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Am I being watched? When Outbound Marketing does work, it’s creepy.

Pulling into my drive way, on my way back from the store, I cracked my car door open to the sound of whistling. At first, I was sure it was someone trying to get my attention. Looking around, not spotting anyone, I mimicked the whistle back.

And, just like an echo, the whistle came right back to me. Still looking around, searching for the source of the whistle, I repeated it — and, once again, the same tune was sung right back to me.

After a fourth and fifth time, I managed to spot the source of this auditory prank: a beautiful, multicolored bird.

The bird had a blazing red-orange chest, a bright blue top, and glossy lime green wings. The last thing I wanted to do was miss this opportunity.

I dashed into my house, hoping to get back in time with my DSLR. If only I could snap some shots of this brilliant little bird. But I was soon disappointed that it had left as I got back a couple of minutes later, Camera in hand.

Still having some curiosity left over, I decided to find out more. After some quality google research, I found a cool website called eBird. A website and society for birdwatching. From eBird, I learned that the bird was a Painted Bunting.

I also found out that I was lucky to have had the opportunity to see it; even if I wasn’t lucky enough to get a picture of it. Due to their colorful plumes, they’re often captured and sold illegally as caged birds.

With this being the case, I decided to share the discovery with the rest of the community through eBird‘s ‘submit an observation’ feature.

I then went right from that to cooking four delicious Cornish Game Hens that I went to the store to purchase earlier. (Had some mixed feelings on that…but they were sooo good.)

The next day, grabbing the mail, I received something freaky:

When outbound marketing actually works

Through what I hope is coincidence, I got a comprehensive letter and package all about birdwatching from Audubon, a non-profit, environmental organization dedicated to conservation related to birds and birdwatching. Never once before this incident have I ever shown any interest in bird watching.

Now I receive an envelope having the same exact rare bird that I had just seen the day before right on the front cover! Coincidence…or am I being Watched?!

During the rare times that Outbound Marketing does work, it’s freaky.

Audubon spent a small fortune on:

  1. Paying their marketing team to come up with this (in-effective) marketing campaign,
  2. Paying copy writers to write, gather, and compile all the information and content contained with-in,
  3. Paying a team of designers and printers to create the print items,
  4. Paying a team of attorneys to double-check and make sure everything is legally sound and has all the right precautions contained with-in,
  5. Buying a ‘good’ mailing list, hoping that they’re good addresses,
    • (many times the addresses are no longer in use or no good, resulting in your delivery being returned or thrown away with no refund)
  6. Paying a delivery service to bring them to those addresses,
  7. And hoping that the recipients have some sort of interest in the service in the first place.

Now think about my situation:

  1. I had this unique and memorable encounter with a bird,
  2. Researched it and found out that is was rare,
  3. Invested time to share what I saw with a community of bird watchers,
  4. And received their mail that had an image of that same rare bird on the cover!

Even with a 1 in a million chance like mine, they still couldn’t convert me to a client. It went right from me taking a picture of the mail for this post right to the trash.

This situation perfectly highlights the difference between Inbound and Outbound marketing — and why Inbound marketing is so much more effective.

Outbound marketing is a total Gamble. A very expensive gamble.

Utilizing Inbound marketing on their website and a couple of quality internet marketing techniques, Audubon could have captured my attention through valuable information and content like eBird did. While saving thousands of dollars at the same time.

Inbound marketing avails you the ability to garner trust from people interested in the service that you provide.

Developing an audience that will not only convert into clients, but also spread the word about your company or organization.

What are your thoughts?

Comment below!

Image Source: Ira Runyan

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About the Author

Ken Cimetta

Ken Cimetta has over forty years of experience under his belt. Working on National and Multi-national fortune 500 companies and smaller start up companies. Both art directing and executing campaigns as well a pioneering commercial aspects of the the internet. Ken Cimetta the son of European Immigrants was born In...

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