Clearbit’s new Data-Driven Sales book features a chapter on how Segment.com automated outbound sales emails to website visitors, and how this playbook makes them over $10,000 each day.
Though it’s incredibly powerful and exciting, people struggled understanding how it works and how they could wire it together themselves.
It’s hard. It involves connecting client-side and server-side data across four or five APIs (depending how you configure it) in a reliable way.
Hull makes it simple for people to manage this process using our point-and-click connectors like Clearbit, and we onboard people fully to make sure they’re setup for success.
The problem is really in understanding how this recipe works.
Backup - what was the idea here?
With outbound emails, sales development reps have a clear trade off between spending more time personalizing their messages vs. sending more messages. Either way, their goal is to set meetings for account executives to convert to an opportunity.
By automating customer data management, it becomes possible to scale personalization and potentially set more meetings.
But how and what do you automate..?
Start with timeliness (or tardiness). Leverage the power of being immediately relevant right now.
At Hull, we’ve experimented with timely outreach, tracking high email engagement and topical social mentions to cue in our sales team. Though it works, it’s hard to get a reliable source of data connected together, so it’s hard to scale.
But, there’s one reliable source of abundant data - website visitors. What better time to follow up after they’ve visited your website?
How do you follow up with website visitors?
Previously, it’s been impossible to follow up with website visitors - even if they were really engaged - without pixels, form fills, and the constraints of ad platforms, form conversion rates, and so on.
Whilst we know someone visited, we don’t know who they are from the data that we’ve got. We don’t have a key to unlocking the data.
This is where the IP address comes in.
IP addresses can be either static or dynamic. Static IP addresses never change. They serve as a permanent Internet address and provides a simple and reliable way for remote computers to contact you. Static IP addresses reveal such information as the continent, country, region, and city in which a computer is located
An IP address is akin to a physical, street address for your computer.
In the B2C space, people move houses and street addresses aren’t always the most up-to-date source (we’ve all received someone else mail). IP addresses aren’t so useful for matching here either.
With businesses, there’s a much stronger “footprint” with more activity to and from that address. It’s much easier to associate an IP address with a company. This is where Clearbit Reveal comes in.
Selling B2B? Clearbit is your dream data source.
Clearbit is a database of companies and all the people who work at these companies. Unlike many similar services, they’ve an especially good dataset for mid-market companies as well as larger companies. This means recipes like this have much higher match rates, which makes our Clearbit connector very popular with Hull customers.
Clearbit have matched up IP addresses with company names. Clearbit Reveal make this available via an API. You give an IP address, and it returns a company name.
This gives us the “key” to unlock all this data.
With a company name, we can discover all sorts of information like their industry, their employees, their revenues, and more.
And the same principle to individual contacts. If we know an employee, we can discover their email address, their job title etc.
Clearbit has APIs for answering each of these questions
|Reveal||IP Address||Company name|
|Prospector||Company name + job titles||Named employees|
|Enrichment||Employee or Company Names||Everything* about them|
*Everything = an 85 point payload.
To feed the IP address in the first place, Segment use their own tool. Segment enables you to track once, then send that data on anywhere. Segment’s in page
analytics.js can record IP address.
Running this through each of the Clearbit APIs, they could create their “revealed” prospect list.
The lesson from the first iteration of this was it needed to de-duplicate against existing customers, partners, and leads who were on the website. To do this, Segment connected to a SQL database through Hull and matched this up with the returned responses from the Clearbit APIs.
This gave them the target list of people, de-duplicated, and ready to sync in job role-based segments to Customer.io for scaling outbound emails.
Great! But how do you do this easily without code…
How Hull automates this recipe
Hull has many integrations with B2B marketer’s favourite tools like Salesforce, Segment, and Clearbit.
By plugging each of these tools into Hull, it creates one unified customer profile - with everything about them and every action they’ve ever taken. When you see how these profiles develop, this recipe will make a little more sense.
With our Segment connector, every page view can be passed into Hull. This creates a “guest” user profile with no email address. Importantly, this has the IP address.
Alternatively, you can add Hull’s own tracking script
Hull.js by pasting in code or using Google Tag Manager. It varies case-by-case - tracking is normally covered by our customer success and solution engineers team with each customer.
With Clearbit connected, we can configure the Clearbit connector to receive this stream of IP addresses. Clearbit will then return the enriched data profile of the company to Hull.
The profile now looks something like this…
On the right hand side (the events stream)
- Segments entered
On the left hand side (all user and account properties)
- No name
- No email
- Company domain name (Tesla.com)
- Anonymous ID (this is tracked from Segment)
The Hull profile is still anonymous (we don’t know who the person was), but we have their company name and details as well as their IP address in one place.
At this stage, Segment want to check whether the company is a good fit or not. To do this, they pass the company domain name to Madkudu, a predictive analytics tool to return a value between 0 and 1 whether it’s a good fit or not. To do this, they use the Madkudu processor on Hull, which returns the score to the Hull profile.
If it is a good fit and scores highly, then Segment then triggers the Clearbit Prospector API. With Hull, you can trigger a search for multiple job titles in multiple departments at that company to return their name, email address, and job title.
(You’ll notice we’re also using the prospector for demo requests and leads. Our sales team likes to have a full view of who matters in the company for each deal they’re working.)
This returns a long list of new contacts to Hull. To make sure we get all the data on them, we simply send them all back to Clearbit to their Enrichment API. This appends the 85+ point dataset to their Hull profile.
Now, we’re ready to create a segment in Hull. Clearbit Prospected contacts by job title. Take this example targeting sales professionals.
This segment will be kept up-to-date. Anytime a new website visitor is “revealed”, a fit, and prospects are added and enriched, AND meet this segment, they will join this segment.
The final piece of the customer data management is to send this segment to an email tool of choice, and create a segment-triggered workflow (In Segment’s use case, they used Customer.io). This means the new prospects will be enrolled in the sequence as soon
This still leaves the messages to be written - see more about how Segment experimented with their emails in the Clearbit post.
Five ways Hull can take this even further
If you’ve gone to all the effort of prospecting for anonymous visitors, lead scoring, and everything else there’s so many other related recipes you can tap into.
What’s more, these become incredibly quick to setup. Simply plug in another connector, set your revealed prospects to be sent to it and you’re away.
Here’s five ideas…
1. Write “revealed” prospects as leads and contacts in Salesforce
To keep your sales team in the loop, make sure their CRM is updated with leads who are being auto-emailed. It’s important to keep teams aligned, especially with very scalable, automated processes.
Write a Lead Source as
Anonymous Revealed and use this to power other logic. This also clues in your sales guys with the “we noticed a lot of people from your company on the site recently…” opener.
2. Trigger 10X personalized emails.
This outbound email recipe is entirely automated, but for certain segments (perhaps large companies, or specific titles?), you may still want to run manual outreach emails and personalize each message further. For instance, syncing the Lead from Salesforce to Outreach or Salesloft.
At Hull, we first tested these outbound email campaigns with manual outreach. This is the example of an email that gets a meeting…
I can see you're interested in Hull.io...
From one data geek to another, you can understand that I track all my emails and web analytics...
And I see several dozen folks from DigitalOcean have been visiting Hull.io, checking out our live customer use cases and reading about our latest funding.
If you're interested, I'd love to talk - to share what companies like Trustpilot, Segment, Mention and others are using Hull to do, and how we can best help you at DigitalOcean. In particular, upgrading your Segment, Salesforce, Marketo, Facebook Custom Audiences profiles with each other's data.
If you've got 15 minutes to talk, I'd love to schedule some time?
Look forward to hearing from you Emmanuelle,
3. 10X Retargeting ads
Traditional, pixel-based retargeting only retargets the website visitor. As well as enrolling all these anonymous revealed prospects in outbound sales campaigns, enrol them in ad audiences too so you can go multi-channel. Try it with Facebook Custom Audiences.
Ad audiences can suffer delivery issues by being too small. Bulking out your audiences with prospects from the same company can help solve this too.
4. Create a personalized website variation
Now you know their name, and you know things about their company, we can consider creating a variation of the website for their company.
Hull’s client-side connector to encrypt and push data back into the page, as well as our Optimizely connector to manage Optimizely audiences let’s you create personalized variations of pages for your anonymous revealed companies.
5. Notify your team on Slack
Slack notifications aren’t the favorite method for many sales teams we speak too (including our own!), but Slack can bring data to your whole team very quickly and easily.
For marketing teams, this can be a quick hack to excite and motivate other teams who might have missed you had Google, Uber, and Tesla all over your site this week! 😉
Hull’s Slack connector let’s you see part or all of your customer’s profile inside of Slack. Setting up an #interesting_web_visitors channel is one of many ideas, as well as #demo_requests, #new_stripe_subscriptions, and more.
The fastest way to learn how Hull can help your team
Busy teams from Segment, Appcues, Mention, and more discovered how Hull worked for them with a personalized demo. Schedule yours today.Request a live demo
'Ed of Growth at Hull, working on all things content, acquisition & conversion. Conference speaker, flight hacker, prev. employee #1 at inbound.org (acq. HubSpot).
If you've questions or ideas, I'd love to geek out together on Twitter or LinkedIn. 👇