5 Cost-Effective and Simple Executive Door Opener (EDO) Strategies

5 Cost-Effective and Simple Executive Door Opener (EDO) Strategies

It can be difficult to get a meeting with C-suite decision-makers and other high-ranking executives. Their time is valuable, requiring them to be picky about who they give it to. Salespeople that need a connection to make their pitch often find themselves out of luck and short a sale. 

 With these gatekeepers, a phone call isn’t going to cut it, and emails will be ignored. Likely you’ve already tried these tactics numerous times, with no success. To stand out and get noticed, you need a grand gesture that makes your prospects perk up and take notice. That’s why you should consider using executive door opener strategies to rise above the crowd. 

 These tactics can be very successful at knocking down the barriers that stand between you and your coveted sales meetings, but they come at a cost — often a high one. They don’t need to, however. There are affordable EDOs available to you. It just takes a novel approach. Below you’ll find five ideas to get you started. Mold them to fit your industry and use them as grains for your own ideas.

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EDOs are essentially upgraded mailers that include a teaser gift, with the promise of a larger gift offered in exchange for a meeting. The packages are usually thematic with your industry, company, or offer and include a strong, clever creative element designed to catch your recipient’s attention. 

 You can send them to both cold and warm leads, whether you’ve contacted them before or whether it’s the first time. They’re perfect for prospects that haven’t responded to previous communication attempts but they can also be used for first-time contacts that you suspect will be difficult to reach. 

 Unlike many other contact methods, it’s possible to personalize executive door opener strategies. These tactics are normally sent to a limited list of people, which means individualized customizations are feasible. The more you personalize your EDOs, the more enticing and effective they’ll be. It’s also essential to focus a keen eye on your packaging and graphics. Dull, low-quality packaging is a sure way to get your EDO ignored. 

 We mentioned earlier that these tactics can be costly. That’s because most salespeople assume the gifts have to be expensive to generate interest. But cost is only one measure of value. To create an affordable EDO campaign, you simply need to find items that your targets will value for other reasons.

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Two businesswomen shaking hands.


Even affordable EDOs can be a drain on resources if they don’t get noticed. That’s why you need to pick a strategy tuned to your target audience. If you send a gift that no one wants, what’s the likelihood that they’ll contact you to get it?  

 Try these strategies with your challenging contacts and see if they don’t open a few doors.

Use Handwritten Cards For Your EDO's Mailer Portion

 Executive door openers are most effective when they’re personalized, and there’s no communication method more personal than a handwritten note. You can imagine the look on your recipients’ faces when they realize that you took the time to pen them a note by hand. 

 To elevate this strategy to the next level, you can automate the creation of your handwritten cards using Simply Noted. Our handwriting machines produce excellent pen-written text that’s indistinguishable from the real thing, down to the subtlest details. And by exploiting our custom fields, you can create one master message that gets personalized to each recipient.  

 Including handwritten cards in your executive door opener strategies is a great way to make an instant connection with your prospects. Best of all, you can use them with any gift set you select and most any creative concept you might imagine.

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Give the Gift of Knowledge

If you operate in a technical industry that requires specialized knowledge, or if you have specialized knowledge that’s useful to a broad audience, you can use that to your advantage. Information is free but extremely valuable in specific circumstances. 

 To put this concept into action, you might create an EDO that features a short, engaging booklet filled with highly relevant information along with a promise of further training that’s guaranteed to make a difference in your recipient’s business. In this case, your gifts’ monetary value is bound up in the implementation of your ideas, and that can be quite valuable indeed.

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A large, fancy theater.

Offer Your Prospects Entertainment

Consider this standard EDO gift — a golf driver. It seems like a surefire winner. It’s expensive and targeted at a game most executives play. However, these prospects likely already have a full set of expensive clubs and a selection of alternates. Clubs fail because their monetary value doesn’t outweigh their redundancy. 

 A better, more affordable way to give the gift of entertainment is to choose a movie, concert, or play that’s thematic with your offer and then give your prospect two, three, or four tickets to attend (depending on your budget.) You can tease this larger, in-kind gift with something playful like a bobblehead of one of the main characters. For most prospects, the opportunity to enjoy a movie out or to dance like no one’s watching is far more enticing than another golf club.

The Way to Your Prospect’s Heart is Through Their Stomach

The saying, “Everybody’s got to eat” points to a fruitful avenue for creating effective EDOs. The way into your prospect’s board room could be with the promise of a delicious meal. There’s a food or cuisine to match every interest, industry, or creative concept. 

 Consider teasing your prospect with a unique, non-perishable food item themed to point to the grander meal you’re promising if they agree to meet with you. After your meeting, you need only slip your lead a gift card to a local restaurant that fits your concept.

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A group of bobblehead musicians.

Choose Fun, One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Gifts that your prospects can’t get anywhere else are valuable regardless of their cost, simply because they’re unique. As a bonus, your EDO is sure to get opened based strictly on the novelty factor.  

 You might tease with a piece of customized clothing, a bag of M&Ms custom-colored to match your prospect’s brand palette, or a bobblehead made to look like them. Then you can follow up with a larger gift that’s thematic with the teaser and equally customized. If your prospect likes what you’re offering and can’t easily get the item on their own, they’ll have no choice but to take your meeting. 

 That should be the ultimate goal for any executive door opener strategies you employ. They should make it very difficult for your prospect to say “no.” If you can pull that off, you’ll have more C-level meetings than you’ll know what to do with.