Top 5 Marketing Hacks: Account Based Marketing and Response Emails

November 12, 2015 6:52:06 AM | By Matt Benati

After you launch an email campaign, the marketing team inevitably gets a flurry of response emails – those may be out of office responses, left the company, requests for additional information, and more. There’s valuable information waiting to be mined from those responses that can improve your marketing team’s productivity and your alignment with sales. Don’t ignore or trash these valuable response emails.

Based on our experience, here are the top five marketing hacks for leveraging campaign response emails:

1. Increase Alignment With Sales

As Jon Miller, former CMO of Marketo and current CEO and founder of Engagio, has noted, one of the most important metrics for account-based marketing is coverage. Successful sales depend on cultivating contacts and permission with the right people at your target accounts. The information in response emails is ideal for identifying additional contacts that can help deepen and broaden account coverage. Getting new marketing qualified account leads (MQAL) – that is, interested individuals located at key target accounts – is like gold for sales professionals. Response emails are a great way for marketing to identify additional MQAL which will help accelerate and close deals. Consider the value of handing sales 100% account focused leads, rather than 1,000 irrelevant ones.

2. Prevent Marketing Databases From Becoming Stale

Customer databases decay quickly over time. Hubspot estimates that 23% of the leads in marketing databases are lost each year. This is due to various reasons – bounced messages, individuals who unsubscribe from emails, people who have left the company, and more. Leveraging the information in response emails is a proven way to continually replenish marketing databases with contacts at relevant accounts. Consider the math… Let’s say that a company runs two campaigns a month and sends out a total of 40,000 emails. Assuming that 5% of the response are out of office messages or other types of responses, the marketing inbox could receive as many as 2,000 emails a month. Typically marketing teams find at least one new lead for every two of the response messages. This generates a minimum of 1,000 new contacts a month for the marketing database.

3. Maintain The Investment In Target Accounts Over Time

When a response email indicates that a contact has left the company, there are a number of actions that should be taken. First, these newly invalid leads should be tagged or removed from the database, so time and effort isn’t wasted on an ex-employee. Second, a replacement contact should be identified in the target account who has assumed the responsibilities of the individual who left. The good news is twofold: (1) replacement contacts are often identified in “left the company” emails and (2) capturing this information and taking action recoups the cost spent identifying and engaging the original contact.

4. Follow Leads To new Companies And Cultivate New Target Accounts

As noted above, when a response email indicates that a contact has left the company, it’s important to identify another lead at the target account. However, that “I’ve left the company” response email presents yet another opportunity for marketers. Savvy teams take the names of contacts that have moved to a different firm and then they watch LinkedIn and social media to see where those individuals end up. Leads that were engaged before are highly likely to be interested in your message and how it can help them in their new position. Understanding when and where leads move gives Sales the power to cultivate brand new target accounts.

5. Preserve Your Brand’s Reputation By Handling Opt-out Emails

When people want to opt-out of marketing messages, many don’t use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of campaign mails. Instead, they just hit “Reply.” Finding those reply messages in the marketing email box can be a nightmare, given the volume of messages there. Catching them quickly, however, is extremely important. Continuing to send messages to individuals who believe they’ve opted-out is a guaranteed way to cause brand and reputational damage.

Mining response emails manually is time consuming, there’s no doubt about that. Traditionally, someone has had to look through the emails in the campaign response inbox; identify, read and capture the relevant information; and then manually upload the data into marketing systems like the customer relationship management (CRM) system, email service provider, or marketing automation solution. The good news is that leveraging this untapped source of account information, campaign response emails, provides significant value to your organization. It’s worth the time and effort to collect this data.

Do you take advantage of the account information in campaign response emails? I’d love to discuss this topic with you – feel free to add a comment or reach out to me directly ( For more information on mining the gold within campaign response emails, download our eBook.

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