Account-based marketing (ABM) boosts business success by empowering organizations to approach their prospect accounts as individual markets in their own right – or as “markets of one.” ABM strategies involve close collaboration between B2B marketing and sales teams to identify and target high-value accounts, as well as use data and technology to engage, convert and close those accounts.
What’s so special about this approach? Industry reports claim that 97% of marketers who employ ABM experience either a somewhat higher or much higher ROI compared to standard marketing initiatives. Numbers like that are hard to dismiss.
As our team at OMI has witnessed the meteoric rise of ABM, we’ve identified ways to strategically align our email marketing expertise to help our clients drive even higher ROI. Here are six ways email can support ABM:
- Create account-specific CTAs and landing pages: Because ABM campaigns typically focus on a smaller number of target accounts, personalization and relevance are paramount. For example, if you’re targeting a large company with a new white paper or report you’ve created as the call-to-action (CTA), your approach might be to include the company’s name on the report and / or in the email subject line. This should help increase open rates, certainly compared to normal or generic communications. Marketers can take this concept a step further by creating personalized landing pages for these prospects as well, with the prospect’s company logo, custom content, or images specific to their account.
- Offer a free assessment or audit: While B2C email campaigns are often geared towards generating immediate online purchases, ABM campaigns should be less aggressive and more focused on the long-term. For example, an ABM CTA might be to simply set up a short meeting or phone call for your prospect with your company’s in-house consultants, in which a free account-specific audit, assessment or benchmark review is offered. Proposals like this -- in which best practices or comparisons with their peers are offered -- can be very enticing to prospects and can help you get your foot in the door.
- Leverage programmatic: Because well-defined targeting is intrinsic to ABM, you’ll more likely have the ability to secure the business email addresses of your top prospects in order to put a combined email-programmatic strategy in motion. (And if you don’t have these valuable email addresses on hand, a reputable email acquisition data provider can help.) This combined approach provides a one-two punch for reaching your B2B prospects. Programmatic technology can be used to create personalized email content for your prospects based on the pages they’ve visited on your website. It can also be used to follow up email engagement with retargeted ads. When your email campaign recipients open your email messages or, even better, click on any of the links, they’re demonstrating some level of interest. Responding to their engagement with a retargeted ad allows you to get in front of them again to remind them of that interest.
- Match account territories to reps: ABM sales reps should be matched to the prospect accounts in which they have the best chance to close business. Factors here can include background in a particular industry, or perhaps experience engaging with a competitor. Another factor might just simply be geographical proximity, as shared social, professional or personal connections can be a conversation starter. Once matched up for optimal success, email campaigns can come from (or be attributed to) a particular sales rep, increasing the personal touch.
- Target execs with execs: While marketers or sales reps can have a hard time getting through to top executives, your own like-level executives may have a better chance. A sincere offer to meet to establish mutual value would be the way to start, and follow-up could be for setting up the initial meeting only. Communication here can include email, but “old school” direct mail or even a printed letter might also lend more formality and weight to the initiative.
- Leverage all contacts: Success can still mean “who you know” even in this digital day and age. Perhaps one of your employees has an “in” into your target account that you didn’t even realize. LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers “TeamLink,” which provides insight into your employees’ connections into a target account. Once the connection is identified, email can be used as the medium to create introductions.
To get started with ABM, you can certainly learn more online – there is an abundance of content available on this topic. The takeaway that I wanted to get across today is this: a targeted, account-based marketing approach can yield faster, better results for B2B marketers. When using the email channel as a vehicle for ABM communications to your prospects, be sure to consider the above strategies to drive stronger results.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.