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Inbound marketing

A nice website is fun. But a website should be more than just a pretty picture. Inbound marketing helps with this. Instead of pushing your product or service, you make smart use of your own knowledge and content in inbound marketing. This effective marketing method contributes to a stable flow of leads and customers with the ultimate goal of exceeding expectations (so that the customer talks about you again). Knowing more? Read more about the four phases of inbound marketing below. Want to know more? Please contact us.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a method whereby a potential customer is provided with useful information throughout his decision-making process that contributes to the purchase of a product or service.

The decision-making process is divided into four different stages

1. Attracting potential customers
2. Convert potential customers into warm leads
3. Transforming warm leads to customers
4. Continue to feed customers with valuable information

Different instruments can be used for each phase to move the customer to the ultimate goal. The more attention is paid to the different phases, the greater the chance that a customer will successfully move to the next phase. The more the customer enters these phases, the more he delivers for your company.

What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?

When you stop outbound marketing (or paying for advertisements on Facebook, Instagram or Google, for example), the supply of leads also stops.
With inbound marketing, the supply of leads continues as normal. Without having to do anything for it. It is therefore an investment that pays for itself over a long period of time.

Attracting potential customers

Attracting new customers largely consists of two parts. On the one hand, you determine who you are going to target. On the other hand, you determine how you will do that.

Who are you going to target

In the first instance it is important that you get a good understanding of who your customer is. A proven approach to find out is the development of personas.

By developing personas you get more direction. You know who you are creating content for and can thus design your content more easily.

It is then important that you classify / structure the content.
You want to approach your customer with the right information at the right time without it feeling intrusive.

It is also important that you create content that answers possible questions that a potential customer has during the buying process.

How are you going to target

Then it is wise to establish a solid marketing strategy. Here you determine for whom you will write (the personas) which topics come up and how you will distribute this content.

There are several channels you can use:

  • search engine optimized pages (SEO);
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Advertise
  • Email marketing
  • Offline marketing
  • Influencer marketing

By using the above channels, you move potential customers to your website. Once they are on your website, it is important that you convert them into warm leads.

Convert potential customers to warm leads

If you have succeeded in getting people to your website with the right content, it is time for the next step. Different inbound marketing tools and techniques should transform the potential customer into a warm lead. Some of these examples are good landing pages with the right CTAs, chatbots, email marketing and conversion optimization.

CTAs & Landing Page

Get the right Call to Actions (CTAs). Give your potential customer a reason to leave his or her email address. This can be by offering a free piece of information. This can be done in the form of a popup or on a separate landing page.

Live Chat & Chatbots

A live chat or a chatbot is also an effective way to capture e-mail addresses. If someone starts a conversation with the customer service or chatbot, you can remark someone from that point. You do this by devising an effective email marketing campaign.

Email marketing

Once you have that coveted email address, you obviously do not want to have to manually email someone. With marketing automation you ensure that the data is not only in your CRM, but also ends up in an email marketing campaign. This campaign consists of a series of emails containing valuable information. In every e-mail you try to attract the attention of the customer in such a way that he visits your website again.

It is important that you continuously contribute to the decision-making process. This information should lead to someone making a purchase from you.

Transforming warm leads into customers

An important aspect of a well-functioning inbound marketing strategy is that you continue to feed your (potential) customers with valuable information during the entire purchasing process. So also in this phase.

Mapping the purchasing process and creating unique content for every step is
a crucial part. You want to know when the average customer converts. If you know where this is, you can pay more attention to it so that this moment becomes even more attractive and it will convert even better.

Important elements that can contribute to determining this success are:

Customer relationship management

The warm leads should already be in a system. When a lead becomes a customer, you want to know on which points he has consumed your content. When did he visit your website, who did he contact and what emails did he receive? It is best to use a solid CRM system for this.

Marketing Automation

With the help of marketing automation you bring a potential customer closer to the decision to buy faster. Email marketing (as described earlier) is completely related to this.

If you know which steps are taken in a purchasing process, you can respond to this through a series of e-mails. You give your potential customer the right information at the right time, preferably at the right location.


Statistics are a fundamental part of measuring the return on investment in inbound marketing. A lead needs an average of 13 touch points to make a decision. What you want to know is which activities have led to a sale.
You want to keep track of this in a thorough manner. Preferably in a system that not only contains the sales statistics, but which is also connected to your CRM, your email marketing automation and the statistics of your website. This is an essential part of making the right decisions.

Exceed expectations

The inbound marketing process doesn’t stop with a purchase. After all, you want to reassure the customer that he has made the right choice. In addition, you want to leave a positive impression that sticks.

Again, you do this by giving the customer content that he may not have expected, but which does contribute to the entire buying process.

All this aims to exceed the expectations of the customer. Not only will a customer come back and buy more from you. A customer will also talk positively about you and promote your products to others. There is no better advertisement for your company.

Now that we know what the final phase of the inbound marketing process is, below are some tips on how to exceed the expectations of a customer.

Really solve problems

Make sure you answer the questions your customer has in such a way that they don’t have any questions afterwards. After all, they come to you for this. If you do this through online content, not only the questions of your customers will be answered, but also those of potential customers. You create trust with this. In the long term, this pays off in (free) word of mouth, which attracts potential customers more easily.

Keep the speed in

When a customer asks a question, the answer is preferably expected yesterday. Although this is impossible, prioritizing an outstanding question is perceived as positive. Even if it is not possible to solve a question immediately, indicating that you are working on it will give a customer the feeling that you are taking them seriously. By using a good CRM system, responding on time becomes easier and in some cases it can even be partially automated.

Think along with your customer

An answer to a question now is not always the best answer for the future. Therefore always give an honest answer that anticipates the future. Even if this ensures that you cannot do business now. Your customer will realize that you can offer greater added value in the long term than in the short term.

Contribute to the success of your customer

If you want to exceed the expectations of your customer, make sure you know exactly why they purchase a product or service from you. If you can pinpoint the pain points and therefore the reason for a purchase, it is easier to solve the pain points. The faster you do this, the sooner your customer can take the next step and be successful.

Listen and act on feedback

Receiving feedback is not always fun. The way you receive feedback can make all the difference. If you want to exceed a customer’s expectations, listen carefully and make sure that the imperfections they come up with are resolved. To receive feedback it is useful to have a system with which this can be done. Here too, a good CRM system helps.

The 4 phases of Inbound Marketing

Getting started with inbound marketing has probably already happened. One or more of the described parts are already carried out, there is almost no other way. However, providing insight into the stages that are followed to make a customer of a foreign national is a different story.

Inbound Marketing something for your company?

Do you have any questions after reading the above information about inbound marketing or would you like to know how we can set up an inbound marketing strategy for you? Please contact Marsmedia.

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