Want people to read your email? Do these three things

It’s no secret I am an email address hoarder, therefore, I get a lot of email. I am also an inbox (near) zero person, so I delete a lot of email. I was doing some spot research on what gets kept and what gets trashed not too long ago to see if there was a pattern. And there was. I tend to keep things that fall into three categories:

·        Messages from people I know

·        Messages with things I need to do

·        Messages that provide me useful information

Anything outside that list finds its way to my trash. So, I got to wondering: What if we tested this with recruitment marketing messaging? So, guess what, I did. In researching industry average open and click rates (open is 19.92% and click is 2.32%) in Staffing and Recruiting via MailChimp. These are not good numbers. At all. When I think about this in the context of what we are trying to do in engaging and converting talent into our companies, it makes me shutter a bit. For every 100 emails we send, we get 2.32 people to our company career sites, and job descriptions. And then they probably don’t even convert from there. So, what if we took these buckets and created content for our talent that kept our messages out of their trash. I did some experimenting and here’s what I found, in reverse:

Valuable information

When we send talent information that will make them better at their jobs, they click. I did an email for a customer a while ago that focused on industry trends. Guess what, the industry averages were blown out of the water. If I remember correctly, the open rate was twice the average and the click rate was 4x. More people got to the company site and the jobs. Oddly enough this message converted a ton of recipients into applicants and it did so months after the email was sent. The theory, it stayed in their inbox because it was valuable and when they were ready to change jobs, they had this brand in front of them all the time. Think about what value you can create for your talent and email them those things.

Things to do

For many, the email inbox is akin to the “to do list”. When I did a campaign for a customer who was onboarding their new hires, and these new hires had to sign up for Orientation, guess what, the open rate was 93% and the click rate was 71%. Feels like this proves my case that people will interact with things they need to do. It’s a lot like those wonderful (and pesky) abandoned shopping cart emails I get from retailers. I open those a lot and occasionally finish my transaction. If you have candidates who have incomplete applications, or have not engaged in awhile, send them a task, it works.

People you know

This one is tougher, however, if you do the two things above, and you do it with some semblance of consistency, you become a person they know. Now, it’s important to note that when you’re emailing candidates, even if it is a mass email, make yourself the “from”. You cannot be a person they know if they get email from donotreply@yourcompany.com. So, the net here is to focus on becoming a person you know. To bolster this theory, we did a campaign recently that was from the actual person who’s responsible for the candidate experience. As you can guess, the industry averages were beat in every category.

Email is like any communication, when it’s good, it’s pretty damned good, when it’s bad, it is beyond frustrating. Let’s make it more useful by focusing on the recipient and their needs. When you do, the results are significantly better. Just remember, no one wakes up thinking about what your company is hiring for, so, when emailing , read it from their point of view, and ask yourself: Would I click this? If the answer is no…try again. Got anything to add, hit up the comments.