Today I thought we could take a look at how companies can use email to nurture hot leads that come from Instagram ads. I specifically chose an example of a B2B company for this post since I think a lot of B2B companies are afraid to use Instagram ads, whereas B2C companies have been using them with great success for a while.
B2B Lead Gen via Instagram Ads
B2B may stand for “business to business” but at the end of the day the decision maker for any business is a person, and Instagram is where a large percentage of people hang out online.
- 95 million posts are made each day on the platform
- Users like 4.2 billion posts per day
- 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
- 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram
- 80% of users follow at least one business
The majority of consumer statistics about Instagram product discovery and purchases are based on B2C interactions. For example, Hootsuite’s research team discovered 60% of Instagram users seek out and discover new consumer products on the platform. That’s why there are over 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram – but how many of those advertisers are B2B?
It’s true that a company selling expensive software won’t be able to get a direct sale off of Instagram the way a mobile phone case company might. However, that software company likely isn’t getting ANY quick and fast sales from any source.
The B2B world is all about nurturing prospects along the sales cycle, and that cycle can absolutely start on Instagram. Why not?
Let’s take a look at how Oribi, a marketing analytics company, is using Instagram ads for lead generation and new customer acquisition.
How Oribi Uses Instagram Ads for Lead Gen
Oribi was founded in 2015 to help marketing and sales professionals better understand their website analytics to make smarter marketing decisions. It is a direct competitor to Google Analytics.
To date, the company has raised $12.4 million dollars in venture capital and is putting a portion of that money to good use on lead generation campaigns. I recently learned about the company when I was served one of their Instagram Story ads.
When you swipe up on the ad’s Learn More call-to-action button you are taken to a landing page that includes a simple survey.
Simple surveys like the one shown above are great for better understanding the type of person that’s clicked your ad. This information will help you tailor your conversations with the lead as you nurture them through the sales cycle.
Surveys that are too long will lose the interest of a brand new lead, but a short survey with just 1-3 questions can help you gather information about the lead without boring them. Especially when the survey questions allow the lead to think that they are going to get more targeted information based on how they answer.
Oribi asks just two questions in their survey: what kind of site do you have, and what metrics are you looking to gather on your site?
Upon answering the two survey questions, each visitor is presented with the ability to create a free account. Because this is taking place on mobile, from an Instagram ad, possibly during non-business hours, filling out this form to open an account is more of a lead generation tactic than truly signing up a new customer.
I say this because to fully set up an account you need to add some tracking code to the site you want to monitor, and that’s not easy to do from a mobile device. However, by getting someone to give their contact information, Oribi is able to use email marketing automation to then truly onboard the new user.
How Oribi Nurtures with Email Automation
Oribi uses email automation to move new signups through the onboarding process, which I would recommend for almost any B2B company. Especially those who have a free or low-cost SaaS product.
Immediately after signing up, the Oribi team sends an email with the two steps needed to get started: getting your code and adding it to the site.
If you haven’t retrieved your personal tracking code and added it to a website a day later, Oribi sends a follow-up email.
This email is purely text-based and has a very “straight to the point” kind of feeling. There are no distracting colors, graphics, or fancy fonts. The focus is very clearly on getting your tracking code and implementing it on your site.
Two days later if you still haven’t completed setup of your new account, Oribi sends another automated email.
While the first one came from “Oribi” and the second one came from “The Oribi Team, ” this third one comes from Sara from Oribi which really helps to humanize the brand.
We even see a picture of Sara next to her name, as if the email came directly from her even though we know it’s automated since there is the required “unsubscribe” link in the email footer.
In this email Sara reminds me of the reason I clicked the Oribi Instagram ad in the first place: I was curious about an alternative to Google Analytics.
If for some reason I still don’t install the tracking code at this point, I receive another automated follow up the next day.
Here Emily offers to assist me with setup. All I need to do is reply and she’ll be able to help.
When I still don’t install the code after the second automated email from Sara, and fourth automated email in total, I receive a non-automated email from Emily.
Email marketing automation can be really amazing for moving a large percentage of a user base in the direction you want them to go in while being low-touch for you, but at the end of the day sometimes a personal touch is needed.
Unfortunately, my name is not Kallen which is why using the <insert first name> tag isn’t recommended unless you know for sure that you have collected the first name of your user.
In this case, Oribi never asked me for my first name so I’m not surprised that the system Emily uses for procuring my name got it wrong. To be fair to Emily, I receive a lot of emails addressed to “kallen” since my email address is kallen@___.com. This is one way that using automation in emails can go off course.
I would suggest never trying to “grab” the name of someone from their email address, even if it is a business email address. Only use the <insert first name> tag if you are absolutely sure you have the first name of the user.
Other than this small issue, Oribi is doing a great job of leveraging a mix of email automation and personalized 1:1 emails to nurture new signups into active users. If you have a free or low-cost SaaS product I would highly recommend trying an email formula similar to the one laid out here.
The first step in getting started is setting up your Instagram ads.
If you’re not already familiar with how to design the ads I would highly recommend this article by the Sprout Social team. They discuss the suggested ad dimensions and other tips for designing the strongest creative for your ads.
Once your creative is designed you’ll want to read this crash course on how to set up your ad account and audience targeting from Buffer. This article shows you step-by-step how to set up any Instagram ad type from a newsfeed ad to a sponsored Instagram story.
From there you just need to create and set up your automated emails and you’ll be ready to go!