Ramp up demand generation in no time: Part II

In part one of this series, we shared an analytical framework for picking marketing channels that can help you ramp up your demand generation quickly… and a funny-but-unrealistic hack for doubling your pipeline, immediately, with no additional budget or headcount.

In this post (aka part two), we’ll also share a hack that can help you grow your pipeline quickly with relatively low $ and headcount investment. But this time, it’s real and it works.

The ✨ secret hack ✨ to quickly ramping up demand generation

This one is all about boosting your email marketing capabilities. Email marketing is our favorite channel for Enterprise B2B startups. It’s the most cost-efficient, and the one you have most control over. It’s the best distribution and conversion channel for any campaign: from webinars and conferences to content.

Case in point: We recently ran a webinar with a client. We spent $2000 (and a lot of time) on LinkedIn ads that drove 7 webinar registrations. We spent $0 (and much less time) on three email campaigns that drove 120 registrations. All in all, email accounted for ~80% of signups to this webinar. This is typically what we see with email marketing across clients and campaigns.

OK, I’m convinced. Email marketing is the 💣. Now what?

There are many ways to get more out of your email channel. This post is about one of them: Increasing the size of your email marketing database.

It’s simple — the bigger the audience you can email, the more people will engage with your campaigns, and ultimately set up demos and become Sales Opportunities.

Sounds straightforward, right? But you’d be surprised how many startups don’t actively work on consistently increasing their database size. We should know — in the past month, we significantly increased the size of the email databases of two of our clients (by 50-100%). No good reason for not doing it months ago.

Bigger database = better database. Here’s how to grow one.

As long as you’re adding leads that match your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), your database gets better as it grows. Here are four things you should be doing to make sure this actually happens.

  1. Have an explicit goal around database growth that you track alongside other top marketing KPIs on a monthly, quarterly, annual basis. Someone on the team should own this goal — your Marketing Operations person is a good bet.
  2. To determine what this goal should be, calculate the size of your audience. This can be as simple as a back-of-the-envelope calculation – # of ICP companies * estimated # of ICP people within each company (e.g. 2,000 ICP companies * average of 5 ICP people per company = target audience of 10,000 people). Or you can do a more elaborate market sizing exercise. If it’s too hard to calculate your ICP, you can set growth goals like “doubling within X months.”
  3. Invest in a lead generation tool (e.g. ZoomInfo / DiscoverOrg, SalesIntel, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Lusha). Yes, this will cost you money — expect to spend $10-20K per year. But the ROI and speed are there.
  4. Make sure you’re not inadvertently excluding legitimate leads. With both our clients, we discovered thousands of leads already in the database that were excluded from getting email campaigns for various reasons. Upon further examination, we concluded a lot of these reasons were erroneous or based on outdated processes, and these leads can be safely added back into the database.

Note: If you’re just starting out and your email database is smaller than 5K recipients, check out our guide for building your first marketing database.

Hold on — can I just add people to my database and email them? Isn’t that spam?
Yes you can, and no it’s not (in the US).

But wait, I’m only doing inbound marketing and conferences, waiting for leads to opt-in to my database. You’re saying I should just add leads to the database myself?
Yep. Otherwise, good luck waiting around for leads to come while all of your competitors are buying lead generation tools and bulking up their database.

The Bottom Line

That’s it?” You may be asking yourself. “Not exactly groundbreaking.” And you’re right — it’s not. But sometimes basic infrastructure work, done consistently, leads to groundbreaking results.

What’s preventing you from doubling your email database size this month?

Further reading:

Netta is the founder and CEO of Blue Seedling. She loves third wave coffee, thin crust pizza, and B2B marketing.

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