The client wanted to introduce their services to a new market in the United States. This meant a whole new landscape with new audiences, new groups, and new challenges.
At the beginning of their campaign, the client discovered the following issues:
- Lack of the US client base. The client was used to receiving new leads through their affiliate network and referral marketing. However, both of these fields were delivering local leads. This approach wouldn’t work for the United States.
- Lack of outbound activities. The client didn’t use cold emails or outbound advertising to promote their services to other states. Because of this, they had to create a new way to introduce their company and services to the potential B2B buyers.
What we did
We started slow. When you try out a new market, you don’t dive in headfirst. It’s a step-by-step process that requires:
- Preliminary market analysis. Before you start introducing your product, you must be confident your prospective buyers need it. Within the preliminary research, you map potential competitors and any gates for advancing your product and services;
- Targeting. When it comes to B2B, prospective customers are even more difficult to identify because the pool of B2B audiences is not as large as the B2C pool. You also need to use different qualifiers to locate your DMUs. Because of this, we always take our time compiling a detailed Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for each client;
- Lead research. Since the client relied on referral marketing and networking to attract new clients, our mission was to gather a database of high-value leads for nurturing. Following the client’s ICP, we started working across eight industries to find the most relevant and exclusive leads.
How is it done? It’s incredibly important to not only find companies that tick all the boxes, but also to ensure that they are, in fact, active and looking for new solutions. We don’t stop at finding and validating email addresses and other contact data. We also check the prospects’ corporate websites, SEO performance, and social media accounts. The frequency of updates, the number of new posts and SEO data allowed us to estimate the level of potential client’s activity and the communication possibilities.
Since the client relied on referral marketing and networking to attract new clients, our mission was to generate new leads and nurture them into prospects via email outreach. We focused on direct and referral campaigns and launched A/B testing for each of them.
How many campaigns do you need to perform outreach? At Belkins, we practice account-based marketing and account-based selling. These techniques pay close attention to the personalization of B2B outreach and B2B communication. That means each industry, each audience segment, and even each individual prospect in your sales funnel needs a personal and compelling sales message instead of a generic proposition.
Our pattern of work looked like this:
- We reach out to CTOs, Heads of Engineering or VPs of product to figure out the titles in charge of the issues covered by the client’s product;
- In case we received no response, we also contact the company’s CEO in a referral campaign;
- If both target leads and the CEO remain silent, we reach out to our prospects via LinkedIn, asking them whether they received our messages.
In addition, we made sure to process every negative response by crafting an appropriate email that allowed us to:
- Show our appreciation for the prospect’s reply. You should always react to your prospect’s response, even if it’s a negative one. It’s important to emphasize that clarity and understanding of your prospect’s status is important to you–by showing how much they contribute to your workflow, you manage to build a positive communication that can evolve into a B2B relationship.
- Explain why we decided to get in touch. It’s another opportunity to introduce our unique value proposition. However, it should be informative instead of salesy. If the prospect is not inclined towards working with us right now, pushing them would only alienate them and eliminate all chances for cooperation.
1) The Calm
The first two months didn’t deliver tangible results.
End of October
Middle of November
End of November
Nevertheless, we expected this outcome.
Why is it normal?
- The US software development market is a highly competitive industry. US-based software development companies are the biggest players in the global market, so carving a place in the B2B niche in that region takes a lot more time and effort than anywhere else. It’s worth noting that in spite of receiving few results, the client’s Sender Score remained unchanged. It’s important because most of the target US recipients tend to get email fatigue and send generic-looking messages straight to spam without reading them.
- The more campaigns, the longer it takes for them to take effect. You have to monitor each email sequence and calculate pauses between sending emails. Given that we have created new inboxes on the client’s domain, we needed to send and increase the number of emails before sending a full blast of emails.
2) The Surge
The calm of the trial period gradually evolved into a surge of activity from the target recipients.
Start of December
Middle of December
Our testing allowed us to pick out the best performing campaigns (the ones with the highest Open Rate, CTR and other qualifiers) for each industry and develop them so they would appeal to the client’s target audience;
In general, we were able to deliver from 2 to 3 appointments per week, which is a good result for the client’s industry;
Ultimately, we delivered three customers to the client, allowing the client to increase revenue by $25,000 per month. It was an impressive result for any B2B software development vendor who sells to customers in the United States and a 200% return on the client’s investments.
Referral marketing is a good way to generate new prospective customers. However, if you want to explore a new direction for your business, you should actively employ outbound tactics.
Always do in-depth research of the market you want to sell to. You should know your potential competitors, the business risk, and whether the new audience is different from an existing one.
Don’t worry if you don’t see tangible results after the first two months of your outreach campaign. It takes time and testing before outreach campaigns start delivering responses and engaging prospects.
Choose quality over quantity. It’s better to convert 3 or 4 leads into loyal customers that are ready for long-term cooperation than to engage 2,000 of irrelevant leads that would leak through a sales funnel.