Labrador is a small company that operates in a very narrow niche. It requires stable and consistent growth by going beyond the native market. So, these were the main tasks Belkins had to assist with and consider when launching a lead research process.
- Expanding to other countries. The publishing market of Norway is enough for a start, but further development of the company is rather difficult without reaching foreign markets. Labrador planned to target the nearest countries, but their team lacked the specialist with the right skills.
- Product awareness. Choosing a CMS like WordPress or Joomla for an online magazine is very common for web publishers. They are well-known and free, it’s easy to find a tutorial online, and they provide integrational opportunities for other services. But the specifics of Labrador CMS are created according to the needs of journalists. It includes numerous editing features, front page layout functions, article templates, and many more. It was crucial for Labrador and Belkins to spread the word about the product made precisely for digital publishers and highlight its advantages in Norway and abroad.
- Competitors race.In some markets like the USA, the competition is huge. Most of the target audience representatives either chose local companies or preferred the most popular products. It significantly complicated the process of reaching new prospects.
What we did
As always, we started our appointment setting process with research. The client led us in the choice of markets they were planning to target, and afterward, our Belkins wizards started doing their magic.
1) Outlining the prospects' base
The countries our client initially wanted to target aren’t big enough, and the searches could drag on. So, to get the maximum number of prospects, we researched all possible worldwide conferences dedicated to the publishing industry. We included the events that already passed as well as the upcoming ones.
How exactly did we form the contact list? Some events provided the lists of attendees, so it was a piece of cake to reach them. Even though sometimes we sent emails not directly to the people who visited a conference, our messages were a powerful hook for further communication.
Another great way of searching for potential recipients was searching through LinkedIn. We tracked who accepted the invitation to certain conferences and included them. That’s also how we started B2B lead generation for some other projects. Looking ahead, we must admit that for Labrador, this method with conferences was extremely fruitful, which rarely happened in our practice.
2) Making cold emails warmer
It’s a usual task for our SDRs to balance between being persuasive and likable. To break the ice, we mentioned in our email templates that the client actually visited the event but, unfortunately, missed the chance to talk to a recipient or a company representative. It helped us develop an instant connection with a completely unknown person and lead the conversation in the way we needed.
Also, we offered the client to try “a user interview template”. It is a type of cold communication when we offer a prospect to become an expert, test a product, and assess it, subtly transforming the interviewed recipients into leads. The Labrador team picked regular templates that turned up to be very successful. And after some adjustments to our mailing strategy, we saw a rapid boost in booking calls.
3) Speaking up the prospects’ language
In general, including all demands of Labrador, we targeted the Netherlands, Ireland, and the UK in the first campaign, and Denmark and Sweden in the second. We found all prospects among the conference attendees, and we also had some eureka moments that helped us expand our base. Thus, we discovered that visitors from South Africa often attended the events, so we added the RSA contacts to the third campaign.
Another important thing we want to highlight is the language choice. If we have an opportunity and resources to communicate in the prospect’s language, we undoubtedly choose this way. It demonstrates concern and deep interest. Some of the client’s teammates spoke Swedish, so we couldn’t lose the opportunity to reach business leads from Sweden and Denmark (most of the Danish population understands Swedish). The rest of our campaigns were in English.
From the start, it was obvious that it was going to be quite a challenge, even with the help of our client. We had a really huge number of responses, and it took time to translate them, which led to a pause between our answers. Nevertheless, the efforts brought shockingly good results, and we are happy to share them with you.
Belkins team did its best to bring B2B sales to the Labrador company. Our persistence and flexible approach to challenges provided us with such results:
- The best open rate reaches 85% among the company for Sweden and Denmark in the Swedish language, and the reply rate is 46%;
- For the Netherlands, Ireland, and the UK, the open rate is 77%, and the reply rate is 21%;
- Generally, Belkins booked 51 business appointments for Labrador CMS;
- The South African segment is extremely active in responses, and we are still developing this campaign;
- Right now, we're exploring the US and Canada region.
- English is good, but the native language always wins. In Sweden and Denmark, English is widely spread; many people speak it fluently and use it in business. Regardless of that, we took a risk to reach the prospects from these countries in the more common language. It wasn’t easy to communicate in Swedish. But we believe you learn better when you overcome obstacles. And the reward exceeded our expectations.
- Conferences might be a great source of potential leads. Searching through conference attendees doesn’t work sometimes. But in this project, it was exactly what we needed. Trying different methods of lead research is absolutely OK, and we use these insights in our collaborations.
- We learn together with our clients. Communication with our partners brings us no fewer "Aha!" moments than the actual research process. It is amazing how we come up with ideas and solutions with each new client and exchange our knowledge. We keep following the credo "Be honest with clients and dare to try something new".