In this guide, I’ll share a step-by-step process of how we used one of the account-based marketing tactics to warm-up strategic accounts, generate a 70% reply rate and create sales opportunities.

The best part?

Aside from revenue results, you can:

  • Learn more about the goals, priorities, and challenges of your strategic accounts
  • Partner and get support from the industry association and media
  • Create unique market research you can use later in awareness and demand generation campaigns

But before I dive in, let’s start with why you should run a warm-up program.


Why your ABM campaigns need a warm-up program

People buy from people they know, like and trust.

When I’m discussing this inevitable law of marketing with my clients’ marketers or SDRs, they always nod their heads in agreement.

That is, until I ask:

If you know this, then why don’t you warm up and build a relationship with your target accounts before reaching out to them?

Because, here is the truth:

Nobody is looking out for another unsolicited cold call, email, or a LinkedIn message (even if it’s creative) from an SDR who wants to pitch their product.

Think about it: what is the one criterion you use to decide if you’ll read someone’s message? It’s whether you know the sender.

That’s why you can drastically increase the chances of getting a reply if you have a relationship with your target accounts.

people buy from people

Now let’s touch on the biggest myth about warm-up created by ABM tech vendors: targeting accounts with display ads.

If you limit warm-up to display or text ads, your ABM campaign is doomed.

Here is why.

A) Banner blindness.

How often do you click on banners?

Buyers are no different.

Surely, you can try to play with highly-personalized and creative ads, just to make sure they remember your logo, but then you need:

1) A 6-figure budget for ads

2) 5-figures to purchase a stack to deliver those ads

B) Platforms without display ads.

Your target contacts spend most of their time not on LinkedIn or other platforms, but in CRM, team communication, project management, Google Docs, etc., where you won’t be able to reach them with ads.

Now, you might have one question:

“How can I warm up my strategic accounts then?”

Here are my 3 favorite warm-up account-based marketing tactics.

1. Targeted demand generation strategy and thought leadership.

2. Virtual events.

3. “Connect & qualify” interviews, or market research.

The last one is essential if you don’t have enough market knowledge, your market is close, or you are going to prospect a new market.

Market research as an account-based marketing tactic

We use market research to connect with multiple strategic accounts, learn more about their goals and challenges, build relationships, and also create unique insights you can use later in demand generation campaigns.

Here’s the campaign blueprint.

  1. Invite buying committee members of strategic accounts to feature them in industry- and market-specific publications
  2. Cultivate relationships through a conversation and follow up
  3. Research and qualify target accounts and buyers through conversations
  4. Activate accounts through personalized outreach
  5. Create and distribute user-generated content to create awareness and generate demand

Market research campaign is an example of “