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What’s the difference between inbound and outbound leads?

In order to grow, businesses need a marketing strategy that nurtures leads and brings them to life.

If you’ve ever dabbled in gardening, you know that buying a packet of seeds is no guarantee that you’ll end up with a fruitful and blossoming garden.

Sure, those hundreds of tiny seeds all have the potential to grow and burst open with life, but as many gardeners know, having the seeds in your hand is only part of the equation.

It’s exactly the same with lead generation and marketing.

The key to growing your business and your number of customers and clients is leads. The problem with many businesses is that once they’ve got the leads, they don’t know what to do with them, and many leads fall away and amount to nothing.

Businesses need a marketing strategy that nurtures leads and brings them to life; one that understands the difference between inbound leads and outbound leads.

What are inbound leads?

The difference between inbound leads and outbound leads is their knowledge of and relationship with you.

Inbound leads are leads that come to you. These are people who visit your website, read your blog, download information sheets, or sign up for a trial. You might have gained them through social media, SEO activity, or online advertising.

Inbound leads have found you and they know you.

What are outbound leads?

Outbound leads are the leads that you’ve actively searched for and found yourself. Maybe you discovered them on social media; perhaps they are on a database you have access to; maybe they were at an event you attended. They don’t necessarily know you.

What inbound and outbound leads have in common is that they are leads you must now convert into customers or clients.

The big difference between them is that they are at different stages of the buying cycle, which includes phases of awareness, research, consideration, purchase, and retention.

This means the way you market to them will also be different.

What’s the difference between inbound and outbound leads?

Marketing to inbound leads vs outbound leads

In any marketing campaign, the focus needs to be on answering three questions: what is the problem? How can you solve it? Why are you the best company to fix it?

Inbound leads are already aware of having a problem and are looking for a solution. Now you need to tell them why they should choose you.

The personal touch is key here. You need to tell them about you – the story of your company, what it offers, what its values are.

Importantly, you need to know your competitors’ offer and establish a point of difference and superiority.

Focus on solving their problem. Explain how you will do it, and add an imperative as to why it should be solved now.

Outbound leads require a little more strategic massaging down the sales funnel. They might know they have a problem, but they’re not actively seeking a solution.

Simply telling people they have a problem that you can fix is rarely going to achieve results. As is blinding them with facts and figures.

Prospects respond more favourably to storytelling, real-life examples, and testimonials, all of which can be done through content marketing.

Content designed for inbound lead generation makes your brand more findable online, in search engines, and on social media platforms.

Content designed for outbound lead generation pushes the messages you want to send out to a target audience, even though they may not have asked for it or even think they want it.

The important aspect is that you want to ease them in gently. Focus on one issue and solution at first. Then in the next contact point expand upon it – and so on and so on.

As your relationship and trust deepens, you can start introducing time imperatives and more detailed solutions.

Incorporate lead generation into your marketing strategy

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne that can help brands and businesses with lead-generation campaigns through an effective marketing strategy.

To find out how we can help you create the right marketing mix, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.

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