This post was contributed by Jeremy Moser, Co-Founder of uSERP
What do comic books, piñatas, and pizza have in common?
Besides making for a great birthday party, they are also some of the more creative examples of account-based marketing.
If it sounds a little far out to you, let’s look at a few marketing strategies you might be more familiar with, such as email automation and landing pages.
One of the most effective tactics for email and campaign automation is to use dedicated landing pages for each email campaign. This lets you create highly detailed landing pages that drive action by targeting people likely to be interested in your brand.
So, what does that have to do with pizza, comic books, and pinatas? I promise it will all make sense.
Before we dig into how to use email marketing, landing pages, and account-based marketing strategies together, let’s review what they are and how they work.
A match made in marketing heaven? Email marketing, dedicated landing pages, & account-based marketing
Email marketing is powerful — and up to 40 times more effective than social media. It lets brands carefully segment their audiences to create highly specific campaigns.
You can choose to target audience members over the age of 25, those interested in a specific topic, or those that purchased a specific item. But that’s still a pretty wide range of folks.
Which is where dedicated landing pages come into play.
A landing page is a web page designed to encourage viewers to take a specific action and move through your sales funnel. It might direct them to download an ebook to learn more about a specific topic or fill out a contact form to schedule a call.
Unlike your homepage, a landing page addresses a specific ad or action you want users to take rather than promoting your business as a whole, making it stellar for account-based marketing.
Most brands create landing pages for specific campaigns. For example, here is a recent email I received from Appy Pie:
Rather than sending me to their homepage to browse their general services, which might not mention the offer at all, that ad links to this dedicated landing page created specifically for the email campaign:
As you can see, both the landing page and the email use nearly identical language and address questions users might have. The message match here is perfectly executed.
Combining email and landing pages is a pretty effective way to drive actions. But let’s turn the dial-up just a little further and talk about account-based marketing.
Don’t worry, it’s not just another buzzword created to make online marketing more complicated.
Account-based marketing (ABM), also called key account marketing, uses highly personalized content and campaigns to target high-value accounts.
For example, if you own a software system and your target audience is large banks, you might use an ABM approach to target people who work at Citibank, rather than targeting, say, Facebook users between the ages of 25 and 35 who expressed interest in banks.
ABM works backward, in a way. Instead of asking, “Who is likely to buy my product or service?”, you start with who you want as a customer and then work backward to convince them that your product or service is the right choice.
Engagio calls this approach “fishing with spears” and says that 84% of marketers find ABM is more effective than any other marketing approach.
Source: Engagio via SlideShare
Together, these 3 strategies — email marketing, landing pages, and account-based marketing — have the potential to create an incredibly effective, automated marketing approach that can supercharge your marketing efforts by reducing ad spend and increasing overall conversion rates.
Let’s look at a few examples of how you could use this strategy. Keep in mind that your exact approach will be tailored to your specific target account.
Send automated emails to users who visit specific content
Automation helps small and medium businesses do more with fewer resources — and it can make tackling ABM much easier.
Let’s say you are a lawyer and sent out an automated email campaign to your email list, which you’ve segmented to target people who visited a specific page, such as this page about important questions to ask a personal injury lawyer.
Source: The Jeffcoat Firm
Because they’ve visited this page, you know there’s a good chance they are already looking for a lawyer.
Maybe they even have consultations in progress, or are looking to schedule more consultations to find the right fit, and these questions are helping them prepare.
Instead of targeting homepage visits, you can get far more specific with intent: people looking for exact questions to ask a lawyer, signaling they are ready for a meeting.
That makes them pretty high-value targets, right? Right.
In the email, you include a link to a dedicated landing page where you offer an ebook about what they’ll learn during a case review or how much they can expect to get from a specific type of case.
The entire process is personalized to the information you’ve already collected about your contacts, making it highly relevant to their needs — and far more effective.
Use landing pages to drive target accounts to specific information they want
Account-based marketing is all about knowing precisely who your target audience is — not just demographic information about them.
ABM means you aren’t targeting freelancers between the ages of 20 and 25; you’re targeting freelancers who use a specific freelance platform that doesn’t offer an important feature that your tool does.
You might research on LinkedIn or Facebook to come up with a list of freelancers you want to target. Now that you have that list, it’s time to reach out. You might know, for example, that the freelancer platform they are using doesn’t offer invoice templates.
So, you send out an email that addresses common problems that freelancers face including creating templates and a link to a landing page (like this from Freshbooks) you’ve created specifically for invoice templates:
When you know exactly who your target is, what they want, and how your brand can deliver, you can deliver highly-customized content that makes your landing pages and your email campaigns even more effective.
This opens the door for even further customization. Targeting freelancers? Tune your copy to suit freelance invoicing and the pain points they experience.
Targeting small business invoicing? Tune the copy even more…
Leverage dynamic landing pages
Dedicated landing pages are effective because they offer a more personalized experience — but what if you could take that personalization up another notch by creating content that actually mentions your target account’s industry or even business name?
Let’s say you send out an email campaign promoting your SEO services to 4 big accounts you want to land: a law firm, a plumbing company, a local restaurant chain, and a local summer camp company.
These clients are all highly valuable to you — but they don’t all need the same information, right?
For example, the law firm SEO landing page might include information about how to do content marketing for lawyers, while the restaurant SEO guide might cover how to optimize your Google My Business account.
This is a strategy I ran years ago working at Codeless, where we developed dynamic pages based on target segments, like attorneys:
Using dynamic landing pages (or different landing page copy for each prospect) allows you to create highly targeted content based not just on the information your contact might need but also about their specific industry or even company.
Nail the follow-up with automation
Account-based marketing often takes a more creative approach. For example, sending a prospective company a piñata filled with candy — and reviews from previous customers.
Or, creating custom comic books for the CEO of TMobile, as AI company GumGum did.
No matter how creative your ABM approach, the follow-up is still key. Once you’ve sent your highly targeted comic book, ebook, or personalized how-to guide, you need to follow up with your prospect.
In a perfect world, your contact will be so excited about your content that they will tweet it out to their 6.4 million followers, as TMobile’s John Legere did with the comic book from GumGum.
But what if that doesn’t happen? You’ll need to follow up on your perfectly targeted content with an equally targeted follow-up.
There are several ABM follow up strategies you could use, including:
- Create a 3- or 4-part automated email marketing campaign that uses dedicated landing pages
- Send a teaser email that directs prospects to a dedicated landing page with details about their company: “We know X brand hit X subscribers last year, here’s how we can help you reach 100X that in 12 months.”
- Use an automated email campaign to deliver personalized videos where you discuss specific challenges their company faces — and describe how you can help
- Use automated emails that mention a specific action they took, such as subscribing to your list or sharing an email
A phone call, lunch delivery, or even a surprise box of snacks might also work, depending on your business and your target contact.
Don’t forget the follow-up! ABM without the follow-up might be viewed as gimmicky or annoying. The follow-up shows you are serious and have real value to offer.
Final thoughts on ABM, landing pages, and email marketing
Combining all 3 of these strategies might feel a bit overwhelming. Can’t you just pick one and run with it?
You could. Each strategy is highly effective on its own.
But think of it this way — would the NBA All-Star team be better off with just Michael Jordan playing the whole court? Or is there value in combining the best of the best from all over the NBA into one team?
Combining all 3 strategies allows the strengths of each one to really shine. The result is a highly-targeted — and highly-effective — marketing approach that requires fewer resources and less money.