9 Ways to Improve Recruitment Email Marketing

For every £1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is £21.48. It’s proven that email marketing works.

Due to the rise in social media, most people probably think that recruitment email marketing is outdated and slow, but in 2011 74% of adults selected email as their preferred communication method for business.

Sending targeted, informative and interesting newsletters will strengthen your brand. Announcements or updates on jobs will create loyalty. It’s also a great way of interacting directly with clients and candidates with surveys or feedback requests.

Here we’ll show you 9 ways you can improve your recruitment email marketing.

1. Data capture

As a recruiter you’ll already have a list of candidates email addresses and potentially some businesses that you’re looking to target.

If you need to gather more data you could:

- Ask candidates and clients to opt in to email marketing campaigns and add them to your database.

- Send emails to LinkedIn connections or those who join your group if you’re the administrator.

- Gather email addresses from Facebook by fan-gating – make users ‘Like’ your pages before they can access specific content, and when they do ‘Like’ it, ask for their email address.

- Integrate an email sign-up form on your website and encourage visitors to sign up.

The important thing to consider is that you’re capturing an audience that wants to listen. They’ve volunteered to get your news. It’s easy to get data from a data house, but the opt-in is more powerful than opt-out. That way you aren’t wasting time sending news to people who don’t want to listen to you.

2. Nurture leads

Lead nurturing focuses on converting contacts that already exist in your database, not generating new ones. Your prospects should be nurtured to turn them into customers. In order to nurture your prospects correctly, you’ll need some information from them.

This can be gathered at the data capture stage. Find out where they are in the buying process and provide them with relevant content, so that your brand remains at the forefront of their brain and they remember you when they’re ready to turn from prospects into customers.

Lead nurturing is more effective when triggered by a prospect’s activity or behaviour. Say hello to new prospects when they sign up to a newsletter by sending a welcome email. Use this opportunity to find out more about them.

3. Personalisation

Personalisation has long been a proven technique for email marketers. Personalisation makes the readers feel special; it says to the recipient that the sender cares about you and your opinion. One of the most basic things you can do to personalise an email is to greet a reader by their first name. This should be available if you have captured enough data correctly.

Secondly, speak to each reader as though they are your only recipient. This allows them to see how your service will apply to them.

And finally tailor your emails for the recipient. Use what you already know about the recipient, and customise your email, are they a candidate looking for a job, or a business looking to expand? This should have a high impact as the content is relevant and applicable.

4. Segmentation

In a similar way to personalisation, segmentation is an important tool to use when thinking about email marketing. Your clients and customers are not the same. An email sent to a candidate looking for a job is not suitable for a company looking to hire more staff. Targeting these two groups of people with the same email would not be as effective as sending each one a targeted email campaign that applies to their needs.

If you send targeted, personalised emails, your reputation as a sender will improve. Your recipients are receiving relevant and wanted content, which says to the Internet Service Providers that you’re a reputable source and your emails are more likely to get through spam filters.

5. Call to actions

When designing an email, think about where your call to actions should be, and what they should prompt the recipient to do. Tell the recipient what you’d like them to do, once they’ve opened your email. Do you want them to visit your website, give you more data or apply for a job? Use the correct format (image based buttons or linkable text?), language and placement to encourage readers to click.

Test which buttons work best. Do your call to actions work well at the top of the email? On a side bar? At the end of the content? Consider moving or rewording the call to action if it’s not successful the first time.

6. Subject line

Your email needs to stand out in the recipient’s inbox. To do this, you need a killer subject line. It can be tricky coming up with the perfect subject line – one that grabs attention and encourages readers to open your email.

First you need to keep your subject line simple – keep it less than 50 characters, as these have been proven to have higher open rates than longer ones. Secondly, avoid using spammy sounding phrases -‘Free stuff!!!’, and finally know your audience. Again, it all boils down to the quality of your data. Send an email with a subject line that will entice your readers to open.

7. Image blocking

Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) block images as standard procedure. This is to protect the recipients from unwanted spam messages. Your email needs to be crafted in a way that will still look and read well if the images remain blocked. In a perfect world your email address would be added to a contact list or address book, which means that images are automatically shown every time you send an email. But this doesn’t always happen.

Of course you can still create a beautiful email that uses images to highlight your message, but make sure it contains text to pass through spam filters. The usual rule of thumb is 60% images, and 40% text. Remember to always send a plain text version, so that your message can still be read and understood even without images.

8. Don’t spam

Your email should strive to inform, teach and amuse your audience. Don’t send continuous sales emails as your recipients will eventually stop listening and will unsubscribe. If your content is relevant and informative, people will look forward to receiving your newsletter and will respond well to the content.

9. Choose what to say and when

What should your emails say? And how often? Of course, you don’t need to send a newsletter, why not talk about industry news and events, or industry specific topics? Should you always talk about new jobs? This might not be relevant for your entire contact list.

Segment your data and send relevant content based on your recipients. Candidates will want to hear about the latest jobs but clients will want industry news, and your latest blog posts.

Don’t spam your recipients with an email every day if your content is applicable. Allow readers to choose whether they want weekly, bi-weekly or monthly updates, by using a preference centre.


In today’s market place, the key to retaining customers is building loyalty and engaging with customers and prospects. Email marketing allows you to do this on a level that social media cannot – although it is still a useful tool for building your brand and client base.

And remember; with recruitment email marketing, there is no perfect recipe. Test, test and test again. If something isn’t working then tweak it and try again.

What techniques have you put in place to boost your recruitment email marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

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