Executive Summary

Catching the attention of highly qualified prospects at scale is no easy task, as Start-UP Nation Central, a client of ours, recently discovered.
Using HubSpot Sales Hub, we divided the target audience into two groups and created a personalized sending sequence for each group. The result: the open rate rose 50% and the reply rate was 6x higher than the regular email marketing campaign.

About Start-Up Nation Central

Start-Up Nation Central is an independent non-profit that builds bridges to Israeli innovation.
We connect business, government, and NGO leaders around the world to Israeli innovation; we help develop technological sectors with high-growth potential; and we accumulate knowledge and generate in-depth insights about Israel’s innovation sector.

The Challenge

Start-Up Nation Central was not receiving enough responses or registrations to an international event using a traditional email marketing campaign. Pravda Media Group stepped in with an account-based outreach campaign that involved using HubSpot to segment the audience and personalize the messaging.

Here’s how we did it.

Segmenting the Target Audience and Personalizing Emails

The first step was identifying more than 300 premium contacts that had not responded to the regular marketing campaign.

These contacts were divided into two segments: executives from multinational corporations (MNCs) and venture capital firms (VCs).

Next was identifying hot topics to be covered for each segment.

The last step was creating a personalized email per segment to be sent from the persona leading the event.

Emails were personalized on three levels:

  1. Mentioning a specific business need in the email subject line.
  2. For example: Industry 4.0 event – predictive maintenance.
  3. Tailoring the message differently  to MNC and  VC’s.
  4. Including a uniquely personalized paragraph within the email, to grab the recipient’s attention.
    For example:

“I went through the registration list and noticed that no one from your team has yet registered. You can register for the event here. It would be great to have you there and to meet in person. Alternatively, if you are not the right person within your company, could you please connect me with the right one?

Our Solution: Using HubSpot’s Sales Hub for Sequencing the Emails

One of the many useful features offered by HubSpot is its automated sequences.

This feature lets you queue up a series of personalized emails to send to your prospects over time. You set the schedule and rules for segments at the beginning of the campaign, saving you from having to track each prospect individually. This feature also includes email tracking, so you can see which sequences are working best for you and replicate them in future campaigns.

Using this HubSpot feature, two separate sequences were created for the MNC and VC segments. These were then integrated with Salesforce, the client’s CRM software of choice. 

Each segment received three personalized outreach emails in a predetermined sequence.

These were the rules:

  • Prospects that ignored the first email received the second email a week later;
  • Prospects that ignored the second email received the third email three days later.

Comparing the Outreach Campaign to the Original Marketing Campaign

The numbers don’t lie: the personalized, sequenced outreach campaign was far more successful at engaging prospects than the original email marketing campaign.

  • The outreach campaign was opened by 69% of VCs and 51% of MNCs, compared to 40% of VCs and 35% of MNCs for the marketing campaign.
  • The outreach campaign achieved a 20% reply rate for VCs, 2.5 higher than the marketing campaign, and 17% reply rate for MNCs, 8.5x higher than previously.
  • Overall, 6% of accounts registered to the event, a solid figure for a campaign targeting busy executives.

Notably, prospects that responded to the outreach campaign did not engage with marketing emails, and vice versa. A minority of prospects still preferred to engage with the original marketing campaign. But the personalized outreach campaign performed more effectively and brought in more personal responses and engagement.

Conclusion

We are now able to easily target prospects at scale using the automated email software, HubSpot for Sales. Sending out personalized emails generates higher engagement, attracting the type of prospect that is indifferent to traditional marketing campaigns. Some prospects do still respond better to traditional marketing emails. Therefore, consider running outreach and traditional marketing in tandem for best results.

view our related case study by clicking here.