Let’s face it: good candidates have a lot of options on the table today. They’re likely getting contacted by recruiters about opportunities on a regular basis and they won’t have time to respond to everyone who reaches out to them.
So, how do you cut through the noise and stand out from other voices? By developing a strong Recruitment Marketing lead nurture strategy that involves drip campaigns.
First off, before we dive into drip campaigns, what do we mean by lead nurturing?
Lead Nurture refers to a set of marketing tactics that keep your company top of mind with leads and encourages them to move to the next stage in their journey. In Talent Acquisition, we can substitute the word “leads” for “candidates.” Your aim here is to keep candidates warm and move them to the next stage of their candidate journey with your company. Typically, people nurture their candidates using tools like email, InMail (although email is better from an engagement perspective), and even text messaging.
Drip campaigns are just one tactic you can use to nurture your leads (candidates). If you want to dive deeper and learn more about other lead nurture strategies like personalization, automation and segmentation, you can watch the recent overview and demo we gave on the subject with our friends over at Lever, called Personalization + Automation: The Secret to Nurturing Your Talent Pipeline.
But to turn the focus back to today’s topic at hand – drip campaigns – let’s cover the basics of what they are and why and how you might consider making them part of your Recruitment Marketing Lead Nurture strategy.
What is a drip campaign?
Drip campaigns are an automated process that sends out messages or/and content to your leads at the right moment to get them to move through your sales or recruiting funnel (source: Pardot).
This often looks like a series of emails timed to go out at certain stages in a candidate’s journey to provide them with the info or motivation they need to take a desired action, like applying for a job, joining your talent community or attending a recruiting event.
How do you use drip campaigns for Recruitment Marketing?
There are many options for how you might use drip campaigns in a Recruitment Marketing context. However, these can be divided into two high-level categories:
One-to-one drip campaigns
This type of drip campaign is scheduled to go from the person reaching out (likely a recruiter) to the candidate they’re contacting.
What they do is ensure that the candidate will be contacted a few times so they know that your team is very interested in their skill set so that the candidate will keep you top of mind.
Why does this work? According to Lever’s customer data, candidates are more likely to reply to second or third emails rather than first reach outs, and Engineering talent can sometimes take up to eight emails to take action! Only messaging a candidate once can be a missed opportunity.
A drip campaign is different from just emailing the candidate directly multiple times though, in that it’s planned and organized ahead of time and at scale. This makes it easy to execute with many candidates at once and ensures no one slips off the radar!
As a Recruitment Marketer, it may be your role to set these up on behalf of your recruiters or to provide your recruiters with the info and training to be able to execute on these one-to-one drip campaigns on their own.
One-to-many drip campaigns
You can also set up drip campaigns that apply to a targeted list of talent.
For instance, when Sales professionals join your talent community, you can set up a series of drip emails to welcome them and encourage them to apply. Here’s an example of what that might look like:
- Email one could be sent out as soon as they join the network. It would be a general welcome email that contains a few Sales best practice articles that your leadership team has authored (to provide value up front) and a list of recent company awards.
- Email two might go out a week later and could showcase some Sales employee stories from your content library that communicate your EVP.
- Email three might go out one week after and could spotlight a short Sales team member testimonial describing why they chose your company for their career. The call to action could then encourage them to apply for a role with your organization.
What are some best practices when it comes to drip campaigns?
Personalize the message! The message should sound like it’s being sent manually and that the individual recruiter keeps following up because they are ultra-interested in a specific candidate. This approach will be more likely to yield results.
Set up your messages to send automatically. Avoid a manual route, if you can. It’s time-consuming and will have more chance of human error. At the very least use the scheduling tool in Outlook to send out messages in advance. However, most modern ATS/CRM providers now offer the functionality to be able to do this automatically to save you a bunch of time and stress.
Keep follow-up messages short and sweet. Your initial reach out can provide a longer overview of your organization, the opportunity and why you think the candidate would be a good fit. However, follow-up messages in the campaign should be kept shorter and should ideally be attached to the initial thread or outreach message. Something like, “Hi [Candidate], wondering if you’ve had the time to give this some thought? Let me know if you’d like to connect this week to hear more,” can work quite well.
How do you actually put this into place?
There are different approaches you can take. While members of your recruiting team are probably already doing manual drip campaigns (i.e., reaching out to interesting candidates multiple times), the most effective way to plan and leverage drip campaigns is by using a software tool that’s designed to let you schedule your reach outs in advance.
Using a tool, you should be able to create multiple emails that are sent to a certain candidate at set times that you determine in advance. The tool should also ideally have the ability to cancel later messages in a drip campaign if a candidate responds to an earlier reach out.
You can watch our overview and Q&A session with Lever to see a live demo of how to set up a drip campaign. The video also spotlights some communications templates that work well for the various touchpoints in a campaign.
Rally also teaches an online class on Lead Nurture Strategies – check out our Training page for the next available date.
And remember, we want to hear from YOU! Did this blog motivate you to tweak your lead nurture approach? Did it inspire you to enable your recruiters with info about drip campaigns? Let us know by sending us a note on the Rally Facebook page or tweet us at @Rally_RM.