Comprehensive Guide to ABM Email Marketing

ABM emails

It’s a common problem for both business owners and beginner marketing specialists to gain few to no leads in spite of sending emails to hundreds of people every single day. Luckily, it is far from impossible to do something about it.

This is where the ABM approach to email marketing comes in. If you want to know what this approach is about, read on! In this article, you will find a comprehensive guide to how it works and why you should use it. In addition, we’ll provide you with some useful tips and examples of ABM emails.

What is ABM?

ABM stands for Account-Based Marketing. It is a business strategy based on focusing your resources on a segment of your existing customers or accounts. In order to get through to them, you are supposed to use highly personalized campaigns.

To give a simple example, imagine that you are an owner of a luxurious online clothing store and that you want to focus on your most loyal customers. You could send them a special discount code together with a list of three or four dresses that match their size and their favorite color.  

Yet, creating such campaigns is not an easy task. You need to ensure that your messages are written with the needs and preferences of individual customers in mind. However, it gives you an opportunity to engage in cross-selling and upselling.

Why should you use ABM for your email campaigns?

Using account-based marketing for email campaigns might seem to be time-consuming and resource-heavy, but it is definitely worth the hassle. It has a number of benefits that you might be interested in, including an increased engagement rate and improved return on investment. More on that below!

Increases profits

ABM-based email campaigns are, first and foremost, highly personalized. As we have already mentioned, they are created with the specific needs and preferences of your customers in mind. This type of approach enables you to connect to them on a more personal level. When done right, this should lead to an increase in sales figures. According to a study conducted in 2021, companies that grow faster drive 40% more of their profits from personalization than their slower-growing peers.

Boosts lead generation

ABM can also be quite effective when it comes to lead generation. By targeting specific accounts and tailoring your messages to their needs, you should be able to generate higher-quality leads. Such leads will be more likely to convert, which means that you will be able to close more deals. According to a recent survey, 60% of marketers think that personalization is vital to improving lead generation quality.

Retains email subscribers

ABM could help you out with subscriber retention as well! Did you know that 71% of customers actually expect companies to initiate personalized interactions? With that in mind, start focusing on your existing customers and connect with them on a more personal level. By doing so, you should find it easier to keep them engaged and prevent them from unsubscribing from your mailing list.

ABM email marketing step-by-step

Below, we will walk you through the key steps you need to take to launch a solid ABM marketing campaign. To make it a bit easier to understand, we created an imaginary business owner who is in the same boat as you! His name is Josh, and he owns an online painting supplies store. He has just read up on ABM email marketing and wants to use it to increase his ROI. Where should he start?

Identify target accounts

The first step of creating an ABM-based email campaign is to identify target accounts. In other words, Josh needs to make a list of businesses or individuals he wants to focus on. He can do it based on their business needs, gender, interests, and job titles.

Since it was his first time launching such a campaign, he limited himself to a small chunk of accounts. Each one was a loyal customer who had already placed multiple orders. With a smaller number of people to focus on, he will be able to fine-tune his strategy and see what works best. Once he gets the hang of it, he can start targeting multiple groups at the same time.

Collect necessary data

Once Josh has compiled a list of potential target accounts, he has to get his hands on the data he needs to make his emails genuinely personalized. To put it another way, he has to determine what the pain points, preferences, and needs of specific customers are. He can do it in the following ways:

  • He can send out a few surveys or questionnaires. There, he can include questions about their needs, preferences, and goals. Of course, not everyone is going to respond to his surveys. Nevertheless, he could encourage them to do so by offering them something in return, such as a discount or a freebie.
  • He could gather customer data that is already out there. For example, he could check out his target customers’ social media accounts or read the reviews they have left on his website. Checking their purchase history is also a viable option.

As mentioned above, Josh wants to focus on long-time customers who have already placed multiple orders with his store. He decides to go through their purchase history. By doing so, he should be able to identify their favorite brands and product types.

Create personalized content

Now it’s time for Josh to start working on his email messages. He starts with the subject lines. He could address his target customers by name to connect with them on a more personal level.

When it comes to the body of his message, he focuses on the problems or preferences of his target customers. He has already checked the purchase history of one of his target accounts. He discovers that they have been purchasing paints and brushes manufactured by this one specific company. 

It just so happens that he has recently started stocking up on their products, and most of them are on sale. He could make it the main focus of his message. While he is at it, he could mention that he has just what his customer needs and that he is offering it at an attractive price.

Test email messages

Now, Josh might decide to split-test his email messages. Doing so ensures that they are as effective at driving conversions as possible. A small part of his mailing list is going to receive a message with subject line number one, which contains an emoji.

Subject line number one, which contains one emoji

At the same time, a different segment is going to receive a message with subject line number two, which contains no emojis.

Subject line number two, which contains no emojis

In the end, the message with the highest open rate is going to be sent out to the rest of his mailing list. In other words, split testing allowed Josh to ensure that his email campaign was performing at its highest level.

Track the results

Lastly, Josh has to track the results of his campaign. He decides to streamline the entire process by using an email marketing platform that can help him track basic metrics, such as the open rate and click-through rate of each message.

The more advanced metrics are obtained through advanced analytics and integrations with platforms like Google Analytics. They might include his average customer acquisition cost and the lifetime value of clients.

Top tips and best practices to make the most out of your emails

Now that you know what ABM is and how it works, it is time that you learn how to make the most out of any ABM-based email campaign. Here is a list of tips and best practices that should help you do just that quickly and effectively, no matter the types of emails.

Make sure that the subject lines spark interest

Your email subject lines need to be attention-grabbing. They have to make your target customers want to learn more about what you have to offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing subject lines: 

  • Do not go overboard. Adding twenty exclamation marks and capitalizing every word is not the way to go! It is way too aggressive. Instead, it is recommended that you do not exceed three punctuation marks.
A subject line with just three punctuation marks
  • Consider using emojis. According to Mailchimp, you should limit yourself to just one emoji per subject line. In addition, you should use them only if they make the subject line stronger or deeper.
A good subject line with just one emoji
  • Keep it short. If your target customer is on a desktop computer, they will only see the first sixty symbols of the subject line. If they are using a mobile device, that number goes down to just thirty symbols.

Choose the right images

Images are also quite important when it comes to email marketing as the bad choice of imagery is one of the most common email mistakes

The ones that you choose should be relevant to the message that you are trying to get across. For instance, if you are selling dog food, you could choose a photo of a dog eating out of a bowl. If you were to choose a photo of cans of paint or 3D printers, it would not make much sense.

In addition, they should be high-quality and professional-looking. To put it another way, they should be high-resolution and clear instead of pixelated and blurry. Just make sure that they will not end up loading too slowly. Otherwise, your target customers might get frustrated and ignore your message.

High-resolution vs low-resolution
On the left is a high-resolution and clear image, the kind that you should be using. On the right is a pixelated and low-definition image. (Just look at that lower-left corner!) Such images look unprofessional. Source: Unsplash

Optimize for mobile users

According to Statista, close to 4.5 billion people used the internet on mobile devices last year. This number is only going to grow in the years to come. That is why you need to make sure that your email messages look great for mobile and desktop users alike. 

The most basic way to do so is to use a responsive email template that can adjust to different screen sizes.

Stop doing it by hand

If you have hundreds of subscribers that you want to send messages to, do not do it by hand. Instead, leave it to an email marketing platform like Selzy

With such a platform, you can send out personalized messages to a large number of people in a matter of seconds. You do not have to spend hours on end typing in their emails and personal information by hand.

What is more, you can really commit to email segmentation. In short, it is the process of choosing your target accounts based on specific criteria, such as interests, gender, and buying habits. For instance, you might want to send a message to people who did not make a single purchase in the past three months. With email marketing software, you can do just that quickly and effectively.

You could also use it to automate some of the other aspects of your campaign. For instance, you could set up a system that would send out a follow-up message to anyone who does not open your email within twenty-four hours.

ABM email examples and ideas to get inspired by

Gifting

An ABM email strategy that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of gifting. It works best when used with corporate clients and business owners. To put it simply, you send your target account a message. In the message, give them an option to claim a specific gift or to exchange it for something else. As an alternative, offer to donate the value of the gift to a charity of their choice. 

At the end of the message, say how much you would like to meet up and talk to them about your products or service. The gift is going to encourage your target account to take you up on your offer. Here is what it would look like in practice:

An ABM email with a gift

Personalized video

What about sending your accounts personalized videos addressing their specific needs or pain points? It is the ideal option for important accounts that have already spent a lot of money buying your products or services. You could also use it to engage a new account and form a more personal connection with them. 

To give an example, imagine that you run a marketing agency. You could send your target account a video that contains a few useful lead generation tips. You have noticed that they have just launched a new product. So, your entire video is centered around their product website and how it could be improved.

An ABM email that contains a link to a personalized video.
SOURCE - Gmail

Lunch and learn

Lunch and learn is a trend that has been taking off in the ABM niche. To put it simply, you invite your target account or their entire team out for lunch, on the house. There, you could present them with a webinar or discuss their pain points.

An ABM email in which you invite your target account and their team out for lunch.
SOURCE - Gmail

Conclusion

To sum up, here is what you have learned from this article:

  • ABM stands for Account-Based Marketing. It is a great way to connect with your customers on a more personal level.
  • A well-executed ABM campaign is going to help you retain email subscribers, increase your profit margins, and boost your lead generation efforts.
  • Including catchy subject lines and relevant high-definition images in emails can boost their effectiveness. 
  • You can automate and streamline the entire process using email marketing software.

All in all, if you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, ABM emails are definitely the way to go. You just have to follow the tips and best practices we listed here. With them, you should be able to create truly effective ABM email campaigns in no time!

Email examples are credited to Lake One.

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