The Client: A leading enterprise advocacy marketing platform, powering referral marketing for over 100 leading brands and retailers in 27 countries and 21 languages. Their clients are active in telecommunications, banking, insurance, utilities, fashion, beauty, retail travel, grocery and gaming/gambling and include big brands of each industry.
Their Challenge with Lead Generation
The view about the company’s processes between marketing and sales is simple. We can also gather all these functions under one umbrella: the marketing – as marketing is about the whole activities performed by an organization to analyse, to know, and to understand markets, then to act on them to perform business development. Sales is one of the marketing activities that any company needs to perform to stay in the market.
What they do to create new business
We asked them to explain what are the actions they perform to develop their presence in the markets they operate:
Which campaigns do you run?
Marketing campaigns on social-media, mailing, SEM, listing and also organized events before COVID.
How do you engage leads?
Mostly they reply to outbound emails or come as inbound by requesting a demo or information on our website. We also have some email-gated content on our website and social media.
How does the system manage the names/emails in Active Campaign?
Lately, we have been using the data import function between Pipedrive and Active Campaign to add leads directly to the appropriate List in Active Campaign. This import does not automatically match all fields between the two databases, so it needs a little sense checking before the contacts are allowed into a live list. Hopefully this feature will improve in the future.
Which function in Active Campaign allows you to understand leads intentions: interested in the product or just browsing. Do you create lists for it?
We create Lists for using the custom fields, like country, industry, persona etc. and different combinations thereof. Contacts that respond asking for information or a demo are passed directly to an SDR for a human contact. But we do not, unlike some businesses, create endless automations that move a contact from one automation to another if they click or respond etc. This is because we target enterprise clients and not SMBs.
Where a contact is at a business that is not relevant or is too small, we aim not to add them to the database in Active Campaign, as otherwise they will just be recycled and appear as an inbound again.
We do use the Lead Scoring in Active Campaign to identify potentially interested leads, but we believe that many of the reported clicks and opens are software based and not human interactions. So we use this as a guide for SDRs and Sales and don’t set off more automations on the back of it.
Once the data are ready, how do you transfer them into Pipedrive?
If Sales add data to Pipedrive they can indicate the List to which a contact should be added and it will be imported into Active Campaign using the integration. Sales can mark a contact ‘do not email’ or ‘unsubscribed’ which should prevent it being imported.
Where a contact was directly added to Active Campaign and does not yet exist in Pipedrive, and requests information or a demo, the details are passed to an SDR or Sales, who qualify the lead and decide whether or not to add this to Pipedrive.
Once the data is in Pipedrive, what happens, how do you treat those data and who is in charge to do that?
Sales accountants and SDRs have their own Pipelines in Pipedrive and manage the contact, moving it back and forth through different stages.
What are for you the main parameters that affect the leads generation: quantity of campaigns, frequency, target audiences, content etc?
Referring to leads that respond to emails sent by Active Campaign, rather than leads coming via other sources. The main factors are:
- The Quality of the Data: is the contact the right person at the right company and someone who would be interested in what we have to say? We can target different elements of the decision making circle with different messaging, but if the contact is the wrong person then we are wasting our time. Likewise, is this the right company in terms of industry and size.
- Deliverability – sender reputation, both for your domain and the IP address used by the ESP. It is important to keep your data clean – removing bounces and unsubscribes and irrelevant emails.
- Email subject line and sender – these are the first things a recipient will see and so are important in influencing the decision to read, delete, unsubscribe or mark as spam
- Relevance: how can you quickly establish that you are relevant to a busy executive. Do you work with key brands? Are you referring to a hot topic?
- Credibility of you as a business: how can you get this across fast to a busy executive: look and feel of the email, address, client references, awards etc.
- Language: an obvious one, but you will get a higher interaction rate if you send an email to an Italian in Italian
- Time of send: this is important for an international database as an email arriving in the middle of the night is less likely to be read. We see that 95% of emails seem to be interacted with within the first hour of send or not at all
- Day of send: watch international holidays like Thanksgiving and Muslim countries not working on Fridays
- Age of the database: due to the way in-boxes work, emails that are not engaged with will be moved to the spam filter. So you will typically see diminishing returns over time
- Mixing it up: be prepared to mix in occasional tactical emails from different senders if response rates are dropping
How this channel contributes to the growth rate of the company?
The growth of the company is driven by new client wins, retention of existing clients and upsells to existing clients. Sales to new clients is a large part of our growth, but our ability to grow within existing clients is equally important.
What are you thinking to change/ alter/ improve in the Leads generation process now? And why?
We have experimented with different approaches over the years, and will continue to experiment, particularly in new industries and territories. However, our preference is to do things in-house, wherever possible.
We would like to increase the automation between Active Campaign and Pipedrive and eliminate manual tasks. The lack of this automation is perhaps the biggest drawback of this marketing stack at present.