In my career it’s possible I have personally emailed 10 million people via campaigns or automation. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes…not so much. Earlier this year, I started working with a wonderful and supportive customer who wants to try everything to see what works. Over the course of the past three months, we have sent probably 30 campaigns. These campaigns generated an average open rate of 74% and a click rate of 40%. You read that right. Holy smokes! At first, I didn’t trust the data. I thought there MUST be something completely wrong about these numbers. According to MailChimp, the average open rate for the staffing and recruiting industry is 19.92% and the average click through rate is 2.32%. So, we did better. WAY better. In the case of clicks, we did almost 20x better. So, for me, it was time to really dig into what we were doing so right on these campaigns. It appears that there are four things we really nailed this quarter. So, take these lessons and apply them to your own talent community emails.
Highly engaged recipients
The gift here was the audience. This audience was VERY dialed into the information. We were communicating to people who really want to know what was going on and who were vested in the recruiting process. They wanted next steps. They wanted information. They wanted it now. It was important to them. Without this highly engaged audience, we would not have been able to register these numbers. If the marketing equation is the right message to the right audience at the right time, we had audience and time in spades. We also segmented to audience to be sharing relevant information based on their location. So, while some of the messages were long, they were highly relevant, which takes us to the next three hacks.
Takeaway: Know who you’re wanting to talk to and make sure they know you.
Clear calls to action
Every email had an incredibly clear and visible call to action. The recipient knew exactly what they were supposed to do with the message and they do it. More than 50% of the time! We used big buttons, well placed in the html and a clean template. The language on the buttons were all action oriented and personalized. Things like RSVP Now, Order your Uniform, and Get your Application In. We tried to focus the messaging in most cases around the calls to action and nothing else.
Takeaway: Tell them what they want to do clearly and visibly
The communications used very plain, but friendly, language. We were direct, to the point, and made everything as clear and concise as possible. Even when we send a campaign with an incorrect link, we kept the language about the error simple to understand. The messaging allowed us to keep it very simple and draw attention back to the calls to action while being respectful of the audience’s time.
Takeaway: Speak plainly and directly
Finally, we used very simple html email structure. If there were three things we needed the talent community to do, we numbered the tasks to make it abundantly clear. And we tried to make it as personal as possible. We signed many of the messages from an actual person, we noted what day it was in the message and we gave them contact information within the message so they could feel confident that there were actual people sending these campaigns (even when they were automated.
Takeaway: Keep it clean and simple
I doubt I will even see results like this again in my career. We are training people to delete and ignore email, much like when are phone rings, because it feels like it’s all garbage. But, when we can get the right message to the right audience at the right time, we can drive the results we are looking to achieve. Now, if I start seeing results like these all the time, I will know we are doing better for ourselves and our talent.