Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

The tech-savvy society that makes up today’s world has changed the face of marketing, thanks to steadily increasing internet access and usage by the general public. For years, businesses and entrepreneurs have followed a formula designed to push their product or service onto masses of customers. But now web marketing offers a new kind of interaction that’s about earning a relationship of trust. To understand the contrast between inbound and outbound online marketing, a comparison of the two can shed some light on the differences between them.

Outbound web marketing is based on reaching hordes of people with information that may or may not be of interest to them. Traditional methods such as cold calling, bulk mailings, billboards and other advertisements have been tweaked to work online. For example, mass emailing takes place when a business purchases a list of email addresses. The business then starts a web marketing campaign of sending out regular notices to the entire list. This means a form-email that can be sent to all people with one click of the mouse. Similarly, by paying for advertising space, prime search result spots are procured to ensure lots of exposure.

For inbound web marketing, there’s no longer a mass push to fill up the top of the sales funnel with x number of people to play the numbers game. Instead, it becomes about content. There can still be emails, along with blogging, organic search results and social media interaction. To compare the email example from above, an inbound online marketing approach would use a personalized letter to fewer prospects that are more likely to respond. The personalization of inbound web marketing is one of the most important aspects, because it’s the difference between getting the cold shoulder from annoyed people and engaging with them in a way that opens up an interactive relationship.

A huge part of inbound online marketing content is social media engagement. Having a presence on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and more gives the business an opportunity to share content that offers value. Leads are generated, and through “friends” on those platforms, the word gets out more quickly through cross-posts and updates.

In a nutshell, when it comes to online marketing, an outbound approach is about constant product pushing and sales pitches. An inbound approach is about interactive, engaging content to a more narrow audience.


Chris LaMorte

Chris LaMorte is a Digital Marketing and User Experience expert. He started in the industry when he was 13 years old and has been obsessed with online marketing ever since. In 2015, he founded Web Chimpy. Since then, Chris LaMorte has served over 100 clients and gotten great results that have helped businesses grow.

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