Outbound Marketing Strategies Checklist for Startups


Outbound marketing is a powerful solution – a proactive approach that involves reaching out to potential customers through various communication channels such as cold calling, emails, and advertisements. In contrast, inbound marketing aims to attract prospects organically to your business through distributing content techniques such as ebooks, SEO, or infographics. The key difference between outbound and inbound marketing is being proactive. 

Being proactive and developing an outbound marketing strategy for startups can be a valuable way to generate leads, expand your customer base, and drive business growth. Outbound is exceptionally effective when your audience is specific and prospective organizations are hard to reach (enterprise, financial, medical, etc.) In outbound marketing, the messages are granular, and the approach is tailored to address a specific business need (or “pain”) that they have. With these “hard-to-reach audiences,” outbound methodologies are proven to deliver positive results.

In this guide, discover how to craft your outbound strategy and the top channels for execution. More specifically, explore:

  • Your target audience and how to identify them
  • How to develop your content 
  • The top outbound marketing channels 
  • Guidelines and best practices for executing your strategy 

An effective outbound strategy can deliver faster results and give businesses a competitive edge by precisely targeting your audience, setting yourself apart from other companies. This approach could be a game changer for your organization, but how do you execute it properly? Which channels should you use? What tips can make the difference?

Companies are increasingly finding cold outbound to be a viable strategic tool producing fantastic results for their growing businesses. Cold outbound is a strategic approach within outbound marketing where companies initiate contact with potential customers to introduce their product, establish a connection, and ultimately convert them to customers. 

This guide will break down the step-by-step process of building a successful outbound strategy to elevate your business. These strategies have helped our team target key prospects and startups we worked with to accomplish their goals. Learn how to craft your effective outbound strategy and gain tips on execution from our marketing professionals. 

Tailoring Your Outbound Marketing for Target Audiences

Building an effective outbound marketing strategy can set your business apart. In a world flooded with media and advertisements, connecting with your target audience becomes the key to standing out and achieving your business goals. 

In this section, learn how to: 

  • Identify your target audience
  • Personalize your message 
  • Craft compelling content 

Understanding various outbound marketing channels, in addition to these tools, will provide the comprehensive perspective necessary for success. 

Identifying Your Target Audience  

The effectiveness of your campaign is most reliant on the quality of your research. Teams that can pinpoint their target audience distinguish themselves from their competitors and close more deals. The value proposition that your company brings lies in your target marketing and segmentation. Value varies between everyone. Not all of your customers will value the same points of your product or service. When thinking about value, evaluate both the tangible and intangible attributes and benefits of your product. 

Defining your target audience is the first step of your outbound marketing strategy. Understanding who you are selling to will help clear your messaging and create a more targeted approach. Think about your end user and what they look like. Develop distinct messages tailored to address the unique pain points of each of your target audiences.

Tip: Starting with your current customer base is a simple way to know which industries and companies are already gaining value from your business. Additionally, analyzing a competitor’s customer base to understand who they are selling to and what messaging works for them.

Lead Information and Generation

Define who you are selling to with an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Developing a well-structured ICP maps out your campaign and is crucial for enhancing the effectiveness of your outreach campaigns. Knowing who you are communicating with allows you to tailor your messaging, choose the most suitable channels, and maximize engagement with desired prospects for conversion. 

At the basic level, an ICP should include:

  • Industry 
  • Company size 
  • Location 
  • Job titles 

An ICP is highly customizable and can be more specific as well. More in-depth ICPs may include more in-depth information that you could customize toward different solutions your company may offer.

At a deeper level, an ICP will include: 

  • Pain points of your target audience 
  • Challenges they face
  • Where they consume content 

Use an ICP in all outbound campaigns to ensure your marketing efforts are aligned with the needs and preferences of your most valuable prospects, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of your outreach. 


The key to connecting and resonating with your target audience is crafting personalized messages that engage. Harbor simple information about your recipient to increase the chance of a positive response and start you off on the right foot. 

Find commonalities to reference, such as their: 

  • Professional background
  • LinkedIn content 
  • Industry 

Additionally, include commonalities that will help target your messages to your desired prospects. Treat your prospects as an individual rather than simply a name on your list. Try crafting genuine messaging to your prospects to better resonate with them. 

Composing Compelling Content 

Now that you have identified your audience, a prospect’s conversion will ultimately come down to what you offer and how you say it. Content is at the heart of your outbound marketing efforts. It serves as the medium through which you convey your message, value proposition, and call to action to your prospects. You have just seconds to convince your audience that you are worth their time.

The most effective messaging covers the pain points your audience may be facing, resonating deeper. For each platform, creating content that follows best practices can boost your messaging and raise engagement. Crafting an effective storytelling strategy can win over the hearts and minds of your most desired prospects. 

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Outbound Marketing Channels 

Now that you know who you are targeting, you must learn where they spend their time and engage the most. Capture their attention and convert it to sales. So many people receive too many spam emails, messages, and advertisements throughout the day. Yours has to stand out and grab attention! 

Capturing attention is most reliant on:

  • Who you contact
  • When or timing 
  • What your offer

Discover which communication channels are suitable for your outreach. Selecting the correct outreach channels for your business is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each channel may provide better or worse results depending on your goals and campaign. Considering a multi-channel approach can reinforce your message and provide better results.

The Right Time to Reach Out 

Timing is critical for an outreach campaign and can impact your results. Sending a message when a prospect is most receptive will increase your effectiveness and can drive more engagement. Once again, knowing your audience is the most significant way to succeed. 

Consider both your big picture and more precise tasks when developing your strategy. 

For overall outreach campaigns, take into account:

  • Seasons
  • Events 
  • Consumer or Business behavior 
  • Competitor Behavior 

For precise tasks, take into account:

  • Days of the week
  • Time of day
  • Time zones
  • Social media activity 

Properly mapping out your campaign and sticking to it can increase your anticipated results and create a more personalized experience. Keep in mind that the timing for one campaign may not work for another. Throughout your execution, collect proper data, analyze results, and adapt your strategy accordingly for maximum results. 

Choosing the Right Channel 

These channels are critical to learn and understand as they determine how and where you reach your target audience. Each outbound channel has varied reach, cost, and effectiveness. Make an informed decision on where to reach out based on your target audience. 

Some main channels for startups who are beginning their marketing outreach options include: 

  • Email marketing
  • LinkedIn Direct Messaging 
  • Trade Shows and Events 

Discover more in-depth knowledge about each channel and best practices in the following sections. 

Choosing the Right Channel 


The simplest way to craft your email outreach message is to address pain points, create compelling subject lines, and offer value. Ask yourself what struggles your ICP is facing and how you can solve that problem. Get your email opened by being creative with your subject line and pique their curiosity. 

A well-crafted email maintains:

  • Credibility in your subject
  • Relevancy to your prospect’s needs  
  • Engagement with your audience

Showcase your credibility! You put so much effort into your business. Let people know you can solve their problems. Credibility can come from qualitative and quantitative sources. It is up to you how you want to prove it. 

Be relevant! Highlight your value and contact prospects about a significant problem of theirs. If your email is not solving something valuable for your prospect, you will not receive a response. Make your email more relevant with personalization and insights. 

Engage your prospects! The world is filled with constant media. Keep your prospects engaged and wanting more. Your subject line can help you start grabbing attention, but the rest of your email needs to keep their attention. Get creative with your content. 

Bonus optimization tip: Shorter emails get higher open rates! 


Fostering connections with LinkedIn is a powerful way to connect with potential leads and breed meaningful sales relationships. Your LinkedIn messages must be attention-grabbing and relevant, similar to email outreach.

A successful LinkedIn outreach strategy for startups includes: 

  • Targeting the right connections 
  • Keeping engagement high 
  • Finding commonalities 

Targeting the right audience is the best way to start your LinkedIn marketing outreach. Your ICP is an easy way to ensure you are connecting with the right people who can become prospects. With LinkedIn tools and filters, finding connections based on your ICP is simple. 

Tip: Level up your LinkedIn marketing outreach with Sales Navigator. Search for more people based on your ICP faster rather than just manually. 

Keeping engagement high is essential to outreach marketing campaigns by consistently providing valuable content. Your LinkedIn engagement is not just about starting conversations but also about sharing valuable insights with your network. Create valuable messaging that follows similar guidelines to email outreach. Focus on solving your prospect’s problems, offer value, and demonstrate how your product or service can benefit them.

Tip: Use personalized opening lines or connection request messages that pique curiosity. Mention shared interests, connections, or recent accomplishments.

Finding commonalities on LinkedIn is a powerful way to initiate conversations and establish rapport with potential leads. Look for shared interests, connections, or groups to join on LinkedIn. Mentioning these commonalities in your outreach messages can personalise your connection request or message and increase the likelihood of a positive response.

Tip: Use these commonalities as conversation starters with your prospects. Personalization not only finds common ground but encourages engagement and dialogue. 

Events and Trade Shows

Attending events and trade shows can capture attention and convert it into tangible sales or business relationships. Attending these events is always recommended as you may connect with unexpected people online or in person and discover valuable opportunities for collaboration, business growth, and mutual learning.

Here’s how to effectively craft your strategy for trade shows and events:

  • Gather data from event pages or website
  • Target attendees on LinkedIn and/or email 
  • Use the event platform (if one is available)

Gather data from the event pages to learn who is attending for your outreach marketing efforts. Gathering names, emails, companies, etc., are typically available for both in-person and online events on the event website or LinkedIn event page. Most importantly, check attendees per your ICP to find your prospects and start targeting. 

Target attendees on LinkedIn and/or email to book demos with prospects. After gathering contact information, use it! People are most receptive to connecting and hearing about your product before an event. Meet attendees, schedule time with them, and aim to book demos. Send personalized messages and engage with attendees by addressing their pain points and offering value. Mention shared interests, industry trends, or event-specific discussions to initiate conversations.

Use the event platform–typically available for live events or robust online events– for best connecting with fellow attendees. Find shared experiences or interests for conversations with prospects at the event, such as attending the same workshops, presentations, or sessions. Use these shared experiences as conversation starters and bonding opportunities.

Tip: Your credibility at trade shows and events is built on your presence. Ensure that you and your team present yourselves professionally and in alignment with your brand’s image.

Bonus Tip: Showcase your expertise by participating in panel discussions, giving presentations, or contributing to relevant discussions within the event. Your active involvement can boost your credibility.


Outbound marketing remains a fundamental strategy for startups, but especially for businesses of all sizes. Remember that successful outbound marketing does not end with a single campaign; it is an ongoing process of optimization and improvement. 

At Sage Marketing, our expert GOHO team specialises in full-cycle and demand-gen outbound marketing. Together, our team will build your outbound marketing strategy and execute it to bring you leads ready to demo. Discover GOHO services to learn how we already bring 5 to 7 qualified meetings to our clients. For a free consultation and more comprehensive marketing information tailored to you, contact us to learn how Sage GOHO can grow your outbound marketing efforts!

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