Many people associate marketing email campaigns with the mass-mailings that occurred a decade ago. Effectively a simple digital reproduction of the junk mailers that filled our mailboxes for 30 years, mass mailings were often subject to abysmal conversion rates and far more likely to frustrate the recipient than create a sale. Especially in the B2B realm, where relationship sales have long been king, email campaigns have been disdained as ‘spam’ and ‘worthless’. Due to these past negative experiences, business development and marketing decision makers often disregard email as a communication channel, relegating its use to personal outreach from account representatives and customer service. Email is a powerful tool and an important part of our everyday business and personal communications. Ignoring its potential as a marketing channel puts your business at a disadvantage.
The Value of a Tool is in How You Use It
You would not use a paring knife to carve a roast or peel vegetables with a meat cleaver. Choosing the correct tool is dependant on how you wield it and even the perfect tool can be useless if employed improperly.
What if I told you that email can be an enormously valuable communication and sales channel, executed en masse, while avoiding all of the pitfalls of traditional email campaigns? Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategies that segment prospects and customers based on key attributes give us the model for nurture and drip campaigns that are custom tailored to each recipient while still being executed and monitored autonomously and in large batches. ABM advocates create personalized campaigns that resonate with the target accounts and points of contact. Personalized campaigns show that you know and understand the pain points your prospects face and help build the personal relationships that B2B sales rely on.
The traditional ABM sales strategy has significant strengths in conversion rate but requires high levels of capital, training, and seamless process execution to effectively scale over orders of magnitude. By taking the philosophy of ABM – that prospects respond to personalized targeted content that they care about – you can structure a lead nurturing campaign that positions your company as the top-of-mind thought leader that is automatically associated with the products and services in your industry.
Targeted, Personalized Campaigns
Segmenting prospects by job role, company, industry, company size, ‘warmth’ and any other important factors allows you identify each specific subgroup. These segments may change or expand over time as your prospect-mix changes. By understanding each sub-group, targeted content can be delivered that is tailored to that audience. Understanding the sub-group is only half the battle: The content delivered needs to be topical, compelling and informative. It does not need to include a traditional call-to-action, it needs to be relevant to their role and their business. The goal is brand awareness and thought leadership – being a resource your audience wants to consume content from.
Measure & Adjust
ABM allows you to get the best value out of marketing and align specific marketing efforts with account strategies that are targeted and tailored to a specific company, as well as to the individual and their role. To make any marketing effective, key metrics should be monitored and campaigns should be adjusted for the best effects. Traditional inbound marketing that treats all ‘cold’ or ‘warm’ leads the same is easier to monitor and measure because a singular campaign is executed and monitored. For a focused ABM-style nurture email campaign, the effects of each sub-group campaign needs to be independently monitored, creating expanded analytics overhead if executed manually. Understanding the open-rates, the number of click-throughs and responses, and (most importantly) leads and sales directly generated, allows you to adjust campaigns to be the most effective. There are numerous CRM solutions as well as email campaign management tools, like Mailchimp, that make setting up and executing these campaigns much easier through automation, including recording and reporting on campaign metrics.