As Socedo continues to grow at a rapid clip, the Socedo Marketing Team has found that inbound marketing is not a quick fix for lead generation. It takes time for people to learn about the Socedo brand, visit their website, and fill out a form to become a lead. The Marketing team is simply not getting enough leads coming in through Socedo’s blog posts, webinars, e-books and free trial. And they don’t have the luxuary to wait.
In order to deliver enough Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to their sales team each month, the Marketing team has estimated that they need to grow the number of marketable prospects in their database by 20% month over month.
To ensure that the sales team can hit their monthly revenue targets, the Marketing team decided to do targeted prospecting. In other words, they will build specific lists of prospects that meet certain criteria and reach out to these prospects proactively.
Approaches for Building Targeted Prospect Lists
The team tried several ways to acquire new sales prospects, including:
- Purchasing lists from B2B contact data providers such as Clearbit, which has a prospecting solution.
- Running promoted content campaigns or content syndication campaigns. The team has worked with companies such as eMedia and BrightTalk – which have captive audiences of B2B marketers – to promote their top-of-funnel webinars and whitepapers to these audiences.
- Advertising on LinkedIn. Socedo has served ads and sponsored posts to LinkedIn members, promoting gated content such as whitepapers.
- Building prospect lists with the Socedo. The Socedo platform can identify people on Twitter who fit Socedo’s buyer profile and have just taken relevant actions. Socedo matches social profiles to people’s corporate email addresses and uses these email addresses to build a rich profile of each person.
The marketing team had less than ideal results with most of these approaches, due to challenges with lead quality, scale and cost.
List purchase leads are hard to get in touch with
Buying lead lists from data providers such as Clearbit is relatively inexpensive.
Each contact comes with accurate contact information, including demographic data on each contact and firmographic and technographic data on each account.
But there is no behavioral information on whether a contact is in an active buying cycle, or how far along the buying journey he might be.
The marketing team has to make a lot of assumptions on what these leads care about when they develop campaigns for these leads. These campaigns were broad – the messaging was based on people’s usage of certain marketing automation platforms. Engagement rates were low.
Looking at leads from list purchases in the last 180 days, the team found that leads from list buys have lower email engagement rates and conversion rate from prospect-to-MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) compared to leads from other sources.
On average, completely cold list buy leads had a 0.6% click-through rate on the first outreach, compared to 1-2% on other sources. The marketing team kept nurturing these leads through emails, but leads from list buying converted at about half the rate of other sources.
Socedo’s warmest lead generation sources reached an average 6.5% first-touch click-through rate.
This kind of result is not surprising. As lead lists become increasingly accessible and commoditized, prospects are receiving more and more noise from marketers and choosing to unsubscribe as they are overwhelmed with the volume of emails they receive.
When the marketing team tried to get in touch with leads they got from content syndication programs, they ran into the same issue. This was a big surprise because these leads have shown a little bit of intent. After all, they have chosen to receive a whitepaper or to watch a webinar from Socedo.
The Socedo Marketing team found that content syndication leads spend a long time in automated email nurture programs before they take enough actions to become a sales-ready lead.
When Socedo’s SDR team reached out to these leads, most of the leads were unresponsive. Of the leads who did respond, many said that they are doing research and don’t have a timeline for evaluating solutions.
Additionally, since they had consumed content on an external channel, some did not even remember Socedo.
When the cost of doing content syndication programs are factored in (i.e For Socedo, it ranged between $45-$55 per lead), getting leads from this channel did not provide a positive ROI.
Content syndication and LinkedIn Ads do not scale
Content syndication and LinkedIn ads were not scalable solutions for Socedo’s marketing team. Content syndication programs are offered by specific media companies that have a captive audience (i.e. BrightTalk). There is a limit to how many leads the provider can reach on a client’s behalf in a given time period.
Additionally, one campaign can take several weeks to complete and leads are typically delivered in batches. This means that Socedo’s SDR team cannot follow-up with all leads in a timely manner.
With LinkedIn, due to a relatively small budget (up to $1000 per week) and the fact that their Sponsored Posts had click through rates that range between 0.2% – 1%, the marketing team could not generate a meaningful amount of leads through the channel.
Using Socedo for List Building
With Socedo, the marketing team is able to find their target prospects automatically based on Twitter and LinkedIn data and achieve the scale they desire.
To find prospects, the Marketing team enters a list keywords relevant to their business that can be found in people’s LinkedIn and Twitter posts, profiles and/or following relationships. Socedo will return matches based on these keywords.
For example, they can enter descriptive keywords found in their ideal prospect’s profile (i.e. “Marketing Manager”, “SaaS”, “Social Media”), hashtags of key industry events (i.e. #INBOUND17, #MktgNation), and keywords to describe hot topics (i.e. demandgen, ABM).
Additionally, Socedo can find people who follow and/or engage with certain influencers and brands that the marketing team team considers relevant (i.e. @MarketingProfs, @Marketo, @Hubspot).
Here is a screenshot of keywords used in one campaign that targets marketers who talk about predictive analytics.
Once prospects are identified on Twitter (and verified by their LinkedIn profile), Socedo matches their social profiles to their corporate email addresses and pulls in additional data points on each contact and their company.
The Marketing team has set up an integration so that prospects discovered by Socedo are automatically synced into their marketing automation platform – Marketo. From there, new leads are put into different email nurture programs based on their social actions and job titles.
Compared to other methods, keyword-based targeting allows the team to find a much higher volume of people. The marketing team is syncing about 1,500 new prospects into our database each week, translating to 6,000 prospects per month.
Because each lead comes with social engagement data (the keyword he or she matched on), the Socedo marketing team can segment leads based on their social actions and create more relevant email campaigns.
How Socedo’s marketing team follows up with these leads
Because each contact comes with social engagement data, as soon as a new contact is synced into their marketing automation system, the marketing team was able to trigger an email that references their recent Tweet. These initial outreach emails were timely and felt much more personal than typical cold emails.
As a next step, leads are put into segmented email nurture tracks based on the topics they’ve shown an interest in.
The Marketing team has set up their marketing automation platform – Marketo – to listen to lead activities including email clicks, website page visits and social media actions. As soon as a lead Tweets about a topic Socedo cares about (i.e. “lead scoring”), this data gets written onto the person’s Lead Record as a timestamped activity.
For example, the Marketing team is sponsoring the Marketo Nation Summit this year and wants to make sure their sales reps book as many meetings with good leads as possible. For the two months leading up to the Summit, each time a lead tweets using #MktgNation (the official conference hashtag), that data gets logged in their lead record and they immediately receive an email letting them know where to meet the Socedo team at the Summit.
The team keeps track of where leads are in the buying cycle with a behavioral lead scoring model. Each time a lead takes an action, i.e. Tweet about a tracked topic or visits our website, their lead score increases. Once the score is above a threshold, the lead is qualified as a “Marketing Qualified Lead” and sent to a member of Socedo’s Sales Development Representative (SDR) team for follow-up.
The SDR will follow up with each lead with a series of touches including personalized emails, phone calls and social media interactions. The rep will look at the leads’ recent action, which is in Salesforce as an Interesting Moment, and use that action as the basis for starting a conversation.
Marketing team selects what gets flagged as an Interesting Moment and will flag specific high-value tweet actions, such as Tweeting about an upcoming conference.
The SDR team has found that often, this one piece of intent data is enough to make contact with a prospect.
Using the Socedo platform, Socedo’s marketing team was able to find a larger volume of leads and who are more responsive to their marketing campaigns.
On average, in the past 90 days, social leads clicked on emails at double the rate of leads from other sources.
On the most targeted campaigns, when the social intent action was correlated with a highly relevant piece of content, emails reached a 6.5% click-through rate, even including net new leads.
Leads generated from social intent signals are 45% more likely to convert into Opportunities, and in about two-thirds the time it traditionally takes to convert. They also close at a 23% higher ASP (Average Selling Price).
These higher engagement rates can be explained by the fact that each lead found through Socedo has just done something relevant on Twitter to indicate interest in Socedo’s business space.
See how you can use Socedo to build a list of target prospects with our 7-day free trial.