As a business, there are countless ways you can advertise and monetise your business - it all depends on how you want to be viewed by the public and what works best for your brand. Certain digital marketing strategies suit business models that others can’t conduct.
However, with there being such a diverse way to present your email marketing strategy - this works for all businesses who know what they’re doing and how to take advantage of the tools provided.
A common question we face is whether email marketing is inbound or outbound marketing and giving you a grasp of how it works will assist you in your decision of how this can be utilised for your company.
The Key Differences Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Before we dive deeper into how inbound and outbound marketing are used as a tool for email marketing - you must be able to differentiate the two and how each can be utilised for your benefit within your strategy.
As you look at inbound marketing from a glance, understand that this is a traditionally organic form of marketing - it can often take longer to gain an audience. The assignment of an inbound email marketing campaign is to attract, engage, convert and retain customers on a case-by-case basis.
Outside of email marketing, blog posts, social media management, SEO (search engine optimisation), etc are essential steps to creating an effective inbound marketing plan.
For email marketing, on the other hand, most of the people who ‘opt-in’ to your email will come from your website (from the other inbound marketing methods stated above). From here, your email designs, email copy and eye-catching call-to-action will be the cornerstone of keeping your customers onboard and engaged.
Compared to outbound marketing, you can expect this marketing method to take longer in order to gain leads, but the quality of leads once you gain the attention of your target audience will be on another level.
Not only that but the price of inbound marketing will be much more affordable, as you will only need to pay for certain tools and paid advertising on social media here and there. Long-term quality leads are what inbound marketing aims for and that is something every business should be implementing.
Outbound marketing is considered as reaching out to prospects who haven’t engaged, subscribed to your email list or checked out your website before. It is known to be a more disruptive way of letting potential customers know who you are.
Although it may not sound ethical, if you’re clever in the way you market your product or service - many people will find an interest in it (if your advertisement, outbound emails, billboards, etc are not pushy).
The main difference between an inbound and outbound email marketing campaign is that inbound will only target specific audiences who engage with their content marketing on a frequent basis. Whereas, your audience will be unknown to a certain extent with outbound marketing.
Cold calls, cold emails, broad advertising, etc will be major practices of your outbound strategy and this can lead to you reaching an incredible amount of people - compared to inbound marketing.
You may see a bigger influx of customers, but you have to realise that a lot of these people will leave your business and unsubscribe because they weren’t warm leads in the first place. As for the cost of outbound marketing, you will be paying much more for advertising space, whether that be television ads, telemarketing and many more.
What Are Some Examples of Inbound and Outbound Email Marketing Strategies?
Now that you see a clear difference in marketing tactics, a clear diversification between the pairing is clear. Although you see a disparity in both, offering you examples of both forms of marketing and how they can be utilised in the email marketing space is vital.
Here are some examples of inbound marketing strategies and outbound marketing strategies that can be used within your email sequences, campaigns and flows:
Inbound Marketing Email Examples
If you’ve ever taken an interest in a specific company’s website, looked at their product and service and bought what they’re offering - chances are you went through their inbound marketing strategy.
Once you've purchased the item, if you’ve entered your email address, you will be receiving email campaigns immediately from that business. Some examples of inbound marketing emails you’ve probably seen before are:
- Welcome series emails (email you receive after buying a product or subscribing to emails)
- Brand identity email (explaining who they are - their mission)
- Notifying you about a new line of products (discounts or new items)
- Abandoned cart email sequence (when you’ve left items in your checkout)
- Back-in-stock emails (for best-sellers)
- Promotional emails
Conveying your products, ideas and news on the business through email marketing to interested customers is an essential part of inbound email marketing. Once you start to build a foundation of customers, these emails will be extremely beneficial for revenue numbers!
Outbound Marketing Email Examples
Receiving messages through the outbound marketing funnel will differ from inbound marketing efforts and will often land in your spam folder.
Although they’re seen as unwanted and people haven’t subscribed to see these emails, there are certainly some examples of outbound marketing that have worked for businesses and we’re going to walk you through examples of each type of email:
- Complimentary emails (sending emails to compliment the user and providing a clear solution to their problem with a CTA at the end).
- Eye-catching emails (starting the email with a fact or telling a story and leaving them with something they want to learn - this is where you’ll implement your CTA)
- ‘The Bridge’ (Telling your potential customer about their current problem and situation and how their reality could be changed with your solution)
Although there are further outbound marketing email marketing tactics you can use, these are the most common and ethical ways to persuade someone that they should invest with your company - whilst having no experience of knowing who you are.
Is Email Inbound or Outbound Marketing?
In theory, to answer the question ‘is email inbound or outbound marketing?’ - you can use both as a pair in email marketing to gain attention to your business and convert more customers. Therefore, both techniques are available for you to use, depending on what you think will work in your line of work.
Inbound marketing will be a long-term strategy that builds relationships through the customer's initial intrigue. Whereas, outbound marketing will be a more ‘sales-like’ approach of persuading the customer to purchase your product or service and forming new relationships with these people.
further in depth reading
This is a collection of articles that will provide you with more information about our FREE email marketing course.