How We Used Account Based Marketing To Land 1O Fortune 5OO Meetings

Written by in Campaign Optimization on October 11, 2016

1O meetings, with senior decision makers from Fortune 5OO accounts.

PayPal. Suntrust Mortgage. Nationwide. Staples and more. All from 4 emails, a few banner ads (and a little bit of magic).

Want to know exactly how we did it?

Strap in, let’s go.

Want to skip the reading and get straight to results? Get in touch here.

The Background

Big tech company, targeting contact center executives in large enterprise organizations.

  • The goal. Secure 15 meetings. (Honestly, this was an arbitrary goal.)
  • The targets. 44 named accounts. Big Fortune 500 companies.
  • The contacts: 980 contacts spread across the 44 accounts. Multiple decision makers. A big chunk of these were from a few of the huge accounts. Majority were VP and above.
A Quick Account Based Marketing Tutorial

Definition of Account Based Marketing: In a nutshell, ABM means strategically marketing to specific accounts using offers that are tailor made for each account.

Anyone who has long sales cycles and/or the opportunity for big deals should be doing this as one of their staples.

Want to skip the reading and jump straight to results? Get in touch here.

The Strategy

Since strategy should always come before messaging and tactics, here’s a window into how we developed ours.

Great strategies start by putting yourself in your prospects shoes. Here’s what we asked to do exactly that:

  1. What are these peoples’ pains and aspirations?
  2. How can we deliver a unique value to them?
  3. What would help them ignite change in their organization? Overcome inertia?

The above simplifies the process (we did research, reviewed the landscape, dove into data, etc.), but I don’t want to bore you with all the nitty gritty. The above are the key questions to answer.

So here’s where we landed.

The Offer

A Customized Assessment. In the world of the Fortune 500 the customer experience is one of the major competitive battle grounds.

In our research we learned that contact center execs want to know how their experience stacks up against their industry peers, as well as like-companies at large – it’s a critical point of concern.

So we did something seemingly simple, but something no one else was doing. We did some legwork and called in to see what their experience was like – specifically their automated phone experience (IVR).

Yes, it took some work. And a little time. But it was worth it. The offer had such high perceived value, several folks even asked if they had to pay for it.

Here’s how it worked.

  1. Spoke with one of our client’s internal consultants. These folks know everything about what a great customer experience should be. You have these experts inside your organization too – whatever it is you sell, whatever their title might be.
  2. Created an assessment. In the end, we identified 6 key elements to assess.
  3. Called the companies. And rated what we heard on a scale of 1-5. We were honest in our evaluation because trust is key.
  4. Charted the results. And made a nice presentation to go along with them. Deliver 10X what people expect in terms of value and they’ll always be willing to chat with you.
  5. Shared the results. Then we reached out and offered to share the results with our key accounts.

An Example Slide from Our Offer

The Messaging Strategy

To get heard, and land meetings, we knew we needed to do two things:

  1. Connect emotionally.
  2. Connect personally (but do this at scale – we had 980 contacts after all)

Here’s the strategy and logic behind how we did it – direct from the Client Brief.

I won’t include everything here because it’s tons of reading, but here are two of the key insights that informed our strategy.

  • Systems are old and antiquated – yet problems are often invisible.
  • If it isn’t broken, many companies are reluctant to make changes, even though there may be gross inefficiencies.

Prepping Our Targets – Air Cover Messaging

Banner ads directed at the key accounts. The goal was to get these folks thinking about the frustration of a bad customer experience. Then POOF! An IVR assessment lands in their inbox.

Now – see precisely how we landed the meetings.

*Picture an image of a classic car, a gracefully aging celebrity, a fine wine. Something bold. Something striking. An image that catches the eye. And in come the words…

Some Things Age Well.

Then the image changes. Fading from grace – replaced with something shocking. Decrepit. Old. Then the words appear…

Unfortunately, Your IVR Isn’t One of Them.

Discover the Benefits of Refreshing the IVR: Customers Speak Out

Get the Report

How We Landed the Meetings – The Direct Outreach

The bulk of our responses came from email – yours will too. Here’s the flow of outreach.

  • Simply make the offer.
  • Forward message number one. Because people miss things.
  • Raise the stakes to push on pain – in this case call out a specific area where they scored poorly (nearly everyone scored poorly in similar areas, so we standardized across the campaign – but you could segment if needed).
  • Show the value others have realized after modernizing their customer experience. In this case, we cited a success story with great proof points (big ROI numbers).

All emails were short and to the point. I can’t share them all, but here’s the first.

Sample Email (Masked to protect the innocent)


Quick. Simple. To the point. No oversell. Meeting requests came in the same day.

Bankable Results

10 meetings. 8 unique accounts. Fortune 500 companies. Senior decision makers.

Not sure about opportunities yet as not enough time has passed. But if everyone plays it right, we should be in business.

Sales Conversations Reignited

Four additional accounts responded and said they were already working with our client. This allowed the sales team to advance the conversation.

So a total of 14 “next step” responses. We didn’t quite meet our goal (15 meetings) but who cares when you’re sitting down with companies like Nationwide and PayPal?

Your Turn

Go get after it and make your own program. Here’s the secret to success:

Provide unique value that others aren’t, so that you shake your accounts out of complacency and get them to take action.

Be authentic. Do it like no one else can. And write me when your first meeting request comes in.

Want to skip the hard work and jump straight to results? Get in touch here.


Brendan Dell About the author: Brendan Dell

As an award winning content and messaging strategist, Brendan works with start-ups and brands to transform them into a Market of One - sought after for what makes them unique. Learn more at


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