn outbound marketing with the top LinkedIn automation software like Dripify. It’s an AI-powered tool that lets you put many repetitive LinkedIn lead generation activities on autopilot, saving you time. And you can use it to create and track LinkedIn drip marketing campaigns

The key to social media marketing is to create laser-targeted campaigns relevant to your audience. If your ad is relevant, it will be more likely to be seen.

 And social media ads are easy to track. You can see how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, and made a purchase.

4. Direct Mail

Outbound Marketing: Direct Mail

Direct mail may sound old-school, but it is a tried and tested outbound marketing strategy. It is still relevant and can deliver excellent outcomes if planned and implemented properly.

Using direct mail, you can send a physical piece of mail to your target audience. This could be a postcard, flyer, or even a sales letter.

The advantage of direct mail is that it allows you to stand out from the digital noise. When was the last time you got a piece of mail that wasn’t a bill or advertisement?

It’s also a great way to target a specific audience. You can use direct mail to reach people who live in a certain area or who have purchased from you in the past. Further, you can track the results of your campaign. You can see how many people received your mailer, how many opened it, and how many made a purchase.

The key to a successful direct mail campaign is to create a compelling offer and include a strong call to action. Otherwise, your campaign will likely be a flop.

5. Events, Webinars, and Trade Shows

Events, webinars, and trade shows are all great ways to reach a large number of people in a short time. Again, you must consider your target audience and ensure these events are relevant and well-organized.

Events help generate leads and build relationships with potential customers. You can meet people in person, shake their hands, and give them your business card. Likewise, you can host a physical or virtual event and invite your target audience. This could be a conference, workshop, or even a meetup.

If you’re doing a webinar, you can reach people worldwide. All they need is a computer and an internet connection. And trade shows are events where companies showcase their products or services. Trade shows are a great way to reach people interested in your industry.

Events, webinars, and trade shows are great opportunities to build your brand and generate leads. But they can be expensive, so you’ll need to consider your options and budget carefully. Promoting it heavily is key to a successful event, webinar, or trade show. 

You must let your target audience know about the event and what they can expect. Then, you must follow up with attendees after the event. This could be a thank-you email or even a phone call.

6. Cold Calling

Outbound marketing doesn’t have the best reputation, and cold calling may be why. Cold calling is calling people who have not expressed interest in your product or service. It’s often seen as a nuisance because people don’t like getting calls from strangers.

But cold calling can be effective if you do it right.

First, you need to have the right auto dialer software for call center empowered by Artificial Intelligence technology. Today’s advanced AI dialer software solutions go beyond simply making automated calls to a list of prospects. Based on AI and Machine Learning algorithms, AI auto dialers can score your leads and agents and connect the leads to the most relevant agents who are most likely to close the deal. That can significantly improve the quality of interactions and help you increase sales conversions. 

Second, you need to ensure your agents have appropriate scripts that are short, sweet, and straight to the point. Agents should also always be polite and professional, as no one wants to be talked to by a rude salesperson. 

With the right sales pitch, a high level of professionalism, and modern call center software, cold calling can be a great way to reach out to potential customers, expand your outbound marketing outreach, and boost your sales.

7. Traditional Media Advertising

Outbound marketing is usually about traditional media advertising on TV, radio, and print. It’s the most common and well-known form of marketing, but it can be expensive.

TV and radio commercials can cost thousands of dollars to produce and air. And print ads can also be costly, especially if you’re running them in a high-circulation magazine or newspaper.

So first, you must ensure that your business type is appropriate for this type of marketing. Traditional media advertising may be a good option if you sell a product or service that people use daily.

In a traditional media campaign, you must reach many people with your message. And you must ensure your ad is well-produced and stands out from the rest. Otherwise, people will simply tune it out.

8. Publicity and News Releases

PR is the process of getting media coverage for your company. This could be in the form of a news article, TV segment, or radio interview. You can reach potential customers and generate leads. But it can be difficult to get media coverage.

For a successful PR campaign, you must have a newsworthy story. This could be a new product launch, a major milestone, or even a charity event. You must also have good relationships with the media. This means reaching out to them and offering your story. And always be prepared to answer any questions they may have. Having a clear and concise message is key.

9. Video Ads

It’s no secret that video is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. People love watching videos and are likely to remember your message if they see it in a video.

Creating a video ad can be a little expensive, but it’s worth it. You can reach many people with your message and generate leads.

Successful video ads have a clear and concise message. You must also ensure that your video is well-produced and stands out from the rest. Otherwise, people will simply tune it out.

The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide

Outbound Marketing Examples

Outbound marketing may include a cold call, email, direct mail, billboard, event sponsorship, tradeshow presentation, and media commercials.

Here’re a few examples of successful outbound marketing campaigns.

1. Email Marketing Campaign by PayPal

PayPal’s email marketing campaign for splitting restaurant bills is a great example of how to solve a common problem effectively.

By highlighting the pain point of sending money and providing a three-step solution, PayPal manages to provide value to its customers.

The email is also well-designed and easy to navigate, making it an enjoyable experience for recipients. Overall, this campaign is an excellent example of email marketing done well.

2. WMF Grand Gourmet Knife’s Print Ad

When it comes to knives, there’s no better brand to trust than WMF Grand Gourmet. Their knives are made with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, ensuring that you can cut through anything easily.

But how would you believe it? See how they show it to you with this print ad:

Yeah, their knife can cut everything and anything. Not really, but they did get their customers’ attention with this print ad.

3. Trade Show Promo by Axis

Axiz knows how to be successful at trade shows. They wanted to engage and excite potential customers. To do this, they used a modular trade show booth that is eye-catching and easy to assemble.

This allowed them to set up the booth and engage with potential customers quickly. Additionally, the booth’s whimsical block design helped capture the attention of passers-by, leading to more conversions.

Let’s now talk about the tools you need for outbound marketing.

Top 5 Tools to Automate Outbound Marketing

Top 5 Tools to Automate Outbound Marketing

There are many outbound marketing tools available that can help you automate your marketing efforts. They significantly reduce the amount of time and effort you need to expend.

1. Dripify

Dripify is an all-in-one Sales automation software that can help you automate your prospecting and outreach efforts. You can use this tool to supercharge lead generation and help your sales team improve prospecting on LinkedIn.

Dripify can do many things, like sending automated messages using an advanced LinkedIn messenger tool, building targeted lists, and tracking your results with advanced LinkedIn analytics.

  • Create Drip campaigns using LinkedIn actions
  • Build your LinkedIn sales funnel
  • Track and analyze performance and conversion
  • Personalize your messages
  • Respond to leads

And a lot more. That’s “LinkedIn on autopilot” for you.

Related article: Best Prospecting Tools For Business

2. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a tool that sales reps and managers love. It’s easy to use, and it’s FREE. You can upgrade later, of course. That’s right; you can use this inbound and outbound marketing tool to manage your sales process effortlessly.

The tool helps you keep track of your leads and customers. It also allows you to score and grade your leads to prioritize them.

3. ConstantContact

ConstantContact is an email marketing tool that makes it easy to create and send newsletters, announcements, and promotions. You can also use it to build your email list for marketing.

The tool comes with many templates to create beautiful and responsive emails. It also has a drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy to customize your emails.

Of course, you can use other email marketing tools like MailChimp, AWeber, or GetResponse. Go with the one that suits your business well. 

4. LeadPages

LeadPages helps small businesses connect with an audience, collect leads, and close sales. It’s an easy-to-use platform that allows you to create landing pages, pop-ups, and forms.

Furthermore, it integrates with many email marketing, CRM, and payment processing tools. This makes it easy to collect leads and track your results.

5. Outreach.io

With Outreach, you can consolidate your sales tools into one easy-to-use interface. You can easily connect with prospects and close deals. Outreach’s powerful pipeline generation tools make it easy to identify and target potential customers.

6 Benefits of Outbound Marketing

Remember the problems with outbound marketing? Yeah, those don’t exist with inbound marketing. Outbound marketing has many benefits that make it worthwhile.

1. Target Your Audience Strategically

When you use outbound marketing, you can target your audience precisely. This is because you have a lot of data at your disposal. You can use this data to create buyer personas and target your marketing efforts accordingly.

2. Reach a Broader Audience

Outbound marketing helps you reach a wider audience than inbound marketing because you’re not limited to just your website visitors. You can use a variety of channels to reach your target audience.

3. Generate More Leads

Yes, outbound marketing still gets you qualified leads. It can help you generate leads at a much faster rate than inbound marketing. People who complain about outbound marketing don’t know how to do it properly.

4. Improve Your Brand Awareness

Outbound Marketing: Improve Your Brand Awareness

You can improve your brand awareness with outbound marketing. You’re not just limited to your website, app, or content channel. You can use a variety of channels to reach your audience fast and help them feel your existence as a business.

Storytelling is a powerful outbound marketing technique. So use case studies, infographics, blog posts, and ebooks to share your brand story. This will help you capture the attention of your target audience and improve your brand awareness.

5. Cost-Effective

Outbound marketing is cost-effective if you analyze your results and optimize your campaigns accordingly. It can be much cheaper than inbound marketing.

You don’t have to spend much money on ads or other promotional materials because internet ads are affordable! Measuring results can also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Also, you can use free outbound marketing channels like social media and email to reach your target audience. After you have reached your target audience, you can use paid ads to boost your conversion rates.

6. Support Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Outbound tactics can be a great way to supplement your inbound marketing efforts. By using outbound tactics, you can reach a larger audience with your content and generate leads that might not have otherwise found you.

For example, you can use email to promote your content, send invitations to webinars and events, or even stay in touch with your contacts.

In addition, you can use paid advertising to target specific demographics or interests or to drive traffic to your website or landing pages.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

There’s a lot of confusion about inbound vs. outbound marketing. People often think that they’re mutually exclusive, but they’re not. They work best when used together. Let’s get to know the difference between inbound and outbound marketing now.

In outbound marketing, you proactively reach out to your potential customers using a variety of channels. Inbound marketing lets potential customers reach out to your business because you’ve created and distributed content.

In other words, inbound marketing is about being found by your ideal customers, whereas outbound marketing is about finding your ideal customers.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a closer look at the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is about creating and distributing content that attracts, engages, and converts your target audience. The goal of inbound marketing is to be found by your ideal customers when they’re searching for relevant information.

You do this by creating valuable content and making it easy to find. Once you’ve attracted a visitor, you need to convert them into a lead by getting their contact information.

We recommend using both inbound and outbound marketing to maximize your results.

Is Outbound Marketing Still Relevant Today?

Despite the rise of inbound marketing, outbound marketing is still relevant. It can be a great complement to your inbound marketing efforts. As Neil Patel says, “Outbound marketing guarantees you reach people.”

And that’s the beauty of it; you’re not limited to just your website visitors or channel’s followers. You can use a variety of channels to reach your target audience.

The key is to use outbound marketing strategically.

For example, you can use paid advertising to target specific demographics or interests or to drive traffic to your website or landing pages.

Of course, you must put in the strategic work for outbound marketing. Only then would it be an extremely useful tool for businesses to:

  • Drive brand awareness
  • Maintain brand relevance
  • And introduce products to new audiences

Outbound marketing is great at being at the forefront of a customer’s mind, which is why it’s still a valuable strategy for businesses today.

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Moving From Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing

Many marketing peeps and small to medium businesses are moving from outbound marketing to inbound to cut costs. And that’s natural! But if you strategize and do it correctly, you can use outbound marketing to support your inbound marketing efforts. That’s the best option for you as a small to medium business.

The bottom line is that you need to focus on creating quality content and making it easy to find and distribute it across various channels. Do that, and you’ll be able to reach more people with your message and generate leads that might not have otherwise found you.


Outbound marketing can be expensive and intrusive, but it can also bring a lot of value to your business if used strategically. It’s still relevant and can greatly complement inbound marketing efforts.

So, don’t discount it just yet!

Ready to enjoy these benefits? Use these nine outbound marketing strategies:

  1. Cold emailing
  2. Search ads
  3. Video ads
  4. Social media advertising
  5. Direct mailing
  6. Events and trade shows
  7. Cold calling
  8. Traditional media advertisement
  9. Publicity and press releases

Remember, the key to success is to focus on creating quality content and making it easy to find. Then, distribute it across a variety of channels. 

That way, you’ll be able to reach more people with your message and generate leads that might not have otherwise found you.

And don’t forget to try Dripify for free for your B2B and B2C outbound marketing on LinkedIn! We make it easy to create and automate your email campaigns.

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