The growth of account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns during the last few years has opened up some interesting avenues for marketers to take a more strategic approach to communicating with audiences that are apt to engage with your messaging. While customer outreach methods like social media marketing or even content marketing are good for building brand awareness and creating thought leadership, ABM campaigns are designed to connect with a more targeted audience that is more likely to convert on high-value offers.
While ABM campaigns are most commonly used in digital marketing efforts via paid advertising and email, print communication like direct mail marketing can be an extremely effective vehicle in executing ABM campaigns that get results.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the ABCs of account-based marketing campaigns, and how you can use print material like direct mail as the focal point of your next ABM campaign.
What is account-based marketing and how does it work?
Account-based marketing is a more strategic marketing communication initiative that positions personalized, high-value offers to key accounts. ABM campaigns take a more data-driven approach based on a variety of data and insights on contacts who have expressed interest in your brand by converting on previous offers, submitting a request for a quote, or contacting you directly.
Essentially, ABM campaigns help you jumpstart a sales conversation with contacts that you already know are a good fit for your product or service. And the numbers behind the effectiveness of ABM campaigns don’t lie — in fact, brands that execute ABM campaigns are more likely to exceed their annual revenue goals, and 62% of marketers report positive outcomes as the result of implementing an ABM approach to their marketing campaigns.
With an ABM strategy, not only can you communicate with customers on a more personalized level faster and more efficiently, but you’ll also have the ability to tailor content or offers to individual accounts for increased return on investment (ROI) and customer loyalty.
How can marketers use print in their ABM campaigns?
Part of what makes direct mail such an interesting print form for ABM campaigns is the fact that direct mail works. For example, a recent survey found that 40% of respondents reported that direct mail is more likely to catch their attention compared to digital marketing communication, and a USPS study found that more than 60% of consumers are excited to receive direct mail.
Marketers who want to leverage direct mail as part of an ABM campaign need to consider a couple different factors. First, personalization is key to effective ABM campaigns, and integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) software with a print automation platform can help you harness the power of variable data printing (VDP) to create personalized, highly-targeted mailers.
What’s more, integrating your CRM with a print automation solution simplifies and streamlines the process of of segmenting and managing mailing lists to ensure the right mailer is being printed and mailed to the right audience — this is especially valuable if you’re doing a tiered ABM campaign where different lists are receiving different messaging or offers based on variables like job titles or geographic location.
Another important thing to consider with ABM direct mail campaigns is the physical form you want your messaging to take. ROI in ABM campaigns is best realized when thinking beyond the traditional standard size postcard, in large part because you’re sending to a small list with the goal of making a big impact. As such, you want to consider using more premium print pieces that are designed using a bit of wow factor.
ABM direct mail campaigns can include incentives such as special gifts, personalized merchandise, offer codes, exclusive promotions, personalized augmented reality (AR) experiences, and even virtual reality (VR) experiences. Print of this caliber may sound like a costly proposition, a print automation solution that uses print-on-demand technology (POD) can help you print the precise quantities you need to help control waste, and POD technology can help you scale your print run based on demand for increased flexibility.
Lastly, ABM direct mail campaigns can also be an ideal vessel to create effective omnichannel campaigns that include additional touchpoints like follow-up emails, SMS messaging, or even InMail messaging on LinkedIn — provided you have a contact’s profile information — to continue the conversation after your mailer has been received.
Using direct mail in ABM campaigns can be extremely effective in demonstrating to already interested prospects that you have a detailed understanding of their industry and their challenges, and that you took the time to craft a memorable piece of content with an offer that’s designed specifically with them in mind.
With years of experience as a strategic direct mail and print automation partner, Quantum can help you create targeted ABM direct mail campaigns that generate a response and demonstrate meaningful ROI. Download our USPS® Promotions and Incentives Guide to learn how we can help you save big on postage for your next ABM direct mail campaign, or learn more about our direct mail and print marketing automation solutions.