inbound marketing, advertising messages, email marketing

Are Outbound Messages part of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation?

What are “Inbound Marketing Messages”?

If you’re sending messages as part of your Inbound Marketing efforts, aren’t they “outbound”?

If it’s “inbound”, are you sending messages?

As with many things, the answer is “it depends”.

The defining characteristic of outbound marketing is you send your message into a very large audience with the fore knowledge the most of them do not care. They’re not buying now. They probably not buying ever.

What distinguishes Inbound Marketing from outbound is your prospects find you, and as such you know they have an interest because if they didn’t they would not have found you.

So whether your messages qualify as “inbound” depends entirely upon who you’re sending them to.

Examples of Outbound Marketing Messages

  • Mass email’s to other people’s lists (don’t do that).
  • Facebook updates (assuming your connections are friends and family)
  • Tweets (again assuming your connections are friends and family)
  • LinkedIn posts

When do These Become Inbound

Technically never, but for all practical purposes messaging is inbound when you send messages to a distribution of people who chose to be on the distribution.

At one point they made a conscious effort to be included.

Examples are:

  • Email sent to a list of people who opted in
  • Facebook updates to your business Facebook page, which goes to people who Like the page
  • Tweets to people who follow your business twitter handle

Or any other scenario where people made a decision to follow you (Pinterest, Instagram, etc).


All Inbound Marketing efforts contain an element of outbound. You share the content you’re most proud of. Creating the content is part of your inbound efforts, and you share it with people who’ve indicated a desire to see it by opting in in some fashion.

Just don’t confuse outbound with inbound and it pays to make use of the grey area in the middle.

Learn More About Inbound Marketing…

Download the eBook: The 7 Fundamentals of Being Found Online


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