For direct marketing campaigns to succeed, the undivided attention of the recipient is more than a little helpful. This is particularly true when reaching out to executive level decision makers. Given that their office days are overfilled with scheduled – and unscheduled - demands, entering their mindspace with a marketing offer is challenging.
Consider then, the proposition that by contacting c-level or mid-level executives or other business decision makers at home, direct marketers stand a better chance of enjoying their undivided attention.
The offer may be work related or affinity based. The rationale for a work related offer has been touched upon; the target is less distracted. The rationale for marketing based on affinity pre-supposes that a successful person may also be influential in various types of organizations, filling a similar executive or decision making role.
For a business purpose, perhaps the single most important prerequisite for attempting to establish contact with a high level executive in the sanctity of their home, is relevance. It is a rare c-level executive who has not invested significant time during “off” hours to business-related issues. As long as a direct mail piece offers some meaningful benefit, it may be noticed. Otherwise, it is little more than another nuisance.
To this end it is always better if there is some connection that already exists. This may simply be sharing the same alma mater or being at least fairly sure the person was in attendance at a conference or event of mutual interest. If some peersonal contact was in fact made, such as an exchange of business cards, then a respectful outreach to that person at home may be welcome. After all, executives are people too. They generally appreciate it when a follow up email or letter cements their self image as more than just important, but good company.
That said, keep it short, respectful, professional, and relevant. If the subject is hot news (it’s essential to be apprised of what’s happening in their world) be succinct. Make it clear their interest is paramount. If possible, convey shared stakeholder status.
On the affinity side, it makes perfect sense to assume that a person who has navigated the slings and arrows of corporate life to rise to a position of prominence mirrors that approach in private life. This take the form of political, philanthropic or faith based involvement. Once again, brevity, clarity and relevance give direct mail outreach a snowball’s chance of getting noticed. These are canny people who have their feelers out for opportunistic offers that simply seek their influence or money.
Let’s not forget that their economic stature probably enables the purchase of high ticket items. Through an understanding of their buying habits and even purchase histories executive decision makers can be offered goods and services that resonate with their tastes and lifestyle. This of course is direct marketing 101. The thing to remember is these folks are busier and more selective.
Regardless of the marketing purpose, the question arises whether targeting executives at home is an intrusion. Is it a violation of the work/life boundary? It is impossible to know for sure on a case by case basis. The answer most likely is, it depends. This points to the need for offer relevance and accurate audience targeting.
Reaching the right people with the right offer is seldom objectionable. We live in an “always on” world. Top executives certainly do. The issues of the workplace follow them home. At the same time, purchasing opportunities that reward their stature are seldom shunned if they’re interesting.