Treading carefully in new lands

Scholarcy B2B Lead Generation

Scholarcy came to us with an edTech product that was seeing strong consumer growth in South Easy Asia. They wanted to raise the profile of their consumer app and B2B offering in other regions, including North America but had limited knowledge about the demand for their technology in these markets. This required a thoughtful, measured approach.

Changing the way we read and digest long-form content.

BACKGROUND

Scholarcy is an AI-powered article summariser that helps users speed-read detailed research articles, whitepapers and company documents in a matter of minutes. It’s a tool that makes life much easier for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers and can be accessed from any device and used in any part of the world.

Scholarcy has both a B2C and B2B offering. Their B2C web app is available to individuals as a pay-monthly subscription. But it was their B2B product, which provides ‘institution-wide’ access to Scholarcy via university libraries and research offices, that they wanted to explore the size of the opportunity for.

How to avoid jumping in the dark.

THE CHALLENGE

When Scholarcy came to us their B2B offering was already operational and generating some sales opportunities in Asia. . Next, they wanted to expand into the US and Canada and take advantage of the number of potential clients in those markets.

Whilst approaching markets in another continent is always a big step, at that time Scholarcy had no real insight into the demand for their product in these countries – and no idea how to gauge this in a relatively short space of time. They wanted a campaign that would begin conversations with key targets, without requiring high levels of investment in case there wasn’t sufficient interest.

We decided the best way to begin lead generation and market research would be an email and LinkedIn messaging campaign.

Choose your words wisely when speaking to librarians.

THE WORK

After analysing their customer profiles and personas, we got to work by searching for prospective institutions and the contact details of potential decision-makers within these institutions. We were able to find 994 LinkedIn profiles which matched our requirements and 1006 email addresses split across libraries and research offices.

Once our audience was nailed down, we began to implement our content strategy. With B2B email marketing, it’s not just a case of sending an email about what your company does and hoping some will buy it. You need to offer them value. You need to show them that your product is the right product for them.

Scholarcy already had some interesting material to help begin conversations, it just needed to be enhanced. We sent out a whitepaper they had written which explained the methods and tools that librarians could use to help their researchers effectively screen the literature and educate students about information literacy.

We then helped them redesign a tool they had created which allowed any user to test a few articles of their choice in Scholarcy. Finally, we also assisted them in creating a landing page which allowed B2B users to sign up for an ‘institution-wide free trial’.

Across 4 separate content-led emails we educated and nurtured their potential clients. We used multiple versions of each email sent so we could A/B test copy, content, and our overall approach.

As for LinkedIn, we ran a campaign which began with us asking for 10 minutes of their time to discuss the challenges their students face around information literacy, under the guise of a market research exercise by a member of Scholarcy’s founding team.

Valuable information gained, budget and operational overhead saved.

THE RESULTS

Scholarcy wanted a way to investigate two new markets in a different part of the world without spending vast sums of money or impeding their current operation in any way. Our campaigns enabled them to do that successfully.

Our email campaign had open rates of 46% (libraries) and 54% (research offices), and our LinkedIn campaign had an acceptance rate of 20.1% – providing Scholarcy with over 350 new connections from their exact target audience. They were able to arrange over 20 meetings and several free trials with key personas, providing them with invaluable feedback on their product.

Most importantly, the campaigns allowed Scholarcy to gain highly valuable insight into the demand for their service in these markets. They received feedback explaining how COVID-19 had resulted in many of their targeted institutions being underfunded. Their product was interesting, but it simply wasn’t the right time for many of these institutions to be purchasing.

Scholarcy were happy that they had taken thorough, yet cost-effective steps to determine whether they should move into these new markets, instead of jumping in with a high-cost strategy (e.g. paid ads) that wouldn’t have succeeded most likely.

Thanks to Yay!Starter Marketing’s field expertise, the client’s campaigns have generated a 20.1% acceptance rate, allowing them to secure 350 new connections. The team effectively communicates with the client to provide progress updates and ensure the project’s success. – Emma Warren-Jones, Scholarcy