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There's been plenty of speculation touting the death of outbound marketing. But a recent survey reveals the speculation to be greatly exaggerated. In fact, outbound marketing is still efficient for driving leads and sales.

DiscoverOrg recently surveyed 1,000 IT executives at a variety of firms, from Fortune-ranked companies to small and medium-sized businesses. The results show marketers should be careful not to ignore traditional marketing strategies.

Here's what top IT executives had to say about the effectiveness of outbound marketing:

  • 60% said outbound calls or emails have led to an IT vendor's being evaluated.
  • 75% said they'd decided to attend an event or take an appointment after having received a cold call or email.

The data is surprising at a time when inbound strategies, such as content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization have gained steam for their cost-effectiveness. But the data makes it clear: The cold call isn't dead.

In today's climate, companies are increasingly pushing social selling—like blogging, content creation, search engine optimization, and social media engagement—as the best means of marketing a product or service. But the DiscoverOrg data underscores the importance of traditional outbound marketing techniques, such as cold calls, emails, TV commercials, and print ads, for driving leads and sales. A good old-fashioned phone call can help to humanize you to your marketing prospects, no matter the size of a business or industry.

For many companies, a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing techniques may be best. And it doesn't take pricey TV or print ads to reap the benefits. Here are a few ways companies can add outbound marketing techniques to their social strategy.

Draft scripts. When making a cold call or sending out an email blast, ensure you don't come off like an advertisement. Anything that sounds too sensationalistic will fall flat. Draft a script and practice reading through it in a conversational tone, and ensure all written copy reflects your company's tone and brand.

Be mindful of time. Cold-calling can be tricky, and if your contacts are busy, you run the risk of being seen as a nuisance. Pay keen attention to the details—particularly, time of day. Lunchtime calls are generally unwelcome; it's typically when professionals take a break and don't want to be bothered. Morning calls between 8 and 9 AM can help you to catch someone who hasn't yet entered the office for the day. Another option is late afternoon, between 4 and 5 PM, when the workday is winding down.

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image of Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is a co-founder of DiscoverOrg, an intelligence and lead generation services company.

LinkedIn: Henry Schuck