When executed well, account-based marketing (ABM) allows you to market and sell directly to your highest-value accounts. Together with tailored content and personalized buyer’s journey, ABM can improve user experience, increase revenue, and boost customer loyalty.
Here’s what you need to know about ABM for SaaS, including a real-life example of how you can combine it with product-led growth to effectively target your best-fit accounts and turn them into paying customers.
What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing is a strategy in which your marketing and sales teams work together to create personalized campaigns for a set of high-value accounts.
At its core, ABM utilizes personalized campaigns to engage and delight each account, promote business growth, and boost ROI.
DocSend, a secure document sharing and tracking solution, is a good example of how SaaS brands can pursue ABM to streamline the sales process, maximize relevance among accounts, and deliver long-term, consistent customer experiences.
DocSend is in the business of helping companies manage business-critical documents and receive real-time feedback on how recipients view and engage with that content.
Conclusively, DocSend brings a whole layer of analytics and intelligence by allowing users to convert classic attachments (e.g. PDFs) into links that can make these documents trackable.
The platform further enables businesses to watermark sensitive documents, create light-content deal rooms, leverage one-click non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), secure access to important files, and finalize contracts.
What is DocSend’s ABM Strategy?
Looking at DocSend’s overview in Semrush, their impressive ad spend growth is hard to ignore. The company’s ad spend in paid search has swiftly gone from a few thousand a month to a six-figure amount.
So how did they achieve this?
Glimpsing at their homepage, right off the bat, you can see 3 distinct CTAs above the fold – ‘’Get Started Free’, ‘Get Demo’, and ‘Start a Free Trial’. Let’s take a closer look.
Get а Demo
DocSend’s ‘Get Demo’ form is a fairly classic ABM motion designed to generate sales-qualified leads. That said, they are asking for a little more than what you’d typically expect from such a form.
By taking it a step further and asking “how would you plan to use DocSend”, the company enables prospects to identify themselves by the department they work in or their area of business, while simultaneously gaining enough information to tailor the demo to each prospective customer.
Get Started for Free
DocSend’s ‘Get Started Free’ and ‘Start Free Trial’ CTAs can be best described as a product-led growth motion.
Once you click through and sign up, you are redirected to a page with a three-step process, prompting you to personalize your profile, invite teammates, and install the extension.
In many cases, this could be a worthwhile strategy for collecting first-party data to personalize the user experience, as well as improve your advertising strategy. After all, the most obvious signals that accounts are engaged and ready to buy come within your own data.
By encouraging users to share more details about themselves, the company is successfully speaking to the different types of personas on their website.
This enables them to personalize content to high-value accounts and, in turn, increase brand awareness and elevate relevance among the target audience.
#2: Invite My Team
As part of the sign-up process, DocSend is enticing users to invite their team members and “gain strategic advantages” and head into the platform’s Advanced Plan.
#3: Install the Extension
Once the first two steps are complete, you can get started with installing the extension.
Going through the tutorial, you can get a good sense of the time to first value (i.e. the time taken by a consumer post-sale/signup to gain value from the product for the first time).
Here, DocSend is aiming to quickly prove that they can provide the best value for the customer’s investment by encouraging them to upload an attachment or access a sample document to quickly get familiar with creating and managing links on the platform.
Overall, in just about five minutes after signing up you have already created your first document link. Ultimately, this is a wonderful example of how you can leverage product-led growth through very short and concrete time to first value.
Leveraging the Power of ABM and Data Enrichment
A SaaS pricing page is the ultimate place to support a target account to quickly find all the information they need to make a decision. Even more, because this is often the last step of a buyer’s journey, the pricing plan page is a valuable resource for gaining insights into a company’s go-to marketing tactics.
Peeking at DocSend’s pricing page, there are three paid plans (Personal, Standard, and Advanced), as well as an enterprise plan requiring prospects to get in touch for pricing details.
While this could be a viable tactic, it might be worth reflecting on what happens when an enterprise lead opts out of scheduling a sales pitch and instead chooses to dive into the product right away. In such cases, cherry-picking those leads from the prospect pool can turn out to be a challenging task.
ABM has many moving parts, and, in the case of DocSend, weeding out the highest-value accounts out of the product-led growth conversion flow is crucial.
Data enrichment is often a good place to start, especially in cases where data is incomplete or limited (e.g. you only have a prospect’s name, email, and information on how they intend to use your product).
How to Start Enriching Your Product-Led Growth Flow
Essentially, the data you have on your prospects can help understand which accounts to target, segment them more intelligently, and (re)evaluate the effectiveness of your current content for each of these accounts.
There’s a number of tools that can help you enrich the product-led growth flow and pick out enterprise leads as they come in real-time. Clearbit, for example, is a fantastic tool that takes a prospect’s email address at the signup flow to uncover information such as their full name, role, company, and – most importantly – their company’s employee count.
From here, your marketing and sales teams can focus their efforts on high-fit accounts likely to renew/upgrade instead of blasting campaigns to anyone who completes a free trial form.
Moving Forward with Marketing Personalization
While we might not know for certain whether DocSend is utilizing data enrichment, all things considered, they are still doing a great job combining bottom-up product-led growth with top-down account-based marketing.
At the end of the day, by leveraging this new data landscape, SaaS marketers can get smarter about which accounts to target and create highly personalized programs that engage prospects at the right moment.
On a roll? Here are our thoughts on what the future holds for marketing personalization.