Email Outreach That Works RecruitingDaily


Gather round the campfire, kiddos, and let me tell you about a time, not too long ago, before email took over. A time when if you wanted to reach someone, you had four or five options: a phone call, a page, fax, snail mail or a good old fashioned, in-person drop by. That’s right; people used to arrive on your doorstep – sometimes unannounced! Oh, the horror of it all. Luckily, we advanced way beyond that primitive form of living to where we are today – inundated with email, text messages, DMs and an endless stream of data and notifications coming at us from all angles. It’s a lot, and recruiters deal with more of that than most, both sending and receiving.

On the flip side, where would recruiting be without email? It gives you a way to contact multiple candidates in a day, forge and maintain relationships and boost your productivity in general. It’s terrifying to imagine recruiting life without email. Still, because of its prevalence – that’s upwards of 269 billion emails sent every day – you have to make it work. So let’s get back to basics, shall we?

Know Your Goal

Sure, this one sounds like Business 101, but how often do we operate without a clear plan in place. Probably more than any of us are willing to admit. And that’s fine for the one-off, quickie response emails but not if you’re trying to woo passive candidates away from their potentially lucrative, possibly comfortable current positions. You need a strategy! Or at the very least an idea of what you’re hoping to accomplish. Maybe you’re looking for more opens,  or maybe you want a higher click-through rate. Whatever the case may be, define your goal and refer back to it throughout the process.

Go in Hot (Even When You’re Cold)

Ten years ago, all we used to talk about was subject lines, seeking to identify the ideal character count. That’s not the case anymore, especially since many email clients now support emojis. Honestly, it’s too tough to say that 15 carefully chosen characters will entice candidates more than a witty greeting and smiley face wearing sunglasses. It’s all contingent on the candidate you’re contacting. And while it’s impossible to know each one right off the bat, you should strive to make your opening feel personalized (at a minimum). {FirstName} isn’t always foolproof, folks.

Mobile Forever

Like email, mobile is here to stay. Seriously. Says HubSpot, 35 percent of “business professionals” check email on a mobile device and mobile opens account for 46 percent of ALL email opens. So yeah, about that formatting – you’re going to need to test your emails in every client under the sun to ensure everything displays accurately. Skip the heavy images and GIFs in favor of well-crafted copy that gets to the point – and quickly. Teeny tiny screens sometimes lead to lower attention spans since scrolling gets boring fast. Keep your messages short, sweet and mobile-optimized always.

Keep Up the Pace

Look, your first email might not get opened. Same with the second. Heck, even the third might go overlooked. The fact is, successful email outreach requires patience, persistence, and timing. In planning your messages, don’t forget to consider your cadence. Have each version drafted and ready to go before releasing that first email, so your follow-ups will deploy smoothly. Consult a calendar to ensure your schedule doesn’t overlap with any weekends or holidays, and always double-check the difference in time zones before hitting send.

Make it Actionable

Even though passive candidates may not react immediately, you need to give them the option. After the personalized greeting and meaningful body content, close with an action item – but make it easy. That might mean hit reply, set up a call (through a calendaring link), schedule an interview or even, disconnect. If they’re interested in what you have to say they’ll take the next step, if you’re wasting your time, give them the chance to let you know. Either way, outline the next step in the process and demonstrate your eagerness for their reply. Not in a “clearance sale, everything must go” sort of way, rather, in an “I’m sincerely interested in you and would like to further our conversation.”

One final thought: When it comes to email, you’ll hear plenty of people tell you to think like a marketer. Though that’s not entirely off base, it also helps to think about how you’d like to get recruited. Ask yourself what it would take someone to engage you over email – and look at your inbox from the outside in before sending emails from the inside out. And while no one wants to be the email equivalent of the unannounced guest, it comes with the territory, so make your visit a pleasant one.

Here is a Free Webinar on the topic coming up:

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.