As the job market becomes more challenging, staying ahead of hiring needs becomes more important than ever. One way companies can ensure they’re reaching as many candidates as possible is through email marketing. Email marketing allows organizations to capture someone's initial interest, then affords them multiple attempts to generate a conversion.
Effective email marketing begins with focusing on relevant content, establishing clear calls-to-action, utilizing personalization, and establishing a regular communication cadence.
If hiring professionals do not have a regular email communication cadence with their audience, they are doing themselves a disservice. But before creating an email marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the intentions behind the emails, who they are reaching, and understanding and managing candidate expectations.
Relevant content starts with understanding the audience. Candidates who are receiving a company’s emails should anticipate and be familiar with the main topic the hiring professional is about to present. If a candidate signed up to receive content around a job opportunity, ensure the email messaging is aligned with this expectation.
When establishing clear calls-to-action, professionals want to ensure a candidate understands what steps they need to take, and how to take them, to complete the desired action. When crafting a call-to-action, don't simply think about the action itself, but also the supporting imagery and messages. Help guide candidates through the process by setting them up for success through bulleted next steps, or anticipatory copy.
Another aspect to focus on is personalizing the content. Personalization is when hiring professionals leverage the known information of a candidate and incorporate it into the company’s messaging. Does the company know the candidate's name? Use it in the messaging. Does the candidate live in a city where the company is hiring? Call out the city in the subject lines. Bringing familiarity to the messaging will help candidates better connect with a company’s content, and helps to improve the performance of the messages.
Tip: A regular communication cadence ensures the content the company is putting out to candidates is given the best opportunity to be reviewed. When crafting the cadence, lean on the content and call-to-action developed to help dictate when and how many emails are sent. The more aggressive the mailing cadence, the more the candidates will be turned off. Consider putting a cadence together that is faster up front, but slows down after some time has gone by.
Email Marketing and Audience Segmentation
Email marketing is personal. As a marketing channel, it places communications directly in front of the consumer. To ensure the company’s messaging resonates with the audience, hiring professionals should ensure their audiences are receiving content that is most relevant to them. One way of doing this is to segment the audience.
Segmenting audiences into buckets for specific communications ensures the right message will reach the right candidate. If companies have an audience that is primarily interested in junior-level roles, it would not be beneficial to send them communications around senior management positions. Instead, recruiters should send this audience messages that relate to them specifically.
Depending on when and where companies acquire their audience, the mindset of the individuals can be different. For instance, if a company acquires someone through a visual advertisement, they may have a different perspective than someone acquired by a phone call. If companies put these two individuals into the same communication stream, the impacts are going to be different. To elaborate, the visual candidate may expect further details about the organization, whereas the phone candidate may have already received this information during the call. Therefore, it's essential to consider the individual's mindset and how they were acquired when producing content for email marketing campaigns.
The Candidate Experience
In recruitment marketing, it's crucial that messaging from start to finish is cohesive and speaks with one voice. Initial advertisements, such as display ads, job adverts, or search copy, should begin to craft the story. As candidates move through the marketing experience, each subsequent step should relay to the company’s final goal. Call-to-actions should reflect a clear understanding of what happens next and how the candidate can move forward in the process. Companies can successfully attract and retain top talent by keeping this in mind and ensuring that marketing efforts reflect the candidate's needs and concerns.
Setting candidate expectations early in the process will help ensure the candidate is receptive to the company’s communications. Hiring professionals want to ensure transparency is in the process as candidates are navigating the content that’s placed in front of them. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that no stage is more important than when the company first acquires the candidate.
The company’s initial request for candidate contact information should be upfront with what the response will be. For example, if professionals are looking to send promotional emails to candidates about job opportunities, tell them. When they are providing their emails, have a message next to the submission button outlining the type of messages the company will be sending.
Once a candidate agrees to receive these messages, hiring professionals should keep their promises. Candidates will be turned off if a company says it will send them information about job opportunities, only to turn around and send them content they weren’t expecting. This will lead to reduced engagement and possible candidate complaints – which can be in the form of blocking the emails or labeling them as spam.
Setting expectations and following through with the messages is key to proper audience development. By ensuring companies follow through with their promise, hiring professionals will see a higher engaged audience and an increase in positive responses.
Understanding The Candidate Journey
When marketing to potential candidates, keep in mind the candidate decision-making process. This process includes identifying a problem, seeking out solutions, identifying alternatives, making a decision, and reflecting on that decision. Companies should create content that reflects this process and clearly identifies the problem they are trying to solve for the candidate.
Whether it's through advertisements on social media or job boards, companies should be upfront about the problem it’s are addressing for candidates (whether it's low pay, lack of job satisfaction, or something else). Once the main concern has been addressed, additional content should further entice the individual with additional talking points. However, it's also important to provide a clear, instructive path forward – not just identifying the problem and solution, but guiding the job seeker toward the next steps in the hiring process.
By doing so, companies can attract candidates who are not just actively seeking solutions to their problems, but those who may not even know there is a problem to begin with. This will lead to an increase in candidates who are more likely to engage with their content.
Tip: As a hiring professional, it's important to remember that the audience is not just a group of numbers or statistics. They are individuals with their own unique needs and desires (and in the case of job seekers, they are looking for opportunities to find a career). Whether they are actively seeking employment or just browsing, they are still consuming advertisements with the hope of finding the right opportunity.
Connecting With an Audience
As mentioned above, email marketing provides a unique opportunity to create personal connections with a large audience. By tailoring messages to individual recipients, hiring professionals can create a more meaningful and impactful experience for candidates.
The goal is to generate the best response possible from each individual, rather than just sending out a generic message to everyone. This personal touch is crucial for creating a positive image in candidates' minds.
By establishing a good direct response channel, professionals can demonstrate that they value candidates and their time, helping build a positive brand reputation. This is especially important, given that many candidates report never hearing back from employers after submitting applications – leading to a bad candidate experience.
It's also crucial to have periodic communication with candidates who do not convert. This can include regular newsletters or updates on a company's activities and job opportunities. Not only can this increase ROI by keeping the brand in front of potential candidates, but it also generates a better image in the community as a whole. This showcases that the company values its candidates and is committed to building relationships – even if they don't immediately lead to a hire.
Effective email marketing requires a commitment to consistency, quality, and authenticity. It's not enough to blast out emails and hope for the best. A company’s email marketing strategy is a reflection of their brand and how they present themselves to candidates.
It's important to ensure that emails are relevant, informative, and tailored to the needs and interests of the target audience. Overwhelming an audience with too many emails can damage a company’s image and reputation, so it's essential to strike the right balance between staying top of mind and respecting the recipient's time and attention. Ultimately, successful email marketing requires a dedicated and thoughtful approach that puts the needs and expectations of the audience first.
If you're looking to increase volume and quality of applications by using email marketing, contact the Recruitics team today! The team is equipped to create campaigns built to engage talent through intelligent email workflows that are specifically engineered to drive conversions.