Digital marketing has adopted a very passive personality in the past few years.
The Internet created a communication channel between a virtually infinite number of people but most of us limit ourselves to hanging up a big sign and waiting for them to come to us.
This makes some sense, though, especially for low-ticket products and services. We cannot simply go out there and try to talk with everyone who may benefit from what we offer. The cost would be too high.
More proactive approaches to doing business online seem to be exclusive to high-ticket companies where a single sale can represent thousands of dollars in revenue at massive margins.
The rest ends up producing content in a reasonable bet to attract our ideal customer in mass numbers. Also known as inbound marketing, this approach has proven useful and effective when done right.
Unfortunately, there has been some confusion and even misdirection from marketing specialists. Inbound is no replacement for outbound. Yet, this pitch is easy to find online.
Self-appointed gurus (awful term) on LinkedIn propose inbound marketing as the definitive growth strategy. What is worse, they actively antagonize outreach activities. Reaching out directly to someone who doesn’t know you? Insane, they claim.
While a strong marketing game is essential to your business’ sustainable and consistent growth, outbound activities have no substitute. Nothing can replace researching interesting business opportunities and reaching out to them. Hitting the inbox. Picking up the phone. These “old school” ways to operate remain unchallenged when we study objective business success.
Cold outreach, or the act of personally reaching out to people who probably don’t know our business, must be a primary component of your business strategy.
If your company is big, you probably have the resources to build a strong sales team and push forward.
If your company is small, your resources are most likely limited, forcing creativity to be exercised.
Either way, marketing operates parallelly to outreach activities, not as a substitute. Marketing creates and nurtures the brand and channels that later support the sales team’s efforts to establish a relationship and close deals.
Your business strategy should include cold outreach in the form of emails, at the very least. The right way to go is to generate a strong, dynamic database of quality leads that can be used by the person in charge of reaching out.
Every single workday, this professional must reach out to a few dozen leads with strictly personalized messages (beware of soulless automation), follow up with previous contacts, review past performance, and continue to nurture the database with new leads.
No one, especially small businesses that are in their early months, can’t afford to spend all their efforts on
passive inbound marketing. Cold outreach via email is a highly affordable and effective way to get the ball rolling. Good marketing will support the process and multiply results.