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Email Personalization Best Practices for Recruiters

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
August 16, 2023

According to HubSpot research, 72% believe that email personalization is one of the most effective email marketing strategies.

You may already be employing an email personalization strategy to some extent in your recruiting emails. In this article, we will provide best practices to help recruiters maximize the effectiveness of their personalized emails.

The role of email personalization in modern recruitment

Candidates are bombarded with generic recruitment emails every day. It’s no surprise that generic emails end up ignored or deleted. Candidates expect personalized communication at each stage of their application.

For example, let’s imagine John has recently updated his LinkedIn profile to include his interest in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. A recruiter who sends John a personalized email acknowledging his interest in machine learning and highlighting relevant opportunities in that field is more likely to catch John's attention. Personalized emails help recruiters establish a sense of trust and credibility with candidates.

Benefits of personalizing emails in recruitment

Personalized emails are proven to have a positive impact on candidate experience. In fact, we have seen our customers leveraging personalized recruiting emails to achieve:

  • Higher candidate response rates
  • Lower candidate drop-offs
  • Enhanced candidate experience
  • Better offer acceptance rates

With that, let’s take a closer look at the best practices for email personalization (and some pitfalls to avoid).

Top 8 Best Practices for Personalizing Emails in Recruitment

Follow these best practices to tailor your communication to candidate preferences and create personalized experiences that truly resonate with them.

1. Understand your audience

Define your target audience using the roles you typically recruit for. Consider their demographics, career goals, interests, and pain points. For example, if you typically recruit nurses and healthcare staff, make sure to grasp their specific challenges and concerns such as long shifts and late night working hours. Personalization is not only about content, but also about timing — and understanding your target audience will help you strategically time your emails to maximize the likelihood of capturing the candidate's attention.

2. Segment your email list

Divide your candidate/prospect email list into specific segments based on factors like job function, industry, location, and experience level and tailor your content and messaging to each segment's unique needs and preferences.

Email segmentation enables you to deliver relevant and targeted content to ultimately improve your engagement and conversion rates.

3. Use personalized subject lines

This is email personalization 101! Most recruiters already do this, but let’s cover all bases. Include the candidate’s name or reference to a specific job title or location to grab their attention. Personalized subject lines significantly increase open rates and improve the chances of conversion.

For instance, instead of a generic subject line like "Job Opportunity," use a more personalized subject line such as "John, Exciting Marketing Manager Position in New York City."

4. Use dynamic email content

Dynamic content allows you to insert personalized content into your emails automatically. This includes dynamic fields for the candidate’s name, job title, company name, or any other relevant details. Most email marketing tools have this capability. With dynamic email content, you can create a more engaging and personalized experience without having to manually customize each email.

For example, you could include a dynamic section in the email that highlights the candidate's skills and experience, showcasing why they would be a great fit for a particular job opportunity.

5. Leverage behavioral triggers

Trigger emails in response to specific candidate actions, such as visiting your website, engaging with a particular link, or exploring a specific webpage. You can send follow-up emails that align with the candidate’s recent interests and actions. For example, if a candidate clicks on a link to a particular job posting, create an automated, personalized email campaign to send an email highlighting similar roles or additional information about the company. Another example is an automated email campaign for onboarding a new employee, starting with a welcome email and followed by a series of automated emails unique to their journey. Here’s an example:

Personalized, automated email journeys with Sense Engage

6. Incorporate personalized job recommendations

Leverage the power of AI and automation to provide personalized job recommendations to candidates. With their skills, experience, and location, AI-powered job matching can send tailored job recommendations that match their career goals. This not only saves time but also demonstrates that you understand their unique needs, enhancing the candidate experience.

7. A/B Test for continuous improvement

Conduct A/B tests to gauge the effectiveness of different personalization elements, such as subject lines, call-to-action buttons, or email copy. Test variables one at a time, measure the results, and refine your personalization technique. Continuous testing and improvement ensure that you maximize the impact of your personalized recruiting emails.

8. Automate to scale

Recruiters send hundreds of emails in a day. Manually personalizing emails is a tall order, especially when dealing with large candidate pools. Utilize personalized email marketing automation tools, like Sense, to streamline your email campaigns and recruitment marketing emails. Tools like Sense not only allow you to send personalized emails at scale, but they also seamlessly integrate with your applicant tracking system (ATS) to automate candidate data segmentation. As a result, recruiters save time and candidates get a first-class personalized experience! It’s a win-win situation.

Recruiting email automation also enables you to schedule emails in advance, set up automated email follow-ups, and track email engagement metrics to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. With repetitive tasks out of the way, recruiters can focus on building meaningful relationships with candidates and improving overall recruitment strategies.

Mistakes to avoid in email personalization

While email personalization can be a powerful recruitment strategy, it is essential to avoid common mistakes that can undermine its effectiveness. Here are some mistakes to avoid:

Overdoing personalization

It is essential to strike a balance and avoid overdoing it. Bombarding candidates with too much personal information or being overly familiar can come across as intrusive and unprofessional. Tailor your email to the candidate's needs without crossing any boundaries.

Using incorrect/old candidate data

Candidates update skills, change jobs, or even contact information quite often. If your candidate database is not up to date, you may inadvertently use old or incorrect information in your personalized emails. This can significantly undermine the professional image you are trying to project. Leverage automation to keep candidate info updated and ensure that your emails are error-free.

Failing to Follow Up

Follow-up emails have 40% higher response rates compared to the initial email. Failing to follow up, especially after sending a cold email, can result in candidate ghosting. Always follow up with candidates, whether it's to schedule an interview or simply to check in and provide updates.

Personalize candidate communication at scale with automation

Automation has proven to be a game-changer in personalizing candidate communication at scale. This not only saves time and resources but also enhances the overall candidate engagement. Forward-thinking organizations are embracing AI and automation technology to enhance their email campaigns and recruitment marketing emails.

Want to get started on your recruiting email automation journey? Sense Engage can help you. You can always schedule a demo to see how it fits into your recruitment strategy.

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