How Mining Reply Emails Delivers More Relevant, Sales-Ready Leads
July 25, 2017 9:49:03 AM | By Matt Benati
Marketing puts in a lot of time and resources to deliver leads to sales each month, so it’s understandably discouraging to hear, “These leads are no good. They’re not in my target accounts.” But what if you could guarantee leads within target accounts, even leads relevant to current opportunities sales is working?
One of the easiest and quickest ways to deliver relevant leads is by concentrating your email marketing strategy on sales-targeted (best fit) accounts and mining your reply emails for Account Based Intelligence. Why? Because every reply you get back is chock full of SALES READY data; information about the people and accounts that sales cares about — coming straight from the source itself.
Prospecting For New Leads Within Current Accounts
While strategic inbound strategies will undoubtedly net some qualified leads in your target accounts, it can be slow going waiting for people to come to you. These days, most B2B buying decisions are collectively made by a group within an organization. For example, when considering a new software solution, the decision makers may include everyone from users and managers, all the way up to the C-suite; or, it may just be the IT department calling the shots.
With the Gartner Group finding that it now takes an average of 7 people in an organization to make a B2B buying decision, your current accounts should be a high priority when it comes to prospecting for new leads.
Short of asking existing leads who else in the organization you should be talking to (which can be perceived as pushy and unprofessional, especially if you haven’t had direct contact with the leads yet), just continue your email lead nurturing strategy, sending content relevant to your contact’s persona as it relates to your solution. Then, pay attention to the replies.
When a lead is out of the office, the auto-response they set up will likely have an alternate contact. Similarly, when a lead leaves the company, the organization will set up an auto-response notifying senders of the replacement contact. (In fact, LeadGnome customers have found that Left-The-Company auto responses we mine often contain MORE than one replacement/alternate contact — resulting in a new contact rate of over 100%.) If a lead gets a promotion, you may receive a reply alerting you to their change in title, their new role, and their replacement contact. You may even get a manual reply that says, ” Hey, I’m not the correct person for this. Please contact Sally instead.”
BOOM. Just like that you start racking up relevant contacts related to the leads you’re already engaging. Send the new contacts an introductory email asking them to opt-in to receive communication from you. By changing nothing about your email strategy and simply paying attention to replies, you can increase visibility into key accounts virtually overnight. Example: LeadGnome customer, Host Analytics, saw an 80% increase in lead quality when they started mining their campaign reply emails for sales intelligence.
Maintaining & Increasing Renewals Within Current Accounts
For B2Bs that depend on renewals as a primary source of revenue – such as with an SaaS – staying on top of lead activity within current accounts is critical.
The first part has to do with database maintenance. If you wait until renewal time to find out that your contact left the company or changed positions, you could face delayed or cancelled contracts. Mining your reply emails is the best way to stem database decay. The data mined from replies enhances and maintains up to 72% of your existing leads, ensuring you’ve got the right people and the right contact information come renewal time.
The second part has to do with increasing renewals within current accounts. By maintaining a steady email marketing campaign and analyzing replies, you find out when a lead gets promoted or leaves the company when it happens, versus waiting for renewal time or when you get a hard bounce. This timing advantage allows you to be the first in, boosting your chances of upselling or cross-selling to your replacement lead, or to your user that got promoted to your buyer — both of whom will be eager to make their mark, and expanding your offerings may be just the solution they’re looking for.
Focus On Alignment For Sustained Revenue Growth
Mining emails is a fast, easy way to deliver more relevant, sales-ready leads, but it should be used as part of a greater strategy that focuses on sustained revenue growth. That is, after all, the main goal of any for-profit business, right?
If you’re working toward practicing an account-based model, you know that 1) sales and marketing should both be focused on the same set of key accounts, and that 2) alignment is essential for making this happen. By following my simple formula for alignment, sales and marketing can get on the same page and work toward the same shared goal of driving revenue. Once the foundation is laid, sales and marketing can get down to the business of aligning their strategies with a laser focus on only those best fit accounts.
The result is that marketing delivers sales-ready leads every single time and wastes zero time dumping unqualified leads over the fence. To find out more about mining reply emails for sales intelligence, download our free eBook: Transformative B2B Demand Generation. We break down the most common replies, showing exactly what intelligence to look for and how your sales team can leverage it to their advantage: