Continuing with the analysis of the most outstanding presentations of all our Inbound Leaders events, this time I bring you the talk of the talk “Growth hacking and outbound marketing techniques” , a presentation of the Inbound Leaders 2018 edition whose theme will remain in force for a long time, as it is based on how to attract customers quite cheaply and quickly.
While it is true that the techniques explained below are the opposite extreme to inbound marketing, it is also true that they are still effective depending on the result we seek.
First things first: what are growth hacking and outbound marketing?
On the one hand, growth hacking or “growth hacking” refers to all those marketing techniques that seek to attract the largest number of customers in the shortest time and at the lowest possible cost.
Growth hacking was born with the boom of start-ups in the United States, those small technology startups that did not have enough budget to invest in marketing and that, therefore, needed to explosively and economically accelerate their penetration into the market to start to generate profits and increase your customer or user databases.
Thanks to growth hacking techniques, start-ups like Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Dropbox, among others, have become what they are today. In fact, most of these large corporations continue to implement growth hacking techniques in one way or another.
In this context, the growth hacker (specialist in growth hacking) is a simile of the computer hacker, hence the origin of the name. While the computer hacker is enthusiastic in identifying vulnerabilities in software to break into them and thus propose improvements in the systems, for his part, the growth hacker is enthusiastic in identifying vulnerabilities (needs, desires, habits …) in the market and design creative methods to break into it and reach potential customers quickly and directly, skipping almost all the typical stages of traditional marketing and inbound marketing that aim for the long term.
On the other hand, outbound marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing, and to understand its concept, the difference between the two strategies must first be highlighted.
The inbound marketing is known as the “attraction marketing” as it seeks to attract potential customers to the brand through valuable content to call their attention. In contrast, outbound marketing is known as “interruption marketing”, since it seeks to interrupt the customer at any place, time or context to directly deliver valuable content or promotional content of the brand. This is done mainly through advertising techniques, cold calling or cold emailing.
In this sense, while with inbound marketing the customer is expected to reach the brand, with outbound marketing it is the brand that reaches the customer directly.
But … and where is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing, in the long term, is one of the cheapest ways to attract customers, but also one of the slowest. The results of this strategy are projected in the medium and long term, although they tend to be very good results. For example, according to the Inbound Marketing 2020 Study that we have carried out from JezNorthWeb, there are projects in which there has been a growth in web traffic of up to 48x in 18 months .
Given this scenario, beyond the effectiveness of inbound marketing, it is also important to have the efficiency of outbound marketing. With inbound, it is difficult to “get started” in projects, although you can have an online inbound advertising strategy that helps accelerate results in the first months.
On the other hand, with outbound, the start can be immediate: you collect a list of email addresses, send a mass email and get results instantly. Right at that moment you can see if someone is interested in your product or service or not. This is growth hacking outright!
However, for the cold emailing technique to work, outbound marketing must borrow from inbound marketing a fundamental maxim: the most important thing is the generation of customer value. Otherwise, you will be sending spam .
Therefore, you must ask yourself: is my product amazing? Does my product really bring a benefit to people? If the answer is “yes” then you can send them your product.
From this perspective, by sending cold emails you will not be generating spam, since the messages you send will not be “spam”. On the contrary, they will be “emails that are desired”, only that people still do not know that they are willing to receive this type of email, which will provide them with a hitherto unknown solution to any of their problems.
Your goal, through outbound marketing, is to make your solution stop being unknown. However, your outbound techniques must be influenced by inbound marketing.
That is, they are based on the generation of customer value instead of being based on the typical and annoying promotional content, focused only on selling, selling and selling. This type of outbound marketing focused on the brand and not on the customers is ineffective, ineffective and inefficient.
On the other hand, inbound and outbound marketing strategies are not mutually exclusive . Both can be used together. For example, it is normal for a project to run SEO (inbound marketing) campaigns and SEM (outbound marketing) campaigns at the same time.
6 growth hacking and outbound marketing techniques
When executing a growth hacking or outbound marketing strategy, the two most critical aspects to consider are value generation and rigorous segmentation.
Both depend on each other, because what for someone may be valuable content, for many other people may be irrelevant and annoying. Therefore, you need to send the right ( valuable ) message to the right ( targeted ) people.
Being aware of these two fundamentals, let’s see below some of the techniques that Gerard Compte explained in his presentation and that are not only related to cold emailing but also to other accelerated growth actions.
Hack # 1: write to the speakers and exhibitors of the fairs
Knowing and being in contact with people in our sector who could bring some benefit to the company, either through alliances or knowledge transfer, is an excellent way to seek growth. But then the question arises: where can we get these kinds of people?
The answer is simple: at fairs and events . However, it is not enough to network with other participants in these activities. You have to go to the next level! Network must be hacked!
To achieve this, search the event web pages for the names and contact details of the speakers and exhibitors. Send them an email and invite them to have a coffee during those same days that the activity lasts.
“People who, a few years ago I was following, now we are colleagues thanks to sending them emails … And if it has worked for me, it will surely work for you.”Gerard Compte.
Hack # 2: recycle the contacts you already have
We can all start a cold emailing campaign right away. While it is true that it is necessary to have a database of emails, it is also true that we all already have an initial database with emails from our friends, family, colleagues, colleagues, teachers, students, etc.
These mailing lists are quite heterogeneous and not very functional to attract real customers. However, the truth is that they are very useful to start asking for feedback on our product or service.
In a friendly tone, write to all your contacts and ask them what they think about your project and if they think you should add, remove or modify something. This is a 100% free and immediate way to validate the market and the viability of what you offer.
Hack # 3: actively listen to your customers
If your project is already generating a flow of customers, you need to find out as directly as possible what they think about the product.
For example, in the case of FindThatLead, as a company, the platform developers maintain direct communication with customers. Thus, product creators can better understand how the product changes the lives of its users . Based on that understanding, decisions are made to improve it and, by improving it, its acceptance in the market increases exponentially and rapidly.
This is a good way to do market research without spending money, time, or effort.
When we understand the benefit of our products, that’s when our company takes off.”Gerard Compte
Hack # 4: send optimized emails
The cold emailing technique must be executed with great care to guarantee its success and avoid creating spam or unwanted emails. That is, you must make an email that you would like to receive yourself. To achieve this, Gerard gives us the following recommendations:
- The “subject” of the email should be as short as possible and immediately convey the intent of the message. For example: “Shall we have a coffee?”, “When can we see each other? Or” Can I call you in 5 minutes?
- Regarding the body of the email, the following is recommended:
- Right after the greeting, write something flattering about your potential client’s work . For example: “Gerard, I loved your presentation at the Inbound Leaders event and I have learned a lot from it.”
- After connecting emotionally with the recipient, be punctual with your value proposition and what you expect from the person . For example: “I help companies create lead databases and send mass emails, can we have a coffee today?”
- As for the “signature”, at the end of the body, it is important that instead of placing your job title (CEO of…, CMO of…, etc.) you better place something that identifies your passion for what you do. For example: “Gerard Compte. Growth hacker lover ”. Additionally, your contact information is essential.
- Finally, after signing, you have to place your best clients . This element inspires confidence and professionalism. If you haven’t had clients yet, then make a deal with someone you know who owns a business. You do a job for him and that way you can place him as a client.
As the idea is to send mass emails making them seem as personalized as possible, Gerard recommends another series of very specific hacks:
- Make a specific presentation for each contact list that you have segmented. For example, if you sell sports shoes and you have an email list of soccer players and another of basketball players, you should send each list a different message, adapted to each sport in particular.
- When sending the email, take a selfie and insert it in the message. The more natural the photo, the better. The objective is to create a friendly atmosphere between you and the recipient, making them feel that it is an informal conversation and, above all, personal. In this way, you are eliminating all traces that make the email look massive.
By following all the previous steps and using an email marketing tool with which you can configure custom fields, you will be able to send thousands of emails at the same time and they will all seem super personalized. Thanks to this, you will get quite high opening and response rates at a very low cost.
Hack # 5: take a 360 ° boarding
Once you send the mass and personalized emails, you can take those contact databases and import them to Google and Facebook, and display there advertisements that redirect to a landing page with their respective tracking cookies configured, to also run remarketing campaigns . In this way, you create an audience that you can reach in multiple ways and at different times.
Additionally, and in later stages, you can hire a call center to call those same people. With all this, you would be making a 360-degree approach that makes your potential clients feel that your product or service is the most suitable to satisfy their needs.
Hack # 6: use Facebook and Instagram boldly
Linked to the previous point, when a person is sent a cold email and then a direct message on Facebook, the response rate is much higher on average . Therefore, the issue of social networks should be exploited to the maximum in outbound marketing campaigns. To do this, Gerard gives us a series of tricks that are especially useful in B2B strategies:
- If you have a very important potential client , not only add that person as a “friend” on your Facebook profile, but also their family and friends. This means that between you and that potential client there are much stronger (virtual) social ties, thus increasing the confidence, motivation and the impulse of the person to respond to you. And of course you need to make sure that your profile is as professional as possible.
- The engagement obtained with Facebook groups is quite high, since they are audiences that closely share the same hobby. Therefore, it is recommended that you create a Facebook group around the main theme of your business. And to start generating audience to the group you can perform the following actions:
- Invite everyone you have as friends (which can be a maximum of 5,000)
- Look for groups similar to yours, that is, that share the same theme, and send them the friend request and then the invitation to the group.
- Take the invitation from your Facebook group that you send yourself, and then do a bulk send with that same invitation.
- It is also important to add your potential clients to your Instagram social circle. In doing so, keep an eye on their content and identify what other themes are in common between you and them. By identifying them, design a creative strategy that allows you to better connect and interact with your potential clients through those particular themes. For example, Gerard tells us that thanks to the Instagram stories he realized that many of his potential clients were artists (just like him). Then he created the Startup & Art Barcelona event , which helped him to physically bring together the people who interested him.
Finally, if you want to delve into these techniques described in the article and others explained by Gerard , access the full recording of the presentation in this Udemy content. This is our way of sending you online the knowledge and expertise of the speakers of the different editions of the Inbound Leaders event, whose talks always address current issues and remain valid over time. However, we can assure you that attending the event is always much better than watching it online.
If you have any questions about growth hacking and outbound marketing techniques, or about the event , I encourage you to leave them in the comments section to be able to solve them.
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