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3 Quick ABM Strategy Wins for Your Email Campaigns

3 Quick ABM Strategy Wins for Your Email Campaigns

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Your boss has told you to ‘do ABM.’ Great. Instead of ripping out your current marketing and sales campaigns, here are three quick ways to apply ABM strategies to your email campaigns.

What is account-based marketing (ABM)?

Let’s go over what ABM is and what it isn’t at a high level first.

ABM stands for Account-Based Marketing, which is a “B2B marketing strategy for high-value customer accounts. In ABM, you focus on each account as a “market of one,” offering highly personalized 1-to-1 experiences and tailored content.

Through a focus on building stronger relationships with high-value accounts, ABM can help B2B marketers who need to increase pipeline quality, retain top accounts for longer, and boost the revenue those accounts bring in.” — Source: Salesforce

You might also hear something called ABX or Account-Based Experience. This is a “go-to-market strategy that uses data and insights to orchestrate relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions throughout the B2B customer journey. It’s a customer-centric rethinking of an account-based go-to-market — one that combines the engageability of inbound marketing with the precision and targeting of account-based marketing.” Definition from Demandbase

So as you can see, we can’t just start doing ABM and see results the next week. ABM is not a little change to increase MQLs (marketing qualified leads) or newsletter subscriptions. 

To fully embrace this new go-to-market strategy and campaign structure across our marketing, sales, and service teams requires a lot of planning, work, and time to see impactful and positive results. 

Some ABM/ABX Best Practice Reminders

Before we get into it, here are some ABM best practice recommendations to guide you through the integration of ABM strategy with your email marketing campaigns.

ABM Reminder 1. You don’t have to do it all at once!

  •  Consider a phased approach to ABM/ABX by focusing on low-hanging fruit.

ABM Reminder 2. Even a little personalization is better than none.

  • The more targeted and personalized you can make your ABM program, the better. But remember our first point that it is ok to start slow and small.

ABM Reminder 3. Think of making your targeted ABM audience’s content consumption similar to how Netflix does — ungated and unlimited.

  • If you still need forms for conversions, you can reduce the form fields on your landing pages by referencing known data in your CRM (customer relationship management) or sourcing it through a data-enrichment platform like Zoominfo.

Ready? Let’s jump in and focus on how to apply ABM strategies to your email campaigns and newsletters.

ABM Quick Win 1: Segment Your Email Audience

Segmenting the audience ahead of time helps you understand the level of effort ahead of you for more one-to-many ABM-focused journeys.

Check marketing opt-in status

Make sure they are opted in! We can’t properly enroll an audience in any type of marketing campaign or nurture program if they have not agreed.

Need a refresher? Read Forms Are Great, But Confirmed Opt-In Is Better for more on what’s involved with marketing opt-in.

Know your marketing personas

Review the job titles or persons of your target ABM buyer groups, and see what content and CTAs (calls to action) resonate most with them. Bonus: look at click-through rates for past email campaigns to identify click trends from buyer personas in your target ABM buyer groups. 

We don’t need to write anything from scratch — let’s repurpose what we have that has worked for other audiences. 

Find the right segmentation groups

Consider geographical audience segmentations to optimize engagement. Then, run A/B tests of your send times and days to find the best fit for each target group. You can also test out AI functionality like Pardot Einstein Send Time Optimization to see if that improves your engagement metrics.

ABM Quick Win 2: Add Some Personalization

When it comes to introducing personalization, remember to start small to understand the impacts (or lack of) on our audience engagement.

Email subject lines & preview text

  • Make email subject lines & preview text personal with variable fields like name, title or role, industry, and product. 
  • Use what makes sense for your company and the value prop for your ABM targeted audience – don’t overdo it and make it weird. 
  • Remember to make your subject line actionable and timely!
  • Here are some best practices and a cool way to use AI to make your subject line stronger – Playing with the AI-Powered Stensul Email Subject Line Tool.

Email sender name

  • Try to be consistent and personable so your audience starts to recognize your emails.
  • For example, try ‘Kelly at Sercante’ ([email protected]) instead of ‘Marketing’ ([email protected]).

Email body copy headers & CTAs

  • Test content and keywords to see what works best for your audience. Refer to your audience segmentation from the first step to stay on-message.

Landing page headlines & body sections

  • Make it personal with variable fields like name, title or role, industry, and product. 
  • Use what makes sense for your company and the value prop for your ABM targeted audience – don’t make it creepy.

Landing page body & CTAs

ABM Quick Win 3: Reporting, Reporting, Reporting

If you can’t report now, starting an ABM approach won’t help you. You need to visualize your current campaign efforts before you can prove that your phased approach to ABM/ABX is impacting your audience.

Get your CRM ready by organizing account segments

In your CRM, organize your targeted accounts for ABM and the buyer groups you defined in step one.

  • This can be a custom dropdown field or checkbox only marketing manages to indicate their enrollment or ABM tier.
  • Make sure your chosen organization method syncs down to the related leads and contacts from your target ABM account and across to your MAP (marketing automation platform).

Get your website tracking in order

Ensure all website properties and domains are being tracked consistently. Then, make sure you are using specific UTMs or click tracking for each channel and campaign. Wherever your audience is going, we want to follow.

Not sure how to get started? Check out our blog on Capturing UTM Parameters: 4 Scripting Paths for Account Engagement Landing Pages.

Get your reports set up before launching

Set up your reports prior to an ABM pilot campaign launch or before you start testing these ABM strategies on your email campaigns. This helps measure the marketing and sales baseline for your general audience so you can compare it to your targeted ABM audience.

Check these reports frequently and continually optimize your channels, messaging, and targeting.

Start small with ABM and learn along the way

These quick wins are a great way to dip your toes into ABM without going all in right away. Starting small lets you experiment and see what clicks with your audience. You’ll pick up insights along the way so you know the best places to focus your efforts and resources. As you learn, you’ll be ready to scale up your ABM game for stronger connections and better results. 

So, take these small steps, learn from them, and soon you’ll have an ABM strategy that translates into big wins with your top accounts.

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  • Kelly Ryan is based out of Seattle, WA and is 4x Salesforce & Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Pardot certified, HubSpot certified, and a Salesforce Marketing Champion. She has been using marketing automation technology since 2012 and is excited to help clients develop strong marketing and sales strategies while connecting the dots to make the magic happen behind the scenes. She has a passion for multi-channel campaign strategies, digital marketing tactics, account-based marketing (ABM), analytics and data understanding, website development, ad and landing page design, and any cool new tools as they appear.

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