Email marketing can be time consuming. Not only is it another channel to plan out from a content perspective, you also have to consider who you’re sending to, ensure you have permission to contact them and work through the operational kinks of actually getting the message out.
However, as part of a strong candidate nurture strategy, email marketing can keep your company top of mind with your talent community and even encourage more applicants.
At Great Clips, we use regular email marketing efforts to keep prospective candidates warm. Over the past year, between four newsletters, we’ve seen some great results, including a combined total of:
- 77,738 email opens
- 10,083 link clicks to the content in our newsletter (that’s a click-through rate of 13%!)
- 395 applicants directed from our newsletter
If you’re looking to implement or improve your own candidate nurture email strategy, here are some takeaways that we’ve learned over the past year:
Establish the right cadence
As a consumer, I know firsthand that it’s annoying when a company sends me too many emails. And we don’t want to be the brand that’s screaming “we have a bunch of jobs, please come work with us!”
So, we determined to send fewer but higher quality newsletters to our talent community. Last year, we started off with four at the national level and up to four per market at the local level – no candidate received more than one email per month though. Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to go as frequent as one per month or even bi-weekly max, in my opinion. Beyond that, you might risk having some of your audience check out from too many messages, not because your message isn’t relevant to them.
To make sure your email doesn’t get lost in their inboxes, try to lead with a really captivating subject line. We like to tell candidates up front what’s in it for them if they open our email. A subject line that makes it clear we have something cool to share has worked well for us.
Determine a content strategy that keeps your audience subscribed
The content that you include in your email marketing communications can make or break whether people read on or click the unsubscribe button.
Before launching our email marketing plan, we thought through how we could send strong messages about the Great Clips brand while keeping our newsletter captivating for our audience. Our goal was to cement Great Clips as an awesome workplace for creative and ambitious stylists. To send this message, we divided up our content into a few buckets:
First, we offer career-related advice for hair stylists. There aren’t many places that are really providing that type of content. Our newsletters offers tips on how stylists should prepare for interviews (what should you bring – a model, shears?), how to write resumes and more.
Second, we provide info on trends or news in the industry. It’s the type of content that stylists are already seeking out, like how to nail that really hard-to-achieve fade haircut or what trends will be hottest in 2018. The goal is to keep stylists engaged and interested, while ensuring our brand stays aligned with the cutting-edge in hair care (pun fully intended).
Third, we create and curate stories that elevate people’s perception of what a career with Great Clips looks like. We showcase stylists in different locations, the great on-trend styles they create and the impact they have on their communities through their work.
Personalize your approach with a local flair
We also make sure that the content we include speaks to different experiences working in different markets around North America. People in Boston, for instance, are going to be most interested in stories about fellow stylists working in Boston, rather than LA.
In each national newsletter, we include 2-3 stories that spotlight educators, design team members and best practices. Our local-level emails contain the same type of content but all featuring Great Clips stylists from that city.
To identify and curate these local-level stories, we ask franchisees to share stories from their salon with us. We’ve also joined a number of Great Clips salon community Facebook groups and encourage stylists there to share too.
Think about where and how you might be able to track down local employee stories to share with candidates.
Use video as much as you can
We invested our efforts into creating some video content to include in our newsletters to see how it would impact our views, clicks and applications.
We created a new video series called “How Great Begins.” The videos each feature a stylist sitting in their chair in a local salon, talking about their career journey. You can view these videos on the Great Clips Career YouTube channel.
We included our first video in our November newsletter and we were really pleased with the results! We saw a big overall boost in the application numbers when we released this series, which we correlate to the attention they drove via our newsletters (and also social channels).
In any case, a lot of nurture newsletters contain more static content, so it’s definitely worth monitoring the engagement you see when including some video content for your community.
Track your results and adjust accordingly
This one almost goes without saying, but it bears repeating. Stay on top of your metrics and take the time to really interpret what the data is telling you. This is the best way to get better and better over time.
Plus, staying on top of the data will provide you with success stories you can share with leadership so that they will continue to invest (or invest more) in your Recruitment Marketing initiatives.
To track the performance of our email marketing campaigns, we took a look at each individual email to see how many people opened the message, clicked on a link and applied right after engaging with the newsletter.
We also track this performance a few weeks after – because it turns out some people save the email in their inbox, but either don’t engage it with it right away, or revisit it later and apply at that point in time.
The first week after we send out a message, we might see that 100 people have applied, but then the following week there may be 30 more, and the week after 10 more, etc. It’s definitely worth taking a look back at the results!
All in all, email marketing has been a really effective tactic as part of the larger Great Clips Recruitment Marketing strategy. Before launching off we really thought through the timing and content of our emails. However, like most Recruitment Marketing initiatives, we’ve also learned and adjusted a lot along the way. I hope some of the takeaways we’ve picked up over the past year help you to fine-tune or launch your own candidate nurture email strategy.