How to leverage email marketing to attract top talent

Last updated:
July 3, 2023
July 24, 2023
min read
Tomasz Niezgoda
email marketing to attract top talent
Table of contents

In today's digital age, email marketing has become essential for businesses to reach their target audience and potential customers. But did you know email marketing could also be used to attract top talent to the organization?

Email is one of the most effective recruitment marketing channels. It enables you to send targeted messages to prospective candidates, build relationships, and convert them into employees. Whether you're a startup or a large organization, email marketing can help you find the best talent for your team.

This complete guide will teach you the most effective ways to use email marketing for recruitment.

1. Build a quality email list

Building a quality email list is crucial before you start sending recruitment marketing emails. Your email list should include people who are genuinely interested in your company and are potential job candidates.

You can build a great mailing list by using different lead generation methods, such as:

  • providing a downloadable resource such as ebooks
  • hosting an event
  • creating training courses or webinars
  • creating a sign-up form for a newsletter

However, you shouldn’t stop at lead generation. To attract quality candidates, you need to segment your audience.

After you find emails of the prospecting candidates, you should group them. Segmenting your email list means grouping your existing subscribers based on a common trait. By segmenting, you can send recruiting emails relevant to the significant group—for example, people who have already applied for the job don't need an email introducing the company.

Additionally, you should segment people based on their roles and similar roles. This way, candidates who applied for a given opening only receive job listings about similar job opportunities. For example, a copywriter could receive postings about an editor position. 

You should also organize your email list by removing people who haven't engaged with your messages in a long time. It cleans up your email campaign data to reveal which campaigns really work.

But don’t be satisfied with having just a quality email list. You need to implement other complementary strategies to reach as many potential talent as possible. So, optimize your content on your website for SEO. You can also leverage social media.

2. Create compelling content

Creating engaging content is key to successful email marketing. A stellar recruitment email marketing strategy should nurture a connection with your candidates. When your email campaign content adds value, your potential candidates will be more inclined to apply for a job opening in the future. Your company will stay in their memory, and you can build a steady talent pipeline.

Most people only skim through email content, so grabbing your audience's attention quickly is vital. 

Start with a compelling subject line – it's the first thing subscribers see and base their decision on to open or ignore the email. Here are a couple of tips on writing a perfect subject line:

  • A subject line should highlight exactly what the email copy talks about. 
  • Use an intriguing statement to raise subscribers' curiosity and push them to open the email. 
  • Write concisely. Emails with subject lines between 6-10 words have the highest opening rate. 
  • Make your subject line stand out. Using great subject lines also makes it easier to find you if the person subscribes to multiple similar newsletters.

After your subscribers open their email, they shouldn't see big blocks of text. Make sure the email is to the point and visually appealing. You can use various email templates available online or provided by your email automation platform.

When it comes to content, you don't have to limit yourself to advertising job postings. A recruitment email marketing campaign can be a great communication channel for educating your audience, sharing advice, or showing your company culture. You can also send a regular newsletter informing about new blog posts, containing event invitations, links to social media, and positive employee reviews and testimonials. 

You can even create entire drip email campaigns. You can send these automated emails to applicants and new hires within a predefined schedule. If they see you guide them every step of the way, word will get out about who you are as an employer. So, you’ll have other top talent lining up at your door.

Here are some sample drip email campaigns you can send:

  • A welcome campaign: A personalized welcome email will make a new hire feel valued. Then, in your subsequent emails, send them the material they need to perform their new roles properly.

  • A drip campaign that updates the candidate on their hiring process. You can program the sending of individual emails automatically when a specific trigger condition is met. 

For example, a person who applied should get an automated thank you message to know their application went through successfully. Or, if the candidate's application is accepted, they should get an invite for an interview or a skill test.

Unsuccessful candidates should get feedback. If you want to keep them on the subscriber list, you can offer a free resource or an invitation to an event. This will help you decrease the unsubscribe rates and keep potential candidates in the loop.

One last tip. We know recruitment email marketing is a great recruiting method. Unfortunately, many people get persistent and unwanted job ads from recruiters. This leads to recruitment emails typically getting classified as spam.

So, as a recruiter, you need to know how to avoid spam folders. Apart from getting consent when collecting contact details, you should also provide an unsubscribe button.

This way, you can sift out the people who aren't interested in your company and build an active audience for your email marketing campaigns.

3. Personalize your messages

Personalizing your recruitment emails is crucial to increasing their effectiveness. It can improve open rates by 82% and decrease unsubscribe rates by 40%.

So, instead of sending the same generic email to all candidates, tailor your messages to each individual. Using the candidate's name in the subject line or referring to their personal preferences creates an immediate connection.

You can go even further and send them birthday wishes. Or, send them links to relevant content for skill-building based on the skills specified in their application. You can also suggest jobs chosen by their peers based on their education.

Every aspect of the recruitment process should prioritize candidate experience. This remains true for your email marketing campaigns. 

4. Use a clear call-to-action

Finally, you need a compelling call to action encouraging candidates to click on your link. It can be to update their profile, fill in an application, read an educational article, and more. The key to creating an effective CTA is to tell exactly what it does and make it irresistible to click on.

A great CTA should be clear and short. Use active voice and make it actionable, for example, "Apply now!". Don't force it to be original and catchy; it can confuse the message. 

Depending on your email template, you can have a CTA button that your subscribers click to be redirected to your website or as a distinct link placed in the text. 

If you choose to add a button, make sure the CTA is around three words long so the words don't shift around and the button doesn't look too bulky. In the case of a plain-text link, make sure to use direct conversational words.

In closing

Recruitment email marketing is more than sending out job ads. It's a powerful tool for companies that can prove to be more effective than other recruitment marketing channels. 

To properly use email marketing for recruitment, you need to build a quality email list, create compelling content, personalize your messages, and use a clear call-to-action. Remember, your emails should be informative, engaging, and visually appealing to capture the reader's attention. 

By implementing these strategies, you can ensure the success of your future email campaigns. All that top talent will just keep coming to you.

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