What Does Inbound Mean? A Comprehensive Guide to the Inbound Marketing Funnel

The word ‘Inbound’ sounds like a relatively easy word to understand. It’s used to describe when something is moving inward or towards something else. However in the marketing and sales world, Inbound definition can be quite the complex concept to grasp. So to start this off, it would be best to have a foundation on what does Inbound mean, to then gain an understanding of the Inbound Marketing Funnel.

This comprehensive guide will help you learn what it’s all about. You can click on the sections of the Table of Contents below to jump to a section, and click “Return to Table of Contents” below each section, to well, return to it. 😉

We hope you enjoy reading!


 


Table of Contents

Inbound Definition
Inbound Marketing Funnel
Inbound Methodology Phases
Inbound and Outbound Marketing Differences
Inbound and Outbound Marketing Similarities
Pros and Cons of Inbound Marketing
The Costs of Inbound Marketing
Using SEO in Inbound Marketing
Keeping the Inbound Marketing Process Going
Things To Avoid During the Inbound Process
Prime Examples of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Sales Definition
Inbound Lead Generation and How To’s
Final Words
 

What Does Inbound Mean? The Inbound Definition

What does Inbound mean? In general, means anything that is moving inwards or is incoming from another direction. This is important because this idea can be easily applied to marketing, where there are things, like potential customers, that are moving inwards towards a platform or product. Although it may sound simple, the strategies behind this method are intricate.

In the new technological age, where the commercial world revolves around new technology that brings together ideas, communication, and products into the hands of the consumer, they now have total control of their desires and all of the information they need at their fingertips. However, it wasn’t always like this… a few decades ago the internet didn’t exist and information wasn’t readily available so only companies that had the budget to mass advertise in newspapers, on radio stations, and on television were the ones who had the advantage. There were growing pains of traditional marketing companies and teams where the money was continually thrown out the window on the chance that an ad might generate potential leads. It was even tougher on smaller companies who had little opportunity to compete against large brands who’ve already established a presence in the commercial world. But now, with the growing use of the internet and adaptive nature of consumers to tune out thousands of advertisements thrown at them daily, it has become hard to fully utilize the same marketing methods used years ago. However, this also meant a new method had to be developed and thus, Inbound Marketing was born. It was a term coined by co-founder and CEO of Hubspot, Brian Halligan, but that doesn’t mean it was something already in motion. The internet was just the right tool to skyrocket its awareness to the public.

To define Inbound Marketing in a formal sense, its a method that brings customers to your business on their own accord through meaningful content that the consumer finds value in throughout their buyer journey. Inbound Marketing is the method that companies are employing to get the right customers.. Inbound Marketing doesn’t hurt the consumer as the traditional method may in the sense that it doesn’t feel like spam or useless information being thrown at their faces. It’s, instead, the things that they are seeking out. It’s all about the good consumer experience and building a real relationship between the customer and the business, achievable through good content and valuable information that the consumers want. To understand a little more about Inbound Marketing, the Inbound Marketing Funnel can help you learn the process a little more.

 
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Inbound Marketing Funnel

To help answer the question, what does Inbound mean, The Inbound Marketing Funnel refers to a marketing process of attracting a large amount of visitors to converting them into leads and helping to close new sales. There are three stages in the funnel, the Top of Funnel (ToFu), the Middle of Funnel (MoFu), and the Bottom of Funnel (BoFu). Each stage depicts the phase that the consumer and the marketing team are in, shedding light on their decisions and actions.

At the Top of Funnel (ToFu), the net is cast by marketing teams all over the world to try and pull in all the customers that have a problem related to the companies’ solution. As the potential leads continue to browse the web and search for information to solve their problem, they may land on your website. At this point, the website has a small window to appeal to the customer with good content and the right information. This stage is just the beginning as the company is focusing on building a well situated site with satisfied visitors leaving or staying on their website, while the customer has not yet considered purchasing a product.

The next part of the funnel is the middle (MoFu), where the customers have started to convert and decide whether they want to continue to work with the same company or change over to a different one after finding the solution to their problem. This is also the stage where the leads have to be sorted between good ones and bad ones. The good leads are the promising leads where there is a high chance of a deal being closed with open interaction and positive interest between the company and the consumer. However the bad leads are those who have consumers still on edge or confused about the solution they found which can indicate a false solution or disinterest in the company and therefore a closed deal is unlikely. To keep the good leads and even change the bad leads into good ones, the company has to continually follow-up with the customer and show why their solution can solve their problem the best. Continuous, but not spammy, interactions and a welcoming vibe are definitely some ways to help the customer feel positive and happy about working with a company.

The final part of the Inbound Marketing Funnel is the bottom (BoFu). The customers have decided on almost everything they need and are ready to purchase a solution. Usually at this part, the leads are considered “low-hanging fruit”, meaning they are ready and only need a little more pushing to close the deal. For the most benefit, BoFu focuses more on the company responsibility on following up on the consumer and optimizing future leads after the sale has been closed. By merging call to actions that are considered BoFu like free trials or scheduling an appointment into MoFu, this makes the division between the stages more apparent as BoFu can continue to be the deal closing and the analysis of their journey.

In summary, the Inbound Marketing Funnel is clear as to where the audience is reeled in by a solution and relatable content that you provide and through interactions and features that the website holds, the visitor can convert into a lead and finally into a sale. It may sound simple, but the numbers prove this process to be very difficult. A common conversion rate proved through many website experts is around 3%. Which means out of 100 people that visit your website, only 3 actually decide to buy your product. A easy rate of conversion that marketers use to quickly explain between each funnel is about 10% of the previous value. So 100 people in ToFu, 10 people in MoFu, and only 1 person in BoFu? This probably sounds absurd and why would marketers want to implement this method if it gives such a low return, but in reality it’s a pretty good rate of sales (definitely better than 0). To expand more on how these Inbound Marketing Funnel stages are implemented, keep on reading for the phases that Inbound marketers use.

 
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Inbound Methodology Phases

If you want to use Inbound Marketing to your advantage and solve the question what does inbound mean, you have to first understand the 4 different phases well to successfully implement it. These 4 words; Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight, are the core concepts for the Inbound methodology and its best to get really acquainted with them. In general, its an adaptive way of 24/7 engagement and optimal experience for the consumer and the company where both sides can gain something valuable.

Attract

The first phase, the initial contact, the first impression that your webpage has on incoming visitors. However, these aren’t just any visitors, they’re the right kind of people that the website wants to attract. These are the people for who the website was created for as they are the customers that will have the most potential in becoming closed deals. The goal of this phase is to make these new visitors become regular visitors that can begin to interact with the company and the community. Remember to think like the prospect and build around that mentality to really understand what is the best way of attracting potential leads.

Some methods to implement this attraction phase is to have unique and good content that the users and visitors will gravitate towards. This can include blogs, social media, or video content. These types of content provide the visitors with useful information in which they will start to build trust in the website and continue to come back. Besides just creating useful content, websites can also take advantage of search engine optimization by using keywords and meta tags so that search engine algorithms can rank the page higher in specific search queries so that the webpage is the top result and have higher exposure.

Convert

The second phase of the Inbound methodology where the website and company is focused on converting the prospects into leads. To even begin fully interacting with any visitor or potential lead, there has to be a way that you, the company can communicate with them. This is the next important part of the Inbound methodology. Gathering the potential prospects’ information is the key to kickstart interaction and a way to keep the prospects engaged and have a successful conversion.

The methods used for conversion are ones that can create a connection between the company and the lead are providing useful tradeoffs that the prospect find value in, whether it is a free ebook in exchange for their email and phone number, or a free trial for tradeoff for their name and email. It is important to have something that is valuable so that the prospects are willing to provide contact information. Most Call-to-actions are common ways of effective ways of getting contact information, like landing page forms. It is also to note that after they agreed to exchange their information, follow-ups can only be advantageous to you as a marketer. Effective email marketing can be the life or death of that lead.

Close

The third phase, transforming the lead into a sale. This stage can determine whether the lead is fit as a potential sale as the company continues to interact with the lead and provide advice and helpful information to them. The company has to be fully understanding of what the buyer needs and find out how the company can be the solution to their problem. However, even if the lead is determined to have no potential, it is in the company’s best interest to continue facilitating a good relationship with that lead. Remember that one of the main points of the Inbound methodology is creating a unique relationship with customers and making sure they have a satisfied experience with the company.

A way to determine how readily or how much potential the lead has is by lead scoring. This method ranks leads based on multiple variables to see how much power they have and how interested they are in making the decision with your company. Not only can a company use lead scoring to help sort potential sales, but automated email workflows can be used to have content continually flowing out and updating leads to keep them interested and engaged to start on closing the deal.

Delight

The final phase of Inbound methodology, Delight. As the final stage, this carries a heavy weight in Inbound methodology and sometimes it can be easily overlooked or forgotten about. Although a sale may have been completed, the most important part of Inbound is making sure they enjoyed their time working with your company as they have the power of sharing the good deeds and the positivity of your time spent together, eventually becoming social promoters of your company. Word of mouth and testimonials are still considered to be some of the best ways of advertising as they are real examples of a good interaction.

In this age, the expectations of the customers and potential sales are high as they have more power to make decisions and a lot of options to pick from. It is more beneficial to keep customers happy and retain their loyalty and it is well known that it costs companies more to attract new customers than to retain their old ones, almost 5 times as much! Still today, companies are unfortunately more focused on customer acquisitions over customer retention.

Delight is such a big factor in brand name recognition and awareness that it absolutely can not be forgotten. Some ways that you can delight your customers are by using dynamic content, continuous interactions, be welcoming when communicating with a warm tone, and use social media to your advantage. But it’s also important to have methods to figure out how to optimize each interaction you make and where the users can provide feedback. This is where surveys and support forums become a huge factor as they are real impressions and feedback of users that can be analyzed and used to improve websites, social interactions, and features.

In summary, there are 4 different phases to the Inbound methodology that are key to Inbound Marketing. The Attract Phase includes making helpful content and having optimized websites that are relevant so that users want to continually come back and is the conversion of strangers into regular visitors. The Convert Phase is all about trying to create a bridge of communication by offering valuable things like ebooks so that prospects will provide contact information and changing them into leads. The Close Phase is the conversion of leads into sales through continued interactions and email workflows that bring content right to the leads and keep them interested to the point where they either become a sale or fall off. The Delight Phase is the final phase of keeping everyone who interacted with the company happy and retaining their loyalty, continually building it through post interactions and making the experience a good one for both sides while using this time to optimize future interactions.

 
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Inbound and Outbound Marketing. What’s the Difference?

Permissive Vs. Intrusive

Inbound and Outbound Marketing are very different in the methods of approach to their customers because of how they can operate within a certain boundary. Inbound Marketing is all about the potential customer coming to find your product while Outbound Marketing is more about bringing the products to the customers and hoping they want it. It can be divided as Inbound being permissive advertisement and Outbound being intrusive advertisement. Permissive advertisement is exactly what it sounds like, advertisements that are only displayed when the consumer is willing to accept them. Intrusive advertisement is what outbound is all about, trying to win the attention of a wide range of consumers with their product without care for their interest, like television ads that play towards an audience that just has that channel selected at that moment. Inbound is not only a little more appealing for the consumer, but also more personalized. Rather than broadcasting an advertisement through outbound marketing by just mass emailing or placing them in newspapers, Inbound Marketing is only connecting and sharing product or company information based on voluntary signups made by the consumer.

Method Of Approach

As technology becomes more advanced, people everywhere can be connected to almost anyone in an instant and with this, marketing companies are bound to use this to their advantage. The introduction of the internet and web based marketing boosted the growth of Inbound methodology because it was that much faster to connect with marketers online than using mail. Generally, Inbound Marketing is more commonly situated on the internet while outbound relies heavily more traditional methods like fliers, print ads, and television slots.

New Vs Old?

Outbound marketing existed ever since marketing was really a thing. People would broadcast their products and services through word of mouth as that was easiest or posted fliers around the town so that everyone would know, whether they wanted to or not. Inbound is a much more newer method of marketing as the world continually shifted towards technology and people became more resistant to constant marketing advertisements. There had to be a change in the way companies advertised so that they could adapt to the way consumers were changing. However, Inbound is not really replacing outbound, but it is rather just a new method that companies can now employ to further their sales numbers.

Educating Vs Selling

A rule of thumb for Inbound Marketing is to educate the prospect. But why would you want to educate someone rather than focus on selling your product to them? Inbound is more about making the prospect feel welcomed and that they are gaining something from conversing with your company. With the growth of the internet, people can get information super quick so by providing something that they maybe can’t find someplace else, it could rank your company higher in their mind. Being useful and informative is better than shoving a product in your prospect’s face. Not trying to say that outbound is only about selling, but with the traditional methods that outbound marketing use, they don’t have the capacity to do what Inbound Marketing does in terms of educating the prospect and can really only focus on selling the product and attracting the prospect’s attention in a small window of time.

 
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Inbound and Outbound Marketing. The Similarities?

At this point, you might be thinking that these two techniques are so wildly different from one another as that they are complete opposites, however they do share some characteristics as they are still both methods that companies use to generate more leads and can utilize similar approaches.

Type of Audience

In both cases, the marketing team has to figure out who they want to target by building profiles for potential leads. Although outbound has a bigger audience radius compared to Inbound, outbound marketing isn’t casting a net while blind and in any case both methods have to understand the audience. Targeted marketing is used in both, just in different varying degrees.

Goals

The end result that marketing teams want from a lead is a closed sale. It doesn’t really matter which method is used which is why they are similar in the way that they are both employed to close more deals with their target audience. They both have to nurture their leads so that they can even become a sale with a lot of resources and time consumption. There is a lot of follow-ups and constant communication that both sides have to commit to so that they can meet the same goals.

Methods of Reach

As they have differences in their method of approach, they also have their similarities in choice. Both marketing techniques can use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to their advantage, its just how they use it is categorized differently. For example, Inbound can use Pay-Per-Click while outbound uses Display Ads and although both are under SEM, they are different approaches that still stay within their specific definition of marketing.

 
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Pros and Cons of Inbound Marketing

There is definitely a tangible benefit from utilizing Inbound Marketing for companies, but at the same time, there are still some negatives that accompany this marketing technique.

Pros

Inbound Marketing’s main benefit for small companies and startups is that it allows them to compete against other large companies that have already established a good record with the community or just dominate the market. Its cheaper than outbound marketing and more cost effective as it does not rely advertising to every possible prospect, but rather its more targeted and only connects with those that are interested. Through this, it can create stronger bonds between the company and the prospect, building a foundation of trust and satisfaction. Also by connecting with only those who expressed an interest in the product, Inbound Marketing has the perfect audience to work with. Using Inbound Marketing also has a quicker Return on Investment analysis as there are multiple platforms and programs that can analyze website data and information quickly. Since Inbound Marketing takes place mostly on an online setting, like on websites, it’s easier to analyze the progress while outbound may take longer due to the nature of its methods.

Cons

As everything good that comes and goes, there are always cons that pass with them. Although Inbound Marketing is cost effective and cheaper at times than outbound marketing, it doesn’t mean that it won’t put a dent in the company budget. Inbound takes a lot of effort and skill to create the effective and appealing platform that prospects can engage properly with and be satisfied. It’s a commitment that the company must fully engage in to come out on top with this technique. The website and the advertisements has to be continually updated with new information that give the prospect something to look forward to about the company.

Alongside the time commitment, Inbound Marketing is a diverse idea that takes many to accomplish its needs, which can include long term employees and experts with skills involving web design, search engine optimization, and content writers. A company can make do without having the best of the best when it comes to tackling Inbound Marketing, but it can take time to build that platform and increase brand awareness. The most important thing to account for that is making Inbound less valuable is the competition. Since Inbound is still relatively new, there may not be as many competitors vying for the top spot as of now, but definitely in the future as more companies get on board with Inbound Marketing, the internet will become saturated with websites and only the best can earn the top spot.

 
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What are the Costs of Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing, by no means, is it free. It’s difficult to grasp by a single individual so most of the costs are filed under hiring new experts and managers that understand what they are doing as well as hosting content, search engine optimization programs and some forms of paid advertisements like Pay-per-Click.

The first thing that Inbound Marketing teams need is a strategy. Drafting a strategy is expensive and requires a large amount of research and time. Though, the time and research part can be cut out if the company can hire other professionals or services that does it for them rather than doing it themselves. However, the company would still have to search for more employees that can continuously work on their Inbound Marketing campaign. Potential experts include blog writers who can update the prospects on new useful information and keep the website afloat with new content or social media managers who work on public relations, keeping prospects happy with consistent communication outside of the company website.

Outside of hiring professionals, programs like automated marketing softwares and purchasing ad space on search engines can take up a large portion of the budget. Automated marketing softwares are not really a must have, but they can potentially decrease the workload by completing repetitive tasks and free up more hands so focus on other things. Publishing ads on a search engine and search engine marketing in general, can be expensive, as companies shift their focus onto Inbound Marketing, the limited spots become more contested and, as a result, the price increases. It’s not necessary for everything to be bought or hire externally, but it’s recommended as it can take a long time to launch an Inbound Marketing campaign or be unnecessarily difficult to upkeep the campaign without the efficient resources available. Remember that time and the quality that is displayed are important since they reflect directly on the business as a whole.

 
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Using Search Engine Optimization in Inbound Marketing

A benefit of using a website geared towards Inbound Marketing is that there are many ways to increase website exposure and brand awareness through search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is basically fine-tuning a website so that it can appear at the top of a search result in a search engine. This method helps potential prospects find your website and therefore increase the probability of conversions and sales. In the mix between SEO, focusing on the exposure of a website and finding traffic, and Inbound Marketing, converting traffic into leads, having both would greatly benefit a website as it can organically create traffic and garner interest from visitors and turn them into leads.

Search engine optimization covers many things including link equity, keyword optimization, and relatable content. Without these, the website would not rank on search engines, making the Inbound Marketing technique a loss and it wouldn’t truly be Inbound Marketing without the aspect of SEO as they kind of go hand in hand in certain ways. To begin using SEO to your advantage it’s important to understand how to use it and once you fully understand will it be useful for effective Inbound Marketing . Website ranking is one of the most important things in SEO and Inbound Marketing as it controls the exposure that the website receives therefore controlling your brand awareness and marketing powers. So utilizing keywords and optimizing the website to that keyword is a way to increase its ranking with that word so that when the keyword is entered into the search query, the website would appear as a result.

Besides keyword optimization, link equity is almost as important as it builds trust and value to the website’s ranking. This is based on various search engines algorithms that scour the website looking for internal and external links and the keyword density and rewards a value based on what they found. The score is also supported by having valuable and relevant content for visitors. This content includes having blogs, forums, social media, and community engagement platforms (forums, FAQs). Another direction that can be taken with SEO, is SEM by managing the advertisements that appear in the search engine so that even if the website’s ranking is not the top, users will still be exposed to its presence whether the ad is PPC or just impressions. With these tools, the Inbound Marketing campaign can only get stronger.

 
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Tips to Keep the Inbound Marketing Process Going

It is definitely a milestone when the process is launched as the strategy is complete, the audience is defined, and a goal is set. All it boils down to afterwards is the perseverance of the team to keep it going. Some tips to keep the Inbound train chugging and not lose momentum are mostly website details and continuous interaction. Community and design appeal are tremendous factors that can make or break the process with many potential leads. Imagine if the website was not clear or was a wall of text, it would be unappealing right? That’s why it’s important to have a strong web design so that prospects find it appealing to stay and easy to navigate. Nothing is more frustrating when you can’t find something simple on a website like contact information. Remember that search engine optimization is a tool that can help too!

Another tip is to have a large amount of quality content. This is so that visitors feel that they gain something and are satisfied from the website and will have a higher chance of returning. Some good content ideas besides blogs and videos can be guides or demos that the visitors can interact with. Having a website that is interactable is good because the users can feel more engaged with what they are consuming. Social media and guest blogs are also options to make the prospect feel more engaged as they can communicate directly with others and the company. Social media is also good because it can increase brand awareness and exposure, especially if there is a strong presence that can build trust with current and future consumers. Honestly, having website to prospect interaction will only be beneficial as they keep the prospect engaged as long as it doesn’t become spam to the user and remember to continually monitor the progress of the website to optimize and improve the experience.

 
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Things To Avoid During the Inbound Marketing Process

Sometimes people aren’t 100% positive whether an action will positively or negatively impact their Inbound Marketing campaign, but by placing themselves in the position of the prospect and understanding how they would feel with the action implemented, it can really help make the right. In either way, there are just some things that should never be done during the Inbound Marketing process.

Honestly most of the things to avoid are just the opposite of the right thing to do. Like stated earlier, having a good website design would be good, so generally its ideal to avoid confusing websites that are just hard to navigate or make the topic unclear to the prospect. This includes having a cluttered or unorganized webpage that is unappealing, like a wall of text, bad color choices, or unoptimized media content. A good pointer for an optimized website is to have it compatible with different devices and screen sizes as many websites are generally geared towards a computer having a large screen to display their content. However, as hand-held, smaller mobile devices are becoming more popular and easily accessible, it is a good idea to have a mobile reader version available for your website.

Continuing on, having lots of content is generally good, but having too much similar content can clog up the webpage and sometime be a detriment to the webpage’s ranking as well as hurting the visitors if it takes a long time to find the proper content to effectively solve what they were searching for on the website. Similarly, you don’t want to create flashy pages that intrigue someone and only pull their intention without having good content to back it up. It would be disappointing for the potential prospect as it would fall short of their expectations from a well developed site with little value to them.

As a connected thought, another thing to avoid is unclear call to actions (CTAs). CTAs are always good as they can help gather contact information and create the bridge between the company and the potential lead, but having unclear ones would only hurt both the company and the lead. The unclear CTAs would be ones that are hard to find, ones that offer something else than advertised, or ones that are just unappealing to interact with as it would be unhelpful to the visitor, all of which deter potential leads.

In Summary, just remember to avoid unclear and confusing websites and CTAs that may seem flashy but have little to no value because of the difficulty a visitor may have while navigating or understanding. You want to continue to pump out content, but avoid repetitive and unhelpful information that doesn’t do the reader any good.

 
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Prime Examples of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing may be as new as yesterday to some who’ve recently discovered it, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those who’ve already been taking advantage of this tremendous opportunity in this new age of technology. Here are some prime examples of Inbound Marketing that different companies used to showcase their product and attract the right leads.

Starting us off, we have Starbucks. Starbucks is widely known almost everywhere in the world, reaching international stardom as the best place to get some good coffee. But how were they capable of expanding so fast after being established in the late 1900s? It was relatively simple in contrasting against their current competitors, focusing on the consumer experience of enjoying the taste and quality of coffee. This was pushed further as social media became popular and Starbucks continually released new products, covering seasonal and unique flavors. By sharing aesthetic and visually appealing pictures of these products at its finest, it was enough to reel in people who wanted to try them. This social media interaction may not seem to be a form of marketing, but it worked well because it was able to pull consumers in who had an interest in coffee rather than market to everyone as not everyone enjoys a cup of joe. This eventually spread to others who used social media to showcase the company’s unique products as almost a symbol of accomplishment and thus Starbucks created a voluntary marketing team for themselves.

Another fine example is Chobani, the company able to visually market a single item in a thousand ways. Even with their simple product of yogurt, they are able to visually appeal to consumers who are looking for yogurt or even those who just want to browse their Instagram to see aesthetic images. Their social media is chock full of colorful pictures that use so much imagery and fruits to describe the flavor that Chobani offers, that it can’t help but naturally bring in customers, just like Starbucks does, as it continually climbs the ranks of fame on social media.

A little different method of Inbound Marketing is building a community or blogging, on the website, which is a different take on social interaction, but still creates a space so that people can share ideas and communicate with one another and even directly to the company. Lego Ideas is an amazing example of this as Lego launched the creative online community where users can share ideas and even interact with the company. This method allows for users to directly connect with others who have similar interests and expand the market capabilities for Lego as the community can design and choose future products. This level of versatility and interaction between the community and a company is ideal as it helps the company learn from consumer comments and feedbacks while rewarding their loyal customers.

Another take of Inbound Marketing is making use of a user’s interests to generate personalize content for them. Spotify does this well as they can take a user’s music genre interest or who their favorite bands are and send personalized emails and create personalized content that appeal to the user as they have relevance in what they like. Commonly seen are the recommended playlists that are generated based on community preferences and related music choices which can help a user expand their time on their website and continue to use their service.

These four examples are those of well known companies that have a large community backing them up who have capitalized on the growing Inbound Marketing strategies. Some other strategies that a company can use with Inbound Marketing is emotional branding that creates a bond between a prospects emotions and the product and unconsciously helps them connect the brand to a problem With proper effort put into Inbound Marketing and a commitment to this method, your company can also achieve great results. Just remember that it takes time and money to fully grasp the end goal, but when you get there and understand the Inbound definition completely, like these other prime examples, the company will be at a historical milestone.

 
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Inbound Sales and What are They?

Enough showing off the success of other companies, lets get back to helping your company utilize Inbound Marketing better. As you may know, in the end, marketing is about sales, but Inbound Marketing leads into Inbound sales. Inbound sales are not like regular sales in the way that it is personalized and creates a deeper connection with the customer after the sale has been complete. It’s not far off from the way that Inbound Marketing ends because it’s still focused on the buyer’s problems and prioritizing them over your own as you want to help them as much as possible. However it gets even deeper than that as eventually for Inbound sales, you want to start managing the buyer’s decisions with a personalized approach and developing a personal connection with them through the Inbound sales process. It’s about seeing the buyer as a human being rather than a potential sale, or as a friend who you want to build a lasting connection with. 24/7 communication, consistent engagement, and compassion are just some things needed for an Inbound sale. Inbound sales are not easy or simple, they are difficult yet rewarding. They are more valuable and can lead into future sales and a happy brand.

 
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Inbound Lead Generation and How To’s

Before you can even complete a sale though, there has to be a lead, and before there is even a lead, the company has to create a method or strategy of getting those leads, known as lead generation. However, we’re looking at Inbound Marketing strategies and understanding, so it’ll be Inbound lead generation. So what is it and how is it achieved?

Inbound lead generation is as simple as it sounds in the way that its a form of lead generation to find capable and worthwhile leads based on using Inbound methods like personalization and catered to the people rather than just throwing everything at them. The way that it works, however, is a bit more complicated, though it’s nothing too hard to get down so here are some pointers to building a good Inbound lead generator. Most of the good aspects of a successful Inbound lead generator is being optimized so that it can appear often in search queries and on social media, being easily accessible to the public. This includes building a major online presence like on social media so that people can easily recognize the brand and its behavior or through website ranking with blogs and good content so that its on the top of the search engine results page. A part of this optimization process has to do with SEO and good content that really appeals to people and relates to their interests and issues.

However, the other part is about utilizing targeted advertisements and customer persona profiling. This other part is a big part of Inbound lead generation that is sometimes overlooked because it can be very time consuming or expensive for the company to fully optimize with. Using targeted advertisements include both Pay per Click and Cost Per Thousand Impressions as they can be limited to those who have a interest with what the company is looking for like showing a pet product to only those who have been searching for things related to pets. This helps drive attention and traffic to the website through these ads and can increase the amount of leads at the Top of the Funnel. With customer persona profiling and targeting, the marketing team can create different scenarios and environments that different people may be searching products for, like the common division of those who are researching just for understanding versus those who are looking to buy a product. Having different personas for different customers to be partitioned into can be extremely helpful in the process of conversion because the team can have a foundation in understanding the customer’s purpose and guide them appropriately which can lead into meaningful interactions and a happy ending.

On the other hand,Inbound lead generation isn’t only optimized in the beginning few step of the Inbound method, but also at the end. Since Inbound Marketing is all about customer experience and satisfaction that builds into loyalty, companies can use that end experience to further market and improve their process. Some tips on post-sale lead generation would be using feedback and surveys from customers to learn about patterns on future sales and prospects and start to reach out to a source that may have been untapped before because the marketing team just didn’t realize it. A website and funnel flow analysis program could also be implemented so that any patterns can be observed and any holes in the process can be patched up and optimized for future interactions, such as if there’s a lot of traffic to the website, but little conversion it might be because of the lack of content or confusing CTAs which website analyzers should pick up on and help the team fix the issues. These’s post sale lead generator tips can really make it or break it for the system because the best way to get feedback is from customers who’ve already finished the process and had a successful interaction with the website.

 
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Getting Started with Inbound

We hope that you’ve been able to answer the question, what does Inbound mean, and gain a better understanding of the Inbound Marketing Funnel. Remember, there are a lot of moving part, resources, and skills needed to make Inbound work effectively. Doing this alone or with a small team can be very challenging.

We work with companies to help them develop the right strategy to attract, convert, and close their ideal customers. We also provide support in producing Inbound content, lead nurturing emails, and outreach to make Inbound a success.

Feel free to reserve a time to discuss your Inbound strategy here. We’re here to help!

Let's talk about your lead generation.
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We’d love to understand your challenges and help you explore new opportunities.
What to expect:
  • A 30-minute phone conversation
  • An evaluation of your website
  • Suggestions for improvements
What NOT to expect:
  • An aggressive salesperson
  • A canned sales pitch
  • An uninvited follow-up phone call
Get valuable feedback and learn more about how we may be able to help!