Run ABM on Inbound Visitors (You read that right!) to Increase Your Overall Conversion Rates

Published by Nilangan Ray on

Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing are considered polar opposite strategies. If you flip the inbound marketing funnel, you get ABM. Saying you do ABM on inbound marketing is like saying that you are a vegan who eats fried chicken.


In this article, we would look over how your existing inbound campaigns can lead to ABM opportunities that ADD to your results from inbound marketing thereby maximizing the outcome. We are not changing any fundamentals here.



A brief look at Traditional Inbound and ABM and the opportunity for penetration

The contrast between traditional inbound strategy and Account-Based Marketing is best shown by renders of Sangram Vajre’s famous flip the funnel model. In traditional inbound marketing, marketing teams run campaigns that bring several prospects and visitors to the website. The visitors who end up filling a form are qualified and target accounts are nurtured and sold to. In Account-Based Marketing, on the other hand, companies who you want to sell to are identified first. Then, they are targeted and nurtured and eventually won over.


Let’s look at this diagram from Drift:



We can see here that the ABM starts where inbound marketing ends. Let’s imagine the inbound funnel as a long thread. The thread continues with marketing running campaigns and visitors coming to your website to check out your product. The thread then splits into two parts. One part is visitors who fill out your form and identify themselves and you continue the journey with them. The other part consists of visitors who do not make a decision and leave.


For most B2B companies, the latter part can be as large as 90-95% of all visitors. While leads can be nurtured, these bounced visitors also contain several key leads who could very well be your customers. It is not like every lead signs up on their first visit. You could run a retargeting campaign on them and hope to get them back but we will convert these opportunities into ABM opportunities while gaining more control over who we target.



Why should you do this?

To sum up why you would want to do this, you receive thousands of visitors to your website every month. Those who sign up continue through the regular inbound marketing funnel. But, those who drop off are gone. The visitors who have dropped off can still be profiled and targeted even if they have dropped off. We will use this opportunity to convert visitors who have a customer-fit profile match into ABM accounts and use the classic ABM funnel on these opportunities to increase the total number of customers acquired. We are going to use Salespanel’s visitor intelligence for this.



What is Visitor Intelligence?

When a visitor signs up, we get the information we need about them. Like their company and profile data. These leads can be easily profiled. Visitor Intelligence, on the other hand,  helps you profile visitors who do not provide their information and helps you maintain connection after they have left your website. If you do a blind test and manually evaluate the activity log of several of your visitors who did not sign up, you would definitely find some visitors who had  legitimate interest. The goal now is to engage these types of visitors on any scale using the ABM strategy.



ABM Step 1 — Creation customer profiles. But, for visitors…

The first and the most crucial step of any ABM campaign is creating audiences that match your target customer profile. Now, with visitor intelligence, we have data points and qualification engines for anonymous visitors:


Activity data (available for all visitors) – From page visits to button clicks and media views, every activity the visitor does on your website can be tracked and then analyzed to match with the behavior of your ideal customers. Has a visitor spent 25 minutes watching your podcast and then read some of your product case studies? He/She is definitely interested. You can deduce this information from activity data. Let’s take another example. A visitor has spent a significant amount of time reading enterprise case studies and has checked out your higher-tier plans. What does that information mean to you?


Firmographic data (not available for all visitors) – The company your visitor works for can be identified while being GDPR compliant if they visit while using their company network. The identification rate can range anywhere between 15-30% of all visitors depending on your traffic. This information is crucial for B2B businesses and if you have a high volume, you can opt to run your ABM campaign for only those visitors whose companies can be identified.


Visitor qualification (available for all visitors) – Every visitor on your website is tracked by Salespanel and given a quality score. And by every visitor, we are not talking about a mere 20-30% of your traffic who can either be identified as a person (through lead capture) or a company (through firmographic identification). We are talking about visitor qualification for 100% of your traffic.

This is achieved with the use of machine learning and analysis of your data. Every visitor has a characteristic and a behavioral profile that can be translated into qualification and hence every visitor can be classified as a qualified or a non-qualified visitor. This also helps you weed out bot traffic and bad traffic overall. By using this system, we are focusing on the leftover 80% of your traffic that can’t be identified in any way and turning the odds in our favor by converting them into opportunities that can be worked on.


Every visitor tracked on Salespanel is an account in the sense that you can group and pinpoint sets of visitors and work on them. You can use these three data sets to create your customer profile and have information significant enough to run personalized ABM campaigns on qualified visitors. If you have a high volume of traffic, you can run the campaign on only those qualified visitors whose companies have been identified. The company information helps you run full-fledged account-based marketing as you are starting with companies who match your ICP but with the added bonus of having an individual behind it who is already familiar with your brand tagged and ready for remarketing.



ABM Optional Step: Expand

If you take a look at the funnel model again, the second step on the ABM funnel is expanding your audience. This can be done easily by replicating your visitors using a lookalike audience or exporting the list of product-fit companies that have been identified and replicating them on a platform like LinkedIn.

However, audience expansion goes beyond the territory of inbound marketing as you reach a new audience. We will skip discussing this step in detail for this article as we are trying to showcase how you can use ABM on lost inbound opportunities.


Moving on directly from step 1…



ABM Step 2: Engaging the prospects and optimizing marketing based on prospect value

Now that visitors who match your customer profile are segmented out and tagged, it is time to move them to the next step: engagement.


For visitors, we will do this via retargeting and showing highly relevant content based on customer profile. If you are running the campaign on only visitors whose companies have been identified, you can choose to run your campaign on several other decision-makers from the target companies and also reach out to them via email or LinkedIn.


Since we already have a valid amount of data to gauge their interest and profile, we can serve them targeted content either via advertising or show real-time dynamic website content when they return to your website. We can also promote them to provide their information or fast track them to priority sales and support.



Valuation of ABM accounts/visitors and connecting value to target cost for marketing

Each ABM prospect can have a perceived value and your resources can be spent based on the perceived value. There are many indicators that can help you connect your engagement budget to your leads ranging from direct company details from identified accounts to clues from visitor activity. Like I mentioned before, if a visitor has checked out your Enterprise plan that is worth $20,000 a year and also checked out material related to your Enterprise plan, what does that mean? It can be concluded that the visitor has a high deal value and you can optimize bidding and prioritize based on that.


If a company has been identified, things are more clear and you can directly estimate the deal value from the firmographic data. This is not something that needs to be done manually as you can set up your workflow and manage it efficiently at any scale.



ABM Step 3: Convert… And connect back to the Inbound funnel

The final stage in the funnel is to convert these opportunities. Since these prospects had initially shown interest but did not follow through, our first goal would be to get them to provide their information and book a demo or sign up for a product trial. Once these leads are captured, you can then send them back to the inbound funnel and have sales close the deals. Or, you can have them be dealt with separately as these leads have already been vetted and qualified.


Having lost visitors put into the ABM funnel helps you connect back with qualified visitors in meaningful non-intrusive ways and regain their interest. Results from the strategy can easily be monitored by checking reports of tagged contacts. With this strategy, you are able to successfully maximize the outcome you generate from your inbound marketing campaigns and increase your conversion rate and your overall ROI from your campaigns.

Sell more, understand your customers’ journey for free!

Sales and Marketing teams spend millions of dollars to bring visitors to your website. But do you track your customer’s journey? Do you know who buys and why?

Around 8% of your website traffic will sign up on your lead forms. What happens to the other 92% of your traffic? Can you identify your visiting accounts? Can you engage and retarget your qualified visitors even if they are not identified?

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Nilangan Ray

Nilangan runs marketing operations for Salespanel. Join him on LinkedIn: