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The Difference Between Inbound And Outbound Traffic

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The Difference Between Inbound And Outbound Traffic


You’ve probably heard the terms, inbound traffic and outbound traffic. This is an important concept to understand because it applies to everything you do with paid marketing. In our Paid Traffic Mastery course, we teach the core concepts you need to win with paid traffic. And understanding what inbound vs outbound traffic is, is a core concept of paid traffic marketing.

Inbound Traffic Is Traffic That Is Actively Seeking A Solution

Potential customers are considered inbound when they come to your website or the network you’re advertising on. In digital marketing, you can achieve this through great content marketing, search engine optimization, or paid advertising.

The best example of this is Google search. Let’s say somebody goes to Google and says, “I need a new garden hose.” If you sell garden hoses, that’s inbound traffic.

Outbound Traffic Is Traffic You Push Your Message In Front Of

Outbound traffic is interrupter marketing. Potential customers aren’t looking for you. They’re not looking for a solution.

The best example of this is social media ads, or more generally, paid traffic. These ads show up inside the newsfeed or inside the Google display network or wherever you’re advertising.

If you’ve done your research and completed a Customer Avatar Canvas, you know who you can successfully advertise to. You target these potential customers because you think they might be interested in your product. So you push your message in front of them.

Is Inbound Or Outbound Traffic Better?

I could spark a nerd war if I tried to tell you that inbound was better than outbound or vice versa. So, here’s the truth…you need both inbound marketing and outbound marketing. But each tool needs to be used when it’s applicable.

My dad says, “if you’re good with a hammer, you think everything’s a nail.” If you’re really good with inbound marketing, you’ll often find yourself trying to use inbound traffic when you might need to be using outbound traffic, and vice versa.

When To Use Outbound Traffic

Say you invented a new whiz bang gizmo that nobody’s ever heard about. There’s no inbound traffic for that, right? Nobody is searching for your product because it’s brand new. At this point, you don’t have a list, so email marketing won’t work. What can you do?

In this case, you have to use outbound traffic to raise awareness.

When To Use Inbound Traffic

Now flipping that coin, let’s say you solve a serious problem. Let’s say you’re an emergency plumber. The second my toilet is clogged, I’m going to be desperate to find you. Where do people go when they need something? They head to the search engines, of course. Remember, social media platforms act as search engines, too.

In this case, the incoming traffic from search is extremely valuable. This is the reason you should pay to put yourself and your business out there. As long as the ads can effectively be monetized, you should pay to play.

Deciding Between Inbound vs. Outbound Traffic

Think about where your business could benefit from inbound traffic. Then think about where it could benefit from outbound traffic.

The answer for many businesses is that you probably need a combination of both.

Search Ads Are The Ultimate Inbound Traffic

What’s cool about search ads is you show up above the fold. What does that mean? When you open a web page, the point where the content ends before you have to scroll to see more, is the fold.

Anything that isn’t visible until you scroll is considered “below the fold.” As a rule, “above the fold” content is the most valuable real estate to own.

The good news is, Google prioritizes ads above everything else.

Before the map listings, structured snippets, or organic rankings, are the search ads. Why does Google prioritize search ads? Because that’s their primary monetization opportunity.

You may hear people say, “well, I don’t click on ads.” The data says otherwise.

The truth is that 95% of all traffic does skip over the ads. They go directly to an organic search result. BUT…67% of high commercial intent searches result in a paid click. High commercial intent means that somebody is ready to buy and will happily click your ad.

What does it tell us if 95% of general searches skip the ads, but two thirds of commercial intent searches click it? It tells us that people use organic traffic to learn. But when they’re ready to buy, paid traffic is the most valuable traffic.

Having a hard time picking between inbound and outbound traffic? The Paid Traffic Mastery course will make you a master at both!



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MARKETING

Salesforce winter 2023 release: The business executive’s guide

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Salesforce winter 2023 release: The business executive's guide

More than 150,000 companies are Salesforce customers. Salesforce’s share of the CRM market is about 25%. 

Few customers take advantage of the thrice-yearly release updates rolled out to every Salesforce user. I get it. Folks aren’t always paying attention to the releases because they’re focused on running their business, tending to the million things that come up each day. 

The full edition of this Winter’s ‘23 Release comes in at over 700 pages. The boiled-down, brass-tacks summary is still 32 pages.

Few business executives have the time and bandwidth to keep up with the ins and outs of these updates. Your admins and marketing operations people may slog through the whole doc but may not connect the dots between business initiatives and platform functionality. 

This series will connect those dots. I’ll summarize what you need to know about the latest release in five key categories: commerce, sales, service, marketing and loyalty programs.

I’ll cover the features that will help you make better decisions for your business and maximize how you use the platform. 

Based on features in this release, Salesforce is focused on:

  • Improving the base platform (adding ease that your hands-on admin and developer teams have requested for a long time).
  • Creating even more ways to connect with customers.
  • Offering more industry-tailored options that bring value to a business more quickly.

Robust support for subscription selling added to Commerce 

Adding a subscription pricing model benefits most businesses, whether you’re a fan belt manufacturer or an artisan dog food company.

Making it easier for your customer to buy your product is always a win-win, and this release makes implementing subscriptions more seamless from the backend with the Connect API tool. 

Connect API resources now support subscriptions and multiple product-selling models: 

  • One-time sales where products are sold for specific prices once. 
  • Term sales offer time-limited subscriptions. Products are sold and renewed for a specific amount of time, e.g. 12 months. 
  • Evergreen subscriptions offer products on a recurring basis until canceled.

Configuring charges for collecting local taxes in international jurisdictions was also enabled. 

Dig deeper: Salesforce unveils features to boost automation for marketing and sales


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Additions to sales enablement functionality

Overall, I’m loving the general focus on enablement through enhancements with dynamic forms, screen flows, and Slack integration. 

Teams can now build and launch enablement programs that drive to the most important KPIs for your business. You can now focus on specifics, like programs for a particular region or product, and offer incentives to drive business from them. 

And, dynamic form improvements mean end-users have more flexibility with fields and sections to display on page layouts. 

Sales teams can now better access, update, share records and get important notifications on their key accounts directly within Slack using a new integration. Sales can collaborate in account- and opportunity-focused Slack channels while accessing Salesforce data. 

And, you can make it easier for sales teams to work with colleagues throughout the enterprise in departments such as fulfillment, shipping, and finance. This is enabled using Slack and providing real-time access to data stored in Salesforce to everyone who needs it.

Next time, I’ll dive into the latest service, marketing, and loyalty programs features included in the Winter 2023 release.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.



About The Author

Joe Anzalone

Joe is Vice President, Salesforce Technology at Shift7 Digital. As a member of the Shift7 leadership team, Joe works to craft solutions and architectures that meet ambitious client goals using the power of the Salesforce platform, including product ownership for Shift7’s Industry GTM Accelerators. Joe brings more than 20 years of experience implementing Salesforce and other digital platforms including enterprise solutions and complex technology implementations. He sits on the Salesforce B2B Commerce product advisory board. Shift7 Digital is a Salesforce Ventures-backed agency, revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers, distributors, and their customers.

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