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How to Get a B2B C-Suite Executive to Make a Decision with Just One Email

With average conversion rates on Google advertising hovering around 3%, it’s no wonder why email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market to customers.

Even if you are spending money on ads, you still need an email strategy that continues your narrative. The experience one has after an ad click is just as- if not more important. A specific landing point from an ad can help build your email list.

B2B customers are more likely to make informed buying decisions over a period of time to decide if a product or service is worth the investment.

Email is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Seventy-two percent of B2B emails are likely to get shared if the content is useful. If you are not using an email strategy plan to reach out, you’re losing the ability to reach new customers, and risk breaking relationships with current ones by not staying connected.

The Challenge

Emails are the easiest thing that can be deleted. Why? Usually because the subject line isn't relevant, catchy, or engaging, and the content in the email is not timely for a prospects needs.

Getting customers to read your emails is one of the most effective ways to build relationships to get sales. If you’re not getting the engagement and sales you were hoping for, you need to make some changes.

The useful tips below will help you avoid people deleting your B2B marketing emails.

Let’s look at the words to avoid in email subject lines.

The subject line must be super engaging. Words like, get free templates, get free report, grow your, how to see how, and invitation are powerful words to start a subject line for B2C or B2B staff that is not in the C-Suite, but not for B2B higher level executives.

Best Subject Lines to Use That Attract Interest

Make it about your prospect, not you, or your company in the subject line.

One of the best practices for email marketing subject lines is to make it personable and highly relevant. Here are some examples.

Jonathan Cole recommended to show a new product that showed increased profits for Ford Motors. (Note here that Ford is one of their competitors.)

Another example- Jonathan Cole recommended an invite to our Exclusive Corporate Event about peer-to-peer exchange for all things enterprise IT and infrastructure.

Jonathan Cole recommended this proven strategy to get ahead in Q4.

Jonathan Cole from XYZ Company suggested we speak.

Saw you at XYZ event. With this, the recipient knows you both have something in common.

Removing the word "I" is not used in the subject line to help place emphasis on the recipient.

Notice how the words “a new product” is used in the first example instead of “about our company product” was not used. Formulating a subject line this way makes it much less likely to look like a sales pitch. It piques interest to get an open because they want to see what it is and who is offering it. It’s best used when you had a referral to email a prospect.

Before you send an email to an executive, do your research, and get a personal referral. I guarantee this is a better way to get higher open rates for email marketing. People are more likely to open an email if it has a recommendation from a colleague.

If you can’t get a referral from a colleague, do this instead.

Sometimes you're unable to get a referral. You reached out to someone on LinkedIn, and they did not respond.

Look for an industry event the individual is attending and see if you can get an invite to attend. With online virtual meetings and events gaining in popularity, it’s easier to request an invitation or register for free.

Alternatively, search for press releases about the company or person in the news. You can discuss whatever facts you find and formulate an introductory email on a notable event or milestone.

The Solution

What B2B Decision Makers Want Receive in Emails to Make Decisions to Buy Your Products

There are three types of information B2B decision makers find most useful to convince them to do business with you.

What is my problem? Decision makers look for educational material and the best answers to their questions. Send a white paper.

How do I fix my problem? Send them comparisons for solutions, and ways to help them plan when deciding to do business with a vendor.

Is your company the best choice for me? Send them case studies and proven track records you have accomplished. Information about pricing, TCO (total cost of ownership) and ROI.

In the place of “buy now” use action clauses like, “Yes, I want more information” or “Confirm your invitation.” Remember, you’re in the awareness stage of the decision makers’ buying process.

Without proper planning, sending the wrong message to a recipient can easily get deleted. If you start blindly blanketing emails to an entire organization with one message, you've got it all wrong. Why, because it lowers the conversion rate.


The Chief Finance Officer and Chief Technology Officer have distinct roles and commitments in an organization.

C-level decision makers are likely to respond to personalized subject lines that are specific and relevant to their business niche.

If you’re in sales and you send the same email to the CTO and you do the CFO, it will not relate on the same level to each. The CFO is most likely to care about numbers. Prepare subject lines with words such as revenue, money, and profit in the subject line. Be sure to further that discussion in the email.

The CTO is most likely to be interested in topics like cybersecurity, security breach, policies/procedures, and uses of technology to enhance products, or DevOps (development and operations) engineering, Tweak those emails to resolute with each. There is nothing wrong with asking a CTO, “If you like this information, is there anything else we can send to another team member they would find useful? If the person sees value, they may invite you to send an mail to send to the CFO.

Another option when sending emails if you are emailing marketing staff is to offer free download report offers. Offering options to choose from, for example three reports, the chances are favorable one gets chosen, and maybe forwarded to a team member to read. This option works well for staff on marketing teams. There could be a high possibility they may forward the email to someone in their organization and say- Hey Bob, I got this email, there is something here that you may like.

It’s not advised to do that with a CEO, CTO, or CFO because you want those emails to be laser focused in the body of the email so as not to waste a higher-level executives time. The person may ask for one in a reply or ask you to forward more information to a colleague.

When sending emails to management staff not in the C- Suite include a relevant document for CFO and the CTO. You can mention at the end of the email, I have also included something I think your CFO/CTO may be interested in. That may land a forwarding email to get your products and services noticed.

Don’t give it all away at once. Develop the seed slowly. Educate and don’t sell. There will always be a time for selling. You can’t know your target is ready to buy unless you nurture the sales cycle. They may circle back with questions or objections, helping you realize where they are in the buying process.

Get Intelligence on Your Prospect

Recommended ways to find information on your prospects are to read their press releases, SEC Filings, company news on their website, industry publications, TV interviews, and what they say on LinkedIn, to name a few. When you use the language of the customer in your emails, they will be more relatable.

Study the tone and brand messaging a company is using. Mirror some of the same style and wording in your emails, this helps the prospect feel you understand them.

Reading reviews on Glassdoor can also give you a sense about management and if a company is having any internal issues. Present and former employees can offer insights into what is happening inside a company. While many of the reviews are not reliable, use your judgment to see if there are any patterns, good or bad, to gain insight within that organization. Your product or service may have a solution.

In final: It's a fact, email marketing works. If done correctly, the prospect is already taking a serious look at what you have to offer from email number one. Unfortunately, none of these practices above will work well if you have not performed the homework that’s needed to approach the person you are marketing to, and the company’s needs.

If you need help in creating high-quality, original B2B writing for your audience and achieve a higher conversion rate with email marketing, white papers, and case studies, contact AZ Publishers today.


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