Have you ever cold emailed the CEO of a big company?
Yes, several times, and successfully by thinking of my email as an ad:
1. The subject line is your first headline/ hook and is positive. I wrote this to the CEO of a major airline:
Thanks for my wonderful experience with your company
And this to the CEO of a nationwide consulting firm:
Please advise this budding author
2. The opening lines of your text are another headline/hook, are complimentary, and cater to the CEO’s needs, career, and ego.
Mike Jones of your Tampa operations deserves a raise and your applause for his exemplary service to me and other passengers. His behavior is proof positive that your strategy for superior customer service is working. On June 3, my family was stranded …
3. The body is short, no more than four lines, and relevant to the CEO’s needs for affirmation:
Mike quickly found another flight and we arrived home only a few hours late. He could have easily asked us to wait six hours while our scheduled plane was serviced …
A related tip:. Mention a mutual friend or well-known person in the same company or industry in your opener: I sent this to the CEO of another consulting firm:
Bill Smith suggested that your focus on technology is the primary reason for your firm’s stellar earnings during 2021. Would you agree? BTW, Bill and I are collaborating on …
A general guideline: Stroke their egos — CEOs have big ones or they wouldn’t be CEOs — by complimenting their real successes and by asking for advice. Note that I did that in the examples above.
BTW, the airline CEO US mailed me a personal note thanking me for my compliments, and the CEO of the consulting firm called me to confirm that I was on track with his strategyand ask about my collaboration with Bill.
I discuss these and other techniques for influencing in my book, The Power of Writing Well. In it, I posit:” In essence, the influence
of any message relies heavily on that old standby: Know your receiver(s) — his or her needs, wants, values, and interests — and address them with the content, structure, and tone of your message.”