Top 10 Tips for Building Effective ABM Plays

So, you’ve been asked to build plays for your ABM campaign. Now what?

An Account Based strategy requires coordinating personalized Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.

As much as people are embracing the idea of Account Based Marketing, there is a lot of waiting around to see what this actually looks like. What does it mean to be aligned with sales? What does a coordinated play look like? What technology is needed?

Before you let your ABM strategy out into the wild, you must first design an ABM Playbook that illustrates the plays and campaigns you can use the achieve your objectives. It turns theory into practice and answers some of these critical questions. It’s a concrete plan to drive execution.

That’s why we’ve published The Engagio Playbook. In it, we’ll show you some of our best ABM plays and show you exactly how to execute them to get immediate results.

However, what is not included in this playbook is some of the lessons we’ve learned putting the playbook together and many of the lessons we’ve learned since. That’s what we want to dedicate this post to.

Here are the top 10 tips that we’ve learned building our ABM playbook.

  1. Involve multiple people from your company. Experiment with mixing up players in your plays. Copy an executive from your company on an email, and then have them reply over the original email if the recipient doesn’t respond. Have an engineer reach out to a fellow engineer. Have an intern customize an email before it gets approved by an executive. You get the idea.
  2. Sound like you’re sending an email to a friend or colleague. When you’re writing email templates, it’s easy to write in a formal and impersonal tone. However, the result is your message comes across less sincere. To make it personal and relevant, have a specific person in mind that you’re sending your email to.
  3. Get into the mind of the sender. If you are writing emails on behalf of someone else on your team (for example, an executive) frequently, try to sit down with them and ask for stylistic tips for that person, such as introduction, word choice, punctuation, and signature. You can’t expect a green ADR to know how executives think.
  4. Create a global signature for your team to use. Email signatures are a great way to promote big events and/or content. Set up a banner with a flexible picture and redirect that marketing can control. You just have to set it up once with your sales team and your sales team and you’ll receive all the benefits of a banner placement in all outbound emails!
  5. Don’t have more than one primary recipient in a single play if it’s not absolutely necessary. When you have multiple recipients, it’s easy to get confused and send a message to the wrong person. Furthermore, it creates long plays that are strung out and complex. If you’re prospecting net new names or trying to deepen engagement at an account, you can run plays in parallel to avoid confusion. (Note: it’s OK to cc recipients if there’s a valid business reason to send the same email to different people. For example, sometimes people will respond better if you cc their boss. However, that’s not the same as making the boss be a primary recipient of the play.)
  6. Keep your playbook organized. Don’t just throw all of your plays in your teams published plays folder. Create folders and sub-folders based off of the sales funnel, play owner, department or any other structure that makes sense for your team and your process. Numbering them in order so you can find and use them quickly. When you’re done using plays, create an “archive” folder to move them out of your way. I go through our playbook once a month to archive old plays that I don’t use anymore.
  7. Always use the [[primary recipient]] and [[sender]] tokens when writing emails. When you use specific players, it’s easy to change the person you want to send it to and from in the header, but also easy forget to change the tokens in the body of the email. By using [[primary recipient]] and [[sender]], you’ll never have to worry about calling someone by the wrong name or signing your email as the wrong person.
  8. Set-up daily task reports. This is especially great for executives who are not in PlayMaker (or your engagement platform) daily. With daily task reports, they’ll get a reminder in their email every morning asking them to approve emails or complete tasks. This will ensure that plays don’t get stuck and opportunities don’t fall through the cracks.
  9. Don’t have more than one task per step. When you have multiple tasks in a step, your task list gets long and can be overwhelming. When you have multiple personalization tasks in an email, create the “task” in the User Interface, then manually indicate in the email where the different points that need customization.
  10. Use snippets. You’ll always have plays that are generic (for example, MQA follow up, content download follow up, etc), but rather automating those emails, use your engagement platform to leverage both the power of automation for efficiency and personalization for the human touch. By creating snippets of text to inserts into your plays, you move quickly while maintaining the flexibility to personalize the play based on actions of your customers.

We hope you found these tips useful. If you haven’t already, check out The Engagio Playbook.

What are your top tips for building effective ABM plays? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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