What is outbound email marketing?

Even today, email marketing is one the most trusted and used marketing and lead generation platform. Each dollar that is spent on email marketing generates $44 along with that.

It has great conversion rates. 

It’s a platform that shouldn’t be missed from your marketing strategy. However, it is important to know the different types of email marketing to make the best out of them.

Email marketing is of 2 types: outbound email marketing and inbound email marketing. People, however, usually have a misconception that email marketing is all outbound. To put it simply, outbound email marketing refers to sending emails to people who haven’t opted to receive them. Such email marketing is also called cold email marketing.

For any email marketing, the most important aspect is its contact list. It is essential that the people receiving the email are relevant and interested in your company and its offerings. There are many ways to create a contact list. Some companies buy them, some companies have opt-in email forms, and some companies have contact information forms or newsletter sign-ups on their websites.

The contact lists for outbound email marketing are usually made or bought by a company. In outbound email marketing, you approach the customer yourself and try to sell them your offering. Since you are yourself walking up to the customer, there is no guarantee that every outbound email you send or outbound email campaign you set up will work.

The return on investment, conversion, and sales rates of an outbound email marketing campaign are lower than an inbound email marketing campaign. An inbound email marketing campaign is where a user himself/herself opts to receive emails from your company/ brand/ business.

Advantages of outbound email marketing

E-Mail service

Outbound email marketing has many advantages like: 


The process of this type of email marketing is faster. You can form a contact list much easier than for an inbound email marketing campaign, where you will have to wait for potential customers to find you and then opt-in for emails. 


It is great for newly launched businesses and brands since it can reach the maximum number of people in less time with fewer resources. So, using outbound email marketing for brand awareness campaigns is a great idea.


Depending on your business, sometimes it is better to reach out to the customer yourself. For example, businesses that offer innovative solutions or new technology should reach out to their prospective customers first instead of waiting for them to come around.

Disadvantages of outbound email marketing

E-Mail service

Sending emails to people who didn’t sign up to receive them can have disadvantages. Some of the issues with outbound email marketing are:

They are tricky

Sending out regular emails to a large audience requires both the resource of time and money. Along with that, the cost per conversion of outbound emails is higher than that of inbound emails. Sending out emails to people who haven’t shown that they are interested in your offerings is always a gamble and can’t guarantee conversions.

With inbox providers and email services becoming increasingly sophisticated blocking and flagging of emails is more efficient and thus your email marketing campaigns should be more targeted and personalized.  

The return on investments, click through, and open rates of outbound emails are also lower than that of inbound emails. They tend to generate lower profits.

These emails can sometimes end up in the spam or get flagged as emails from an untrusted source. When you send out emails to irrelevant email addresses or email addresses that aren’t in anyone’s use, these types of actions or complaints can be registered against your company.

Differences between outbound and inbound email marketing

Emails list on a laptop screen, office background

Except for the main difference of opting to receive emails, both the email marketing types have a set of few other differences too:

In outbound email marketing, content can’t be targeted. Since you are sending out emails to lots of different types of people simultaneously without knowing much about them, there is very little room for proper segmentation and targeting. Along with that, personalization becomes hard too. When you aren’t aware of your customer’s details, likes, dislikes, or interests, it is impossible to know which type of content will they resonate with or personalize emails to their liking. Generating leads with outbound email marketing can be more expensive than with inbound email marketing.

However, you can easily segment your contact list for inbound email marketing based on their information and data with you. You can then target the right content and emails to them, rendering high open and click-through rates. Personalization also becomes easy in such a situation. Being aware of your customers lets you design and create campaigns around their likings and interests. This method of email marketing is also better for lead generation.

How to counter the issues with outbound email marketing

Laptop computer with emails list on screen. 3d illustration

There are many ways to counter such issues of outbound email marketing:

Acquire/ purchase the right email marketing list

This can be done through a freelance service provider who can assist you with email collection, making it cost-effective and less time-consuming. You can also use a lead generation platform to automate and collect emails that are relevant and verified.

Apart from that, a good data provider can also help you acquire an email contact list. You need to be sure that the email list you are buying is of good quality, matches your industry, and targets the right people.

Email and the subject line

The emails should be well written and have a clear call to action. Don’t use too many words or jargon to confuse your audience, especially if they aren’t aware of the brand. Make sure that the content of your email body matches the subject line. Write an intriguing subject line that results in higher open rates is also important.

Track the numbers of your email marketing campaign

It is essential to monitor and collect data for all your email marketing campaigns. This data and insights help you make relevant changes to improve your campaign performance for the next time. Also, these insights help you understand your consumers and their interests better. 

Final thoughts

Since email marketing isn’t something that you should be sleeping on in your marketing strategy, it is important to be aware of its types to know which one works for your business. Outbound email marketing is less costly and time-consuming. It can be done with ease without the need for lots of resources.

However, if you’re selecting an outbound email marketing campaign, you should also keep in mind its pros and cons and evaluate it accordingly. Keep in mind your business, its customers, and the industry you are working in before deciding.