Inbound VS Outbound Lead Generation

By: Jack Reamer |
 May 13, 2021 |

Inbound vs. outbound lead generation, which is better? There have been various debates about which works best to bring in new leads. 

Some feel that outbound is outdated, and others feel that inbound is the only way to go, but good marketers plan on using both inbound and outbound

Why? Inbound takes time, but once it’s set up, it can bring you leads on autopilot.

So while you’re waiting for inbound leads to start coming in, that’s where outbound can help.      Outbound can work immediately because you’re going direct to your target audience.

That’s why inbound and outbound work well together.

This article will dive into all you need to know about the differences between the two outreach methods and how you can use each for prospecting success. 

All you need to know about Inbound lead generation

Inbound marketing, simply put, bring leads to you. So, for example, things such as social media marketing, content marketing(such as blogging), your website, SEO, and online adverts (like Google Ads), podcasts and webinars, are all inbound methods to generate leads. 

With inbound marketing, you would use digital platforms to create brand awareness about your business for leads to find you. 

The methodology behind inbound lead gen is to attract potential leads with videos, blogs, social media content, specific keywords, and hashtags. The trick with inbound marketing is to keep your audience engaged. You can also close inbound sales with Calls to action and finding the right target audience

Some social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow you to add in filters that will help you find the right people for your product or service. 

You can choose the exact demographic that you’re after, and an advert of your choice will be shown to your target audience

See an example of Facebook filters below:

Quick list of inbound marketing methods

  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing (blogging)
  • Pop-ups
  • Webinars
  • Search engine optimization
  • PPC

Does inbound marketing work?

What do the stats show? Yes, many marketers have said that inbound marketing has a positive ROI. Check out some of these stats below:

  • 79% of businesses that have a blog report a positive ROI for their inbound marketing methods.

  • 82% of marketers who blog daily found a new customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly.

  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising

  • After 5 months of consistent Inbound Marketing, the average cost per lead drops by 80%

  • On average, brands that publish 15 blog posts per month convert 1,200 new leads per month. (HubSpot)

The stats above show that inbound marketing is an effective way of generating leads. Some businesses prefer inbound marketing methods, as it is less aggressive; prospects find you instead of the other way around. 

How much does inbound marketing cost?

Inbound marketing can cost anything between $4000 – $15,000 a month, depending on the needs of your business. 

Most marketing agencies will offer you different packages to suit your needs and budgets. Some campaigns might run for a few months, and others for over a year. 

These inbound strategies could include a variety of things, such as making us of:

  • Content writers
  • Social media experts
  • SEO experts
  • PPC
  • Multimedia content (such as YouTube videos, graphics, and design)

But on average, most inbound marketing agencies charge between $2000 and $4000 per month, so if inbound lead generation appeals to you, you would need to budget this amount of money each month. 

What are the pros and cons of inbound lead generation?


  • It generates leads organically for your business (Have a look at the infographic below.)
  • If you use inbound marketing such as blogs, your company can become an expert leader in a specific niche.

  • It can be budget-friendly

  • Inbound marketing aligns with current customer behavior and trends, meaning that prospects search for what they need, when they need it, and will be ready to purchase your item when they are ready. 

What are the cons of inbound lead generation?

  • It takes a really long time before you see any ROI. The latest stats show that, on average, it can take between 15 and 17 months before you begin to see results with inbound marketing

  • For inbound lead gen, you would need a variety of team members specializing in different fields, or you would need to be able to do everything yourself, which can take time. 

  • You need to produce new, engaging, and valuable content every day to stand out from the masses for good engagements. If you don’t have a clear marketing strategy, this can be challenging to do. 

  • Measuring the number of leads that you receive for inbound can be pretty tricky. You might be able to see how much traffic you receive on your web page, but other times, you would need to use more sophisticated tools to measure the amounts of leads you’re getting in. 

All you need to know about outbound lead generation

What is outbound lead generation exactly? Most people think of it as cold calling or email marketing, but there is quite a bit more to it than just that. 

You could also view outbound marketing as a more traditional advertising method, but there should be a science behind outbound tactics. And if sales reps can get it right, then they can fill their client’s pipelines with qualified leads

Another form of outbound lead generation is social selling on Linkedin. This is also one of the biggest ways that B2B marketers generate leads, and they do this by nurturing prospects on Linkedin. This would include connecting with new leads, sending them well-thought-out messages, and then follow-up messaging.

Some companies might use automation that spams potential prospects, but Sales Bread believes in a completely different approach. We do not believe in sending high volume, but rather sending a few well-thought-out personalized messages to a very specific target audience

Quick List of outbound marketing methods:

  • Direct mail/cold emailing
  • Cold calling
  • Social selling
  • Flyers
  • Billboards
  • Linkedin Lead generation
  • Corporate events

Does outbound lead generation work?

There has been speculation that outbound sales are a thing of the past. But this is not the case, as stats have shown. Outbound lead generation is still very much alive, and it still works really well for fast results. 

Check out some of the most recent stats about outbound marketing

  • Email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses.

  • 53% of marketers say email has been the most effective channel for early-stage lead generation.

  • 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who are not. (LinkedIn, 2020)

  • 63.4 percent of sales reps engaged in social selling report an increase in their company’s revenue (compared to just 41.2 percent of non-social sellers). 

These stats show that there is still a need for outbound marketing campaigns. Small businesses especially can use these lead generation strategies, as they will be able to see immediate results. 

How much does outbound marketing cost?

The cost of outsourcing an outbound sales team would initially be more cost-effective for small businesses. Over time, once the start-up has gained some traction, SalesBread always encourages them to set up their own in-house outbound team. 

Why start off with outsourcing? When you start with outsourcing lead gen, you have an experienced sales team that knows how to get you qualified prospects. 

You will also be saving money on salaries, bonuses, and other costs. 

Did you know that the average salary of an SDR in America is between $47 000 and $55 000 a year? 

You will also save money on office furniture rentals, data costs, and programs such as Linkedin Sales Navigator

The outbound marketing company will take care of all these extra costs for you.

So to answer your question:

The average cost of outsourcing an outbound lead generation team could cost you between $2000 – $8000 a month, depending on your needs. Whereas if you had to bring an outbound team in-house, it would cost you so much more. 

What are the pros and cons of outbound lead generation?


  • You will get immediate qualified leads

  • Outbound lead generation is easier to implement for small businesses, as they won’t need as many resources as inbound marketing. It can be more challenging for startups to invest in the time required to create an online presence. 

  • You can be very target-specific with outbound lead gen. For example, with Linkedin lead generation, you can filter your prospects by title, business, geographics, and even groups.

  • Increased awareness of your brand to a specific audience

  • Cost-effective for smaller businesses



  • Depending on what form of outbound you choose, it can be hard to measure your ROI. For example, if you have a billboard or hand out flyers, you will never know your exact conversion rates from these ads.

  • Outbound lead gen, like cold calls, can be quite aggressive, and some people might find it intrusive. 

Some outbound companies might get you unqualified leads because their marketing tactics include blasting out hundreds of emails, messages, or phone calls to many different people and not your ideal customers.

Which form of marketing works best?

As you can see, both inbound and outbound can have great results. The best option would be to make use of both forms of marketing. By using inbound, you can build an organic following over time, and with outbound, you can get immediate results with reaching potential customers

On a final thought

Not everyone has the time to use outbound methods themselves. If you would like a done-for-you-lead generation service, be sure to give us a call.

With 12 years of experience, we can help you find qualified leads to grow your business. 

8 + 4 =