In today’s competitive world of hiring, effective communication is a make-or-break for successful talent engagement. With imminent changes to email policies from major providers like Gmail and Yahoo, mastering email best practices has become more crucial than ever to ensure that your hiring efforts remain effective.
Starting February 1, 2024, Gmail and Yahoo will automatically block messages from bulk-sending organizations with a spam complaint rate of 0.3% or higher. This means your talent engagement emails are at risk of not reaching their intended recipients unless you take proactive steps.
In response to these changes, we’ve put together a tactical guide on mastering email best practices tailored specifically for recruiting and talent engagement. This isn't just about compliance; it's about safeguarding the effectiveness of your communication strategy.
Let's dive into the essentials to ensure your emails not only meet the new standards from Gmail and Yahoo but also continue to resonate with your top-tier candidates.
It’s important to regularly clean your email list by removing inactive or bouncing email addresses. Schedule bulk cleanups at regular intervals and promptly remove unsubscribed users. Some email list cleaning tools include Webbula, NeverBounce, ZeroBounce, DeBounce, and MailerCheck. We recommend exploring these options to easily keep your lists in good shape, especially if you’ve sourced data from ZoomInfo or other contact information providers that often contain inaccurate data.
In Sense, it is also important to use rule building and Action Based Targeting to prevent redundant emails to the same user.
Adopt a permission-based approach requiring explicit consent before adding individuals to your email list. Examples of obtaining consent include:
Set up DomainKey Identified Mail (DKIM) and Send Policy Framework (SPF) authentication to verify that your emails genuinely come from your authorized domain.
DKIM is an authentication method that uses cryptographic keys to add digital signatures to outgoing emails, and verify signatures on incoming emails. Popular DKIM tools include OpenSSL, OpenDKIM, and Microsoft Exchange Server.
SPF provides specific authorization to mail servers to prevent email spoofing and improve deliverability.
Configuring DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) for email receivers is also a must.
We recommend working with your IT team to set up these authentications or verify that they're already in place.
It is important to craft emails with engaging and relevant content and avoid sales-driven or spammy language. Additionally, strive to maintain a good balance of text and images, and always avoid excessive capitalization, punctuation, or misleading subject lines.
Regularly send valuable content to maintain subscriber interest, and avoid long periods of inactivity in your email campaigns. Keep in mind that talent relationships are extremely competitive and take time and effort to nurture.
The tips in this blog post will provide you with a solid framework for complying with Gmail and Yahoo’s new send policies. Still, take the time to familiarize yourself with your ESP’s documentation, guidelines, and best practices. You can learn more about Google and Yahoo email sender guidelines here.
Proper email scheduling is essential for maintaining recipient engagement. Considerations for effective scheduling include:
For instance: Imagine a staffing agency unveiling an exciting job opportunity and wanting to reach potential candidates across different time zones. Utilizing an ESP with time zone segmentation, the agency strategically schedules the email to align with each candidate's local waking hours. This precision enhances the likelihood of candidates promptly noticing and engaging with the job opportunity.
Similarly, incorporating blackout windows such as weekends and holidays in your email calendar minimizes the risk of delivering emails at inconvenient times, ultimately boosting overall engagement.
It’s crucial to avoid overwhelming your audience with non-transactional emails. Always recognize the signs of email fatigue and understand when suppression is necessary.
Implement thoughtful suppression thresholds. Define the maximum frequency for non-transactional emails within a specific timeframe so candidates aren’t inundated with messages from your team. This ensures a balanced approach that respects your audience's inbox.
For personalized connections and targeted campaigns, opt for small batches. Contacting a list of relevant recipients ensures individual attention and fosters engagement.
When broader announcements or updates are in order, turn to bulk emailing. It efficiently delivers general information to a larger audience without the need for personalized interactions.
Introducing the concept of staggered sending adds a layer of sophistication to your strategy. This approach, by avoiding mass delivery at once, mitigates the risk of spam classification, ensuring consistent inbox delivery. Moreover, optimizing send times based on recipient behavior not only increases open rates but also makes it easier for your recruiters to engage with candidates who respond.
While email remains a core pillar of talent engagement, incorporating other communication channels, such as text messaging and WhatsApp will ensure a solid foundation for success. Our “2024 State of Staffing Report” shows that the majority of recruiters (45%) say texting is the most effective candidate communication channel over phone and email.
Sense customers have utilized texting to achieve up to 3x faster replies, 51% response rates, and 30% boosts in recruiter productivity.
Want to learn more about building a strong talent engagement strategy that delights candidates? Get in touch with a member of the Sense team.