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ABM Messaging Channels for B2B SaaS Startups
Learn tips for utilizing the most important ABM messaging channels for your B2B SaaS messaging.
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There are many avenues that you can use to engage prospects in an ABM campaign. In fact, any medium that you can use to communicate with someone directly can be effectively utilized.
For simplicity’s sake, I will focus on the most popular ABM channels: LinkedIn, email, and phone. Each method has its own drawbacks and benefits, but all are very effective for getting your message to the right people, in a way that they will be receptive to and will push them down the funnel.
LinkedIn is the most utilized ABM channel because of its messaging capability, as well as its list enrichment abilities. LinkedIn allows you to message contacts with up to 300 characters, for free. Additionally, when you connect with a contact, you instantly gain all their professional information including roles, responsibilities, email, and sometimes phone numbers.
What’s more, one of the best parts of LinkedIn outreach is that when you reach out, you are considered a person, not a bot. You have a photo, a background, and a resume, which humanizes you. Because of these factors, LinkedIn is one of (if not) the most accurate and up to date B2B outreach lists available, as everyone is constantly updating their LinkedIn profile with every big professional milestone that they achieve. These three elements combine to make a relatively cheap tool that allows you to effectively message your targets, learn more about them, and nurture them down the sales funnel.
Email’s big advantage over LinkedIn is that it does not have a character limit on its initial outreach messages. You can write as much as you want. However, there are some tradeoffs that go along with that freedom.
Because email is cheap, easy to use, and can reach thousands of contacts at a time, it is utilized by almost every B2B and B2C marketer in existence. This results in the same clogged inbox that I mentioned above, but it also results in spam filters, high levels of outreach competition, and consumers that are suspicious of emails from unrecognized senders.
Second, if email outreach is abused, it can cause significant damage to your email domain by blacklisting it, which impacts your outreach, your email marketing, and even your ability to communicate with prospects and current customers.
Luckily, you can purchase email tools like Outreach.io, Reply.io, Apollo.io, Mailshake and others, to help manage your email outreach campaigns. Tools such as these can automate email blasts, throttle message-sending to evade spam filters, and even A/B test your messaging to ensure that you are always optimizing your outreach to prospects. These tools are a must-have for an effective email outreach campaign and will exponentially increase your reach with automation and make you smarter with analytics.
Phone outreach is the most effective outreach channel that we have worked with. Phone outreach is by far the most personal method. It gives you a chance to really get to know your prospective customer, and their fears and dreams so that you can a) figure out if your product would be a good fit for the customer, and b) know how to quickly, and effectively, communicate the value of your product to that customer. The phone call, when done right, is also an extremely personable and targeted medium for outreach, as it allows the consumer to get to know you and your company in a way that is directly applicable to their business.
While you can write scripts and call guides, you must perform each call individually and, if you are lucky enough to get someone on the phone, you must have a real conversation with them to convert them down the funnel toward requesting more information or scheduling a demo.
However, phone outreach is also the hardest and most time-consuming outreach method because of the personalization it requires, the amount of time it takes to make each phone call properly and following up with most people who do not answer on the first attempt. As a result, if you want to have an effective phone outreach program, you usually must invest in hiring a team of Business Development Representatives and commit to diligently tracking selling techniques and conversion metrics to ensure you retain a positive ROI.
While phone, email, and LinkedIn are the most effective channels to get conversation started. ABM also relies on marketing support to help drive awareness and generate engagement.
The most common way in which marketing can generate air cover is through display and video ads to custom audiences based on your ICP. Custom audiences can be created at the account and contact level through platforms like LinkedIn.
Some final tips
Think about what you need to do after that first email, that first knock on the door. Be ready to nurture, be ready for digital cultivation in emails 2, 3, and 4. Be ready to interrupt people six to eight times. Do not feel guilty.
Recipients will delete some of those emails, others may go into spam. But recipients become prospects once the timing is right, and they notice a subject line that truly speaks to them then.
Remember to address the three questions that must be answered:
- Why change? Get recipients’ attention by building on their pain. Meet them where they are. Show empathy.
- Why with you? Have a plan. It is not about the features you offer. It is how those features benefit the user. It is about those things you do better than anyone else, the things you do best, those claims that only you can make.
- Why now? This is the point when you can move into sales mode. Move the prospects to act by offering a video, downloading a demo, attending a lunch and learn, taking a meeting, or customizing a sample solution. Show proof of gains they can expect based on other customers’ success stories. Show and tell. If done well, prospects will experience a fear of missing out and want to engage.
Lastly, be persistent, be engaging, be empathic, be a thought leader. Be a trusted guide.