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Email marketing can be a powerful tool for recruiting professionals to expand their talent networks, nurture relationships, and drive more referrals. 

However, with so many emails flooding inboxes, it’s vital to have an email strategy that cuts through the noise. 

In this article, we provide 11 tips to help recruiters craft more compelling emails that convert contacts into warm referrals. With the right approach and email marketing tool, your messages will spark interest and motivate recipients to spread the word about your organization’s open roles.

Importance of Email Marketing for Recruiters

Email marketing is important for recruiters because it allows you to directly reach both active and passive job seekers in your network. Research shows that email generates 40x more revenue per dollar spent compared to other marketing channels. 

Beyond monetary gains, a strategic email program enables recruiters to strengthen relationships with talent communities, position their employer brand effectively, promote urgent job openings at scale, and secure more employee referrals. 

By taking the time to nurture your subscriber list with valuable, personalized messages, you gain a mindshare with potential applicants and connections who can refer strong talent your way. 

Investing in thoughtful email campaigns pays dividends for recruiting teams looking to boost quality leads and fill open requisitions faster.

1. Collect Candidate Emails From All Sources

The first thing you need to do is start building your email list. Do not limit your email list strictly to applicants who have submitted resumes and filled out job applications. 

Cast a wider net by gathering email addresses from all talent touchpoints. Attend networking events to collect business cards and request contacts to opt-in to your recruiter notifications. 

If you source passive candidates through LinkedIn outreach, ask to keep them updated on relevant openings via email updates. When qualified applicants accept or decline job offers, get their permission to nurture them in your pipeline for future roles.

Expand your reach by integrating referral campaigns into your outreach efforts. After placing strong hires, follow up to get their emails plus recommendations from their networks. Structure these referral emails to easily flow contact details to your subscriber list. Offer an incentive for contacts signing up for job alerts while the referral is top of mind.

Proactively aggregating candidate emails from multiple intake channels ensures your messages reach engaged recipients already interested in your opportunities. Warm leads convert at higher rates, enabling your campaigns to deliver better recruiting ROI. View email sign-ups as a vital step in your sourcing process.

2. Segment Lists By Specialty or Skill Set

Rather than blasting the same jobs to every subscriber, take time to segment your lists based on candidate backgrounds, skills, and interests. Study previous applicant qualifications and build custom lists for key roles like software engineers, financial analysts, healthcare specialists, and more. 

When niche positions need filling, you can deploy targeted communications to aligned talent pools.

Get more advanced by syncing your email platform to applicant tracking systems and CRMs containing candidate criteria. You can use a tool like HubDew, HubSpot’s platform for recruiters. 


Use this integration to automatically tag subscriber details such as current titles, years of experience, certifications attained, locations, and specialized abilities. Dynamic list segmentation allows personalized, hyper-relevant emails as new requisitions arise.

When subscribers receive job alerts matching their capabilities, they pay closer attention and engage more frequently. Segmented messaging also reduces unsubscribe rates by avoiding excess noise. Refining your focus to specialty email lists earns recruiting messaging the right type of exposure.

3. Send Personalized Referral Requests

When seeking referrals, move beyond batch blasts asking all recipients for help filling an open position. Instead, personalize outreach by naming specific contacts you think can assist with the search. Address what makes them suited to recommend candidates, like their management experience in the function you are hiring.

Call out previous referrals received or placements made together to reference your relationship. Then clearly explain the current role along with the credentials required. Share why you immediately thought of them as a referral partner based on prior successful collaborations.

Taking the time to individually request assistance makes contacts feel valued rather than just another name on a list. Get creative linking past interactions into tailored stories for VIP subscribers. The personal touch sparks stronger engagement, delivers quality applicant flow, and nurtures your recruiting network.

4. Promote Current Job Openings

One of the most fundamental yet effective uses of email marketing is driving awareness of new job openings on your team. When leadership approves a job requisition, notify aligned subscriber segments about the role specifications, must-have qualifications, application deadline, and steps to apply.

Craft compelling calls-to-action to visit your careers page emphasizing why top talent should consider your opportunity versus what else is available in their inbox. Time deployment carefully, monitoring average open rates and click-through rates to gauge how frequently to promote the position.

Consistent visibility regarding available roles trains subscribers to associate your messages with access to active job listings. You amplify reach beyond recent applicants to referrals and passive candidates already interested in your opportunities based on your industry niche or employer brand allure.

5. Highlight Referral Bonuses and Rewards

Sweeten the value proposition of sharing candidate referrals by clearly communicating rewards available for successful hires. Dedicate an email campaign, ideal bi-annually, that spotlights your referral program terms. Specify current bonuses paid out for applicant types such as software developers, sales reps, project managers, etc. based on demand.

If providing employee gift cards, highlight what selection they can choose from along with the dollar amount for referred candidates accepting offers. Get creative listing unique perks like extra PTO, workspace upgrades, or points to redeem for experiential rewards.

Transparency around referral benefits makes colleagues and contacts more inclined to rack their networks. The ROI of submitting names for consideration heightens when compelling extras await. Tout bonuses often so your program gains traction rather than relying solely on ad hoc word of mouth.

6. Spotlight Easy Application Process

A cumbersome or complex application process deters interested candidates from submitting resumes and completing numerous fields, forms, and steps. Counteract friction by showcasing efficiency gains that simplify and speed up your application flow.

Dedicate an email exclusively focusing on user-friendly enhancements like one-click LinkedIn profile submission, AI-enabled instant resume reviews, user-centric mobile application features, and more. Break down each milestone quantifying reduced effort in applying compared to traditional experiences.

Arming subscribers with clear expectations around minimizing their time while maximizing their exposure to hiring teams drive more applicants. Easy application lowers barriers to entry so you capture candidates that may have abandoned tedious processes. Convenience converts when showcased upfront.

7. Share Company and Industry News

Expand email content beyond job listings and referral asks alone. Intermix updates covering recent company milestones like product launches, media features, partnership announcements, culture and CSR initiatives, and award wins. Attach links to press releases so mobile users easily access more details.

Likewise, curate and comment on trends impacting your sector overall such as policy changes, breakthrough innovations, market projections, troubling statistics, encouraging forecasts, and more industry news items. Provide perspective connecting how such developments influence 

talent priorities in roles you seek to fill.

This value-added education keeps your brand top of mind as an expert resource associates want to learn from while showcasing dynamism in helping to recruit. Subscribers gain reasons why your openings are more compelling and aligned to momentum. Mixing ‘newsy’ updates cuts recruiting noise.

8. Reward Referring Candidates

Make sure submitting candidates get as much referral love as colleagues who spark new hire referrals. After all, applicants also extend trust connecting contenders from their network into your process. Show applicant referrers bonus updates and thank you messages as their recommendations advance stage by stage.

If you utilize automated workflows with hiring software, trigger specific communications to referring candidates once their suggestion gets phone screened, brought onsite, completes final round interviews, and ultimately has an offer in hand. Recognize referrers alongside congratulating successful hires.

Double down once applicants accept the new role. Send handwritten notes, highlight social media shoutouts, and deliver any referral fee payouts owed. Applicant referrers become brand ambassadors after personalized gestures. Their future referrals further accelerate thanks to acknowledgment.

9. Automate Candidate Follow-Up


Juggling high volumes of applicants and limited talent acquisition capacity makes consistent candidate follow-up challenging. Schedule automated email and text communications to replace manual efforts once submissions enter your system.

Set triggers confirming application receipt, requesting interview availability after initial evaluation, notifications to move forward or receive alternate options if not selected this round, plus stay warm messages for future consideration. Customize frequency based on requisition priority needs.

Canned responses sacrifice some personalization but ensure proper care and feeding at scale so leads do not slip through the cracks amid back-to-back meetings. 

They also strengthen employer branding as applicants perceive fast responses despite high-interest levels. Embrace follow-up automation as your secret weapon for scalable streamlined nurturing when recruiting demands intensify.

10. Retarget Passive Candidates

Tap previous applicants or talented community members who engaged in your roles in the past but did not convert. Segment this group for targeted rediscovery missions highlighting perfect match openings suited to their abilities.

Craft messaging speaking to why you are circling back, like seeking culture adds, new budgets approved, specializations now desired, or promotions requiring their exact background. Repurpose any pre-vetting completed previously to make reapplying frictionless.

Unconverted leads still feel a connection having formally or informally entered your process once before. A compelling retrofitted role summarizing due diligence done allows faster acceleration by eliminating repeat screening. Prior promising talent deserves another look when the aim is to fill niche positions quickly through warm pipelines.

11. Track Referral Email Metrics

Make data-driven decisions around your referral emails by monitoring key performance indicators that reveal the effectiveness of your email campaign


Review open and click-through rates to dictate list frequency, segment relevance, content resonance, better subject lines, and ideal sender.

Connect email metrics to applicant tracking systems or HRIS platforms. Attribute conversions from message exposure to associated requisitions crediting exactly which emails ultimately drove candidates through each stage to hire.

Optimizing based on intelligence around subscriber actions enables continually refined recruiting email prowess. You bolster deliverability, Click-to-Open ratios, referral numbers, and pipeline yield over time thanks to analytics revealing what works at each send. Numbers guide the narrative you shape.

Email marketing delivers unmatched reach and streamlines referrals at every sourcing stage when leveraged effectively by recruiters. From list building to automation nurturing to performance tracking, numerous best practices amplify results. 

Following the tips above allows your messages to break through noise converting contacts into applicants and brand advocates for your roles. Taking a strategic approach to this channel fuels hiring momentum through referral-fed candidate pipeline velocity.

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