<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/100582.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

How to Create an Effective Outbound Communication Strategy in 6 Steps

Carter Clark

Carter Clark,
September 11, 2019

What is an Effective Outbound Communication Strategy?

Outbound communications are proactive messages designed to boost brand awareness, sent to current and potential customers. An outbound communication strategy can maximize the number of people consuming your content, increase brand awareness, and grow sales. Outbound communications are your platform to interact, deliver value, and position your brand as a thought-leader.

Why Does it Matter?

An effective outbound communication strategy increases brand engagement and improves the customer experience, resulting in a higher customer lifetime value. According to a Gallup Poll, an engaged customer is worth 23% more in terms of share of wallet, profitability, and revenue when compared to a disengaged customer. The difference between a poor strategy and an effective strategy is the planning and intention behind the audience, the message, and the channel(s) in which it is delivered.

As Benjamin Franklin once said. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In this post, we’ll explain how to create an effective outbound communication strategy, step-by-step, and then provide tips and reminders to ensure you’re following industry best practices.

Step #1: Determine Your Target Buyer Persona

The first step is to segment your target market into buyer personas. This will allow you to tailor your strategy to each type of buyer. HubSpot has a great resource section to help develop buyer personas if you haven’t segmented them yet. When creating a buyer persona, you should have a pretty good idea of what channels are used most by your buyers. Creating a table like the below can show you which channels you should focus on, based on each of your buyer personas, and what you’re trying to sell.

Goal

Sell X amount of SMS solutions

Buyer Persona

Healthcare providers (Make yours more specific. Think organizational size and location, and then drill down into target job titles.)

Channel

Email

Blog

Facebook

Paid media

Sponsor industry newsletter

Sponsored blog listing on dentist, doctor, and nurse forums

Ads for SMS solutions

Earned media

 

Add share links and encourage conversation

Create a viral campaign

Owned media

Share SMS related blogs/resources

Create 1 blog article per week

Post 3X a week on SMS solutions

 

Other viable channels for customer acquisition are:

  • Cold calling or cold emailing
  • Viral referral loops (especially if you’re a start-up)
  • Paid advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content marketing and SEO

Step #2: Audit Your Current Methods of Communication

Review how you currently communicate with your audience to identify where you should invest your time and money. For example, if you have high traffic and low engagement from users who arrive at your website from Facebook, you may want to capitalize on that traffic by optimizing their journey. Adding a Chatbot that integrates with both your website and Facebook Messenger is one way that you can proactively qualify and engage with your visitors.

If your focus is on driving traffic to your website or blog, make sure your website is optimized for all devices. Your website is your most valuable marketing resource, and if it loads slowly or is difficult to navigate on certain devices, your conversion rates will suffer. Your website analytics will help you determine which channels are working well, and which channels need improvement. The metrics we recommend looking at in Google Analytics are as follows:

  1. Source/Medium - Where your site traffic is coming from
  2. Device Category - Which devices visitors use most to access your site (desktop, mobile, tablet)
  3. Average Session Duration – How long users interact with your site
  4. Bounce Rate – How often users visit a single page, do not interact with the page and immediately leave your site

Take the journey yourself to see if any pain points jump out at you and avoid drawing strict conclusions. For example, fewer mobile users than desktop users could indicate that you should be focusing on optimizing your communications for desktop users, but this may also be an indication of pain points within the mobile experience.

If your internal audit reveals many areas in need of improvement, we suggest looking into possible solution partners. We cover this in Step 4!  

Step #3: Set Key Performance Indicators

Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you define what success looks like for your outbound communication strategy. The process of developing KPIs forces you and your team to look at the specific actions and behaviors that will drive success. They can be department- or team-specific.

For example, if your chosen KPI is to increase the conversion rate of website visitors coming from Facebook by 8%, you can brainstorm and identify what factors are really driving the conversion rate. There lots of ways to increase engagement but focusing on your specific KPIs will help you develop a unique road map to get there.

When creating your specific KPIs, make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Applying this framework will increase your likelihood of success in getting buy-in from your organization and achieving your desired outcomes.

SMART Goals

Step #4: Choose a Solution Partner

If your internal audit revealed many areas in need of improvement, fear not! There are many SaaS providers in the space that can help you level up your strategy. Leveraging their experience and solutions can prove to be an advantage, especially when compared with the cost of developing and implementing the same solutions in-house. When choosing a partner or solution, ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • A track record of client success
  • A demonstrated knowledge of communication best practices
  • A proven understanding of consent capture legislation, and requirements
  • An emphasis on measurement and improvement

Both managed solutions (where an account manager is assigned to you), or self-managed solutions have unique merits. Managed solutions reduce the strain on your operational resources, can be implemented quickly, and thus, produce timely results. Self-managed solutions allow you to implement at your own pace and develop knowledge of best practices first-hand.

Step #5: Prepare for Implementation

The period before implementing your new outbound communication strategy is the most critical time to review all the work you’ve done. Clarify your KPIs to gauge success of the new strategy, and ensure your team and your partner (if you decided to opt for one) understand their roles in helping to achieving them. 

Next, prepare your existing framework for the implementation. Your outbound communication strategy should complement and work cohesively with your existing sales funnel.

Using custom UTM parameters will optimize your Google Analytics tracking. Custom UTM URLs can help you dive down into the specific pages and content within these traffic sources. HubSpot has a great article that goes more in depth on the topic, here.

Develop internal workflows and processes for the channels you’re going to be active on. Workflows can help streamline and automate repeatable business tasks like sending outbound communications, minimize the room for errors and increase efficiency. Here at SPLICE, we use Asana to help develop efficient processes and workflows.

Step #6: Optimize Post-Implementation

You’ve set up your outbound communication strategy for success, and you’re ready to implement it. Now comes the easiest part—monitoring and optimizing your strategy over time. I refer to this stage as the “babysitting stage”.

Design a survey to gain insight into how your new customers feel about your engagement. Include some sort of reward for participants in order to maximize feedback. Read more about effective survey design here. There are many options for designing a survey that can be provided at scale. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are some of our favorites!

If you’ve done everything properly up to this point, the only things left to do are continuously review and iterate to optimize your customer journey, and continue creating content to educate, entertain and provide value to your customers.

Getting clear on what your outbound communication strategy should look like will help reduce customer attrition and put more potential customers into your sales funnel. Bain & Company found that an increase in customer retention of only 5% can increase profits between 25% & 95%. The potential ROI is well worth the time investment of providing proactive customer support. Investing the time to create an effective strategy now, will allow you to reap the rewards later!

Want to get started? Contact our sales team and schedule a consultation today.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

About the Author

Carter Clark

Carter Clark

Carter Clark joined SPLICE Software in June of 2019 as a Marketing Intern. Carter is months away from finishing his Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Royal University, with a major in Management and a double minor in Finance/Economics and Marketing. Carter is a self-described, stereotypical “Gen Z’er”, and is passionate about travel, digital marketing, self-improvement, and fitness. Connect with Carter on LinkedIn!

Follow Me On: , LinkedIn

You may also be interested in