Businesses spending 60% less per lead in social media

In february, HubSpot released a report about the state of inbound marketing in 2010. The report was based on a survey of 231 professionals, who were familiar with their company’s marketing strategy. With direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows, outbound marketing has gradually lost its effectiveness (and importance!) in the marketing strategies of companies of all sizes. So has inbound marketing been any better? You bet.

Some key findings from the report:

  1. Inbound Marketing Channels Continue to Deliver Dramatically Lower Cost Per Lead Than Outbound Channels Do Businesses spending 50% or more of their marketing budget on inbound marketing activities spent 60% less per lead, than businesses spending 50% or more of their marketing on outbound channels. Inbound marketing channels are clearly maintaining their low-cost advantage.
  2. Social Media and Blogs Are the Most Rapidly Expanding Category In The Overall Marketing Budget Social media and blogs are becoming marketing powerhouses. They are the fastest growing category in lead generation budgets and they continue to be ranked as the lowest cost lead-generation channel.
  3. Businesses Are Generating Real Customers With Social Media and Blogs Are potential customers really reading twitter? Does Facebook do anything more than build brand awareness? The answer is “Yes!”. Over 40% of respondents who used social media channels like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, acquired a customer through each of those channels. Social media is not just for brand awareness – it can be used to directly generate leads that translate into customers.

The difference in Cost Per Lead between inbound and outbound marketing:


The difference between the Cost Per Lead of inbound/outbound marketing has been clearly understood by marketers aswell. When compared to the average 2009 Lead Generation Budget, the 2010 budgets for inbound marketing have been increasing, while the overall budgets for outbound channels have been steadily decreasing (down 5% in one year). Businesses rate every inbound lead generation channel as being more important than any outbound channel. This trend will clearly be continued in years to come and agencies offering only outbound marketing services have been steadily losing their clientele.


The trend to focus more in inbound marketing rather than outbound, is especially seen in smaller companies. With not much to spend on TV advertising, they have no choice but to turn more of their attention to social media, Facebook being the most popular from the group.

Customer acquisition through blogs is directly related to frequency of blog posts

Although it has been a common knowledge for a while, the survey gives statistical evidence that the more you blog, the better are your chances of attracting that necessary customer. We have also seen the same trend among our own clients. If they have taken blogging seriously and devoted some time for it, then it has paid off. An interesting finding from the survey is, that almost all companies blogging multiple times a day, have acquired clients through their blog. But daily blogging isn’t your only way of attracting customers. Over 50% of companies blogging only once a week have still acquired customers through their blogs. Not bad for an hour a week. And what the data tells us, the frequency of blogging once a week is also the most common approach among companies.


Traditional outbound marketing techniques have been clearly losing their effectiveness. People are spending increasingly more of their time in social networks, so these are the places to go to. Shouting out and hoping people will hear you, is not working anymore. What works is initiating a real conversation with your client and hearing what they have to say. Whether you do that through giving out good advice or something else, is yours to decide.

Download the full report here

2 Responses

  1. This was great info – with the average cost per lead. Exactly what i needed. Thanks

  2. The statement about businesses spending 60% less on their cost-per-lead is truly what Social Media is all about.

    Outbound marketing or even cold calling is and has been such a stressful practice to the point where companies would lose their best sales people.

    Better to have Inbound Qualified leads and Social Media is the ideal way to go moving forward!

    Osagie Gabriel Irowa

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