Online Marketing

Fred Lebhart Posted by Fred Lebhart on April 11, 2010

Lead Generation: Inbound vs. Outbound

How do you answer the question; “my company’s average cost per lead is ?” Good for you if you know this already, but if you haven’t worked the math yet you might be surprised at the answer.

Some best in class marketing departments take tracking and measuring lead generation ROI to a higher level by comparing inbound lead acquisition costs and results to their outbound lead acquisition costs and results. This comparison helps identify the specific activities that provide the biggest bang for always limited budgets. Do you know these costs of your lead generation program and the ideal mix of your inbound and outbound lead generation investment?

Anyone with an internet connection today can tell you it’s next to impossible to read about inbound lead generation without seeing article after article on social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, as well as the importance of blogging. These online marketing tools have become huge assets seemingly overnight as both individuals and corporations work to get heard within their crowded marketplaces. That the use of these tools is increasing at staggering rates is not really new news. What might be newsworthy to some is why, in terms of the ROI, everyone is jumping on these bandwagons.

Consider this -- outbound lead generation methods, some examples being trade shows, direct mail and telemarketing, cost almost three times MORE per lead, on average, than the cost per lead from inbound generated methods! Not only does this 3x cost factor represent a significant cost savings, but inbound methods like social media and blogging also allow companies to engage their marketplaces in ways that outbound marketing simply can’t, no matter what the cost.

Another trend coming to light is that companies using inbound tools the most frequently are reporting not only lower costs of lead acquisition, but also higher rates of qualified leads in general. As these companies gain more experience around inbound marketing and continue to refine their strategies its fair to assume even lower costs per lead and also that these improved efforts will drive an even greater growth in the number of quality leads generated.

Is your company taking advantage of the many inbound lead generation options available today? Are you interested in learning more about optimizing your social media and blogging opportunities to improve your lead generation results? Give efelle a call today at 206.384.4909 or fill out our quick contract form at to speak to one of our marketing consultants and get ready to jump on the bandwagon!