The drip, drip, drip of successful email campaigns

Topics: recruitment marketing, talent pipeline, candidate experience

Posted by Maggie Lyall on Jun 23, 2020 8:53:27 AM

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Recruiters are facing more and more pressure to find innovative ways of attracting top talent through their outreach programs. One successful strategy to consider involves email drip campaigns.

A drip campaign is used by direct marketers to turn passive job seekers into engaged candidates by automatically contacting them several times over a pre-set period (usually one month to several months).

While it seems simple enough, there are many conflicting opinions about how many emails a company should send, what these emails should say, and what day of the week/time of day is best to send them. So, if you’re looking for a quick overview of best practices, read on. (And please remember: there’s no rule here that’s hard and fast; there will always be exceptions.)

Mailing Lists

  • Make an effort to source the best candidates by send only to candidate who have opted-in, whether through your Talent Network, an event you attended, or a landing page you’ve created (NAS can help with all three).
  • Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a generic database of names. It’s a bad idea for many reasons, including violating permission grants, sending recipients emails they never opted-into, and being labeled a scammer, which will ruin your IP address.
  • Be sure to include a simple and obvious Unsubscribe link in your message, and honor that request immediately. Bad timing is one thing; turning off a candidate forever is another.

Best Days and Times to Send

  • Send your first email mid-week, preferably after lunch (when candidates have a moment to spare and are most likely to check their email).
  • Avoid sending your emails on Monday, since your recipients likely have a backlog of 100+ emails from over the weekend.
  • Klaviyo states that 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm stand out as popular times to hit the send button.
  • Vertical Response is quick to point out that many recipients are surprisingly active at night, if you’d like to take a chance on a less-traditional time.
  • Send your follow-up email about a week later. (One email per week is a good rule of thumb.) You can also scatter the days you send them, e.g., send your first one on Thursday, then the next on Wednesday, etc.

Subject Line

  • Subject lines are the most important part of an email. If the subject does not interest the candidate, he or she will not open the email.
  • Create a subject line that incorporates powerful verbs, piques the reader’s interest, and shows some personality.
  • Do you have the recipient’s name? Add it, if available.
  • Try to keep the line under 40 characters. Marketo suggests 7 words and 41 characters give you the best overall engagement.

Email Content

Now that you’re ready to tackle your subject matter, it’s good to keep a few guidelines in mind.

  • Make sure you have a compelling, relevant message to share. If you don’t, your email will be quickly deleted and automatically sent to the trash folder.
  • Keep your content relatively short. (In Gem’s The Definite Guide for Email Outreach, they suggest a sweet spot of 50-125 words, with an average of 90-220 words.)
  • Break the copy into smaller, easily digestible paragraphs. Fun fact: According to Beamery, a talent acquisition company, research shows that the brain enjoys being presented with 3 choices, while 4 or more can lead to confusion. So try breaking your messages into 3 separate paragraphs or even using 3 different adjectives to describe your company.
  • Describe the job you’re featuring as an opportunity, not a role or position. Showcasing upward mobility vs. a lateral move is important.
  • Don’t waste space by including a complete job description.
  • Incorporate some social proof (a testimonial from a current employee, for example, who can vouch for how great your company is).
  • Talk a bit about your company mission and culture.

Calls to Action

Want the recipient to reach out and take some desired action? Campaign Monitor has some great suggestions that will increase the likelihood of that happening:

  • Include just one CTA. (If you really need more than one, make the second one a different color or place it in a different location.)
  • Place the call to action at the bottom of your email, unless it’s somewhat lengthy and you want the button “above the fold.”
  • Create your own CTA button instead of a hyperlink. (You’ll get a 28% higher conversion rate with a button.)
  • Use a different color for your button so that it stands out in the copy.Give your button an appropriate size
  • and leave some white space around it.
  • Use an urgent action word in your button, such as “now” or “today.”

Done correctly, a drip campaign can help raise awareness of your company and your brand, attract applicants, and allow you to interact with potential candidates.

Ready? It’s time to start taking names. NAS offers CONNECT, a marketing outreach platform that allows you to send email and text campaigns to candidates who have opted-in through a landing page or other methods. We’d be happy to show you how it works and help your company reach more candidates more effectively. Contact us for a demo.

Maggie Lyall

With an extensive background in both general and recruitment advertising, Maggie Lyall has worked on employment branding and career sites for numerous NAS clients. She has a degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.