Outbound marketing is the use of ads to promote your site or sending out outbound marketing messages to millions of prospective customers per email lists. It is like cold calling in the hope that someone is interested and then trying to turn them into a customer.
Inbound marketing seeks to bring customer in. It pulls people in, hence the name, typically through quality content that presents your product or service as a solution to the need they have or the object they desire when they are searching for something they want. You must align your website or your content that doubles as ad copy with the customer’s interest in order to have inbound marketing, but that’s only the start.
The Inbound Marketing Funnel
Marketing ideally flows according to a funnel model. Your content creation or social publishing attracts the attention of brand new visitors. SEO positions your website in front of millions of searchers, most of whom are new. Good shareable content is an excellent way to do this. Blogs that are both shareable and search engine optimized can meet this criteria.
You then convert people from visitors to leads through forms, calls to action and landing pages. Landing pages should be tested to determine which landing pages have the highest conversion rate, while you can test both landing pages and SEO strategies with help from a digital marketing team. Then you know which search engine terms and landing pages work best in combination to bring qualified leads, which is more important than which SEO strategy yields the most unique visitors. This is sometimes called conversion rate optimization, where the page isn’t subject to SEO but tailored to turn visitors into customers.
You turn leads into customers through a streamlined purchasing process, email, and customer relationship management. You follow up with people who asked about your products with coupons and information on deals to entice them to buy. You send information on new products to those who bought previously and reward loyal customers with deals that entice them to buy again. Digital marketing efforts should present different websites to repeat customers than new visitors so that loyal customers have different incentives tailored to them.
Email marketing that periodically keeps prior purchasers engaged with the brand and markets new products to them is common, but done too often, and it becomes spam. Nor can your marketing effort rely on sending emails or texts to prior customers. You need to give surveys to current customers, and most importantly, those who stopped buying so that you can remain above your customers’ expectations. Smart content that is of interest to your customers available to them first can reward loyal customers while turning them into an extension of your social media marketing group. You must engage in social monitoring so that you know what your customers are saying about you, whether there are problems you need to address or unmet needs you could profit from by fulfilling.