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Use direct mail to reach senior executives effectively

01 Jun, 2020 Marketing communication

Direct mail expert, Alan Rosenspan, was recently asked, “Is direct mail really effective for reaching CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and CMOs?” He responded: “Of course you can do effective direct mail to the C-level. In fact, one might argue that’s the only form of marketing that really gets through to them.” So the answer is that you can use direct mail to reach senior executives effectively.

Steps to use direct mail to reach senior executives

  1. Make it look personal so it gets by the gatekeeper (PA/EA/receptionist/secretary).
  2. Write the letter from one CEO to another. Put the name of the CEO who is writing the letter in the upper left hand corner of the envelope.
  3. Make it look important.
  4. Use a dimensional mailer to get their attention. (Nobody ever threw out a box without opening it; no gatekeeper ever decided that “the boss doesn’t have to see this.”)
  5. Use PURLs (Personalized URLs) to gain their attention.
  6. Show you’ve done some research on their organization. Whenever Alan gets a new client, he visits their website – lots of valuable information is there, some of which can be included in the direct mail programs.
  7. Don’t do a one-shot; make it a consistent campaign. If reaching the CEO is very important to you (and worth it to your company) don’t just do one mailing. Do a series of mailings designed to work over time.

Alan’s website is worth visiting because it contains lots of good anecdotes and tips on direct marketing.

Further reading

Another useful idea is to add a ‘P.S.” to the end of your direct mail letter. My article, “Add a ‘P.S.’ for more impact with marketing emails and letters,” explains this further.

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About Kim Harrison – author, editor and content curator

Kim Harrison, Founder and Principal of Cutting Edge PR, loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in his books available from

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