It’s alive! Inbound Marketing Has Not Died … [COMPROVADO EM DADOS] – WAU

A few days ago I received an email from a friend with an article announcing the death of Inbound Marketing. To be honest, I replied to the friend who sent me that this is a classic clickbait title (and clickbait works, hehehe, use it sparingly!). I told him that they already killed WAU n ‘Roll. Already killed […]

A few days ago I received an email from a friend with an article announcing the death of Inbound Marketing. To be honest, I replied to the friend who sent me that this is a classic clickbait title (and clickbait works, hehehe, use it sparingly!).

I told him that they already killed WAU n ‘Roll. They’ve already killed TV and radio. I didn’t even click on the email, because as the founder and CMO of a company in the Inbound Marketing market and as a “practitioner” of Inbound, I learned empirically that it works.

Today at Websites Are Us we have several Inbound channels, which impact a considerable volume of people per month. My routine and 90% of my team’s activities are focused on Inbound / Content Marketing. So, hearing this for me is a little frustrating, and so I prefer to bring facts to enter the philosophical discussion.

I decided to bring some examples of “Inbound” channels that we use here:

Above are some of the results of our Inbound Marketing program, which generates thousands of MQLs for the commercial team every month. There are almost 50 people in the commercial area, many mouths to feed inboundistically;) And we are successfully coping.

I don’t know about you, but besides the much better ROI, I also prefer to approach companies that have already shown signs of interest in my product. People who voluntarily gave me their contact information.

Not a company? Are you a student? Unemployed?

Putz, I’m sure that our videos, courses and certifications, our vacancy portal and other free materials also make a difference in the lives of these people. And if it doesn’t happen (you can’t please everyone), it’s bizarrely simple to leave our lead base. One-click opt-out, always. For every email we send, we receive dozens of compliments and thanks for each unsubscribe request. We even read all the answers …

Therefore, we work hard to create quality content and generate more leads, opportunities and customers through it. This is Inbound, right?

Well, here at Websites Are Us, we are growing fast, attracting and retaining more and more customers and the cost per lead continues to fall. Inbound works for us with more efficient CAC / LTV ratios than any other channel. And for me, it hurts a little to hear that Inbound or Content Marketing has died. I know it’s just to call your click, but it still hurts. I think that this type of posture eludes the most lay people. It puts opinions above facts. It creates fear, uncertainty, doubt and generates misinformation.

But hey, sometimes it works just for me …
Maybe I’m wrong.

The day before yesterday, I came across this article, written by Marcelo Lombardo, CEO of Omie. The article is well written, drew a lot of attention and generated very rich discussions in the comments. It is a free and opinionated essay, which brings a different point of view, which is a nice thing to read.

Therefore, I preferred to make a data driven counterpoint to answer Marcelo (and, being brutally honest, capture some of the traffic and leads that come from clickbait, hehe. We’re running a business here, aren’t we? Better to get to the point about it).


Forgetting that I’m an Inbound guy, I decided to dive into the data. I returned to the data collected in a survey that we did here at Websites Are Us in 2015, together with Resultados Digitais, called Martech (second edition coming soon). In this survey, we interviewed 600 technology companies, asking for information about sales cycle, average ticket, cost per lead and other metrics of marketing and sales performance. We dive into the data.

And the results show that these companies are having success with Inbound Marketing. In the survey dataset, the interviewed companies that reported adopting a customer acquisition model mostly Inbound have a average cost per lead of R $ 48compared to a Average CPL of $ 108 in companies that describe themselves as mostly Outbound.

Average Inbound Cost per Lead of R $ 48,
compared to a Average CPL of $ 108

Okay, Diego, but this data is aggregated. Marcelo pointed out that when the value of the annual contract is higher, the lead is more valuable.

Consequently, the cost per lead tends to rise and Inbound, according to him, would be better for catching small fish. The channel starts to show saturation signals. I decided to investigate… Juliana Ribas and I revisited the research data, segmenting it to try to understand if Marcelo’s hypothesis made sense. We analyzed the data segmented by value of the annual contract in the question about cost per lead and here are the results.

Obviously, to have statistical validity we would need more answers in all segments, and since (unfortunately) we do not include this possible analysis in the research project, the dataset involves only 116 answers (in the data below, we have more than 20 answers in each group) .

Before understanding whether Inbound is more financially efficient, we sought to find out if the analyzed companies of different sizes adopt Inbound in similar proportions:


Apparently not: the higher the value of the annual contract, the lower the chances of a company adopting Inbound. Still, the adoption is considerable. In companies with an average annual ticket of less than R $ 1,000, 68% consider their Inbound acquisition model, while in annual contracts with a value greater than R $ 10,000, 48% consider themselves Inbound.

But knowing that among the companies analyzed there is a reasonable proportion between Inbound / Outbound, we decided to look at the average cost per lead based on the size of the average annual ticket.

inbound did not die

In the segment with the lowest average annual ticket (up to R $ 1,000 per year), the cost per lead of Inbound companies is R $ 17, while in companies that describe themselves as Outbound this value is R $ 42. That is, Outbound is 2.4x more expensive.

In the average annual ticket segment between R $ 1,000 and R $ 10,000, the Inbound x Outbound comparative numbers are closer. R $ 32 for Inbound x R $ 45 for Outbound. 1.4x more expensive outbound.

Finally, it is interesting to observe the segment of R $ 10,000 and R $ 100,000. In it, the CPL Inbound is R $ 77 compared to R $ 318. 4.1x more expensive outbound.

[/DATA MODE OFF: Mais opiniões]

I could look for more data to prove that Inbound did not die, but in a quick analysis, going beyond my previous experience and everyday practice, it became clear to me that yes, Inbound is still alive.

Alive and Kickin

Inbound may not be for everyone, it may not work for some, it may be poorly executed, but the fact is that it is an inevitable, profitable trend that will last for a long time. It is not for nothing that, together with my partners, I built a company on this bet. It’s a channel that works, period. I mean it from the heart.

I’ve seen cases of Inbound in industries that you wouldn’t believe. From sex shop stores, tiny businesses, to billion dollar companies: there are many examples of success with Inbound and Content Marketing.

And I really don’t think the fact that “everyone is doing it” should influence your decision to start. I would look at the numbers, do a pilot and see if it works for my company and, if it works, great. It may not work at all (unlikely, in my opinion), but do not base your decision on whether or not to adopt Inbound Marketing on market adoption. Based on facts.

And if you want data, we have a research team at WAU, led by Juliana Ribas, who is investigating and analyzing the results of content marketing to understand how the results of those who adopt are doing.

Finally, I really wish this rich discussion had started earlier. There are many hypotheses, insights and hypotheses emerging that are worth looking into.

We are finalizing the second version of Martech 2016 (interviews have already been done), but we promise that the ideas that appear here will be added to our 2017 version backlog.

If you are interested in knowing more about it and data is important to you, download the survey, send your feedbacks and stay tuned, as soon you will receive an email from me. If you do not receive or do not want to download, follow me here and stay tuned in the next posts

PS: Yes, I want your email, I’m a marketing guy, after all