The Sweet Spot In The C-Suite: Execs Love Email Content

Want to deliver content to C-level readers? Use email — it’s what they read the most, judging by State of Digital & Content Marketing, a study by Greentarget. 

Of the top executives polled, 55% check email notifications daily and 52% look at traditional media such as the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, 35% look at social media every day, and 23% view industry association publications and websites.

In addition, 76% look at email at least once a week, compared with 68% who check out traditional media and 61% who sample social media. And only 16% rarely or never look at email, vs. 29% who say the same about traditional media, 23% for social media and 33% for industry publications. 

The downside is that email notifications are deemed very valuable by only 19%, compared to 35% for traditional media.

“That’s hardly an encouraging finding for marketers churning out newsletter and client alerts — but it’s also an opportunity,” the study notes.



However, it adds,:“Email remains a powerful tool and provides a more pristine engagement transaction than other available vehicles; an executive opens emails because she believes they contain valuable information—not because an algorithm or friend told her so.”

This study follows an earlier one by Greentarget and Zeughauser Group on the content preferences of in-house legal counsel. The objective of these polls is to determine the best content mechanisms for professional services firms. 

What prompts  those in the C-suite to open content? For 71%, it’s utility. And 69% are influenced by the source. Drilling down, 52% are grabbed by headlines or subject lines and the same percentage by timeliness. 

Above all, they seem to want well-selected information that will save them the trouble of finding it for themselves.

“Taken together, the findings indicate an appreciation for curation,” the study states. “In the age of information overload, busy executives have likely never been more reliant on editors and publishers to help decide which content is worth their while.”

That doesn’t mean they’re overly awed by what they see. Of the content provided by professional services firms, 31% see it as very good, 24% as satisfactory and only 9% as excellent.

Social media is seen as very valuable by 17%. Of those polled, 52% listen to social media, but only 16% both listen and engage. But 32% don’t use social media.

The main takeaway? 

“Perhaps it’s no surprise that top executives would seek out content to help them do their jobs, but the survey results nevertheless make a powerful statement to B2B marketers: If you’re not creating content that provides actionable insights and relevant business intelligence, to the executives you hope to influence, you’re putting yourself at a crippling disadvantage.”  


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