If you can run an ad, you can run an outbound email campaign.

Outbound and direct B2B marketing has experienced a resurgence.

New outbound email technology, in particular, has made lead generation, cold email targeting, and message testing practical for marketers. What makes email different than other outbound channels is its cost-effectiveness, versatility, and scalability.

In this whiteboard video, Lena Shaw, Director of Marketing and Growth at LeadGenius, demonstrates how outbound email campaigns can be used by marketing teams to accelerate lead velocity at all stages of the funnel.

 

 

Before marketing automation and email nurturing, there was direct mail. A traditional direct mail strategy looked something like this:

  1. Buy a static list of contacts
  2. Create a fancy marketing message
  3. Blast it out to a loosely targeted category list – once
  4. Wait and see if sales goes up

That’s a simplification, but not by much.

 

traditional b2b marketing

 

Each step in the old direct mail process contains an assumption. For modern, data-driven B2B marketers, each of these assumptions is unacceptable on its own. These assumptions combined send that same marketer running for the hills.

Assumptions and hurdles in the traditional outbound process include,

  1. The list contains a sufficient percentage of qualified accounts and buyers within the category
  2. Contact information is accurate
  3. A message sent to a shared inbox is routed to the right individual
  4. There is a limited, single-step feedback loop between seller and buyer
  5. Inability to sufficiently track the preceding steps to inform message iterations or prove ROI

Compounding assumptions are just a few of the (legitimate) reasons outbound historically gets a bad rap.

People have called outbound old, ineffective, slow, low-quality, etc., but those are really critiques of a channel and available technology, not of the efficacy of the strategy itself.

At the end of the day, outbound and direct email are simply about communicating in a 1:1 format with a prospect.

Salespeople have always done this on individual prospect level. Marketers are now following suit, because technology – especially automated email sequences – enables this form of communication at scale, in a variety of contexts.

Technology eliminates the aforementioned assumptions and makes outbound email a key component in the modern marketing stack.

 

New(er) B2B

 

You may be thinking, “great, but how do I get started with direct email?”

In the whiteboard video above, Lena Shaw discusses how to integrate this tactic with your current lead generation strategy to increase velocity at each stage of the funnel.

At LeadGenius we use direct email at several points in the buying journey:

  • Top – Engage qualified leads at the top of the funnel
  • Middle – Retarget and nurture prospects with targeted content
  • Bottom – Convert leads to opportunities

Content plays a key role throughout.

Targeted content enables you to cut through the noise, demonstrate value, and get noticed. The blog posts, videos, and webinars that you’re already creating for your inbound strategy can be repurposed to power your outbound efforts. The same piece of content can be used in multiple contexts.

When we launch a campaign at LeadGenius, we generally use a high-value piece of content to help propel that campaign. For example, an archived webinar campaign will these elements:

  1. A landing page
  2. Nurturing email workflows
  3. CTAs
  4. Display ads (for retargeting)
  5. Social copy
  6. Outbound email

The inbound part of this process takes time to work. Even when you do everything right, it still takes time.

It is the outbound component of this campaign – putting content directly in the inboxes of qualified prospects, and starting a conversation – that adds consistency to your pipeline. Consistency is valuable for estimating content ROI and making lead projections.

In addition to creating the right message for a buyer persona, you also want to make sure your email addresses the customer at the corresponding stage of their buying journey.

 

Outbound funnel whiteboard

 

By using direct email in your marketing mix, you’re your way to drastically upping your B2B marketing game by actually doing the same thing as before; just bigger, faster, better.

If you can run an ad, you can run an outbound email campaign.