Monday, March 9, 2009

TriNet: Sweet Music - Targeting of Purchase-Ready Buyers

I talk a lot about using lead scoring to understand what stage a prospect is in their own buying process. I also talk quite a bit about analyzing the value of inquiries vs the value of qualified leads. It was great talking with Ian Brown and team at TriNet during the writing of Digital Body Language, as they done a great job of this style of very precise targeting. By understanding first who was at which stage of the buying process, and second, what the value was of moving those specific prospects to the next step, TriNet was able to offer a significant incentive. By using that level of buy cycle segmentation, they succeeded in creating a creating a very effective campaign.

Enjoy the case study:

TriNet: Sweet Music – Targeting of Purchase Ready

TriNet (, a leading provider of HR outsourcing services for small and medium-sized businesses, found that a face to face meeting with a sales consultant was a key step needed to push decision-making executives over the goal line. It built a strong base of thought leadership through several nurture campaigns, but wanted to motivate purchase-ready prospects to take the plunge.

To do this, TriNet devised a campaign with the call to action being a meeting with a TriNet salesperson - a significant commitment of time for any busy executive. The personal incentive: a free MP3 music player just before the upcoming holiday season.
This large incentive, combined with the call to action, meant that TriNet needed to ensure its targeting was accurate. Otherwise, it risked wasting money on a large number of respondents taking meetings simply for the free MP3 player. The real targets: decision makers who had previously engaged with TriNet but had NOT taken a meeting with a sales consultant.

To build that list of targets, TriNet turned to its database of prospects who had been nurtured with thought leadership campaigns. By segmenting on title, industry, and employee size, the ideal target list was constructed.

Using that list, TriNet launched a combined direct mail and e-mail campaign driving the prospects to a personalize site ( The mailer consisted of a small box containing MP3-player earphones to highlight the value of the offer and catch attention. Response activity from the prospects initiated a notification to the appropriate rep to begin scheduling the meeting before interest waned.

The campaign was highly successful in moving prospective buyers to the final stage of their buying process. Conversions to meetings increased by more than 20% over previous quarters and sales directly attributed to the campaign have generated more than 10 times the cost of the campaign.

Based on this success, the campaign has been repurposed as a key marketing asset in TriNet’s nurturing process. Now, each potential buyer who becomes aware of TriNet through search, advertising, webinars, or whitepapers is entered into a nurturing campaign combining email and direct mail to build the case for TriNet’s solutions. When interest (as measured by the prospect’s digital body language) is detected 3 times, the incentive-based offer to take a meeting with a sales consultant is launched.
Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
In my day job, I am with Eloqua, the marketing automation software used by the worlds best marketers
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