According to Wikipedia, inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered "outbound marketing". When we talk about inbound marketing at Digital Third Coast, we’re talking about utilizing all of the tactics listed above in a well-defined strategy meant to increase traffic to your site, and increase leads from that traffic. ROI of inbound marketing


Simply put, search engine optimization is the practice of strengthening your site to increase visibility for specific, valuable keywords and key phrases. When you increase traffic to your site, this should increase leads as well at a similar conversion rate. For example, if you have 1,000 new visitors on your website each month, and that leads to 10 new leads, your conversion rate is 1%. If you were to increase the number of new visitors to 2,000 per month, that should correlate to 20 new leads at the same conversion rate. SEO is an extremely powerful marketing tool. However, with inbound marketing, we’re looking to both increase the traffic to your site, and increase the conversion rate. Using the same example above, if we increased traffic to 2,000, but concurrently increased your conversion rate from 1% to 2%, you would be generating 40 new leads each month. This makes the power of the inbound marketing work we do doubly impactful. Sounds great, right? Inbound is great – but it is also typically a larger investment than SEO alone. We typically see inbound marketing returning a positive ROI in 9-12 months (this can also vary greatly depending on your sales cycle and average value of a new client), so it is definitely a long-term strategy.   The benefit of inbound is that the work continues to compound upon itself, meaning the return on your investment is likely to continue to increase month over month for as long as you continue inbound efforts. Inbound also has long-term benefits, as you can attract new visitors and potential clients with content produced in the past while producing additional content, amplifying your efforts and ROI. Because of the investment from both a time and cost perspective, we recommend working with a strategist who can help establish goals and plans to ensure your investment will generate a positive return. Using data you may already have, such as average lifetime revenue of a new client, current sales, and goals, we can decide if inbound is the right marketing strategy for you based on the potential revenue growth.

Establish current conversion rates for inbound marketing Click image to enlarge


In the example above, the average new client is worth $5,000, and goals are set up to increase traffic by 20%, and increase conversion rates from 1% to 2%. Using your own data, you can establish your current conversion rate from traffic to lead, as well as your close rate from lead to client. Mapping out a plan that includes realistic expectations can also help you decide your budget for an inbound marketing campaign. In the chart above, the total estimated earned revenue over 12 months is $287,000. If the January numbers reflect what you are doing without a new campaign, you can subtract the 3 new clients you would be acquiring from the total ($15K per month), which indicates the true increase in revenue from inbound is $111,425, as shown below. If your goal is to reach a positive return on your investment within 12 months, your annual campaign costs should be lower than this number.

Annual inbound marketing campaign costs Click image to enlarge


Establishing metrics can often be difficult, which is why we provide free goals evaluations for companies considering new marketing strategies. Using our experience in multiple industries, we can review your current efforts and numbers, and build out a campaign strategy based on your unique business and goals. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in receiving your