ABM Strategy Requires A Physical Disruption To Make A Connection
Companies have been running lumpy direct mail campaigns (also known as 3D direct mail campaigns) for years. While direct mail has been challenging and sending packages does sometimes cause concern, we’ve seen a huge lift in account-based marketing (ABM) programs when clients use this type of direct mail in conjunction with some of their electronic connect and engage tactics.
For most people, getting a prospect’s attention via email or social media is challenging. The noise level is high and the delete button is too easy to execute. But it’s hard for prospects to ignore a box that’s mailed to their office or home. Combine that with solid disruptive messaging, great creative and a well-planned follow-up, and the result is going to be higher-than-average connect rates and even higher engagement rates.
Adding elements like this to your program always sounds easy, but when you start thinking them through, you can end up with some silly or even ridiculous combinations that won’t help you turn these new leads into customers.
So here are some examples of high-quality lumpy-mail-oriented ABM programs.
Software Company Seeking Competitor’s Clients
We had a client that sold software and wanted to target its competition’s clients. Our client had a list of companies that had purchased the competitor’s product.
Market data and intelligence reports showed companies that purchased this product were having a lot of pain around implementation. This means they purchased the product but never moved beyond implementation, so they never saw full value for their purchase.
To tweak that pain, disrupt the prospects’ status quo and tell our client’s story, we created an account-based marketing campaign that included a small aluminum trash can and a card inside that said, “If your software implementation is in the trash, call us; we’re ready to help.” The card had a URL to a landing page with a special offer featuring a 100% guaranteed implementation timeline. The package was mailed out and sales reps followed up.
We sent 250 trash can packages and ended up with 50 sales appointments to discuss potential solutions. The resulting 50 sales calls produced 10 new customers worth over $1.5 million in revenue. That’s the kind of ROI that gets the attention of CEOs and board-level contacts.
SharpSpring’s Agency Partner Acquisition
SharpSpring is a HubSpot competitor that wanted to improve the number of agencies in its partner program selling its software. We were a target, so I saw first-hand the program in action. First, I received an email letting me know something was coming my way.
Next, I received a package with a customized piece of art that included my company’s logo in the center of a maze. In addition to the art maze, I received a letter and a brochure with messaging suggesting how HubSpot and SharpSpring could co-exist in our agency. In short, the message said we don’t have to stop recommending HubSpot to start recommending SharpSpring. It was interesting.
Then I received a series of emails asking if I wanted to see a demo, highlighting the benefits of the product and the partner program. The artwork captured my attention and the messaging disrupted my status quo. I had been aware of SharpSpring for years, but I ignored the company’s efforts to connect with me in traditional ways. This worked. I emailed back and started a conversation. It was effective.
Soil Remediation Company’s Creative Approach
This type of approach is not just for software companies. This client of ours took soil from construction sites contaminated with toxic materials, and instead of trucking it to disposal sites, remediated the contamination on site. It’s wildly effective, highly efficient and cost effective, but not many people knew this process existed.
We started with a phone call, letting the target prospects know a package was coming. Then, we sent a toy dune buggy to the prospects with messaging that said, “Don’t get stuck in the dirt; proper soil remediation helps you win the race.” The insert included a link to a landing page on the client’s website, plus a special e-book explaining the advantages of this technology, which allows onsite soil remediation to pass all EPA standards associated with cleaning and reusing soil.
After the packages were sent and delivered (FedEx showed us when the packages were signed for and who signed for them), salespeople contacted the prospects. They inquired about scheduling a call to visit their job site and provide an assessment detailing how much this soil remediation technology would save in site cleanup, transportation and contaminated soil disposal costs. The program generated more than 50 opportunities for our client and secured a 78% increase in new revenue from new projects.
Yes, ABM programs are typically a lot more complicated than the mailing elements I’m suggesting here, and in no way am I suggesting that targeting, data and scoring accounts are not equally important as these creative elements. In fact, the messaging that goes along with these types of programs might even be more important than the actual item you send. For example, don’t send one sneaker and say you’re trying to get your foot in the door. Don’t send a remote-control car and make them contact you just to get the actual remote-control device.
Remember, the goal is disruption and busting their status quo. The mailing cuts through the clutter and lands you on their desk, but it’s the messaging that ultimately gets you the new connection or, better yet, a contact that is interested in engaging with your sales team to talk about their specific situation and how you can help them. Keep your goals in mind and don’t forget, when you create the program components, all of the elements should be aligned.
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