Different marketers swear by different recipes when cooking up outbound lead generation campaign strategies. Of course, that barely registers as news, since no two sales funnels are ever exactly alike, especially with today’s buyer-initiated paths to purchase. But while the specifics vary, the key ingredients pretty much tend to stay the same.
Today’s B2B buyers first reach out to a vendor only when they’ve already made it more than halfway (about 60% to 70% by some estimates) into the purchase process. Buyers spend a great deal of that time researching and learning about the solution on their own. When they finally talk to a vendor, they’re already close to making up their minds.
This shift in the purchase process places inbound marketing tactics (build it and they will come) as the default way to engage and nurture leads for most B2B marketers today. But, as Pardot explains, outbound channels can improve the targeting precision and accelerate results of inbound marketing initiatives. According to GetResponse, outbound helps inbound marketing with three main activities:
- Promoting and distributing content
- Building and cultivating relationships with your audience
- Reengaging stalled or inactive leads
While each of these new roles requires its own set of strategies for success, outbound lead generation campaign results largely depend on being able to combine the following eight components in the right way:
Emails provide one key advantage no other channel can offer: personalized touches at scale. That’s why emails remain the workhorse of lead generation, with more than half of marketers saying emails deliver the highest ROI through:
- Engaging and nurturing prospects through a mix of promotional and relational messages
- Using email activity for lead scoring
- Interacting with prospects at key points in the conversion funnel
2. Live Conversations
The role of outbound telemarketing, according to marketing attribution platform Bizible, now covers obtaining thorough prospect information and market intelligence. Successful outbound campaigns leverage telemarketing to uncover details (such as fit and purchase intent) directly from prospects in real-time. These insights can then be used to refine lead nurturing.
3. Social Media
Social media works well both as an inbound and outbound lead generation channel. It’s a great tool for reinforcing touch points made through other outbound platforms. Social’s outbound lead generation functions include:
- Warming up and nurturing prospects through social selling
- Promoting gated content through organic and paid media
- Driving interest and awareness through forums, groups, and communities
- Geo-targeted social search
- Collecting market intelligence through social listening
4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
As we’ve seen in a previous post, B2B marketers think that SEM or PPC is a great channel at capturing and engaging top-of-funnel leads. That’s because 90% of B2B buyers begin their purchase process with an Internet search. As a result, paid search and online ads can help you direct traffic to your campaign landing page.
5. Marketing Collaterals/Materials
Your outbound lead generation campaign needs a number of content pieces and marketing collaterals to bring the message to your target audience. These typically include:
- Email templates/copies
- Call scripts
- Case studies
- Landing page
6. Campaign List
The contact list makes or breaks an outbound lead generation campaign. It determines how many prospects you’ll reach as well as whether you’ll connect with the right people. To find out if your list is up to the task, make sure you work with a clean, up-to-date, and accurate campaign database.
7. Marketing Automation
A lot of outbound lead generation activities are best carried out through marketing automation. At the bare minimum, your marketing automation platform (MAP) should enable you to:
- Integrate the various channels used in your campaign
- Set customized actions based on specific triggers
- Personalize and segment prospect engagement
- Test, tweak, and track
- Collaborate across your team
8. Outbound Team
Whether you assign outbound lead generation to a one-person team or to an entire department, your team needs to meet the following key requirements:
- KPIs that not only measure, but drive results
- Incentive scheme that rewards team members for both volume and quality of leads
- Specialized skills in each outbound lead generation campaign area
- Alignment with overall marketing and business goals
- Training and learning opportunities
Conclusion: The modern outbound lead generation program consists of many moving parts. It takes the right combination of people, processes, and platforms to make the most out of outbound initiatives. At ContactDB, we provide all eight key ingredients for a successful outbound lead generation campaign—from the database, to the team that will plan and manage the entire campaign for you.