Real World Tips for ABM: Part One

Filed in Account Based Marketing on January 27, 2017 by

Your boss is demanding that you do some ABM and you’re just sick of hearing about it. It’s the latest buzzword and for all the thousands and thousands of words written on ABM, no one seems to know how to do it.

Well we aren’t experts in ABM either, but we’ve been running aggressive ABM campaigns for several years and we have seriously screwed some stuff up.

Isn’t that a great idea for a blog post? Please learn from our mistakes! And success, but let’s be honest, you’re here for the mistakes.

Don’t Send Too Much

We’re proud of our direct mail chops. We know how to procure, kit and fulfill tangible marketing. We also happen to be a world class printer, so we knew we were going to make direct mail an enormous part of our campaign.

We went overboard. We sent too much.

We were sending direct mail – packages, gifts, swag – to the same teams at a cadence that didn’t work. Your cadence has to make sense for the contact. It has to make sense for the account.

We found that using direct mail sends once in each stage of the buyer’s journey worked best.

Don’t Send Too Little

We overcompensated in our next campaign and didn’t send enough. We used direct mail to try and get a demo and to thank our prospects for their time. That’s it. We should have been using direct mail to make one heck of introduction because that’s how it works best.

Lead With Direct Mail, Follow With Email

That brings us to the next key lesson we learned: let email follow your direct mail. We used video cards and pop-up art (just like in a kid’s book) in a different campaign as the very first contact – even before we sent an email. It worked! Response rate on the follow-up email was at an amazing 30%. Swing hard, right out of the gate.

Choose the Right Gift for your Persona & Budget

You’re targeting an account but you have to zoom in on the contact you’re hitting at that account. People are people – they’re all different. They all want different things. Create a list of personas for your account.

Don’t do what we did, and send the same thing to everyone. It shows that you aren’t trying to really engage, but just save a buck on printing costs. In the end we saved nothing, but people didn’t respond to a canned message. Personalization is the key, you already know that, but it’s easy to lose site of in a complex ABM campaign.

Keep it On Brand

Our typical campaign had: direct mail sends (from postcard to branded swag), emails, retargeting ads, BDR phone calls, personal emails from account executives. We worked hard to make each and every component sing. Every word was just right, the design spot on.

Imagine our shame when we reached prospects only to have them tell us about a competitor that was contacting them with a solution that seemed just as good. Good news for us: we were the competitor. Bad news? Wow. Branding fail.

Keep it on brand or you’ll be hanging your head in shame.

Direct mail works in an ABM campaign. It can be personalized. It can be timely. It can work with (and vastly improve) digital outreach. Want to learn more? Here’s a 20 page book I wrote on it.

Don’t worry, we’re still learning – the hard way. We’ll share some more tips soon.

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