Push vs Pull Marketing: How They Differ and Which is Right For Your Company

Men playing tug of war with a thick rope.

The term “push vs pull marketing” has picked up steam lately. You’ve probably heard people talk about it in business-building circles. You might’ve even wondered which strategy is best for your company. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we explain what these two marketing strategies are, how they benefit businesses, and when to implement each one. Let’s get started!

What is Push Marketing?

Push marketing, also known as outbound marketing, is the act of “pushing” a product to a specific target audience. It’s perfect for launching new solutions or boosting awareness in new markets. For example:

Jenny is the marketing director at a software startup. Her company is just about to release its first product and she’s been charged with promoting it online.

Because her company is new and nobody has heard of it before, Jenny must push her new product to its target audience. She does this via cold email outreach, a consistent social media presence, and a monthly budget dedicated to Facebook Ads and Google Adwords

Common Push Marketing Examples

So what are the most common push marketing platforms and strategies that you can start using today? That’s what we’ll cover in this section. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media has literally changed the world and given everyone a platform and voice. It’s been a major boon to businesses as well. Never before have brands had such incredible access to their target audiences and insight into the things they desire.

To take complete advantage of this push strategy, follow these tips:

  • Be Social: We’re talking about social media here. If you’re only using your company profiles to promote products, you won’t see much success with these networks. Instead, engage in the community. Interact with your followers and ask them questions. If you do, your audience will be much more receptive to your push marketing initiatives.
  • Post Consistently: Social media only works as a marketing tool if you use it on a regular basis. Random tweets and Instagram posts won’t help your company build a strong following. In fact, if you can’t commit to a regular posting schedule, you might consider not posting at all and focusing on a different marketing strategy. With that in mind, how often should you post? Every platform is different but, in general, four to seven times a week should be a good place to start.
  • Use Visual Content: Visual content grabs attention, which is important since your followers always have millions of other accounts to look at and engage with if they wish. By crafting beautiful images and videos to post to your social feeds, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to draw attention and pull your audience in.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another push strategy that can work wonders for your business. In fact, the latest studies show that email provides an average ROI of 4,400%. That means that for every $1 spent, $44 is made in return. Incredible!

Here’s how to use email correctly and get that kind of return:

  • Segment Your List: Personalization in marketing is all the rage right now. It makes sense. Your target audience has more choices than ever before when it comes to the products they buy and the companies they support. Which means they’re going to align with the brands that make them feel special. By segmenting your list, you can give your subscribers personalized experiences that feel hand-crafted. For instance, you could segment your list by physical location and only send folks offers available in their area.
  • Nail Your Subject Line: Your email’s subject line is arguably its most important element. After all, if no one opens your message, none of your other email marketing tips, tricks, and best-practices will matter. Fortunately, we have a few tips for you in this regard. Make sure your subject lines are short (50 characters or less), filled with action-oriented verbs like “Discover”, and use elements of urgency. For example, “Limited time offer – get 45% off today only!” is urgent because the deal has a time limit.
  • Craft a Compelling CTA: There’s a lot of advice out there regarding the actual copy inside your email. Plenty of it is worth listening too. But in this article, we want to focus on the CTA. If your emails don’t have compelling calls-to-action, your click-through rate will be abysmal and you won’t see a great ROI. To ensure your CTA gets the job done make it look like a button, give it a different color than the rest of your email, and write the text in the first person, i.e. “Yes, Send My Free Report”.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising can take many forms. You can craft Facebook ads to send to your target audience or use Google Adwords to reach people searching for specific keywords online. Other social networks and search engines have advertising platforms as well.

No matter which ones you decide to use, keep these three things in mind:

  • Have a Great Offer: If you don’t have a great offer that people want to buy or consume, don’t waste your time with paid advertisements. In the words of renowned copywriter Gary Halbert, “Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but…in many cases, a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy written by marketing morons.” What you’re offering to your audience is the most important thing.
  • Get Your Targeting Right: Speaking of audiences, are you targeting the right one? The more specific you can be about who your audience is, the more success you’ll have with paid advertising and your push marketing efforts in general. At the end of the day, an amazing offer targeted at the wrong audience won’t benefit your company.
  • Optimize Your Ads: Finally, make sure you analyze the results you receive from your paid advertising efforts and look for ways to improve. Test different headlines, images, text, CTAs — whatever you can to make sure that your ads can perform as well as possible. The key to effective digital advertising is optimization.

What is Pull Marketing?

Pull marketing is the opposite of push marketing. Rather than pushing your products to a target audience, you pull the audience towards your products. This strategy is also known as inbound marketing. How about another example?

Donny owns and operates an ecommerce store, selling high-end sports equipment to serious athletes. He knows that if he can build relationships with his audience, they’ll become loyal patrons of his store and continue purchasing from him for years to come. In order to build this kind of loyalty, Donny turns to pull marketing.

First, Donny starts a blog and publishes helpful information that his audience is already searching for online. This helps him reach the top of Google search results. He also asks his current customers to write reviews about his company to boost its credibility.

Common Pull Marketing Examples

If you’re wondering what pull marketing looks like in the real world, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few common pull marketing examples:


Blogging is the quintessential content marketing strategy. It’s been around for 15 years and will continue to be a viable marketing technique for the foreseeable future. If your company wants to use blogging as a pull marketing strategy, remember these tips:

  • Do Your Keyword Research: Keyword research will allow you to learn what your target audience is searching for online. Armed with this knowledge, you can then write blog posts that answer their questions and show up in search results for their queries.
  • Create 10x Content: There are a lot of blogs on the internet. To cut through the noise, you need to craft better posts than everyone else. So evaluate your competition. Then publish content that exceeds what they’re putting out. For example, if a competitor’s blog is about 10 tips for Facebook ads, write a post that shares 15 tips instead.
  • Promote Your Blog Posts: Lastly, simply writing and publishing blogs post for your company isn’t enough. You also need to promote your content. You can do this by sharing it on social media, with your email list, and via paid ads.


YouTube is basically a giant search engine for videos. If you can create amazing videos that people can’t help but watch and share, you’ll start to pull people into your company’s world and win the chance to sell to them. Focus on these things to craft better YouTube videos:

  • Solve a Problem: To stand out on YouTube you have to create great content. One of the best ways to do that is to solve a specific problem that your target audience deals with. That way when they look for solutions, your videos will pop up.
  • Get the Details Right: Seemingly small things like titles, tags, and thumbnails are actually vital to pull marketing success on YouTube. Pay attention to them! These are the elements that will help your videos get found and clicked on.
  • Know Your Analytics: Your YouTube analytics are incredibly important to success on YouTube. Keep a close eye on your Audience Retention report. This will tell you if your content is connecting with your target market or not.

Customer Testimonials

These days, nobody buys anything of significant value without first reading a mountain of reviews. Entire sites like Yelp are dedicated to sharing people’s opinions. If you can encourage people to talk positively about your company, you’ll be able to pull more potential customers to it and sell them your products. But how?

  • Create Great Experiences: Consumers talk about and leave positive reviews for products that work well and companies that treat them right. If your company does these two things, it will be well on its way to collecting amazing customer testimonials.
  • Ask Your Customers: It doesn’t hurt to ask! If your customer expresses their love for your product and/or company, ask if you can use their words as a testimonial. Or encourage them to get on Yelp, Google, and other sites and leave a glowing review.

As you can see, pull marketing relies heavily on content and search engine optimization. These tactics will get your target audience to come to you rather than the other way around.

Push vs Pull Marketing: Which Should You Use?

The answer for most companies is both! A strong marketing strategy will feature push and pull strategies to reach a target audience. But there are a few major differences and use cases between the two strategies that you should be aware of:

  • Push marketing is great for launching new products, when operating in a niche market, or whenever an influx of sales and/or new clients is needed.
  • Pull marketing, on the other hand, is perfect for building a brand and creating relationships. Customers that are “pulled in” are often very loyal.

So if the answer to push vs pull marketing is that both are useful and needed, the next question is “how do they work together?”

We suggest using push marketing to make sales in the short term and pull marketing to turn one-time buyers into lifetime fans of your company. You can do this by using social media, email and paid ads to connect with your target audience and pitch new products to them.

At the same time, we suggest crafting quality content such as blog posts and YouTube videos to provide value to your market and to start building relationships with them. Once you do, you’ll start to see your organic website traffic rise because of SEO. Your customers will also start writing positive reviews of your company.

Do you see how both push and pull marketing can work together to market a business? By combining these strategies you’ll be able to succeed in both the short and long term.

Marketing the Right Way

When it comes to push vs pull marketing, the question isn’t “which is better?” but “which is most appropriate for my goals?” For businesses looking to make a long-term impact, both strategies are needed for different reasons.

So do your best to utilize the benefits of both push and pull marketing strategies. This combination approach, when implemented properly, will produce results. Good luck!

Hey, did you know that CleanPix can help all companies better manage their digital assets? It doesn’t matter if those assets are for push or pull marketing initiatives, CleanPix will make it easy to organize and distribute them. Give it a try today for free and see for yourself!

One thought on “Push vs Pull Marketing: How They Differ and Which is Right For Your Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *