Harry is usually one of the top business development reps at The Best Solutions Company. He has the personal touch and is a pro at engaging executives on the phone. But today, he’s stymied. Account-based marketing has changed the game. The marketing department is no longer sending mass emails to key accounts. Instead, they want him to create personal emails to each person he’s targeting.
That’s just not what he does! He’s a conversationalist, not a writer. So, now he’s in his cubicle, staring at a blank screen, frittering away his valuable time.
Today, Harry’s story is all too common. As account-based marketing gains popularity, mass email marketing campaigns are giving way to personalized emails. Why? Because relevancy helps your message rise to the top of flooded inboxes and get attention.
That’s all well and good, but it’s not easy to shift from one-to-all to one-to-one emails. The burden of sending the emails shifts from marketing to business development. However, reps who communicate with prospects well verbally may not be able to write an engaging email easily. They need a little help.
So here are some steps your organization can take to tackle this task successfully.
Select Your Segments
There are several ways you can slice and dice your audience. The obvious ones are by industries, geographic location or an individual’s role within a company.
Also, it’s useful to segment by business projects or interests. Companies such as RainKing and InsideView provide information, sometimes called “scoops” on business changes and projects on which companies are working. Another way to determine interests is to use predictive analytics based on people’s online activities.
Create a Matrix of Email Templates
Let’s say you’re a leader of a marketing agency that offers account-based marketing services. You’ve decided to target two industries — information technology and manufacturing. Within these industries, there are two buyer roles — chief marketing officers (CMO) and marketing directors. Regarding their interests, you understand that some people want to improve their marketing ROI while others are concerned with entering new markets. To determine an individual’s interests, you will use third-party information coupled with predictive insights.
Additionally, you’ve done your persona research, so you understand the questions that your audience asks. That gives you your blueprint for email topics. CMOs want to understand the big picture while directors and managers are more into the nitty-gritty of implementing the account-based marketing initiative.
With this information as a backdrop, you can create a matrix for each industry similar to the following:
You will need to create a series of templated emails for each of these segments, essentially drafts that are ready for your reps to personalize. In reality, of course, you would likely need more than four emails for each segment.
Create the Structure for Your Emails
Here’s how you can create the structure for an introductory email. In this case, it would be the one the talks about the benefits of account-based marketing for landing large accounts.
- Subject: Reference the project initiative or scoop
- Section 1: Mention a personal reference that you learned about from your research, perhaps by delving into an individual’s LinkedIn profile.
- Section 2: Refer to the project and industry.
- Section 3: Empathize with the problem the person who you’re writing to faces and tie it into the need for your solution/product/service as a category.
- Section 4: Introduce your company and how your service or solution can help.
- Section 5: Include a call-to-action, such as free demo, consultation or trial.
Write Your Email Templates
For each of the checked boxes above, you need to write a templated email that includes instructions for how your salespeople can customize it. Here’s an example of an email a marketing agency might write after finding out ABC Pharmaceutical Solutions was showing an interest in account-based marketing:
Research and Customize
Now your business development reps can pull everything together to create personalized emails. They simply take the scoops, predictive analytics, and their research and work through the email template step-by-step until they have created a highly personalized communication that gets attention because it’s relevant.
So don’t shy away from writing personalized emails for account-based marketing. If you set up a streamlined process, it can be easier than you think to communicate one-to-one and boost your sales results.