Recruitment agencies looking for growth should look beyond the phone and golf course to communicate with quality candidates and clients. Email marketing is a perfect medium to ensure targeted job opportunities and CVs reach candidates and clients as quickly as possible. Check out our top ten tips to help recruiters and HR professionals harness the power of email marketing.
The shortage of quality candidates means that recruiters need to get their opportunities out to market quicker and more efficiently than the competition and email marketing is a great medium to do this. How do you communicate effectively with candidates who are unable to answer the phone and busy HR managers with fierce gatekeepers? The answer is email.
Recent figures in the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Benchmark Report (June 2012) revealed an overwhelming 67% of respondents said that email marketing was the most effective tactic in creating a tangible return for their businesses – ahead of direct mail, telemarketing, PR and social media.
What you can do
A series of email campaigns packed with useful information and alerts using a professional email template and reporting software will allow recruiters to have an immediate touch point with their current and prospective clients that will position them ahead of the game.
The beauty of email marketing is that it can provide pinpoint reporting showing recruiters which subscribers clicked on what link by their specific email address, so one job alert campaign could provide consultants with a whole host of warm leads to follow up using the traditional methods.
Our top ten tips for recruiters and HR professionals
1. Set objectives: What do you want to achieve from your email marketing? Customer retention, client and candidate acquisition, brand awareness, re-engagement, cross selling of services, the list goes on.
2. Check your data: Do not assume you can instantly start mailing your database. The best practice advice (to avoid lots of unsubscribes, complaints and a dent in your company’s brand) is to ask first. Do a quick round robin of calls to explain you are starting a series of regular emails and ask if people wish to subscribe or try an opt-in email.
3. Be creative with your content: Think beyond job and CV alerts. Keep your content fresh and readers engaged by including salary surveys, company news, tips and advice, CV update requests and staff profiles.
4. Choose a frequency: Decide how often you are going to send your emails and stick to it. Lots of companies start with a monthly e-newsletter style email and send separate emails as and when something comes up (an event, for example). If in doubt, ask your subscribers how often they would like to receive updates.
5. Segment your database: Divvy your database up at least into two (one list for clients, one list for candidates). Really effective recruiters using email marketing will also segment these lists by sector to provide tailored content. The more you can segment, the better your results.
6. Grow your data organically: Don’t be tempted to buy in data lists. For the best results, grow your list naturally. Ask for sign-ups during appointments, check you have a sign-up facility on your website, add a sign-up check-box on any existing online contact form, circulate a sign-up sheet at events, post your sign-up page on your social media sites and invite followers.
7. Avoid Outlook: Don’t be tempted to send your information out as an attachment on Outlook or other email client. Use a professional software system. That way you can brand the email fully, obtain tracking data on click-throughs, opens and a whole host of other variables, manage duplications and unsubscribes and run your email through a spam test. You’ll also be saving your company a lot of bandwidth, phew.
8. Choose your subject line carefully: Try to avoid ‘newsletter’ – people see this day in, day out and become fatigued. To stop subscribers hitting the delete button before they have even read it, choose a subject line that is specific to your main article, is interesting and short.
9. Test your emails over time: If you’ve been sending email campaigns for a while and want to improve your engagement, try testing different time and day of sends, the location of your call to action, template design, content type or test if your email works better with or without personalisation.
10. Maximise deliverability: To help your email reach the inbox and avoid the spam box, make sure the design has a balanced image to text ratio, you have not used too many repeated words, you have avoided garish fonts or colours, you have not used excessive capitalisation or exclamations, have not included code that you do no need and you have run your email through all the pre-send tools and spam tests that your email service provider offers.