March 9, 2023
The Best Executive Email Template I Have Ever Seen
In this edition I’m going to break down the components of one of the most successful executive email templates I have ever seen.
It was written and perfected by Chris Schaum, an elite enterprise seller who is laser-focused on selling to CEOs.
Email as a mode of executive outreach is a massively red ocean – hundreds of thousands of reps are spewing out emails to prospects every day.
Executives are bombarded more than others because of their influence on sizable enterprise purchases.
In a world where a senior-level target may get 20-30 seller emails a day, how do we stand out in such a crowded space?
Let’s let success be our guide.
Start By Thinking, “How Can I Grab Attention?”
Imagine your executive target sitting at her desk first thing in the morning or during a short break between back to back meetings and Zoom sessions to skim the 150-ish emails in her inbox to see which she needs to actually read (let alone respond to).
Your prospecting email will be squashed somewhere on her 13 inch laptop screen amid emails from internal stakeholders asking for the exec’s guidance, responding to her questions or cc’ing her on threads for visibility.
When she first looks at that mountain of requests for her attention, what will she do first?
She will quickly peruse the subject lines of each email and make split-second decisions as to double click, ignore or delete.
The magic question is: what words make her double click?
The answer is: personal, emotional significance.
You have one line – less than ten words – to strike fear, envy or anticipation in the heart of your target.
Chris’s Killer Email
Subject Line: The Hook
Subject: Hey [NAME] – How your peers use us to understand share of wallet and market trends
The subject line is the gateway to success or failure of your email. It must be compelling, relevant and timely if you even want it to be opened.
In this email, Chris hammers on two key concepts – “peers,” which really means competition, and “top of mind exec tactical issue” which is exactly that – something on their plate right NOW.
By hitting two key themes in one line, Chris captures two massive emotional impulses
The fear of missing out (especially missing out on something that the competition is going, e.g. a risk to my company’s wellbeing)
Timely relevance to a personal responsibility.
“Subject: Hey <Name> How your peers use us to (tackle top of mind executive tactical issue)”
[NAME] – The past two years we have started working with a growing number of your peers in the pool space.
Once the reader is caught by the subject line hook and double clicks to read more, the goal is to satisfy the curiosity whipped up by the subject line just enough for them to think, “ok, this is something I want and I’m going to invest 2 minutes to read this email to the end.”
This line tells the executive that you are already established in their industry. Not much explanation needed here. Obvious but super important. If you are comfortable naming customer names, all the better.
“Name- In the past (X) years we started working with a growing number of your peers in (prospects specific) space.”
They work with us to understand not just construction trends around the US, but specifically the addresses that pools are getting installed/worked on, and the contractors that are doing the work. This is allowing them to understand their share of wallets in specific markets and within contractors.
This sentence ratchets up the relevance to the executive with a two-step value stack. First is an industry-wide benefit, something every play in their space needs to achieve. But the second benefit is unique to the target of the email.
Here’s where things get interesting.
You can go to your prospect’s annual report and find a core imperative – a goal of the C-suite for the current fiscal year – and use it as the benefit statement. That’s a smashing start.
But to 10x your chances of getting an enthusiastic response to your email, you need to DIG for gold – find the name of the relevant internal project which only your prospect’s employees know, or some level of detail about their pain or aspiration which is not discoverable from a five minute Google search.
That added investment of time and discovery will set you, your message and the impact of your email light years ahead of all the other reps who just did basic ‘personalization.’
“They work with us to understand not just (Basic table stakes thing) but specifically (unique business issues). This is allowing them to understand (immediately actionable strategy).”
Additionally, given that we have over 25 years of data, our customers are able to know how old pools are so they can market specific products and services to them.
This sentence hammers home your differentiators – not just your product, but your people as well. It is such a ninja move to highlight value beyond the benefits or capabilities of your products and go deep into non-tangibles like the depth and experience of your people, the investment your company has made in customer success or support. These things will give the executive an instant impression that you can deliver a total experience, not just a cool widget.
“Additionally, given that we have (specific amount of depth/expertise) our customers are able to (another immediately actionable strategy).”
Some of them want to know this on a monthly basis… some of them want to know as soon as it hits our system, which is as fast as intraday.
Offering multiple ways to use, deploy or distribute the capabilities you bring signal that your offering is flexible and can have a multiplier effect – buy once, use many ways. This extends the conceptual value in a visceral way for your audience.
“Some of them want to deal with this through (potential integration method) or (potential partner model).”
Who would be the best person on your team to talk about this with?
This is a great sentence which signals to the executive that you don’t expect them personally to engage (because they are always too stretched for one more call). All you really need to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way is for the executive to conceptually buy your value proposition and to delegate a serious assessment to one of their reports.
“Who would be the best person to chat with for 4-6 minutes on your team about this?”
That’s a huge win for you. All from one email – minimalist, filled with what I call ‘knock out punches,’ which ensure every phrase, every word is compelling, relevant and timely.
If you put in the time and effort, cut away all fluff and use this template, you will be speaking your customer executive’s language and breaking through in no time.
Three Ways I Can Help Enterprise Sellers:
1. Score a free copy of my book, Mega Deal Secrets.
2. Apply to my Enterprise Sellers Community.
3. Book a strategy call to see if you are a fit for my ten-week Mega Deal Secrets Masterclass.
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