Best Practices in Email Marketing for Recruiters and Staffing Agencies
Communication is important in the talent procurement process. As a recruiter, your communication style and how frequently you communicate with candidates, prospects, and clients can have an impact on your relationship with them and, ultimately, on your business success.
While there are many ways to reach out and to stay in touch, email is often the most effective, easy, and non-intrusive option. It allows you to speak directly to your leads, clients, and candidates in their inbox while enabling them to get back to you at a time that’s most convenient for them. It also helps you build relationships and stay top of mind. For these reasons and more, email is one of the most impactful marketing channels at your disposal.
However, it’s important to know how to craft the right message for the right audience. Following email marketing best practices can help you achieve the results you’re looking for from email marketing.
Different Types of Emails
First and foremost, it’s critical to differentiate between the various types of emails you can send as a recruiter.
In general, you have three options based on your goals and your audience:
- Sales emails
- Marketing emails
- Recruitment emails
Sales emails are sent to prospects with the goal of receiving a direct response. Ideally, you want them to respond with an interest in the services that you offer. These emails are highly personalized and directly related to the prospect’s hiring needs and his/her company needs.
Marketing Emails for Leads
Marketing emails can fall into two buckets: The first includes emails sent to your leads. When a lead fills out a form on your website, or otherwise provides you with an email address, the lead receives these marketing emails with the goal of establishing and nurturing a relationship.
Marketing emails are quite different from sales emails. Leads aren’t quite ready to invest in your services yet, so they likely won’t respond to a stronger, direct sales email. Instead, send newsletters and articles to help you stay top of mind, be seen as an expert in your niche, and build a connection until the leads are ready to move to the next step with your agency.
Marketing Nurture Emails for Existing Clients
Marketing emails can also go to your existing clients. You’re not trying to gain their business at this point with your email messages. Rather, use email marketing to provide advice and expertise and establish yourself as a valuable resource your clients can rely on. These types of emails help you build loyalty and retain your clientele.
Recruiting Emails to Candidates
Recruitment emails should only be sent to candidates, both existing and potential. For existing candidates, send emails that provide helpful advice and information to build relationships, build loyalty, and stay top of mind. For example, consider sending this audience a new salary guide, an article about resume trends, or tips on how to switch careers.
For potential candidates who don’t yet work with your agency, recruiting emails will take on a different tone. In this case, the goal will be to reach out and attract top talent to your brand, as well as continue to communicate during the recruiting process. These emails will be more personalized and direct than emails sent to existing candidates for nurturing purposes.
Crafting Your Email Message
Because each of these types of emails focuses on a different audience and goal, each requires a different message. By putting the right spin on your topic, you can help ensure you pique the interest of your recipients, making them more likely to open the emails and respond. An irrelevant message, on the other hand, may lead to a dreaded unsubscribe.
Here are examples of different spins you can put on email topics, depending on the audience:
- Sales spin: “Do you need to hire someone for June?”
- Marketing spin: “Why it takes months to hire an ideal candidate”
- Recruiting spin: “Seeking summer employment?”
Best Practices for Any Type of Email
While the message you craft should vary depending on your audience, there are some email marketing best practices that you should follow for any type of email.
Use an engaging subject line: Entice your recipients to open your emails. What’s engaging to your audience? You might have to test different styles to find out. In general, though, keep it under 50 characters, avoid over capitalization, use personalization, and be clear about what it is you’re offering.
Personalize: An email greeting of “Dear member” doesn’t seem very personal and isn’t likely to be received well. Instead, make sure to use the client or candidate’s name in the greeting.
Spell check: Always take the time to double check your spelling, especially when it comes to client, candidate, and company names and facts.
Keep it short: People like email because it’s easy and convenient. If they’re too busy to answer your phone call, chances are they’re too busy to read a 12-paragraph letter in their inbox. Keep it short and simple, and stick to your main points.
Provide value: Give people a reason to read through your email. Avoid writing an email that’s all about you and what you want from the recipients. Instead, give them something valuable. For example, share your expertise or a recent relevant article about hiring trends in their industry.
Pick the right email frequency: Whether you’re sending sales, marketing, or recruiting emails, the last thing you want is to pester your recipients by emailing them too often. But at the same time, you don’t want to go radio silent for months. It can be tricky to get your frequency right. Try starting with once a week and see how well that works for you by reviewing your email open, conversion, and unsubscribe rates.
Add a call to action (CTA): While you want to add value for the recipient, you’re also sending emails because you want something in exchange. For this reason, it’s a good idea to add a call to action to every email. Your CTA will vary based on your goals and your audience. For sales emails, you might ask to book a meeting. For marketing emails, you might provide a downloadable whitepaper or ask the recipient to read a blog. A recruiting email may include a request for a response if the recipient is interested in changing roles.
Email marketing can take many forms and have many purposes for recruiters and staffing agencies. To learn more about email marketing for recruiters, download this webinar: Increase Your Response Rates with Better Recruiting Emails.