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Action Ideas For Better Direct Mail,
Email, Web Sites & Advertising

Published by
Ivan Levison, Direct Response Copywriting

June, 2003
Volume: 18 Number: 6

Reaching C-Level -
How eye catching sales letters get top executives to read your mail


It isn't easy reaching C-level.

I'm talking about getting your sales letters through
to senior executives in a corporation - the ones with the
letter "C" in their titles. Here are just a few of the
more common C-level titles . . .

CEO - Chief Executive Officer
COO - Chief Operating Officer
CFO - Chief Financial Officer
CMO - Marketing Officer
CIT - Chief of Information Technology
CTO - Chief Technology Officer

C-level executives, of course, are the decision-makers
you want to reach if you're selling major systems or
services. They're the folks with the power to make big
purchase decisions or instruct the appropriate person in
the organization to "check out" what you've got to offer.

Needless to say, everyone wants the ear of the C-level
players. Which means that they're protected by assistants
who make sure that junk mail never reaches their desks.

So what's a poor direct marketer to do? What tricks can
you use to make sure that YOUR letter gets past the
gatekeeper, gets opened by the senior executive, and
generates the action you're asking for?

Here are some tips and techniques well worth remembering:

1. Forget about envelope teaser copy.

Envelope copy screams "JUNK MAIL" and thus will be tossed
out by the executive's admin. Some companies actually
have internal mailroom policies stating that obvious junk
mail should never be delivered to the executive's desk!
This means that you should avoid the junk look at all
costs and use a standard #10 business envelope without
any teaser copy.

2. Use overnight mail or priority mail.

A better approach, if your budget permits, is to use an
express service. When someone sees a FedEx package, they
open it. It's as simple as that. Of course you can't
afford to send a mass mailing via FedEx, but if you're
mailing in onesies and twosies, and following up
with a phone call, this is a great way to go!

3. Send a dimensional package.

In the jargon of direct mail professionals, a dimensional
mailing is a package that actually has something stuffed
inside it (i.e. it has three dimensions). Often, by
adding an attention-getter, you can be sure your package
will get opened. For example, you can enclose a book that
you think the prospect might enjoy reading. Or an
important report. (Forget about calculators, caps, and
any other junky gifts.)

4. Use the "Peer-to-Peer" approach.

This means you can have your letter signed by a person at
your company with the same C-level title as the
prospect's. For example, if you want to send a letter to
the Chief Financial Officer at American Widget, have it
"written" by the CFO at your company. Play up the fact
that both executives face the same challenges, the writer
knows from personal experience what the prospect is up
against, etc.

5. Start your sales letters the RIGHT way.

And what way might that be? Well, there are a number of
ways to start a letter with impact and energy. As an
example, in the December issue of "The Levison Letter," I
showed you ten different ways to start off a letter to a
network security manager offering a free brochure. If you
haven't done so already, you might want to check out this
issue at:


The take-away message this month?

If you're writing to C-level executives, you have to cut
through the clutter, get past the gatekeeper, and make
sure your letter gets read. Though it's a challenge, you
can do it - IF you know how. If you DON'T know how, give
me a call and let ME write the letter for you!

I can help you improve direct mail marketing - Contact Me Here


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