Take what’s old and make it new again.
👆I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot recently.
With an uptick in WFH, there’s been a ton of content put out there to keep everyone busy, sane and stationary.
But I’m not here to talk about reupholstering a chair or refurbishing an old car.
I’m here to talk about what campaigns marketers should “revisit and make new again” to meet their demand goals this year.
Hey, I’m Meghan 👋
I run account-based marketing and integrated campaigns here at Drift.
Like you, I’m looking for ways to generate pipeline given recently canceled in-person events and sponsorships. But I’ve quickly found that “starting from scratch” isn’t the way to go.
Instead, I’m revisiting and refreshing marketing campaign plays that have generated quick wins for me in the past. And I want to share how you can do the same to boost pipeline and meet your demand goals.
You can’t win them all.
But that was then, and this is now.
Closed-lost campaigns focus on opportunities that were lost in the past for a particular reason with the goal of restarting the conversation.
Within your CRM, these opportunities are marked as Lost/Dead. As a best practice, your sales team should select from a picklist of reasons behind a loss. As part of that process, you should have them include further descriptions of relevant conversations and pain points.
Source: InsightSquared, How To Set Up Lost Reasons In Salesforce
👆I know data entry isn’t the sexy campaign story you were hoping to read about, but it’s highly important to align with sales to get this right. Creating and segmenting lists by reason will help better position messaging for your closed-lost campaigns.
Why They Work
Closed-lost campaigns work well for a number of reasons:
- You have actionable insights and research. You can use past sales research, conversations and lead activities to customize messaging and content for your closed-lost campaigns. Whether it’s timing, pricing, product features, etc., understanding the WHY behind why you lost an opportunity gives you a good hook for starting a conversation again.
- You can strike while the iron is hot. Because you’re basing closed-lost campaign audiences on the timeframe of a typical contract, there’s a good chance your outreach will come at the perfect moment when they’re negotiating a new contract or researching new vendors.
- You have something new to say/offer. 6-12 months have passed. What’s happened in that time that could build a stronger business case for your solution?
How to Get Started
Before you do anything, you’ll want to create a list of closed-lost opportunities from the previous six months (or the typical contract timeline of you and your competitors). Then, you’ll want to segment those lists by Loss Reason and use content to help address past concerns around those reasons.
Once you have your list, here’s my playbook for getting your campaign rolling:
- Start a re-engagement email campaign(s). This might be multiple campaigns based on Loss Reasons:
- Reminder emails. Six months is a long time, what’s changed? 👈 That’s the question you need to answer for these re-engaged contacts first and foremost. This email should summarize relevant “what we’ve been up to” talking points for buyers based on their Loss Reason. For example:
- Industry-relevant case study emails. You can segment your lists by industry and deliver more vertical-relevant content through that workflow.
- Personal sales emails: If these opportunities are assigned to sales reps already, include a “hey there” email from the rep to talk about “how we last left the conversation” and mention some of the content you’ve been sharing in the nurture flow.
- Create an offer. How can you incentivize your outreach further? One way is to create a campaign-specific offer. For high-tier ABM accounts, once engaged in a conversation, you could offer up give-aways or inclusions as the “offer.” Meaning, if you purchase now, we will also include XYZ.
- Run retargeting ads during the campaign. The biggest mistake people make when running any kind of campaign is relying on only one channel. B2B marketers should take a note from their B2C counterparts on running retargeting ads during campaigns. This will allow you to extend your messaging and brand visibility across channels.
- Add custom messaging and a direct line to sales for return visitors. So you’ve re-engaged with a closed-lost buyer. What happens after they’ve clicked an ad or a link in your email? Are they greeted just like everyone else? Instead of sending people to a generic page with a form and asking them to resubmit information you already have, get more conversational. With Drift Chat, we can use data we have – like firmographic information – to greet people with custom messages like “Hey, welcome back Applinks. Here’s what you missed.” This is not only a better experience for those people revisiting your site, but it will make it easier to navigate buyers to relevant content or directly connect them with their account rep. Here’s an example of a retargeting bot engaging with a return visitor on our website…
Simply put, the goal of a win-back campaign is to re-engage with people who have stopped engaging with you or your content. In many cases this means:
- Customers who might have purchased from you in the past, but haven’t engaged or looked to purchase with you again
- Buyers/customers who have stopped engaging with your emails
How you define who should be included in your win-back campaign depends on your business model or industry. For example, some eCommerce companies might include customers who haven’t made another purchase in the last six months as a good candidate for a win-back campaign.
For B2B, a good candidate for a win-back campaign might be someone who hasn’t opened a nurture email in six weeks or visited your blog in 30 days. From a systems standpoint, this means a contact has regressed to a lower lead score.
Why They Work
According to Marketing Land, 45% of customers/subscribers that receive win-back emails engage with future emails.
Win-back campaigns work best when they start a conversation and address the reason for abandonment in the first place. That’s why I love this blog from Active Campaign where they dive into the five types of win-back campaign emails. Each email includes a solution for a typical abandonment issue.
Source: Active Campaign, 5 Win-Back Campaign Examples That Will Get Customers Back
I like this campaign flow a lot because it’s very customer-centric. It starts with a simple hello to check-in with these customers/subscribers, and then includes rewards and feedback inquiries along the way. Lots of conversation opportunities.
How to Get Started
With that inspiration, here are a few steps to start building your own win-back email campaign:
- First, you’ll need to define who should be included in your win-back campaign. As I mentioned earlier, this is specific to your company. But, as a rule of thumb, consider anyone who hasn’t replied to your emails in the last six weeks as potential churn.
- Next, follow Active Campaign’s best practice of starting with a simple “check-in” email. For those people that engage with this email, incentivize them with a reward email that includes a discount or exclusive access to gated services.
- Depending on whether you’re talking to a customer or a buyer, here are two other emails you can add on from here:
- Content feedback: Try sending an email that gives more control to subscribers around the content they’d like to receive. Send emails around subscription preferences and top content they missed while not engaging in your email flow.
- Updates and adoption: If your customers aren’t as engaged, now’s a good time to push relevant features that can help aid in their success. Try giving them actionable steps they can do right now. For example, “Here are three things you can activate TODAY to improve email deliverability and responses in your nurture flows.”
Here’s an example from our own playbook of what this outreach looks like in action 👇
Wake the Dead Campaigns
Is a potential buyer giving you and sales the cold shoulder?
To break through the noise and re-engage, you’ll need to get clever to revive these old conversations.
A ‘wake the dead campaign’ looks to restart conversations with inactive contacts. Most likely, your database is filled with these contacts.
In fact, according to Marketo:
“A marketer typically has a list of customers or subscribers with as many as 25-50% of these people classified as “inactive”. These subscribers have raised their hands in the past – showing intent, engagement, or making a prior purchase – but have since gone cold for a variety of different reasons.”
That variety of reasons means wake the dead campaigns can take a variety of forms.
A wake the dead campaign is a way to clean up your database and typically includes a series of nurture emails to update bad information. However, wake the dead campaigns can also be used to re-engage with high-value leads that have gone dark. Like for example, if a sales meeting went great, but 30 days have passed and the buyer hasn’t responded.
Why They Work
Because the goal of a wake the dead campaign differs quite a bit, there are a lot of benefits to consider, depending on the type of campaign you plan to run. Here are a few:
- Identify bad contact info, like invalid email addresses
- Update records if someone’s moved to a new company or if someone at the company is a better champion
- Remove uninterested or inactive leads via a re-opt in approach
- Spark conversations with previously engaged or highly engaged leads that have gone dark after a sales conversation
How to Get Started
Depending on whether you’re looking to clean up your database or restart conversations with high-value leads that have gone dark, you’ll want to take a different approach.
Wake the Dead to Clean Shop & Source New Leads
Running a wake the dead campaign for database hygiene can seem daunting when looking at an inactive lead list.
Here are some key steps to get you started:
- Start by creating a list of contacts that haven’t engaged with anyone or any content in the last 12-24 months.
- Create a clever email that doesn’t shy away from highlighting the radio silence you’re experiencing. The purpose of the email can be as simple as a “re-opt in.” But, remember to add value to this email too:
- Click send. Most likely you’ll receive a lot of OOO, auto-replies, bounces, etc. from a list like this. Normally this would be a pain and a half to sort through. That’s why we use Drift Email at Drift. It can sort and identify key information from these replies, like:
- Automatically update phone numbers and job titles from email signatures
- Find job changes
- Invalidate out-of-date contacts and process unsubscribes
- Use this opportunity to also source new contacts. Drift Email allows us to automate this process (and because of that we’ve been able to source 20% more sales contacts from auto-replies). For these newly sourced contacts, start an outreach email campaign. Include offers that entice further engagement and sets a good tone for the relationship moving forward.
- Finally, give your contacts a week or so to respond before going in and dealing with non-responses.
Wake the Dead to Reignite Valuable Opportunities
A sales rep had an incredible conversation with a person from a target account. There was even some email back and forth after the meeting. And then…nothing.
15-30 days have passed and the rep is stumped.
This happens. And it’s probably happened to a few of your reps over the last couple of months.
Here’s what you should do:
Start building relevant messaging alongside sales. Then, you have two ways to make your next move: Physical or digital.
- Physical direct mail: Use this list to automate direct mail packages to bring these conversations back to life. Sometimes it helps to get something in the mail versus another email or call – plus it can be automated by triggers in your CRM. Make sure reps are notified when the package arrives so they can follow up with a message or phone call.
- How to deal with direct mail in a WFH world: Due to the current climate, more people are working from home than ever before. And most likely you don’t have these personal addresses on file. If that’s the case, there’s one extra step: Have the rep reach out and tell the contact that they’d like to send them a gift. Ask them what address they’d like used, and that the address will not be added to our system or used in any other way than to send the package. You’ll get fewer replies, sure, but there’s no harm in asking. Here are a few direct mail ideas we ran recently at Drift:
- Inc 500 cookies: The Inc 500 is a prestigious win for companies. To celebrate this, we shipped cookies to our accounts and customers who made the list. The CTA was to a blog where we celebrated our customers who made it on the Inc. 500 and linked back to their websites.
- Ditch the form postcards: We’ve run #NoForms campaigns in the past. In this direct mail play, we used similar messaging around antiquated forms. For the CTA, we pointed people towards a free version of our Conversational Marketing book that offers the answer to replacing forms.
- Digital direct mail: E-gift cards are a great option right now to support small businesses, like local restaurants, while also offering a reward your buyers will actually use. Plus e-gift cards are great “next meeting” prompts to keep conversations going:
Demand gen can also use campaigns to strengthen relationships with customers.
Closed-won campaigns focus on key moments in the customer lifecycle: onboarding, post-onboarding, big wins, up-sell, cross-sell, and renewals.
And these moments are just as important to your bottom line as acquiring a new customer.
Why They Work
According to Bain & Company, it’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain one.
But just keeping a customer isn’t your end goal.
You want your customers to be happy and successful. That same research from Bain also found that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”
So for anyone ready to argue that closed-won campaigns aren’t as valuable as any of the other campaigns I’ve mentioned so far, think again.
But benefits to your bottom line aren’t the only reason these campaigns are great. Just like a prospect-focused campaign, closed-won campaigns can help improve the relationship between customer success reps and your customers.
How to Get Started
“The client onboarding period is the honeymoon phase of the B2B customer relationship. Often so much of a company’s investment is in winning the customer, but it is just as important to onboard well and build a long-term relationship.”
– Allison Bennett, Current Head of Customer Experience and Former CMO of Business at JPMorgan Chase
👆That’s a quote taken from a Harvard Business Review report on the value of a great onboarding process. In that report, multiple c-suite executives echoed the same sentiment around the importance of onboarding for long-term sustainable wins.
Like I said, closed-won campaigns work best when attached to a specific point in the customer lifecycle. But for this section, we’ll focus on closed-won campaigns for onboarding.
As a demand gen marketer, while you may not be directly involved in the processes and procedures during onboarding, you are most certainly involved in making that customer feel valued and welcomed to your community.
One great way to do that is to help formalize the “welcome party” for newly onboarded customers.
To start, work with your company’s CSM (customer success managers) to develop Customer Welcome packages. These should include both direct mail and virtual elements:
- Physical package: In the welcome package, include swag, a personalized note from their CSM and a number of different one-sheeters to get them started.
- Welcome emails: Create a “note from the CEO” email after the dotted line is signed. This should be sent to the key contacts under the account. Try incorporating a video of your CEO greeting the new customer and offering helpful suggestions on getting started. After that, your CSM should send a formalized welcome email. Here are a few best practices to follow to get this right:
- The sender for the email should be from a person, not marketing@xyz.
- The email should include information on helpful resources to reference during this time.
- The email should include personalization elements.
- If there are steps the customer needs to take, give them a checklist to reference.
Onboarding is just one part of the customer lifecycle. Look to run campaigns for key moments where possible to generate more expansion opportunities and set your customers up for success.