5 Data-Backed Tactics to Get Candidates to Open Your Emails

5 Data-Backed Tactics to Get Candidates to Open Your Emails

Ben Slater

Recruitment is changing. It’s becoming more and more important to build relationships with candidates. The best medium to do this is often discussed and debated. Should you be picking up the phone? Buying LinkedIn InMails? Relying on email?

All will likely play a part of your overall recruiting strategy but, if handled correctly, email can be the most effective. The problem is, it’s becoming more and more of a dark art to actually get candidates to open your emails.

There are, however, things you can do to dramatically increase your open rates. We’ve put our heads together, reviewed heaps of our own Beamery customer data and produced a list of 5 of the best strategies to get candidates to open your emails:

1. Segmentation

You wouldn’t send the same email to each one of your customers, so why send the same to each of your candidates?

Potential engineering hires shouldn’t receive the same information as prospective sales candidates – think about what content would provide value to each segment to make your outreach more targeted and boost open rates.

The results of a recent HubSpot survey found that 38% of subscribers prize relevance and would stop opening emails if they felt that companies weren’t providing value.

recruiting email open rates

2. Send your emails at the right time

You’ve spent time crafting the perfect email – now you need to make sure you time it correctly. Open rates vary dramatically depending on what time of day or what day of the week you send your emails.

Research from GetResponse found that Thursday’s tend to have the highest open rates, while your emails are more likely to fall on deaf ears on the weekends.

Most subscribers will read your messages within the first 60 minutes, (after 24 hours there is little to no chance your email will be opened). Therefore, it’s essential that you work out an email schedule that lets you take advantage of when candidates are most likely to be receptive.

email open rates recruitment
3. Nail the subject line

Make the most of the subject line and grab your candidates’ attention. Think about the calls-to-action that your audience will respond best to. The best tactics for writing a great recruitment subject line include:

  • Subject lines containing the first name of the subscriber average 26% higher open rates and 130% higher click-through-rates.
  • Relevant information. Cram as much relevant information as you can into the subject line. If you’re advertising a new position or a new offer, make sure it’s in the subject line.

Work on creating a sense of urgency – if your audience thinks they might be missing out on something they will be more compelled to read the message.

4. Make sure your emails come from a real person

This tactic is so often overlooked. Candidates are far less receptive to emails sent from a generic ‘careers’ or ‘jobs’ email address. Instead make sure that your messages come from an individual recruiter’s email address.

This also has the added bonus of giving candidates a good contact at your organization to get in touch with if they have any questions or queries about the hiring process.

HubSpot tested this recently and found that sending from a real person increased both the open rate and the click rate. If in doubt get personal!

recruiting click through rates on email
5. Test everything

Ultimately the only way to determine the right tactics for your audience will be to constantly A/B test different tactics and see which work best.

Use email open rates to determine which subject lines are most effective, and what content candidates respond best to. See if there is a certain time of week that people are more likely to respond. The more you measure, the better idea you will have of what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re struggling to get started with A/B testing, MailChimp recently published a great guide based of the data they’ve accumulated running tests over the past 7 years – well worth a read.


About the author: Ben Slater is VP Growth at Beamery, the All-in-One Sourcing, CRM, Candidate Engagement and Employer Branding Platform. Interested in learning more? Here’s a short video

Interested in recruiting analytics and the future of big data in talent acquisition? Sign up for the Data Driven Recruiter blog and check out the eBook below:

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