Email has always played a strong role in recruiting. From individual candidate outreach to ATS auto-responders, email is an indispensable tool. But email is often underutilized when it comes to sourcing and nurturing large numbers of candidates and there are some important considerations every recruiter should know.
Let’s take a look at how easily, and effectively, you can add email recruitment campaigns to your recruiting toolbox.
Recruitment Email Campaign Anatomy
There are five basic parts to an effective email recruitment campaign:
- Target list
- Creative (email subject line, body, etc.)
- Landing page
As we look at these components, it is important to understand each one and how they affect response rates. While it may seem tempting to pour over every word of your email to enhance your response rates, you may be surprised to find the wording of your email has the LEAST effect on the success of your campaign.
The 40/40/20 Rule
A full 80% of your success in mounting an effective sourcing email campaign is based on the target list and the offer.
Simply put, the response rate to your email campaign depends 40% on the effective targeting of your email to the most receptive target list, 40% on crafting a compelling offer, and 20% on the creative content of your email itself. No matter how creative your email is, your campaign will fail if your not reaching the right audience with a compelling offer.
Targeting Your Recruitment Email Campaign
When it comes to choosing your target list, your “in-house” lists made up of candidates with whom you already have some relationship will always provide a higher response rate than a list you purchase or rent from a third party.
This could be past applicants in your ATS, members of a talent network, candidates in your CRM/talent pool, Excel spreadsheets from recruiting events – even email addresses locked in individual recruiters’ inboxes from past sourcing activities.
You can also obtain third party lists from reputable list brokers. List brokers contract with associations, publications, communities, etc. to rent their opt-in member lists to other organizations. These lists will not yield the kind of response rates you can get from internal lists, but they have their place in expanding your reach beyond candidates you have interacted with in some way in the past.
When using a third party list, beware of brokers who allow you to “own” the contacts within the list. These lists are usually compiled without the knowledge of the people on them and can result in you spamming people. Never a good idea!
Recruiting Email Segmentation
Segmentation of your lists is the key to targeting the right audience for your email campaign. Typical segmenting criteria would be:
- Location. Are they close to the job?
- Past experience. Do they have desirable work experience?
- Skills. Do they map to the position?
- Qualifications. Do they meet your minimum qualifications?
- Opt-in data. Have they expressed interest in this type of job in the past?
- Past responses. Have they responded to this kind of email in the past?
Much of this segmenting data already exists in your ATS. If you have a Candidate Relationship Management System (CRM) that integrates with your ATS and any talent networks you have deployed, you should have all the metadata to segment like a pro!
Making an Effective Offer
Marketers are all about offers. From “free trials” for 30 days to BOGOs (Buy One Get One Free), the name of the game is packaging up the service in a way that compels you to act today.
Recruiters need to look beyond the heart of their offer (the job/pay/benefits) and consider what else your organization offers that is not part of the job description. People spend most of their waking hours at work, so think about the intrinsic benefits that come with working for you:
- Is the office in a desirable area with access to amenities?
- Community and connection. What kind of culture can the candidate look forward to?
- Career ladder: Do you offer the ability to grow and progress in their career?
- Will the candidate work on projects that contribute a sense of higher purpose?
Before ever writing the email, craft a one or two sentence offer that sums up the value of what your organization provides. Consider the differences between these two offers. Which one is more likely to elicit a positive response?
- Offer 1: Data Analyst II with great pay and benefits
- Offer 2: A limited-time chance to work with some of the top data scientists for a cutting edge company in North Carolina’s beautiful and vibrant Research Triangle
Also consider making your offer time-bound in some way. If they don’t click today, they may never come back to the email, so consider including an explicit or implicit time constraint to your job opening.
By targeting your email campaign to the correct audience for your job and crafting an intriguing and compelling offer, you will be going a long way toward ensuring a high response rate to your email recruitment campaign. Understanding the 40/40/20 rule and combining highly targeted lists with compelling offers will increase your response rates and help you get more of the right people applying for your jobs.