Analysis: Half of C-Level Execs at Enterprise Orgs Provide Personal Email Addresses in B2B Lead Gen Forms

August 30, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Content Marketing | Cross-Media & Traditional | Customer-Centric | Digital | Email | Industries | Lead Generation & Management

How often do executives submit personal rather than business emails when completing forms for content downloads? A new report [download page] from NetLine Corporation, in partnership with MarketingSherpa, delves into that question based on an analysis of more than 7 million for completions in the NetLine network from March 2016 through February 2017.

The study reveals that in several cases, executives are more likely to input their personal than business email addresses.

That’s potentially a benefit for marketers, as personal emails are more likely to survive the test of time. Recent research from Salesforce and LinkedIn, for example, demonstrates that the average annual churn rate for any single B2B persona is 17%. As such, business emails seem more likely to churn than personal emails.

While the NetLine and MarketingSherpa report delves into personal vs. business email comparisons across various job titles and company sizes, for the purposes of this article we’ll look at higher-level executive titles at enterprise-level organizations (1,000-4,999 and 5,000+ employees), as those are often the targets for B2B marketers.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Personal vs. Business at Enterprise Org.s


Interestingly, the highest-level targets are quite likely to use their personal email addresses. C-level executives at companies with at least 5,000 employees used their personal email 51% of the time, with business emails used the remaining 49%.

C-level execs at companies with 1-5,000 employees leaned a bit more heavily on their business emails, inputting them 59% of the time.


Notably, those at the Director level at enterprise organizations were more likely to use their business emails than any other job title at any company size.

Specifically, Directors at companies with at least 5,000 employees used their business email 73% of the time, while those at companies with 1-5,000 employees did so a similar 72% of the time.

Senior Directors, meanwhile, also used their business emails more often than their personal ones, but not to quite the same extent. Those at companies with at least 5,000 employees inputted their business email 60% of the time, while those at companies with 1-5,000 employees registered their business email 61% of the time.

These results indicate that Director-level executives at large corporations behave similarly in terms of their email preferences. They also suggest that there’s a trend for greater use of personal email addresses the higher up in the organization the executive (although that isn’t always the case). Owners of large organizations are even more likely than C-suite executives to use their personal rather than business email addresses.

VPs and Managers

There’s once again a high degree of consistency in preferences among executives at large firms when looking at VPs and managers. The following is a brief list of how these splits worked out:

  • VP, 5,000+ : 53% business; 47% personal;
  • VP, 1-5k : 61% business; 39% personal;
  • Senior Manager, 5,000+ : 60% business; 40% personal;
  • Senior Manager, 1-5k : 60% business; 40% personal;
  • Manager, 5,000+ : 64% business; 36% personal; and
  • Manager, 1-5k : 65% business; 35% personal.

In other words, executives at companies with at least 5,000 employees and those with 1-5,000 employees tend to behave the same way, with the differences relating more to job titles than to company size at that level.

The full report – which contains data for other business sizes and job titles – can be downloaded here [download page].

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