ClickCease Here’s why inbound marketing ROI trumps outbound
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October 17th Insights

Here’s why inbound marketing ROI trumps outbound

📄 Cliff notes:

Inbound targets better prospects, more efficiently and more affordably

Outbound targets many people and requires a big advertising budget

Klicker builds and executes your inbound marketing with zero effort on your part

Big businesses use both, but SMBs are better off with inbound

Thinking about spending your marketing budget on TV ads or billboards because that’s what your competitor is doing?

Outbound marketing is a good choice for some businesses, but we believe that inbound marketing is the best choice for most businesses.

Here’s why our clients invest their marketing budget into inbound marketing instead of outbound (and why it pays off).

What is inbound vs outbound marketing?

The biggest difference between inbound and outbound is that inbound marketing brings leads to you, while outbound marketing brings your business to leads. Let us go a little more in depth and explain what is inbound and outbound marketing, and (eventually) how to choose an inbound marketing agency.

What is inbound marketing strategy? 🧲

Inbound marketing naturally attracts prospects without interrupting their life.

For us and our clients, inbound marketing boils down to three steps:

Show up, stand out, seal the deal.

When you’re asking what is an inbound marketing campaign, its components are mostly digital, and include:

  • Web design
  • Organic, local and paid search
  • Web content
  • Email campaigns
  • Chat bots
  • Videos
  • Social media ads

Here’s what a typical Klicker inbound campaign looks like.

Show Up

Searchers with intention to buy are looking for what you offer. Winning online starts with showing up at the right time and the right place.

Showing up means placing your site at the top of Google’s organic and local search results, and delivering effective paid ads to the right prospects.

Stand Out

Research shows that prospects compare 3-4 options but only reach out to 1. The winner is determined by how much value is demonstrated.

Standing out means having a site, messaging and content that makes your business the clear choice—not your competitors.

Seal the Deal

Seldom do leads turn into clients immediately. It can take up to 7 interactions to land a paying client. The business with the best follow up gets the sale.

Sealing the deal means delivering the right messages and ads to prospects for as long as it takes to land their business.

What are the pros and cons of inbound marketing? ⚖️

Inbound marketing has become the most dominant method of marketing for businesses. It’s easy to see why.

Inbound marketing pros

Inbound marketing carries some big benefits. Here’s why we love it:

  • Targeting and relevancy. Inbound marketing campaigns target relevant prospects at different stages of the buying cycle.
  • It’s less annoying than outbound marketing. You choose to click on a website or watch a video, but you can’t opt out of radio ads or billboards.
  • We can track results. You’ll know exactly where new clients are coming from, and can even track your results in real time.
  • Inbound offers better ROI. Inbound marketing has both lower startup costs and reaches more interested prospects.
  • Your website works 24/7. People forget cold calls and discard junk mail. Your website chugs along as your #1 salesperson without sleeping.

Inbound marketing cons

Inbound marketing is great, but it also has downsides:

  • Inbound campaigns need constant maintenance. Once your inbound campaign is live, it takes nurturing to see continuous results.
  • Developing the right strategy takes time. Figuring out exactly what to say, do or build takes time.
  • You need a lot of tools for a really successful campaign. Your typical agency will use dozens of different tools to run your campaign.

Here’s the thing—when you hire a full-service marketing team like Klicker, you don’t have to worry about any of these downsides. We take care of everything.

What is inbound digital marketing?

Often, the terms “digital marketing” and “inbound marketing” are used to describe the same thing. That means bringing leads to your business using digital means.

There are a few examples of “digital” marketing that are actually outbound — specifically paid advertisements — that we’ll get into later.

What is outbound marketing? 📣

Let’s start off with a disclaimer—although we believe inbound marketing to be superior for most businesses, outbound marketing is not “dead.”

However, we think a better way to describe outbound marketing is “interrupt” marketing.

If our version of inbound marketing is “show up, stand out, seal the deal,” then outbound marketing looks more like…

Interrupt, disappear, lay and pray.

Outbound marketing involves mostly non-digital channels, including:

  • Cold calling
  • Direct mail
  • Billboards
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Events and presentations
  • Website banner and pop-up ads

Let’s take a look at your typical outbound campaign.


Your billboard, radio ad or cold call intrudes on your customer’s commute, lunch, or leisure time. This leaves prospects with a negative impression of your business.


You sit and wait for phone calls to pour in. Meanwhile, most people who see your ad have already forgotten about it.

Lay and Pray

You get a trickle of results that usually won’t recoup your advertising costs—and you can’t even tell if your new clients are coming from your ads or not.

What are the pros and cons of outbound marketing? 🤔

While outbound marketing isn’t for everyone, it is the right choice for some businesses. But do the pros outweigh the cons?

Outbound marketing pros

Outbound marketing has some benefits. Fans of outbound marketing say that outbound campaigns:

  • Can get you quick results. If your ads manage to reach someone already interested in your business, then they’re likely to take action.
  • Are more familiar to some prospects. A television ad or billboard may seem more trustworthy to some prospects than an online ad or website.
  • Promote awareness. Because outbound campaigns cast a wide net, they can reach many people who have never heard of your business.

Outbound marketing cons

Of course, outbound marketing has challenges. Some of the difficulties you’ll face running outbound campaigns include:

  • Outbound marketing is expensive. Because outbound must cast a wide net, you have to spend more money to reach a larger audience.
  • Tracking results is hard. With many outbound strategies, it’s hard to know exactly where your calls are coming from. A billboard? Word of mouth? How do you track it?
  • Many prospects are deaf to outbound marketing. It’s second nature to mute a TV ad, ignore a billboard, and throw junk mail into the trash.
  • Outbound’s wide reach is also a curse. Because your outbound campaigns are generalized, it’s tough to appeal to individual prospects.

Why is inbound marketing a better choice for most businesses? 🔥

The pros of outbound marketing that we discussed earlier aren’t exclusive to outbound marketing.

What’s more, the challenges of inbound marketing quickly disappear when you hire an experienced marketing team.

“Outbound marketing gets quick results”

Running paid Google and social media ads also gets quick results—more affordably than billboards, print ads or TV spots.

“Outbound marketing is more familiar to prospective clients”

This may have been true a decade or two ago, but there’s nothing “unfamiliar” about filling out a contact form or booking an online consultation nowadays.

“Outbound marketing promotes brand awareness”

Streamlined web design, first-page Google rankings, and brand-building web content also create brand awareness.

“Inbound marketing needs constant maintenance”

But you don’t have to lift a finger. We’ll plan and run your campaign.

“Inbound marketing takes a lot of time”

But we have years of experience running inbound campaigns. We’ve already done the R&D and field testing to run your campaign effectively.

“Inbound marketing requires a lot of different tools”

But you don’t have to worry about any of them. We have years of experience working with all of the technology and tools needed for a successful campaign.

Why should I go with inbound marketing first? 💰

You should go with Klicker for inbound marketing if:

  • You care about maximizing your ROI
  • You want both long-term success and immediate results
  • You want trackable, measurable results
  • You want to create a digital hub that constantly attracts and wins clients 24/7
  • You want to do all of this with as little effort and energy as possible

You should focus on outbound marketing if:

  • You have a very large marketing budget to spend on billboards and TV ads
  • You would rather reach as many people as possible instead of reaching the most relevant prospects
  • You believe your audience doesn’t use or trust the internet
  • You already have an inbound marketing system set up and you want to cover all of your bases

Neither outbound marketing nor inbound marketing are “better,” but we believe most of your effort should be focused on inbound marketing.

Just look at some of the businesses who spend the most on outbound marketing—like Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Amazon. They all invest in inbound, too.

For our clients, inbound marketing delivers results that cannot be replicated with outbound marketing.

Contact us today and let’s chat about getting your business some of those incredible results, too.

Winning online starts now.

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