Sujan Patel On Inbound vs Outbound For Early Stage Startups

#BiteSize is a video series where leading experts answer some of the most pressing questions entrepreneurs have while building or marketing their startups.

In the latest episode of #BiteSize, Sujan Patel shares his insights on what marketing strategy works best for early stage startups – Inbound or Outbound.

Sujan Patel

Sujan has 12 years of experience in digital marketing and co-created Content Marketer, a tool to help automate and scale content marketing. He is also an avid blogger and writes for Forbes, Inc, WSJ and Entrepreneur. In his spare time, he authored the Growth Hacking eBook 100 Days of Growth & Content Marketing Playbook. When he’s not working 80 hours a week you can find him at the racing cars/motorcycles or jumping out of planes.

Transcript of the Video

Inbound takes a long time for startups – 6 months is a long time for startups. So, outbound is a good way to get started and get some traction. Inbound in the long term is more sustainable, there’s more value and branding that comes along with Inbound.

Part of it depends on the audience and your price points. If you’re going after the enterprise, Inbound is going to help you close the sale, it’s going to help you maybe to even get the lead and definitely help nurture it, but outbound is going to work really well.

When I say Inbound, I mean really from the marketing perspective; Inbound sales is another story in that Inbound sales and Inbound marketing works really well together. But I think for startups, at least in the early stage, unless the product has a lot of buzz before it starts, outbound is a good strategy to test out and it helps you figure out your early potential customers and talk to them to get feedback.

You can do outbound with very little resources. And it’s like PPC (pay per click) where if it doesn’t work, you don’t do it. Whereas with Inbound, you have a longer runway, for example 6 months.

I think it’s a combination of both (Inbound and Outbound) that really work best. But also, if you want to have a sales team to close deals, it depends on the deal size. If you’re talking enterprise, it could be anything about $400-500 a month or higher on the SaaS side – you definitely want to have at least some sales service, because self service is not always going to work best.