A few weeks ago, our friends at Response Capture posted a good article on how to run a successful Account Based Marketing campaign from start to finish. They were fortunate to have set 10 meetings with Fortune 500 companies at around a 25% success rate – not bad!
But before you go out into the field and start running campaigns, let’s walk through another example of a successful account based everything campaign we’ve run right here at Engagio. We call this a Target Account Prospecting (TAP) campaign, but don’t let the name fool you – this is a multi-channel, complex account based everything bonanza.
What’s your objective?
I’ve seen many companies launch brilliant campaigns without any idea of what defines success or what they were measuring. Without measurement, you don’t know if you’ve hit the target and it’s hard to iterate because you don’t know what worked well and what didn’t.
So before we started this campaign, we met and agreed on objectives we want to hit. Common KPIs are Awareness, Human Responses, MQAs, Meetings, and Opportunity Pipeline created and that’s exactly what we use. We targeted about 300 accounts and aimed for a 65% MQA/engagement rate and 30% meeting rate with the goal of 20% of accounts turning into opportunities.
Also, we designated an owner for each KPI. Because successful strategies involve both marketing and sales, we make sure everyone knows which objectives they own. For example, both marketing and sales agree on the MQA definition beforehand, and marketing will own the initial setup and execution of the campaign, resulting in a MQA deliverable, while sales owns the follow-up to any responses and MQAs and converts engagement into opportunities.
Plan with the team you fish with
ADRs and sales reps are very busy people. Each day, they face many priorities and have a ton of tasks to juggle. But a successful account based initiative will fall flat on its face without the valuable human touchpoints only ADR/SDRs and sales reps can provide.
So when we started our campaign, we made sure to get buy-in from the entire team, from the account executives to the ADR team to the VP of Sales and back down. We knew we were asking for a lot, so we made sure everyone understood and agreed on the value of what we were doing.
Be in the right places
This is a bit of a tactical step, but a very important step nonetheless for the strategy to work. Good account based campaigns anticipate where your prospects are spending their time and who influences them.
We decided that the following channels used in conjunction would be the most effective:
- Human emails from/to multiple players
- Direct mail package
- LinkedIn profile views
- LinkedIn messages
- Phone calls
- Account based ads
The order also matters.
We saw an increase in engagement when we sent the primary recipient an email before the package delivered to let them know to expect something from us – the ground is softened and you get more engagement from the outreach done post-delivery.
We also found that the LinkedIn profile view from a key executive was much more effective in the middle of the follow-up sequence versus at the beginning.
Our ADRs discovered that engagement didn’t cluster around a specific touchpoint or channel, but rather, they were scattered throughout the cadence and various methods. So we learned an important lesson: Everyone is different and responds to different things, so as long as you’re offering value in your touchpoints, it’s OK to run a longer touch cycle.
Test & Measure all the things!
This was Engagio’s first account based everything campaign, so it was extra important to test some tactics for future campaigns in addition to the KPIs we mentioned previous (MQAs, meetings, pipeline).
For this campaign, we tested 3 things:
- The impact of account based ads vs. a control group
- The impact of our Clear & Complete Guides to Account Based Marketing (ABM) and Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) ebooks on an Amazon Kindle vs. physical books
- The effectiveness of different channels in ADR follow up
Ads or No Ads?
For this campaign, we tested account based ads via a company called Listenloop. We wanted to see if aircover awareness ads would increase target account awareness and/or make a company more likely to engage with our ADR team down funnel.
The jury is still out on this one. About 25% of the way through the campaign, the results were mostly even – Although, our first customer from the campaign come did from the ads cohort!
Amazon Kindle vs. Physical Books?
Next, we tested sending our Clear and Complete guides to ABM & ABSD on Amazon Kindles vs. physical hard copies of the books. Again, this one was too close to call as Kindle accounts had the slight edge (10 vs. 9), but the results are not yet significant.
Which Channels were Successful?
The results from this test were less ambiguous. Overwhelmingly, our highest response rates came from touchpoints in the play:
- Email #2: ADR’s email to the primary recipient after the delivery of the package.
- LinkedIn/Email: CEO Jon Miller’s LinkedIn profile view + email combo was the second most potent touchpoint around Day 10 of the play.
There’s a lot of excitement around Account Based Everything for good reason. And we have good reason to believe that our ABE campaign at Engagio will be a hit. The results speak for themselves so far: 25% meetings/opps inside lighthouse accounts and the campaign is still cycling through; the play’s running to about 80 of the 300 target accounts so far.
Whether it’s your first or tenth ABE campaign, take a page out of our book and plan, get buy-in, leave no channel unturned (but double-down on the great ones), and measure everything you do, and you’ll be in good shape!
Questions? Feedback? Want to share your own experiences? We’d love to hear from you.