3 Ways to Refresh Your Email Outreach Strategy

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Jul 30, 2020

Are overused phrases dominating your outreach?

Data from 735,000 recruiting outreach campaigns show that 15% of prospects respond to a recruiter’s initial email, according to Gem Software.  What can be done to engage the remaining 85% of the target audience, most of which are checking email every few hours?

One strategy for writing engaging outreach is to ensure each message showcases your authenticity, delights the reader, and is different from the hundreds of other messages received each week.

The shift in our working world since COVID-19 has also created a unique uptick in messages with phrases like “uncertain times” and “stay healthy,” which have begun to feel overused in the past few months. What better time than now, with lighter requisition loads, to re-evaluate the outreach you’re sending to both fresh and warm leads.

Here are a few ideas to consider as you start your outreach overhaul. Use this simple three-step approach to freshen up your stale messages.

1. Be Authentically You

How can you ensure your outreach reflects your unique voice? One approach is to focus on what aspects of your current company were most compelling to you before joining.  Another perspective is to share your thoughts on why the person you’re reaching out to and their experience caught your eye.

Gem’s Definitive Guide for Email Outreach highlights some of the factors that sourced candidates value most. Sharing insights on what a day in the life in the role looks like, for example, is a great way to ensure your outreach is both original and impactful.

As you refine your email to present your most genuine voice, be sure that the message reflects your company’s values. Your message should also hint at what makes your opportunity an excellent next step for the reader.

While some recruiters feel that including the job description in the first message isn’t ideal, others argue that it’s a good way to allow people to self-select out.

2. Delight Your Reader

By 2021, Statista estimates that almost 320 billion emails will be sent daily. With this kind of volume competing for limited inbox space, it is no wonder that sourced prospects fail to respond to generic recruiter outreach. Design your email or InMail with the intention of exciting your recipient.

What type of emails excite? According to marketing experts, it is those written in a “conversational, friendly voice.” Delight your reader by adding a relevant video, sharing little known information, and optimizing for mobile, which “accounts for 46% of all email opens.”

Additionally, relying on research and repurposing strategies from the marketing community (like win back campaigns) can help turn a drab email into a winning one.

3. Be Different from the Rest

As a recent tweet from an engineer implies, sourced prospects are growing weary of the overused, “I hope you’re well” greeting from recruiters. Similarly, stating how impressed you are with someone’s background or apologizing for the unsolicited message, do little to establish trust or build rapport.

As you invest time to draft a message that is different from the other recruiter’s competing for your reader’s attention, consider inquiring about the recipient’s career desires. This is important to do before pitching how great your job is. Additionally, you can mention any interesting tidbits learned from the research you’ve conducted on the prospect using social media, your internal CRM, or your ATS.

Savvy recruiters and sourcers agree that Gem is an amazing tool that gives visibility into email open rates, click-through rates, response rates, and email content stats.

Before You Click Send…

You have the strategy. Now it’s time to review, refresh, and release your new messaging.  As you experiment with refining your outreach ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What tools will you use to support your efforts?
  2. What internal resources can you lean on to ensure the tone, length, and content are on point?
  3. What tried and true methods will you continue to use?

Collaborative sourcers may choose to run their final draft by the hiring manager. It’s often the unique perspective of those who know the role best that will give your message it’s winning appeal.

Inclusive sourcers may choose to eliminate gender bias from their final message by using a free open-sourced tool like Gender Decoder.

Creative sourcers may choose to record a short, custom Loom video to engage high-potential talent.

Whatever techniques and tools you use, send with care. Sourcing during a pandemic presents unique challenges that generic messages can no longer support. As Steve Levy says, they’re people, not candidates.

Happy messaging!

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