In today’s business environment, expert marketers are forced to use a variety of methods to reach potential clients. Inbound marketing and outbound marketing are the two strategies of online email marketing, which are generally used. With the growing popularity of the internet, these terms are now linked to Permission Marketing (as named by Seth Godin, American entrepreneur, author and public speaker) and Interruption Marketing.
Inbound marketing focuses on being found by prospective clients, by offering useful information and content, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. This strategy has a long term benefit, and can also increase customer loyalty through personalized messages and specialized content.
With permission marketing, the consumer first gives permission to receive content. Permission can be explicit, i.e. applying for a catalogue or signing up for a newsletter or implicit, searching for a certain term on a search engine, as this shows a vested interest in the product. In the UK, a physical opt-in is required by the law, and implicit permission is not acceptable.
In a recent survey, yesmail.com has claimed that response rates to permission marketing are 5-20 %, mainly because these emails are not spam. They are relevant content delivered to the correct audience, personalized and genuinely interesting for the consumer.
Outbound marketing is the more expensive yet faster option. It involves spending money on cold calling and telemarketing, trade shows, print advertising, TV and radio advertising, direct mail and/or spam. Outbound marketers must be wary of expiration dates and rejections; the method is very impersonal, often reaches the wrong audience and has a low return on inversion (ROI).
While it has been claimed that interruption marketing produces a more scientific way to measure a company’s sales, it does involve various setbacks. In the current age, technology has advanced to a point where we have caller ID, spam filters and other such manners in which we can control who and what can access the various forms of communication we use, so material outbound marketers will often not even be seen or heard by prospective clients.
The cost of outbound marketing is a lot higher than those who use inbound marketing. To plan and attend a trade show in London, takes a lot more time, money and effort than sitting down and writing a blog for syndication.
Both methods of marketing have benefits and flaws. It seems that for any company to achieve the best results possible from any email marketing campaign, their marketing team should involve both