Successful ABM Campaigns: Tips and Creative Examples

How to Build a Successful ABM Campaign: Expert Tips and Creative Examples

13 June 2024

Account-based marketing (ABM) may sound like a buzzword, but it’s anything but a trend. Creating an effective ABM campaign could be the difference between attracting high-quality leads and letting prospects slip through the net.

But what does account-based marketing even mean and where do you begin?

Before you ship out a personalized box of swag or pick up the phone to the director of marketing at your target company, let’s take a step back.

Because the best way to learn is to talk to the experts, so that's exactly what we did.

We use account-based marketing here at Leadfeeder, but we also wanted to know what other industry leaders were doing. How do they go about their ABM campaign planning? What ABM tactics do they think drive the most ROI? And what are their secrets to success?

If you want to take your ABM plan to the next level, keep reading. Here, we’ll cover the basics, including: 

  • What is account-based marketing? 

  • What are ABM campaigns? 

  • Benefits of ABM campaigns 

  • Effective ABM tactics to implement

  • How to set up a successful ABM campaign

  • ABM campaign metrics to measure

  • Three creative ABM campaign examples 

  • How to create successful ABM campaigns that deliver higher ROI 

  • FAQs

We'll also share tips, strategies, and creative ABM campaign ideas you can use to inspire your next campaign. 

What is account-based marketing (ABM)?

An account-based marketing strategy targets specific companies with personalized marketing campaigns, rather than targeting larger audiences with blanket campaigns. 

For example, rather than targeting enterprise tech companies in the financial sector, ABM would mean targeting online payment processing companies with more than $10 billion in revenue and a global presence—or even targeting PayPal specifically. 

ABM fundamentally changes marketing by choosing a target account and then creating (or adjusting) marketing campaigns to fit that company or a very narrow audience. 

What are ABM campaigns?

Account-based marketing campaigns are specific campaigns used to target specific accounts or narrow audiences. 

ABM campaigns can be created on just about any platform, including your website, landing pages, paid ads, and social media. 

There are three core types of ABM campaigns, including: 

  • One-to-one ABM campaigns: Using hyper-targeted campaigns aimed to help one specific company convert. Mostly used for high-value companies. 

  • One-to-few ABM campaigns: Also called "ABM lite", this type of campaign targets second-tier accounts that fit the target audience but aren't quite as high value. Campaigns are not quite as personalized but target specific benefits or pain points.  

  • One-to-many ABM campaigns: This type of campaign groups companies based on specific features, needs, goals, or challenges. Also called programmatic ABM, this strategy uses software to deliver relevant content based on industry or vertical. 

One-to-many ABM is affordable but does require the use of automation or programmatic software to deliver results. One-to-one or one-to-few ABM is a bit more labor intensive but helps close big deals. 

Benefits of ABM campaigns

Account-based marketing ideas are popular with B2B companies targeting larger accounts with longer sales cycles. That's because it offers many benefits over other marketing approaches. For example:

Better sales & marketing alignment

ABM strategies encourage marketing teams and sales organizations to work together, identify target accounts, craft customized campaigns for them, and align and move individual accounts through the pipeline, both before and after lead conversion.

Better sales and marketing alignment helps reduce inaccurate marketing campaigns, shorten the sales cycle, and connect sales with qualified leads even faster. 

Clearer ROI

ABM results are easier to track and more precise. This means that it provides the highest ROI of all B2B marketing tactics. In fact, 81% of marketers who measure ROI describe ABM as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach.

Personalized marketing approach

Instead of using a generic approach, ABM allows marketers to create personalized messaging for target accounts. By taking what you know about your customers, you can create carefully tailored assets that speak to the customer’s specific attributes and needs, 

Shorter sales cycles

In B2B, major purchase decisions involve six to ten different stakeholders. This often slows down the sales process because it starts with a lower-level employee and moves slowly toward the primary decision-maker. 

In ABM, the cycle length is shortened as all prospects are nurtured simultaneously. Rather than waiting around to contact the person who can actually make a decision, ABM allows you to reach the right person faster.

Fewer wasted resources

With ABM, time and marketing resources are focused on a small number of accounts most likely to close. This frees up resources that would previously have been wasted and gives marketing (and sales!) more time to focus on the most effective accounts and campaigns. 

Tactics to reach your account-based marketing goals

There are many viable ways to action an account-based marketing strategy, so you need to decide which ones suit your business. To get you started, here’s a strong selection of tried-and-tested tactics:

Create hyper-relevant content

Content that isn’t directly promotional can provide great value to sales prospects. Businesses that commit to producing it can cultivate their reputations, get more eyes on their brands, and highlight their products and/or services along the way.

For example, a high-quality whitepaper on a trending industry topic can showcase a company’s towering technical insight, establishing it as a trustworthy source of information and likely a reliable business to buy from or work with.

And, when a business offers a complicated value proposition, creating an expansive guide covering various use cases can help existing customers extract more value from what they have (making them happier and more likely to recommend it) and making it easier for prospects to decide that investment is justified.

Sponsor industry events

Every niche has a selection of events that attract strong attendance, be they trade shows, conventions, conferences, award shows, or more casual social gatherings. Sponsoring such events, though potentially quite costly, can do much to help a business grow. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Appearing alongside industry giants. When a business is mentioned in the same air as the most well-known companies in its niche, it grants it some corporate cachet that can help it win big clients.

  • Connecting with high-profile figures. The power of networking is not to be underestimated. Sponsoring events grants opportunities to get to know powerful people and build relationships that may prove fruitful down the line.

  • Building a reputation for generosity. The bigger the potential deal, the more a sales prospect will care about the reputation of the businesses marketing to them. Sponsoring events shows a willingness to invest in community activities, making it easier to win such people over.

  • Having captive audiences. Getting prospects to pay attention isn’t easy, but events can have hundreds (or even thousands) of relevant people willing—or even eager—to hear pitches and learn what businesses have to offer them.

Partner with compatible businesses

When attempting to reach specific audiences, there’s much to be gained from piggybacking off the existence of businesses that have already done so. By teaming up with businesses that are successful with their target audiences without providing overlapping services, companies can engage in valuable mutual promotion.

Most importantly, of course, this can lead to highly relevant referrals. Customers who are satisfied with a business will listen to its suggestions, so when they’re told great things about another company that can do even more for them, they’ll feel inclined to learn more (particularly if there’s a discount involved).

But it’s also worth considering the value-add of having partners to recommend. A company known for collaborating with trusted businesses is a powerful resource, and knowing of such connections can lead a prospect to convert.

Send custom marketing emails

Generic mass-sent marketing emails don’t tend to be effective, but that doesn’t mean email isn’t a viable channel. By working on emails that are specific to the recipients, geared toward their core interests and preferences, you can achieve much stronger open rates and meaningfully drive conversions.

Additionally, you can choose how specific you get with this tactic. You could target groups of prospects, linking them by common elements, or you could create a unique email for each unique prospect. The latter is much more taxing than the former, but that level of specificity can help when trying to reach huge companies that are extremely selective with their business.

Host informative webinars

Not everyone with valuable knowledge is suited to producing or even contributing to conventional marketing content, but there’s another way to turn knowledge into promotional impact. Webinars allow experts to show their skills through live demonstrations while engaging with viewers and answering questions.

And though a webinar should always be built around providing value (usually by showing how to do something, exploring a key topic, or helping people solve business problems), that doesn’t preclude promotion. SaaS businesses, for example, can easily use their own solutions during webinars, showing their quality.

When planning webinars, it’s important to conduct competitor research and find out what’s already available (and when). If you can come up with an eye-catching idea that hasn’t been covered in your niche, you can get some easy attention and have the chance to show what makes your business stand out.

Use sequential advertising

Pay-per-click marketing can fit an account-based strategy well when used to serve sequential advertising. A sequence can even be aimed at a particular prospect by using strict targeting and researching the channels most likely to reach them. And since an ad sequence can be as long as you’d like, you can guide that prospect along the sales funnel in a matter fitting their situation and preferences.

For instance, when dealing with a prospect looking for a strong data-led reason to choose a provider, you can open with an impactful stat and steadily present a matter-of-fact case for going with you. And when going for a business more likely to appreciate some narrative flair, you can drip-feed a suitable story.

Build personalized microsites

A convenient way to serve a prospect a variety of marketing media is to create a personalized microsite for them to engage with. You can then reach out to them directly through the most suitable channel (a social platform such as LinkedIn is a good option) and pass them the link with an assurance that it’s worthwhile.

This microsite can feature content intended to address their biggest needs. If they’re struggling to justify the expenditure, you can showcase a video case study with someone from a comparable business explaining how you saved them money. Another way to show value is to offer projected results based on research into their history.

You can also use a microsite as a primary point of contact for engaging with the prospect once they become a customer. By keeping all communication in one place, you can continue to provide a bespoke service and make them feel valued.

Prioritize customer advocacy

One of the most economical ways to earn business is to impress your existing customers to the extent that they become willing to advocate for you. Getting just one customer who moves in the right circles and heaps praise upon your business to their friends can return tremendous value.

With a customer advocacy program in place, though, you can make even greater use of this goodwill. When customers drive referrals, you can grant them rewards in return to incentivize repeats. Discounts are reliably effective, but other things of value—such as chances to steer your company’s development or gain access to previews of upcoming products and/or services—can also be tempting.

How to set up a successful ABM campaign (with tips from experts) 

Account-based marketing campaigns are best suited for B2B companies looking to convert high-value customers. While it's not just for enterprise companies, it is highly effective for larger brands with a solid presence.

Here's how to set up an ABM plan—including advice from the Leadfeeder team and other experts leveraging this highly effective strategy.  

Use a research-driven lead generation process

The best ABM campaigns start with choosing the right accounts. 

Create a profile of your top customers—those with the longest lifetime value and the shortest time to close.

Use that to inform your ideal customer profile, then research to create a target account list. 

Rodney Warner at Connective Web Design found targeting the right person at key accounts is the  key to building a successful ABM campaign:

“During my ABM campaign, the number one challenge I faced was identifying and engaging with the right audience in a key account. Finding the right companies and the primary decision-makers, getting their contact information, and sending it to the sales team was not as easy as it might seem. 

So, to overcome this problem, I conducted a research-driven lead generation process to get in touch with the right people in a key account. This research-oriented approach meant that I created organizational charts that allowed me to make use of targeted executive profiling.

As a result, I developed top-quality products and compelling pitches, keeping with what the potential clients needed. What’s more, is that I could also identify and interact with multiple stakeholders in each key account to boost their reach”, - Rodney Warner CEO at Connective Web Design.

Micro-target as much as possible

Micro-targeting uses data and demographics to create incredibly small targeting pools. Rather than marketing to enterprise companies in health care, you might target enterprise companies with more than 10,000 employees in the Pacific Northwest that focus on R&D—that's a much smaller pool! 

In ABM campaigns, micro-targeting pays off big for marketers because it allows you to create content and ads tailored for each group. 

Start with larger groups, but don't be afraid to split your account list into very small groups. Then, work to identify pain points for each micro audience. 

Remember that the top benefit for one micro-group might not be the same as the ideal benefit for the next group. For example, at Leadfeeder, we target both sales and marketing teams—we've created specific content for each segment because they face different challenges. 

Segmenting your audience into small pools allows you to deliver the most effective messaging for each particular segment.

Personalize your messaging across all channels

We've heard how important personalization is to marketing for years—but it's not just a buzzword in ABM. In fact, 44% of marketers say personalization is at the core of their ABM content strategy, with those exceeding their ABM expectations more likely to tailor content to specific industries and roles compared to those who underperform. 

In ABM, personalization is about more than just adding someone's name to an email—it's about creating carefully curated content that speaks directly to a specific prospect's challenges and needs across all channels. 

Depending on your target accounts and industry, that might include: 

  • Using dynamic landing pages to mention a prospect's industry, pain points, or even company name. 

  • Creating content that targets specific pain points or challenges in their niche. This can include custom content that mentions the company by name or content created with micro-audiences in mind. 

  • Use tailored outreach messages that show prospects you understand their company and the challenges they face. 

  • Personalized videos mentioning a company name (for one-to-one ABM) or specific challenges a target audience faces. 

  • Target paid ads by company or role, such as targeting CMO, sales manager, or other decision-makers for your specific market. 

Carry personalized messaging through the prospect journey

Personalization is important, but it's not enough to personalize your first message. Marketers need to consider the entire purchasing journey and ensure every touch in the prospect's journey is personalized. 

For example, say a person at a targeted company sees a LinkedIn ad with language that speaks to their role and pain points, but when they click on the ad, they're taken to a general landing page with no mention of those pain points. The prospect will lose interest because it no longer seems to fit their needs. 

Instead, build out specific landing pages that align with the micro-targeting groups your team uses for ABM outreach. 

ABM is less effective if a prospect reaches your website and no longer feels like the content is relevant, so keep personalization top of mind throughout the campaign. 

Stop wasting time; automate your ABM campaigns

Manual work is killing B2B marketers. That’s why one of the best ways to avoid repetitive work is to use account-based marketing tools to automate campaigns and drive more revenue.  

Today marketers can integrate many different advertising tools into one platform using tools like This saves you serious time and frustration from using a bunch of spreadsheets with 17 tabs to launch your campaigns. 

Mailbutler found great success using Metadata: 

"My team tried using for ABM marketing a few times. What did we do? We compiled a list of companies that we want to target in our niche, and then we uploaded them in Metadata. After that we ran Linkedin ads (mainly Conversation or Image ads) and retargeted them with Google Display ads.

We have seen good numbers coming from, I think it's because they have good audience match rates, and they enrich leads automatically.” - Ilija Sekulov, Digital Marketing Manager at Mailbutler

Think outside the box while planning your campaign  

People often think technology or targeting are the most important aspects of ABM. In fact, creativity is one of the most effective strategies for delivering results. It's easy to fall into the trap of using the same strategies as everyone else—but those might not be the same strategies that work for your business. 

Creativity and thinking outside the box help your business stand out—whether you're trying to get responses via email, establish brand trust, or push through to conversion. 

Even better, creativity goes hand-in-hand with personalization. By delivering personalized, creative ABM campaigns, marketers can show prospects they understand their industry and the challenges they face. 

Gauging success: account-based marketing KPIs to measure

To effectively manage and incrementally improve an account-based marketing campaign, you must know what data to track—and, most importantly, what it means. Here’s a breakdown of some relevant metrics that are worth examining:

  • Account Engagement. This gauges the extent to which your target accounts are engaging with your marketing. Weak account engagement is a clear sign that something needs to change, as further marketing likely won’t pay off. You can measure it by configuring trackable points of contact: email opens and clicks, website visits, social media visits, demo requests, and any others you deem relevant.

  • Customer Retention Rate. This indicates how well you keep customers for extended periods, and thus also shows your customer turnover rate. Customers are more expensive to replace than to keep, and the cost is even bigger in the selective world of ABM, so this is a key consideration. You can measure it by simply choosing a time period (a year, for instance) and seeing how many of the customers you have at the start of that period are still with you at the end.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This tells you how much it costs for you to secure a new customer, encompassing everything from first point of contact to conversion. The lower your CAC, the more economically your campaign is running. You can measure it by summing your marketing costs and dividing by your number of customers. You may also want to individually sum the costs for particular clients if there are spending outliers you’re curious about.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This uses customer investment data to predict how much value the average customer will provide throughout the entirety of their business relationship. Achieving a high CLV is a feat because it reflects customer positivity and further justifies the refined methods of account-based marketing. You can measure it by multiplying three other metrics together: average purchases per year, average purchase value, and average customer duration.

  • Deal Conversion Rate. Also known as win rate, this tells you how frequently you’re getting over the line. The greater the conversion rate, the more smoothly your sales funnel is working, and the more emphasis you can place on lining up top-notch leads. You can measure it by dividing the leads converted during a chosen period to the total number of leads pursued during that period.

There are many more metrics you could factor in, but it’s vital to ensure that you don’t try to pay attention to a huge number of metrics and end up getting lost in analysis. Provided you’re confident that the metrics you’re using can indicate when you’re doing well (and when you’re doing poorly), you should be fine.

3 account-based marketing examples to learn from 

Need a little inspiration? We interviewed marketing experts to gather three creative and successful account-based marketing examples to get your team excited. 

1. Personalized video campaigns by PartnerStack

PartnerStack is a partnership platform built for B2B SaaS that supports affiliate, referral, and reseller channel partners to drive recurring revenue. 

Their Demand Generation and Sales teams decided to work together on a hyper-personalized ABM video campaign.

What did they do?

The sales team was keen to find ways into their strategic accounts, and by spreading the video work across 10 sales representatives, the workload was easily manageable. Each salesperson chooses up to 10 accounts, for a total of 100 accounts (10 sales representatives chose 10 accounts each.)

Then, each salesperson recorded video messages for target accounts of their choice and the Marketing team promoted each video via LinkedIn video ads to prospects at these accounts. PartnerStack lets the Sales reps make the video messages on their own. One of the sales reps even wrote songs for his prospects!

“Result of this campaign was great. We targeted 100 accounts, 33 of them responded, 12 had a meeting with Sales, 7 became an opportunity and 3 have become customers,” - Joe Kevens, Director of Demand Generation at PartnerStack and the Founder of B2B SaaS Reviews

2. Personalized Direct Mail ABM Campaign by Jellyvision

Jellyvision is a startup that provides interactive software to help employees make difficult decisions throughout the day.

Their marketing team wanted to provide highly personalized material to important accounts that addressed their industry-specific sticking points.

What did they do?

They devised a six-week, three-touch email marketing campaign that was both imaginative and highly personalized. Touch One was a customized mailer with communication recommendations for the HR industry. 

Touch Two was a pretty cool branded viewfinder with a bespoke brochure about HSA and FSA savings, a topic that HR directors are interested in. Touch Three was a fun and practical kit that helped individuals prepare for communication issues.

Did this creative ABM campaign deliver? Here's what their client had to say about the campaign: 

“Regularly, many directors & decision makers immediately receive mailer goods. You must make your mail stand out if you want to conduct a successful advertisement. With their tailored and inventive plays, Jellyvision nailed it.” - Jonathan Merry, Director at Bankless Times.

3. LinkedIn outreach campaign by Intelus Agency

Intelus Agency is a LinkedIn marketing company that helps B2B brands drive awareness, establish thought leadership, and generate the highest quality leads possible

They are currently running an ABM LinkedIn outreach campaign offering a free trial of their LinkedIn content creation and posting service. The CEO of Intelius Agency says that the ABM campaign is going extremely well! 

What did they do?

  • To start, Intelus Agency built a list of US SaaS companies on LinkedIn with 50 followers or less on their company page.

  • They located Founders, CEOs, or Operations Managers at these companies and reached out to them with a semi-automated LinkedIn outreach campaign. 

  • After prospects accepted the automated connection request, Zapier automatically added the lead to Airtable and notified the Intelus Agency team on Slack. 

  • The team could then compare the profile and company page, send a personalized message about how they are either not posting much or not at all, and share stats on how LinkedIn recommends posting at least 20 times per month to reach 60% of your target audience.

  • They then offer a free trial of their LinkedIn content creation and posting service.

  • The final steps are following up with the leads over the next 30 days, inviting them to follow the Intelus Agency LinkedIn company page, and retargeting them with LinkedIn newsfeed ads

“The results have been amazing and we've added around $2k in MRR within just a couple of weeks of runtime.” - Chris Mitchell, Founder & CEO at Intelius Agency.

Create successful ABM campaigns that deliver higher ROI

What makes the most effective ABM campaigns?

It starts with understanding your audience. Take the time to narrow down your target list and design creative ABM campaigns that speak directly to your audience's challenges and needs. 

With ABM, creativity goes hand-in-hand with personalization. If your campaigns sound like they could go to 1,000 different prospects, they won't impress your audience.

Pro tip: Leadfeeder shows you which companies visit your website, even if they don't fill out a form. Try Leadfeeder free for 14 days and take your ABM campaigns to the next level.


What are ABM campaigns?

ABM campaigns focus promotional efforts on specific high-value accounts (prospects) or niche sets of accounts (such as major prospects within an industry). To convert such prospects, they prize quality over quantity and make good use of personalized content.

What is an example of ABM?

A prime example of ABM is building a custom microsite for a target account and populating it with personalized content created to maximize impact. It’s costly and time-consuming, but it shows commitment and can reveal impressive levels of research and insight.

How do I run an ABM campaign?

Here’s the basic outline of an ABM campaign: select the high-value accounts you wish to target, choose the marketing methods that best them, start your promotional campaigns, and iterate all the component elements based on results to keep performance high.

How do you measure ABM success?

While the metrics you use to gauge the impact of ABM may vary, you’ll invariably gather them through the use of software solutions including (but not limited to) analytics platforms, CRM systems, and communication tools.

Jamie Pagan
By Jamie Pagan

Jamie is an expert T-Shaped marketer with 10+ years experience across a wide range of channels, tactics, and strategies. His background spans both B2B and B2C markets, including SaaS, technology, financial services, environmental services, manufacturing, collectibles, and investment industries. He works for Dealfront as Director of Content Marketing and you can reach out to him on LinkedIn!

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