When you're a B2B company, finding the decision-maker at your target accounts is key. They are the people who have the power to sign off on purchases, so of course you want to get their attention as quickly as possible. But what if you could have some help from the inside?

Another important avenue into a target account is finding the people who are most likely to vouch for your business to their colleagues. They may not be making purchases themselves, but if they're talking up your company to their co-workers, they can be a useful ally in getting the attention of the decision-makers. Using the following process, you can pinpoint the individuals at your target companies that are your true evangelists.

About mailto: CTAs

Most CTAs are designed to direct visitors to a landing page—essentially, they're tools to draw people's attention to a link on your page that will bring them to another part of your website. But links don't always have to direct people to webpages. Instead, you can have a link on your page that opens the visitor's default email client and creates a new email. To do this, replace the webpage URL in the link with "mailto:email@domain.com." Because a CTA is essentially a fancy link, you can do the same trick in your CTAs.

Most people use these "mailto:" links to give visitors a quick way to reach out to a specific individual (for example, by having a person's name be linked to "mailto:name@company.com"). However, if you leave the space after "mailto:" blank, the link will still open a new email, but won't dictate who should show up in the "To:" field. This gives the person who clicked on the link the ability to choose the specific recipient(s) of the email. There are other tricks you can use in the "mailto:" CTA, described below, that will help you share content and determine which visitors are sharing the most content.

1. Build a CTA for Sharing Content

The first step in this process will be building a CTA that's designed for contacts to share content with their colleagues. Instead of bringing an individual to a content offer, it will prompt the visitor to your site to share content they've already consumed.

For this reason, your CTA's destination URL will need to be a "mailto:" link, allowing the contact to send an email to one of their colleagues. As described in this guide, you can specify the subject line and the body content for the email that gets created by that CTA. You'll want to leave the "to" address blank so that contacts can fill out the colleague's address to whom they're sending it. Also, as noted in the guide, all spaces should be written as %20. You'll be placing this URL here:

cta-link-url.png

The full code for the URL will look something like the following:

mailto:?subject=Check%20out%20this%20offer&body=I%20found%20this%20cool%20guide:%20http://www.hubspot.com/cool-guide/

Note how the link that I'm sharing in the body of the email (in bold above) is the full URL of the page where my content is. Using the full URL ensures that, when the email is sent, the recipient's email client will get to the right page.

2. Add the CTA to Your Content

Now that you've created the CTA, it's time to put it in action. How you utilize the CTA will depend on the type of content you're creating. The key, however, will be getting it in front of the contacts who have already enjoyed previous content. For this reason, you'll likely want to place it in a follow-up email or on a thank-you page—the contact who got the initial offer made it this far, and is more likely to spread the good word.

3. Build a List to See Your Evangelists

At this point, all the hard work is done and all that's left to do is to see the results roll in. For this step, you'll need to build a list of contacts who have clicked the evangelist CTA:

 

cta-click-list-filter

You can add other filters to find only evangelists at the companies you're targeting. Some ideas for those additional filters include:

  • Contact property | Company name | is equal to | [specific company]
  • Company property | Industry | is any of | [target industries]
  • Company property | Annual revenue | is greater than | [target revenue]

With the insights gathered by this process, you can reach out to the people most likely to be your company's evangelists. And when their evangelism combines with your stellar salesmanship, you'll be impressing the decision-makers in no time.

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Originally published Oct 24, 2017 1:30:00 PM, updated November 03 2017