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Improving Your Outbound Marketing (With Inbound Marketing)

Let’s start off with the great email debate: is email marketing outbound or inbound? The answer… it depends. The fact is, both categories of email marketing play important roles in targeting new customers that convert to sales. According to Campaign Manager, email marketing produces 174% more conversions than social media, and 60% of customers say they purchased something because of an email. But only 20% say they purchased from a social media post.

Did you know that using one of these strategies to support the other is really where the magic takes place?

improving emails on laptop

What is Outbound Marketing?

When it comes to emails, outbound marketing casts a wide net by sending unsolicited messages to people who haven’t contacted you or shown interest in a product or service. For example, a company breaks down the demographics of their current clients and creates a profile to send bulk emails to people with similar interests.

The advantage of this strategy is a less expensive and time-consuming outreach campaign. You’re also reaching more people in a shorter time. However, there are common (and costly) drawbacks to this method when you’re not combining it with inbound email marketing strategies. 

email outbound marketing illustration

Here are three:

  • Unsolicited versus opt-in. Sending emails to people who didn’t opt in leads to significant unsubscribes and potential abuse reports, which puts your inbound marketing in jeopardy of the feared spam folder.
  • Bulk email sends. Sending large batches of unsolicited emails makes email giants like Gmail and Outlook suspicious, raising the potential of tossing your current and future email campaigns into the spam folder abyss.
  • Purchasing email lists from unverified sources. Unverified means unqualified. When you send masses of unqualified emails out, expect low engagement rates and high unsubscribes—not a winning combo.

What is Inbound Marketing?

In the email marketing world, inbound marketing means building an opt-in list of current and potential customers who have shown interest and receptivity to your targeted marketing efforts.

For example, when you curate information for inbound marketing, it provides value and engagement and leads to opting into your email list! Things like blogs, social media posts, and different content channels provide relevant content to the end user. Once that content is delivered and trust is built, opt-ins to your email list become a much easier sell.

How Inbound Marketing Ups Your Outbound Marketing Game 

Building an email list organically using inbound marketing provides the opportunity to follow up with targeted outbound promotional efforts that maximize awareness and interest. For example, an outdoor adventure company has worked hard at growing their email list organically through painstaking effort to produce relevant content and outreach initiatives.

At the same time, the goal of the outdoor company is to sell out their adventure tours. A masterful way of handling this is to send unsolicited, or outbound, email marketing campaigns to these opt-in email lists created from inbound email marketing efforts. Ta-da! A sold-out season is secured.

tossing email paper airplane out window symbolizing outbound email marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your Outbound Marketing Game

  1. Ham it up—don’t spam it up. Personalize your email message with thoughtful and relevant content that doesn’t scream “junk mail.”
  2. Create content that matters. If you know your customers, you know what information they need and want. And this goes for your outbound marketing efforts as well. But if you cast a wide net, it makes it tough to land in inboxes instead of junk. For example, produce engaging content and interesting information for your specific demographic.
  3. Introduce your opt-in subscribers to new stuff. This is a given… and the secret to getting your inbound email marketing to work strategically for your outbound marketing efforts. 
  4. Get strategic with your send days and times. If you’re using an email management system like Mailchimp, you have access to important information that gives you insight into engagement statistics. Study the numbers and use them to your advantage. 
  5. Use a knowledgeable email marketing service. Internal employees must move quickly between projects, whereas an email marketing service can be exclusively dedicated to the success of your inbound and outbound email marketing. Take your email marketing to the next level by hiring a team of experts. Let’s face it: having the pros strategically select, write, and design your content frees up a lot of time—and saves you countless headaches when growing your businesses.


Have questions about how your inbound and outbound marketing is working for you? Want to learn more about how an email marketing service can increase your conversion rates with time-tested strategies that work? Book a free 20-minute consultation with us today.

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