What channels should be part of your next outbound campaign?
If someone Googles “marketing campaigns,” could you blame them for thinking the only way to go to market is through increasing inbound leads? You’d think there was nothing else in the marketing world but SEO, content writing, blogging, webinars, and ads. Don’t get me wrong, I do like all these channels to generate demand and leads. However, like Eric Quanstrom, CMO at CIENCE calls out almost daily: “With inbound, you get what you get, but with outbound, you get who you want.”
What really happens is referral traffic to the websites decreases, organic reach conversions get harder, and gated content turns up a majority of dead-end leads that sales don’t trust. This tendency has been going on for the last couple of years, and 2020’s almost complete reliance on digital marketing means more competition for keywords and ad space than ever before.
This is where a multi-channel, highly targeted outbound campaign can spur new growth with new logos of your best-fit clients.
There will never be a time when we’d suggest abandoning inbound — a high performing demand gen engine is crucial to growth. But outbound is back, and the right multi-channel strategy is the ticket to accelerate and scale growth.
There’s a reason more and more SDR teams, and outbound campaigns are rolling up to marketing. Outbound is 100% directly attributable, targets only your Ideal Customer Profile, provides predictability that scales, and improves inbound performance.
After you’ve built your targeted lead list, the next step is to decide which channels should be included in your next outbound marketing campaign. So, which ones exactly? Continue reading to learn which channels must be included to get the best performance (optimized for ROI).
The Go-To Channel: Cold Emails
Always the stalwart, outbound emailing has become more sophisticated, smarter, and prospect-focused in recent years. Just look at how much the promotional email campaigns you get every day have changed! They know your name, they congratulate you on your birthdays and work anniversaries, they predict your desires and suggest new services or products to solve problems you’re currently trying to remedy.
Emails are definitively one of the most efficient channels to include in the outbound marketing campaigns. About 35% of marketers claim that this is actually the most effective marketing strategy.
It’s quite interesting that when one asks about the worst marketing strategy, emails are also on the list.
So what separates a good email outbound campaign from a bad one? The background research on the prospect, of course. If you use all the information available through different tools and social media (more on LinkedIn below) on your potential buyers, your next outbound campaign can be enriched with some awesomely personalized emails, which make cold emails feel a little more warm.
At CIENCE, our specialized SDRs send thousands of ‘cold’ emails every day and have found that relevant personalization through research is critical to positive engagements. The trick to personalization at scale is providing precise and deep research on each and every contact. We know almost exactly who fits the ICP and buyer persona, who those decision-makers and buying groups are, and how relevant the product or service is for their company.
No longer should emails be sent blindly from mass blast lists. It didn’t cut it 10 years ago, and it sure doesn’t pass the mustard test now. If you’re struggling with using email as an efficient outbound channel, here is an explicit guide on how to nail cold emailing.
The New Comer Channel: LinkedIn Lead Generation
Personalization is power. And Social Media, specifically LinkedIn for B2B, is a great source of this power. According to LinkedIn, 76% of buyers are ready to have sales conversations via Social Media. It should go without saying that DMing a sales template to a CEO won’t convert into a new meeting very often. You need to prepare the soil — warm-up the prospect before harvesting the goods from LinkedIn outreach.
While reaching out to someone, it’s no longer enough to just know the prospect’s name. You should know their company’s name, their colleagues’ names, what articles they’ve read or retweeted, what their day-to-day looks like, what KPIs they own, and even what hobbies or interests they have (that you may share).
Use the rest of social media to find out even more! Follow your prospect’s accounts everywhere: react to their Facebook posts, retweet them, comment on the same posts on LinkedIn. Be seen but not heard, bring value to the table, be ready to get that appointment when the opportunity presents itself.
The Throw-Back Channel: Cold Calls
Yes, yes, we know! This is not something new to you. But believe us, cold calling works (if done right, of course). According to Rain Group, most C-suite and VP-level buyers (57% to be precise) actually prefer to be contacted by phone.
At the same time, cold calling is probably one of the most derided (and emotionally complicated) outbound channels. Call reluctance can paralyze the best SDRs (who otherwise crush on email channels). Once connected with a decision-maker, the biggest obstacle is getting past conditioned responses (“No thanks”; “Not interested”; “Not a good time.”).
But cold calling still works, and it works well. Why? Because it’s the only channel where you get the chance to speak to a real person in real-time and connect in as pure a human connection as possible without being face-to-face (unless someone wants to FaceTime with a stranger).
The Get Noticed Channel: Direct Mail
Remember how excited you get when you find a Christmas postcard among the neverending mailers, bills, and notices in your mailbox? I definitely do, and your prospect does as well!
In fact, direct mails have a higher response rate than other outbound channels altogether. Most people prefer physical mails when it comes to unsolicited offers, as long as the mail is personalized and comes with no strings attached. People open the envelopes more often and check their mailboxes frequently and with care. Direct mail outreach is more trustworthy, personal, and convenient — especially with a hand-written note and personalized gift included. Who doesn’t like to be wooed a little bit?
So, why not to use a Christmas postcard as a part of your next outbound marketing campaign?
For example, this time last year, we received a box of cookies, and a hand-written postcard delivered right to our U.S. office. Even though we know all the tricks, it’s nearly impossible to resist the ego-boost that comes from a well-timed congratulatory gift. It wasn’t the cookies themselves that stole our hearts (ok, maybe just for a little. Ginger cookies are my favorite — just putting it out there). It was the fact that Elliott took the time to order them for us, find our address, write the postcard, and get it delivered just to get our attention.
And then they went full expert. They crafted a wonderful email that mentioned the cookies (kudos) without suggesting a quid pro quo (which would be bad taste).
The trick with direct mailing is that there is a thin line between being really nice and cute with your present and making your prospect feel uncomfortable and unsafe by delivering the package right to their doorstep, complicated by work from home policies.
So, if you decide to include direct mail into your outbound campaign, be wise when choosing how, what, and where to send.
Main takeaway: Give expecting in return, but be ready for the reward if the opportunity comes.
The Awareness Channel: Digital Advertising
Often considered an inbound generating channel, digital ad campaigns are often claimed too cost-heavy to justify running as an outbound strategy. Nonetheless, it’s still a very critical Go-to-Market channel for most businesses.
The truth is, this money can be used more effectively and judiciously if, during your next outbound campaign, you invest in pre-targeting ads on both social and programmatic display channels.
The key here again lies in the target lead list being used for campaign outreach. Imagine a way to create brand awareness for your cold contacts before they ever receive a cold call or email. Suddenly, your brand doesn’t look strange in their inbox or on the other line. You’ve now created a warm(er) lead, creating a sense of “where do I know this company from.” Now that you have them leaning in, a well-timed and punchy phone call or email will convert into a qualified meeting scheduled.
Pre-targeting is beneficial for both marketing and sales as it increases brand awareness, improves outbound prospecting, and helps to generate high-quality leads in a short space of time.
The Bonus Channel: Landing Pages
Usually, we wouldn’t include landing pages as a separate channel. But without it, the effect of an outbound sales campaign won’t be as strong. The benchmark conversion rate for landing pages is 2% — imagine!
This bonus channel basically means that for every new ICP of the outbound campaign, you would need to create a bespoke, persona-based landing page to which all other channels will feed. For example, if your business sells vendor management software into both eCommerce and fintech companies, then every email, call, direct mail, social media outreach should lead the prospect to a personalized landing page about your software, created specifically for each contact’s respective space.
Pro tip: With proper tracking set up, you’ll be able to see which visitors hit your landing pages and create additional cadences to target these prospects who show more intent but may need a little extra nudge to convert. (Super pro-tip: invest in a conversational marketing platform to spur action 24/7).
How to Orchestrate Outbound Campaigns?
As marketing channels grow and sophistication increases (and buyers become numb to things that worked yesteryear), it’s not enough to have just one or two channels included in your GTM campaign. You need all six of them at the same time, working simultaneously and in tandem, i.e., orchestrated.
Like a conductor pacing the music and organizing the melody from their band, the concept of outbound orchestration is the practice of timing and executing outbound marketing channels as a set of prearranged, precision-based plays, which together achieve the desired goal (setting qualified sales meetings).
Orchestrated outbound campaign implies that all these tactics work together, in accordance with the right timing and plan, one after another in harmony. Just as in an orchestra, the real enjoyment and goosebumps from the symphony come not when a single instrument plays alone, but instead when all sections are played in concert.
So stop ignoring those five outbound channels (and the web channel) we’ve talked about. Use them as your superpower to boost the effect from the inbound or simply check them as your new outbound strategies if you don’t have time to wait until the inbound starts working. To help you out doing the first steps, we’ve created an Orchestrated Outbound Checklist.
CIENCE knows that standing up and scaling multi-channel outbound campaigns can be time-intensive, resource-heavy, and cost-prohibitive. That’s why we provide a 10-day Go-To-Market SDR Team packages (includes everything in this checklist and more) to help businesses get more qualified meetings on their sales teams’ calendars. Click here to see how your business can grow with a bespoke orchestrated outbound campaign.