Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing

This article is about to bring a comprehensive comparison between inbound marketing and outbound marketing, including their definitions, features, prices, communications, efficacy and etc., hoping to help you better understand the two marketing methods and choose the right one for promoting your business.

What is Inbound Marketing?


312-1Inbound marketing is the marketing method that focuses on consumers finding you. By zeroing in on a group of people who are already actively searching for a product or service, and generating many qualified results, inbound marketing becomes the most popular way of marketing. To start with inbound marketing, you just need to make it clear of your target audience, and then create fresh, relevant, targeted content to attract their attention.

Inbound marketing has involved abundant strategies, such as social media marketing, podcasts, ebooks, blogging and content marketing, inforgraphics, pay per click advertising, and SEO.


Inbound marketing provides a new way to promote your products, communicate with your customers, and build brand reputation.

  • Inbound marketing is inexpensive—Inbound marketing is incredibly cheap. Compared to outbound marketing, the cost of blogs, social media profiles, and promotional videos are much cheaper than that of TV commercials and print ads.
  • Efficacy—Inbound marketing, if done properly, will hit your target audience with full strength. If someone says that “inbound marketing can pull customers to you like a magnet pulling needles,” it’s not an exaggeration because this can be done with the right marketing strategies.

What is Outbound Marketing?


312Outbound marketing is the marketing method where the marketer initiates a “loud” one-sided conversation, hoping his message will reach far out; to a very crowd among which, some are his customers or potential customers.

Many popular marketing methods such as television commercials, newspaper ads, radio and pamphlets are good examples for outbound marketing. However, those annoying pop-ups are also examples for outbound marketing as these methods use the same tactics.


Outbound marking is always referred to “traditional advertising”.

  • Outbound marketing means an expensive affair—Using outbound marketing strategy, such as TV commercials, radio commercials, or newspaper ads, to tell people about your business or product is often pricey. It only makes difference for advertisers with a big financial resource.
  • Low Impact—It has proved that outbound marketing is not as effective as inbound marketing. Some estimates that the average people are exposed to at least two thousand promotional activities each day, 365 days of the year in a developed country. Along with the increasing number of messages is the resistance people developed, making it difficult to draw their attention—the most important factor in marketing.

Choose Inbound Marketing over Outbound Marketing

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing on Premise

Outbound marketing is regarded as interruption-based marketing-based marketing, while inbound marketing is permission-based marketing. The premise of outbound marketing is attempting to explore a medium followed by a large group of people and the periodically interrupt combining following not with associated ads. When you fortunately find a following that is large enough, or an association above average,  you will find that the small percentage of conversation is the part that worth investing.

On the contrary, the premise of inbound marketing is more than one: first, you can’t communicate with a audience unless you have been given the permission; second, it is possible for you to anticipate the number of people to answer your questions as well as how large those answers can proliferate on the Internet.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing on Price

As you can see, outbound marketing costs much more than inbound marketing. Usually outbound marketing means you either choose to make use of radio or television to spread your message or lease an outdoor billboards to adverts it. But no matter which way you choose, you will bear a great budget burden.

Nevertheless, if you take advantage of inbound marketing, you can save a lot of money as long as you own the right skills. Just in the case of blog communication, if you create a blog with a good content marketing strategy, you can easily attract targeted prospects. And there are many SEO tools available for helping your website improve its rankings thus appeal to more visitors. In general, social media is relatively inexpensive way to have the best results. If you have no idea of how to boost your website business, you can feel free to read our 5 Key Factors for a Successful Local Business Website.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing on Communication

The communication of outbound marketing is one-way, while that of inbound marketing is interactive and two-way. For example, using your Facebook, you can ask your followers for their input regarding your products and services. On the one hand, it shows that you care for your customers; on the other hand, it gives you the chance to improve your business.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing on Impact

Compared to outbound marketing that puts your message in front of people regardless of their attitudes toward it, inbound marketing puts your message in front of your target market. Outbound marketing often makes non-target people feel intrusive and annoying, but inbound marketing always stimulates curiosity if you adopt the right content marketing strategy.

Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing for Non-Marketers

Unlike outbound marketing’s taking amount of aggressiveness and sales skill through cold calling or direct mail, inbound marketing is more soft and acceptable. As time goes by, many people have got enough of the pushy salesman’s image, and feel indifferent by their way of pushing message; but inbound marketing provides them with valuable content without letting them feel uncomfortable.


Choosing between outbound and inbound marketing should depend on the resources of your company. If you come from a big company with enough money to invest in TV commercials or newspapers, outbound marketing is a good choice to reach a wider audience. On the other hand, these companies shouldn’t ignore the benefit of inbound marketing.

In terms of small business with restricted resources in finance and scale, inbound marketing is the best choice for them. Clearly, inbound marketing not only has very high conversation ratio, but it also features cost-effective. Though it is not possible for inbound marketing strategy to reach the entire nation the same as with a print ad or TV commercial, it can make precise target at potential customers. Simply put, inbound marketing is highly effective in generating better conversation and more returns for your advertising budget.

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