Frankly speaking, Lion Energy didn’t have a problem. Instead, the company had a certain goal: to close deals with the total worth of $10,000,000. To accomplish this goal, the Lion Energy team needed a productive channel for generating new leads and converting them into buyers. The client joined forces with the Belkins team and got introduced to email marketing. After choosing this course of action, we outlined the following boxes to check:
- Develop the foundation for email marketing campaigns. Since the client didn’t have any previous experience with generating leads via email outreach, our task was to guide the sales team of Lion Energy through all the steps necessary for building a productive customer journey.
- Run detailed lead research. To see what companies and businesses are capable of delivering high-value deals, we needed to explore the client’s industry and its connection to other markets.
- Launch and manage appointment-setting campaigns. Our Account Managers and SDRs were to handle the flow of leads and direct them to the narrow end of the client’s sales funnel.
What we did
1) Lead generation research. We started by exploring the industries that would gain the largest number of benefits from using the client’s product.
- Visualizing the perfect customer. Together with the Lion Energy team, we worked on the Ideal Customer Profile to discover the most lucrative niches and the most responsive titles. As a result, we managed to establish that such industries as Environment and Renewables as well as Environmental Services and Construction Services have always provided the highest reply rate for Lion Energy.
- Finding the perfect customer. Once we had the direction, our lead researchers started digging up digital data pools, from professional networks like LinkedIn to more specific sources, gleaning titles, names, and contact data that could be used for cold email outreach. We targeted businesses and solar installer companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, paying close attention to Sweden.
After gathering data, we were ready to proceed with lead generation and nurture potential buyers.
2)Setting up the outreach process. Since the client wasn’t familiar with email marketing, we took care of everything to ensure our future messages were deliverable and visible.
- Domain warmup. We helped the client with creating a new domain for cold emails only and ran a bunch of warmup campaigns. This step was necessary because we needed to build up a positive reputation and show Internet service providers that the client was a reliable sender.
- Building a schedule. We developed a plan for our future email campaigns to understand how often we’ll be sending emails and what kind of cadence would be best suited for Lion Energy. Our experts instructed the Lion Energy team on the best days for sending emails and general email outreach guidelines.
3)Reaching out. Using the research data we gathered, our template writers crafted the first set of templates for interacting with the outlined target audience. The templates covered a 3-wave cadence - it’s a good pace for testing the market and figuring out how responsive the prospects are going to be.
After receiving templates, our SDRs started sending them out to the addresses in the list and monitoring the end results.
4) Adjusting research qualifiers. At a later stage of the campaign, we started comparing our current performance with the KPIs mapped out by Lion Energy and found the following targeting issues:
- Irrelevant titles. Some of the titles that we targeted haven’t proved to be very helpful when it came to introducing Lion Energy to the decision-making group and communicating the value of the product.
- Non-responsive markets. Initially, we targeted a wide range of Construction Services companies, including all types and directions. But initial campaigns had little success with a solid part of those industries because they lacked the need for alternative energy storage solutions - at least, at the given period of time.
It’s a normal occurrence in lead generation and email marketing.
Research is a long and complex process that requires some reviews, testing, and adjustments before you can be confident about your approach and the relevance of the data you find.
In our case, it allowed us to figure out that our target audience couldn’t be found on LinkedIn. The businesses and companies that were a great fit for the Lion Energy ICP operated in a B2C area, so most of them weren’t very active on B2B platforms. Instead, they were focusing on their presence in Google, attracting B2C clients and working on their search engine optimization.
After finding out what was hindering our progress we:
- Removed some titles from our lead list, leaving only those titles that introduced value during our first campaigns.
- Narrowed the Construction Services field down to Home Builder services, since it was closer to the B2C niche that showed active interest in implementing innovative environmental energy storage solutions.
- Did a raw Google search, locating businesses that met our new qualifiers, verified and validated their data.
Within these steps, we managed to efficiently edit our lead list and upgrade it, then customized our templates to match the new qualifiers.
5) Re-engagement campaigns. In addition to email campaigns for lead generation, we focused on re-engagement, making the most out of the prospects that Lion Energy previously interacted with.
Since our research allowed us to figure out the best approach, we worked on the best wording and templates to appeal to this specific audience.
Our team cooperated with the team of Lion Energy, building communication with re-engaged prospects and re-introducing them to the services and opportunities offered by the client.
After 10 months of working on Lion Energy goals, we achieved the following benchmarks:
- Filled the Energy Storage pipeline. Regardless of the rocky start, we managed to pick up the speed and generate 137 appointments with the solar installers and companies that operated in Environment & Renewables markets, meeting the client’s ICP. Closing deals with these clients brought Lion Energy very close to the ultimate revenue goal (closing year with $10,000,000 profit).
- Stable open rate. It’s not uncommon for new B2B email senders to experience open rate fluctuations because they aren’t aware of the potential email outreach challenges and can unintentionally lower their Sender Score. However, with our help Lion Energy was off to a great start, with 85% Open Rate and great deliverability.
- Launched successful re-engagement campaigns. In addition to closing the main goal, we also got great results with the re-engagement campaigns, returning a good percentage of leaked leads back to the sales funnel and creating new opportunities for future deals.
- Developed a new campaign. Following the success of Energy Storage campaigns, the client tasked us with generating leads for their Lithium Batteries product line. Since we already knew what approach worked best for the client’s target audience, we were able to swiftly customize the templates and deliver 70 appointments in 4 months.
- Keep your mind open to new opportunities. We often notice that companies that offer innovative solutions have an old-fashioned way of marketing their products. Some of them use a single platform to gain visibility, some of them don’t work on their presence by incorporating new sales channels - or do it with extreme caution, not letting the campaign pick up the speed. There’s no business or industry that wouldn't benefit from the latest marketing methods, especially when it comes to something as simple and elegant as email marketing. Don’t hesitate to arm yourself with a new sales channel, test it and see what it can do for you.
- Give your product the attention it deserves. If you sell a physical product, then you have a lot of opportunities to increase your number of leads and sales. A physical product means that you can provide a demo - your potential buyers can see it, test it, watch it work, and make conclusions of their own. Unlike businesses that specialize in selling other services and have to rely on other factors to get clients (customer service level, employees’ approach, amount of marketing materials and social proof), you have a solid foundation for your campaigns. Don’t hesitate to use the latest channels to showcase your products - there are people who need them and they are looking for the benefits that you can provide.
- Maneuver your way around the bumps. Sometimes, the most relevant data will be discovered after the first test campaigns. If you see that your lead list contains irrelevant titles or markets, don’t let it slow you down. Cross out the information that wasn’t useful to you and focus on the leads and industries that delivered the largest number of responses and interactions. See what qualifiers you’ve been missing, include additional sources, and do some more testing - research is all about flexibility and your ability to think outside the box.
- Keep your email marketing organized. It’s very important to build a structure for your email marketing campaigns. Your plan must include Lead Research, Email Deliverability, Lead Nurturing, Appointment Setting, and Re-engagement. By outlining these stages, you make sure that you gather all the information vital to gaining your prospects’ trust, send messages that won’t be lost in spam folders, and fill your sales funnel with leads that are guaranteed to make it to the narrow end.