When it comes to winning over your big accounts, a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.
With all the options that today’s consumers have, B2B and B2C companies alike have to prove that they are in tune with their customers’ needs and interests. According to McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect companies to provide personalized experiences, and 76% get frustrated when it doesn’t happen.
This means that you need to work harder to capture the attention of your most in-demand buyers. And for that, you’ll need an ABM campaign.
Account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns empower your team to deliver the personalized experiences that your buyers want while also helping to differentiate your brand from your competition. Through ABM campaigns, you can tailor your strategies and messaging to each of your top accounts by specifically addressing the pain points they resonate with and using the channels they’re most likely to respond to.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into what an ABM campaign is, its benefits, and several examples of stellar campaigns that you can learn from.
Without further ado, let’s go ⚡
What Is an ABM Campaign?
An ABM campaign is a strategy that targets high-value accounts by personalizing marketing and sales efforts to the needs and preferences of key decision-makers with the goal of engaging them, nurturing them, and ultimately converting them into customers.
ABM campaigns can be unique to each account or segmented based on factors like industry, company size, or buying stage. No matter which way you choose to target accounts, you need to personalize your messaging to your targets as much as possible so that what you’re saying resonates with them.
In the same vein, a successful ABM campaign will need to have a strong call to action (CTA). Whether it’s downloading a content asset, claiming a gift, or booking a demo, the CTA should fit the needs of that specific account or segment.
Additionally, you should make sure that the channels you’re using are the ones most likely to grab your accounts’ attention. This may differ based on your different segments. Some popular channels to consider are email, LinkedIn, phone calls, direct mail, and small virtual events.
What Are the Benefits of ABM Campaigns?
Although building an ABM campaign takes a bit of work, the resulting engagement is more than worth it. Because ABM campaigns target specific accounts (not broad audiences), they ensure you’re spending your time and money where it matters most.
ABM campaigns offer a few key benefits:
- A better experience that drives revenue: In prioritizing individual accounts with ABM, it’s easier to devote more time to delivering a highly personalized experience. Not only does this lead to more satisfied customers, but it also makes a positive impact on your revenue — leading to lifts of up to 15%, according to McKinsey.
- Better alignment with sales: ABM campaigns almost always involve both sales and marketing, whether that’s collaborating on strategy, implementation, or measurement. This naturally improves sales and marketing alignment, leading to more seamless experiences both within your company and for your buyers.
- Higher ROI: Because ABM campaigns focus your spend on accounts that you know are most likely to buy from you, the ROI tends to be much higher. Plus, thanks to the depth of personalization that ABM campaigns involve, you’re more likely to see higher conversion rates which, in turn, generates greater ROI.
- Shorter sales cycles: ABM campaigns narrow in on decision-makers within your top accounts from the start and leverage constant and proactive interactions to drive them through the sales funnel. By reaching these key stakeholders early on in the buying process, well-executed ABM campaigns can drastically reduce your sales cycles.
- Win target accounts before your competitors: Ultimately, ABM campaigns are all about being proactive with your accounts. In doing so, they allow you to score big fish before those fish either go searching for a solution on their own or are actively targeted by one of your competitors.
The Top 8 ABM Campaign Examples
Now that you know what an ABM campaign is and what its benefits are, let’s dive into some examples, so you can see what other B2B companies are up to.
1. Fruition: Dynamically Altering Copy to Grab Attention
As any frequent flier knows, no two airports are the same. Fruition, a website CMS provider for airports, knows this too — and they show it by using individual airport location codes (i.e. IATA codes) in their messaging.
First, Fruition targets specific airports with one-to-one social media ads. Once a prospect clicks on the ad, they are taken to a unique home page that calls out their airport by name. In this example, the copy on the website specifically calls out Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Not only does this personalized copy get airport executives to click on Fruition’s ads, but it also keeps their attention once they arrive on Fruition’s website. As a result, those executives remain engaged with the brand and become interested in exploring the website further, which improves time-on-site and boosts form completion rates.
2. Clari: Winning Back Lost Opportunities
Lost opportunities come in all different forms: meeting no-shows, employee turnover, budget changes…and just plain bad timing.
But just because you have to close out an account at one time doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Give a pause of three to six months, and then consider re-engaging them through a dedicated ABM campaign that’s personalized based on your previous conversations.
Like Clari. Revenue platform Clari uses 6sense to keep track of their closed-lost opportunities and run highly targeted display ads towards them in a strategy that they call “waking the dead.”
Instead of serving their standard retargeting ad to these companies, Clari targets display ads to senior-level personas with urgent and value-driven messaging. Through this strategy, Clari’s team has seen a spike in closed-lost engagement: Their ads have a 79% account click-through rate, and 93% of all accounts targeted engage with the ads.
3. Armory: Segmenting by Tech Stack
When purchasing any software, decision-makers almost always consider how well it will fit within their existing tech stack. Knowing this, Armory, a continuous deployment solution provider, eases concerns upfront by segmenting their ABM campaigns based on what they know accounts have in their tech stack and tailoring their messaging accordingly.
For example, Armory specifically targeted accounts who use the continuous delivery platform Spinnaker. To effectively target these accounts, Armory worked in partnership with Khronos, a marketing agency specializing in ABM, to build a list of ideal accounts who fit their standard ICP and used Spinnaker.
They guided their target traffic to a dedicated landing page, which included content on how DevOps engineers could use Armory to get better results from their Spinnaker instance.
For accounts that weren’t ready to jump into a free trial or a demo just yet, the page also provided educational content on Spinnaker so that accounts could get the information most relevant to them without having to talk to a human. This provided a win-win for both parties: Site visitors got the information they needed and stayed on the website longer, which increased the likelihood that they would convert later on.
4. GumGum: Designing a Custom Comic Book
For some companies, going all in on one account can pay off. It certainly did for the team at GumGum.
GumGum, a company that offers contextual and creative advertising solutions without using personal data, wanted to show T-Mobile how they could work together to deliver more visual and eye-catching ads. To do so, GumGum’s ABM team designed a comic book featuring both companies as superheroes.
Ultimately, the then-CEO of T-Mobile tweeted their thanks for the comic book. So, not only was GumGum able to impress a key executive and turn a dream account into a customer, but they also earned some much-deserved exposure on Twitter.
5. CopyMachines: Speaking Your Buyer’s Language
Copywriting agency, CopyMachines, helps businesses meet high-end copy needs at affordable prices — and they prove their copy skills through their highly personalized cold emails.
Going beyond the standard “Hi [First Name],” CopyMachines uses their cold email copy to speak directly to their target account’s needs. In this example email, the team starts by acknowledging what the target company does and then hits on a timely and relevant pain point.
This hook not only shows that CopyMachines knows who they are talking to but that they also have a good understanding of the value that they can bring to the company, which is validated with a customer case study.
Additionally, you’ll notice that CopyMachines uses the target company’s initials, RA, in the email copy. This personalization hack makes sense when you think about it: Employees usually refer to their company by its initials, and they might even use it in internal emails and Slack messages. So, by including that shorthand in their copy, CopyMachines makes the account feel at home with their brand.
As CopyMachines’ example shows, by speaking your target account’s language throughout your cold emails, you can get past people’s defenses and see higher open and response rates as a result.
6. Fivetran: Building Custom Branded Kits
In an increasingly digital world, any kind of offline engagement is sure to grab your account’s attention. And that’s especially true for direct mail.
After landing a feature in Forbes, automated data movement platform Fivetran wanted to make sure that the news would reach executive decision-makers at their ABM accounts. So, they partnered with offline engagement platform Postal to put a hard copy of the Forbes article right in the decision-makers’ hands.
In addition to the printed article, the Postal kit included coffee beans from a shop local to the Fivetran office and a QR code that guided recipients to a custom landing page where they could read a message from the Fivetran CEO and watch a video featuring their customers.
Because Postal’s platform signaled when a decision-maker accepted the gift, the Fivetran sales team was able to prioritize reaching out to those accounts. As a result of this campaign, Fivetran closed on $100K and influenced, in total, $660K in pipeline.
7. Qualtrics: Making the Most of Product Intent
Experience management company Qualtrics rolled out an ABM strategy to help their target accounts find what they needed as quickly as possible.
To do this, they turned to Drift and 6sense to successfully leverage their accounts’ intent on their website to deliver a more personalized buying journey. With 6sense, Qualtrics’ sales team collected data on the topics, issues, and products that their ABM accounts were interested in and segmented those accounts based on that intent. Then, they synced this information with Drift to personalize their chatbots for each of those segments.
“If we saw somebody had specific product intent in 6sense, then we would offer a playbook specific to that product. We’d offer them paths to talk to sales or offer them product content,” explained Erin O’Neill, Website Marketing Manager at Qualtrics. “That was a great win and kicked off a deeper integration of Drift and 6sense into our ABM programs.”
Similarly, Qualtrics used 6sense to track their accounts’ buying stage. For accounts that were early on in the process, they would target them with Drift playbooks that offered educational content like blog posts and videos. For accounts that were deeper in the buying cycle, however, they targeted them with playbooks that fast-tracked the site visitor to book a meeting or start a conversation in chat.
By using intent to inform the conversations they delivered, Qualtrics was able to meet accounts where they were, provide a better website experience, and get accounts to engage with their brand more easily. This translated into results: In their first test alone, Qualtrics saw a 150% lift in their email capture rate and a 38x increase in their conversation to opportunity rate.
8. AIScreen: Cold Emails with Personalized Name Dropping
Digital signage software AIScreen finds that one of their most successful ABM campaigns is also their simplest.
In their cold emails to their target accounts, AIScreen includes the names of people they have already reached out to from that account. Here’s an example:
It’s a given that when a person recognizes a name they know, they are more likely to open the email, read it fully, and respond. But, AIScreen takes that tactic one step further by mentioning multiple people, which builds more credibility with the buyer by showing that they are actively researching and engaging with that person’s coworkers.
The team at AIScreen has found that this technique generates more responses and forwards to the appropriate person than simply asking for the right contact. This just goes to show that even a little extra personalization can lead to big results.
Convert More ABM Prospects with Drift
In the past few years, ABM has proven to be a powerful strategy for winning top-tier customers before your competitors do. Because, by focusing on personalized approaches, targeted outreach, and tailored messaging, you can engage key decision-makers, book more qualified meetings, and ultimately drive massive pipeline and revenue. That’s why ABM campaigns are indispensable for companies that want to stand out in today’s crowded markets.
But, as these ABM campaigns show, it takes a lot of thought and creativity to successfully grab a target account’s attention — and that’s particularly true when they are on your website. That’s where Drift can help.
With Drift for ABM, you can do more than just target your target accounts. Instead, you can engage with them by providing a channel to talk 24/7/365, building a streamlined process to get them what they need when they need it, and effortlessly combining AI with a human touch to give accounts the ultimate white-glove experience — all without burning out your team.