• August 12, 2021

What is outbound marketing and how does it work?

Publicizing a new product or service is one of the main objectives of any business.

However, with so many different forms of communication available, companies are often faced with the dilemma of choosing the right communication channels.

Marketers have been trying to understand the most efficient forms of business communication for a while now, and with new methods emerging periodically, the debate isn’t about to end anytime soon.

However, regardless of all the new forms of communication that have emerged due to technology, companies often turn to proven forms of communication.

These methods have been around for years and have traditionally led to great growth and exposure for businesses. These traditional forms of marketing are often part of outbound marketing.

In this article, we will talk about the meaning of outbound marketing, its importance, and how it is executed in the real world. Ready for some marketing knowledge? Go!

What is outbound marketing? (Definition)

Outbound marketing refers to the traditional forms of marketing efforts that your company initiates. It involves starting the conversation and messaging potential customers.

Examples of outbound marketing are television commercials, billboard advertising, trade shows, emails to consumer purchased lists, cold calling, and telemarketing.

So it involves the business reaching out to potential customers to see if they might be interested in what your business has to offer.

This is the opposite of inbound marketing, which involves customers looking for information about your product or service and then contacting you in one way or another.

In the next section, let’s take a look at why traditional forms of outbound marketing are still important and relevant in the 21st century.

The importance of outbound marketing

Using outbound marketing as one of your marketing communication strategies has many benefits:

1. Mass oriented

Most outbound marketing channels, such as television and radio spots, billboards, and brochures, are geared towards the masses. They don’t target a particular market segment based on demographics, etc.

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Therefore, outbound marketing can be used to reach people of different age groups, genders, preferences, tastes, and personalities.

Since you can reach such a wide variety of audiences, it is very likely that someone will identify with what you have to offer and may search or buy your product.

Additionally, outbound marketing will improve your overall brand awareness as more people will be exposed to your product. Since more people know about it, they are also more likely to talk about it with their friends and family.

Read more: Marketing psychology: 9 strategies to attract customers!

2. Easy to implement

Compared to inbound marketing, outbound is much easier to implement as it generally requires less work and time.

While more expensive in the long run, outbound marketing is easier to get started, while inbound marketing techniques like content marketing require consistent and dedicated efforts, often without initial tangible results.

Outbound marketing ensures a certain level of brand awareness and exposure, while inbound marketing takes time to reach the same level of exposure.

3. Emotional appeal

One of the main reasons traditional marketing methods work so well is because they resonate with consumers’ emotions. Most of these outbound marketing channels have visual cues that are delivered to the customer.

Humans are visual creatures who tend to respond emotionally and more seriously to visual information. Therefore, outbound marketing is a great way to engage customers with your communication efforts and for the growth of your business.

Four. Rare negative chain reactions

Outbound marketing is a one-way marketing tool, where only you can communicate with your customer and they cannot give you direct feedback. Likewise, unless you make the effort to discuss your ads with your friends, there is no way that negative reception of your ads can be passed from one person to another.

It is possible, but requires more effort on the customer’s part, as there is no direct way to share or comment on your ad with the world. So if your outbound marketing tool doesn’t resonate with them, there’s less chance of them talking about it. They will probably just ignore it and get on with their busy lives!

5. Easier to target the older age group

Yes, we said that outbound marketing targets a wide range of audiences, but it also helps to reach older age group segments in a more efficient way.

In the past 10 years, younger generations, such as millennials and Generation Z, have moved away from watching television, reading newspapers, or paying attention to commercials. They have committed to compulsively watching Netflix, consuming social media content, and searching the internet for answers to their questions. Therefore, outbound marketing doesn’t work as well with them.

On the other hand, the older generation still watches more television, reads newspapers, and is more likely to be receptive to flyers and print media. So while inbound marketing would be more appropriate for younger generations, outbound marketing helps target populations within the baby boomers and Gen X categories.

Now that you’ve understood why outbound marketing can be so helpful, let’s get to the heart of this article by learning how it works and how you can start implementing it today!

How does outbound marketing work? Different channels!

In outbound marketing, the consumer doesn’t go out of his way to understand your product or service; you must contact them. There are several marketing channels that can be used for outbound marketing:

1. TV commercials

This outbound marketing tool possibly has the biggest impact. Since it covers the entire screen and doesn’t fight for screen space, it gets the most engagement.

Television commercials also allow you to reach large numbers of people, especially if it is advertised during major events like the Super Bowl or any other sports finale. While this can be an expensive option, it guarantees millions of eyes on your product and can generate high brand awareness and sales.

Historically, it also has a decent return on investment. Statistics have shown that television commercials can have up to 400% return on investment.

Having said that, most people who watch TV don’t like commercials. Not only is any ad viewed in a negative light because it interrupts what they were watching, but many people simply mute the television or do some other work during ad breaks.

So keep in mind the channel and shows you want your ad to appear on, as this can make a big difference to the effectiveness of your ad.

Read more: Marketing strategies to take your business to the next level

2. Announcements

Radio ads are less effective because they are auditory and not visual in any way. However, they definitely have advantages. Brands and organizations can get a lot of exposure through radio advertising.

Also, radio commercials are easier to do as they are audio only, and it is a much more affordable option compared to TV commercials.

3. Billboard ads

These ads are strategically placed on busy roads and also near major tourist spots that can increase your exposure. They are great for local businesses and can be effective in taking customers elsewhere.

In addition, these ads run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and most importantly, customers do not need to pay anything to see them, as in the case of television (cable) or newspapers.

Four. Flyers and brochures

These are small pages with information about your company and the benefits of your product. This form of outbound marketing is very useful for local small and medium-sized businesses.

Tangible information sent to others allows you to show your dedication to your business. This especially resonates with the older generation who are used to receiving and reading emails for a long time.

5. Paid email marketing

Many companies buy email lists from other companies, who have some knowledge about the interests of customers in the niche. When you buy email lists and then send them information about your products, it is a form of outbound marketing.

Note that this is very different from ‘opt-in’ email notification, which is a form of inbound marketing. This is a quick way to reach customers who have an interest in your industry, but it is often considered unprofessional and spammy.

6. Cold calls

Like paid email marketing lists, cold calling is also a bit fraudulent and looked down upon.

It involves calling people from previously obtained number lists, which may be out of date and invade privacy. Be prepared to face a lot of us if you use this tool.

However, if you’re lucky, you can get some people to listen to you and they may end up resonating with what you have to offer.

7. Fairs

One of the most organic forms of outbound marketing, your industry trade shows allow you to showcase your product to people who are in or interested in the same industry.

Trade shows provide you with a genuine opportunity to reach people who may like your product and therefore will consider purchasing it. However, they can be time consuming and require a great deal of effort, with no real money-back guarantee.


Outbound marketing is the oldest and most traditional form of marketing.

Since it has been around for so long, it resonates well with customers and especially with older generations. It has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.

With that said, it is important to have a balanced marketing strategy that has a mix of inbound and outbound marketing. Having a balanced strategy will help you take your business to the heights.

Read more:

A Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing

6 Ridiculously Simple Email Marketing Tips For Content Marketers!

Referral Marketing – Everything You Need To Know About It!

Cross promotion: definition, benefits, tips and ideas.

15 Smart Marketing Tactics You Need To Know!

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