How to Get a Direct Marketing Response from C-Suite Level Executives

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller
Photo by:

As a B2B marketer, the holy grail in Enterprise marketing is driving executive action at the C-Suite. We call this the ultimate "summit". Yet, as you're keenly aware, these executives are some of the busiest, sought after, and hardest to reach people you will seek to engage. They're on the top of the mountain, with multi-level gatekeepers guarding their precious time. 

Looking up at the summit can seem daunting. But with the correct approach to direct response marketing, you can scale the mountain and come out on top.

Last week, we talked about Direct Response Marketing and the ways it differs from brand advertising. We established that both are important to your marketing mix, yet when you need direct action and measurable ROI, direct response is the fastest way there. 

Now, how exactly do you reach and get executives to act at any level of an organization? Let's dig in. 

How to Influence Executive Action from C-suite Executives

Just as summiting a mountain requires preparation and taking the right path or approach to successfully summit, there are likewise steps you can take to reach c-suite level executives and spur them to action. 

First, let's talk about precisely what direct response marketing means, and then we'll get out our map to show you how to reach the C-Level. 

What is B2B Direct Response Marketing?

B2B Direct response marketing aims to get particular prospects to take a specific action, usually immediately. For instance, a personalized introductory video from an SDR that encourages recipients to book a meeting. 

Good direct response marketing is first highly targeted. It takes into account those most likely to benefit from your product or service. Your audience has a defined need. And you fill it. 

Direct response marketing also has a specific CTA or call to action. It asks the recipient to take action and makes it possible to redeem an offer, book a meeting, visit a landing page, or the like. For B2B marketers trying to influence pipeline, drive new opportunities or increase deal velocity, it typically involves getting a decision-maker to take a meeting or call. 

Direct response marketing is a great way to make a memorable first impression and lead to a huge ROI. These impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows. So do it right! 

So, start by figuring out who your perfect prospects are. Get to know what they like and dislike, personally and professionally. There are tons of tools to gain deeper insights than ever before. To show up and align with their core mission. 

Then, decide what specific action you want them to take and how you will get them there. This needs to be very simple: "Watch this video." "Book a meeting." "Call this number." Then make it as frictionless as possible. Remember, these folks are busy! They don't have time for a cumbersome and complex process. 

Once you know these two essential things, you are ready to start working on your B2B direct response marketing campaign. 

Three Ingredients to Solicit a Better Response from C-Level Executives

Once you've identified your key decision-makers and the specific action you want them to take, you need to figure out the story you need to build and how to tell it. The story is usually born from a combination of understanding your target audience's pain and the relief you provide. 

As to telling it, you have many options for this, including video, social, AR/VR, direct mail, and multimedia campaigns, but three ingredients matter most. 

Make it personal, make it valuable, and make it relevant. If you have those three ingredients, you will certainly make it past gatekeepers and into the hearts and minds of your perfect prospects, spurring them to action. 

Make it Personal

Photo by Christina @

Open up your email inbox right now; you'll likely see it, "Dear [first name], blah, blah, blah, blah and more blah we send to everyone." Not so personal. Using someone's first name doesn't equal being personal.

That kind of automated "friendliness" is ever nowadays. Within milliseconds we can spot it and swipe to delete it. 

If you want to get a direct marketing response, get to know your prospect as an individual. What do they enjoy? What are their hobbies? Do they have a furry friend? What do they talk about most? The list goes on and on. 

This level of understanding will enable you to deliver true personalization, which will help you reach their heart. Emotional connections elicit more meaningful engagements while influencing recipients to act quicker. Think about your last car purchase! 

Make it Valuable

Photo by UviaUs

One of the additional challenges we face when reaching C-Suite decision-makers is attracting and keeping their attention. We often also have to hurdle several rounds of gatekeepers.

There's nothing worse than creating a perfectly crafted story, only to have it not reach the intended audience. Often, this is due to the medium used and the perceived low-value approach on how it was delivered. This is especially true for B2B marketers reaching out to the Enterprise, often seeking to influence opportunities worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in revenue. 

Is a Linkedin Ad or message going to cut it? Or perhaps a nice swag box, succulent, or how about a box of cookies? Come on! 

When you're crafting the right way to tell your story, you need to level up the value of the approach. It means doing something truly unique, 1:1, tasteful, or highly useful. Something, dare I say…remarkable? Think immersive experience that makes them go, "ooh and awe," or a gifting element that makes them say "Wow!"

Getting to know your prospect and the opportunity it means to your organization will go a long way towards determining and heightening the value of your approach. 

Make it Relevant

Photo by Jon Tyson

Our last ingredient speaks to something that we can't overstate enough. B2B decision-makers only have so much time. 

As such, your offer needs to be immediately relevant. There can be no insinuation, no wasted time. It needs to address what they're trying to solve right now. 

Find their most significant pain point. You can find it through research tools, social listening, and leveraging intent data. Once you know it, tell them how you'll help. 

Make it relevant, and you'll see a significant return on your B2B direct response marketing. 

Don't Miss Part 3:

Examples of Direct Response Marketing That Work

Now that you're acquainted with the magic ingredients for B2B direct response marketing, we'll share some of the best examples of B2B ABM direct response marketing campaigns next week. These ideas worked in a big way, delivering colossal ROI, and we hope you can use them to spark your next direct response campaign. 

Read the Article

Subscribe to receive our latest news and insights.

Thank you for your inquiry! We will be in touch soon.

If you need something urgent, please feel free to call us at 877-846-4569 during normal business operating hours.

Chat soon!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.