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7 Outbound Lead Generation Strategies Your Business Needs

“Hey, we already have SEO and Content Marketing doing a great job. So thank you, we don’t need an outbound lead generation strategy!”

Oct 15, 2021 - By Skirmantas Venckus

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“Hey, we already have SEO and Content Marketing doing a great job. So thank you, we don’t need an outbound lead generation strategy!”

the_office_joke

You are correct in saying that. We get it. Lead generation is hard enough. Now outbound lead generation? Good Lord! 

Well, try these scenarios: 

  • If your business needs a specific type of lead, can you get it? E.g., high ticket clients in a particular niche
  • Your business’s survival depends upon getting 100 leads a month. Can your inbound lead generation process guarantee that?
  • You need a lead now. Can you get it?

Outbound lead generation is the best way to solve these problems, whether you are looking to get B2C prospects or B2B leads. Let’s take a deep dive.

What is Lead Generation? Why Do We Need It?

A lead is any prospect who might be interested in the product or service you are trying to sell. 

Lead generation is the simple process of attracting such interested prospects who have the potential to be nurtured into potential customers.

But you don’t just want random leads. You want qualified prospects. Therefore qualified lead generation is the need of the hour.

Every business runs on the sales it makes. Lead generation provides an uninterrupted line of prospects who can be converted to customers, thereby generating revenue.

Types of Lead Generation

Lead generation is classified to be of 2 types:

  1. Inbound – the prospect comes asking for your brand
  2. Outbound – here you go prospecting and asking potential customers if they’d like to buy your product.

Inbound lead generation is a long-term process where the customer finds you through your website, blog, social media, or other digital channels. 

You get prospects who are more likely to convert because they came seeking you out first, and they have also likely spent some time with your brand and its communication already.

Outbound is where you take matters into your own hands. You reach out to specific customers that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and ask them if your product or service can help them.  

In Inbound, you do the right things (SEO, Content marketing, etc.) and wait and hope for things to happen. 

While in Outbound, you make them happen.

inbound_vs_outbound

Buyer Persona vs Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

A Buyer Persona is a personification of your ideal customer. It is a document that helps you understand who likely needs your product or service.

E.g., age, Job Title, demographics, psychographics, etc.

Whereas an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) tells you more about the company or industry your target audience belongs to. 

E.g., company size, industry (niche), revenue, etc.

A Buyer Persona is generally used for B2B and B2C use cases, while an ICP is typically used only for B2B leads.

While a buyer persona is mainly used for Inbound and Outbound, an Ideal Customer Profile (or ICP) targets prospective customers using the Outbound route.

Buyer_Persona_Ideal_Customer_Profile

Outbound Lead Generation Strategies

Several outbound demand generation strategies still work in 2021. Let’s look at some of the very best!

Linkedin

Why LinkedIn?

Because LinkedIn is used by top executives at all Fortune 500 companies. A recent survey of business executives also found that 76% of them use LinkedIn daily.

b2b_marketers_linkedin_facebook

While it is mostly the B2B marketers who prefer LinkedIn for their marketing efforts, B2C segments (e.g., hiring) can also use it effectively to generate leads that convert.

linkedin_stats

Source: Hootsuite

Now, what type of outbound lead generation strategies can we run over LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Ads

The best way to get in front of your target audience on any social media platform, of course, would be to bulldoze your way through money.

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Example of a LinkedIn Image Ad for Lead Generation
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Example of a Lead Generation Form used to Qualify Prospects
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Example of a LinkedIn Video Ad

LinkedIn Cold Outreach Approach

Although more effectively and expansively done using either a LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator account, a FREE account works great.

linkedin_search_example

It gives you great options to filter out your prospects by Job Title, Company, Industry, Location, Degree of Connections, and more.  

It gives you great options to filter out your prospects by Job Title, Company, Industry, Location, Degree of Connections, and more.  

Once you have identified these prospects inside of LinkedIn, you need to send them Connection Requests from a highly optimized LinkedIn personal profile only.

Then, you can start conversing with them over a pre-written, ready sequence of DM (direct messages). 

The objective here is NOT to affect a sale. Instead, bring them to the next possible step in the funnel. 

E.g., they didn’t know there was a ready solution to the problem they’d been worrying about.

Ideally, you’d want them to get onto a 121 phone or video call with your team to see how best you can help them.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads work beautifully for most niches. And even where they don’t, it is faster to find this out at much lower costs than other social media platforms.

Facebook ads can be designed to satisfy one of many outcomes desired by businesses. 

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For outbound lead generation, we go with “Lead Generation” or “Conversion” type ads.

Facebook ads help you include your ad creatives in several ways. E.g. Carousel, Image, Video, etc.

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Twitter Ads

When compared to Facebook, Twitter has a much smaller user base. So it may be tempting to ignore them completely.

You might be correct, but it is never that simple. There are several pros and cons that you should consider:

  1. Twitter impressions and clicks come cheaper because of lesser competition. It varies depending on the niche.
  2. You are simply advertising to a different audience. According to Hootsuite, 42% of Twitter users from the US have a college degree, while over 41% have reported an income of over $75,000.
  3. Audience targeting is possible with various variables, including Geography, Gender, Device, Behaviors, Languages, and more.
  4. Poor conversion tracking – reporting is not as immediate or as advanced as offered by Facebook. 
  5. Ads interface can be challenging to navigate for newcomers. 

Overall you can run many types of ads on Twitter. For e.g. to promote a Tweet (for reach) or your account (more Follows).

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Example of a Twitter Ad
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Another Example of a Twitter Ad

Also read: Lead Generation Through Social Media

Google Ads for Lead Generation

While most businesses fear the “expensive” leads that come through from Google ads lead generation campaigns, it is undeniable that their quality is unmatched!

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Examples of Google Search Ads

The primary benefit of Google ads is that they target prospects who are already “warm” or ready to buy. They are already looking for the solution you offer. You simply have to appear in front of them before anyone else does.

The average cost per lead is high for search advertising compared to Facebook ads or most other advertising platforms. But the leads generated have higher intent, thereby increasing the probability that they will convert better.

Types of Google ads:

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The primary, go-to ad types remain the following: 

  • Search – Text ads when the user executes a google search with a keyword
  • Display – Image ads on 3rd party partner websites or inside Gmail
  • Video – Video ads on YouTube
  • Shopping – Displaying Product listings on Google

Lead Generation Using Call Centers

Lead generation over calls can be handled as a dedicated function inside your organization. Alternatively, you may want to outsource this function to a third party specializing in outbound lead generation.

These outbound lead generation call centres could involve any or all of the below functions:

  1. Lead generation – using cold calling and prospecting lists
  2. Lead qualification
  3. Appointment setting
  4. Telesales – handling the sales aspect over the phone

Generating leads through an internal call center can be very difficult. Technology, trained human resources, data privacy, & compliance-related matters issues can be serious deterrents.

Some best practices for outbound call center lead generation activities:

  • Personalized – Use tools such as CRM to ensure a highly personalized experience for the leads being called.
  • Training & Ongoing Support – Agents making those outbound calls need to be thoroughly trained on all aspects of the project they happen to be handling. 
  • Tracking Metrics – Track the right metrics to see if your outbound campaign is headed in the correct direction. Better still, set incentives based on the right numbers.

Cold Calling

Cold calling is far from dead. As a matter of fact, for some niches such as real estate, it’s hotter than ever in 2021.

Digest this: Organizations that did not engage in cold calling experienced 42% less growth than businesses that did. 

It’s simple. Pick up the phone and call up your prospect. 

Mind you that certain types of prospects would be quick wins, so maybe you want to make sure you call them first and set the tone for the day!

Now, what do you need to make Cold calling a success? Very little.

  • CRM software to maintain a database of all leads and record your conversations’ progress with them.
  • Automated dialer software is needed to dial out the phone numbers. It also automatically checks numbers against the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry before dialing out.
  • An excellent opening script that is personalized to the hilt. 

Keep your cold calling process simple, compliant, change what doesn’t work, and stick to what does.

Leads Nurturing for Outbound Leads

  • Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads (by Hubspot research).
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more ready-to-buy leads at 33% lower cost (by Forrester Research).
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (by The Annuitas Group research)

It is almost a given that you want to nurture the hell out of these leads generated from expensive outbound activities.

One of the cheapest yet high-converting ways to nurture is to get them inside your email autoresponder to get them reading targeted content that matures them from casual visitors into ready buyers.

Sender is a feature-rich email marketing tool that does this just right while being simple to operate. 

It not only offers a customizable autoresponder to send out hyper-relevant personalized, automated emails sequences to customer segments, but it also has great subscriber management functions that can meet your outbound leads management needs.

Here’s an example of how automation sequence looks and operates.

automated_drip_campaign_example

The generous FREE plan featuring up to 2,500 subscribers and 15,000 emails monthly is all a small business probably needs to get quickly started at zero cost while providing all top-tier features, including automation.

Also read: MUST-DO Lead Scoring Practices with Examples

Outbound Lead Generation Methods Overview

A variety of other outbound lead generation methods exist:

  • Cold email outreach
  • Sponsoring or Hosting Industry Events 
  • Sponsoring Booths at Trade shows
  • Creating an Approved Affiliate Partner list
  • Advertising on Radio, TV, Billboards, and Newspapers
  • And even Direct mail!

Outbound lead generation is resource-intensive in the sense you need to commit action first. But it also gives you leads immediately.

“Too many leads” – said no business ever. 

Outbound lead generation strategies, when executed correctly, can ensure a constant supply of leads to your business funnel. 

Also read:

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