Email – it feels a bit old fashioned? Perhaps a bit passe? Most of the focus in recruitment these days is on the brave new world of social media. Actually even social media is becoming old hat in many markets, but it is still a young spring chicken compared to email. However we have decided this morning that email needs a revival in terms of focus. We just picked up another client this morning for an email campaign. It’s a Friday and we do most of our campaign work on Friday afternoons - and also - we just recently put a Help Paper on Email Marketing on our Client Support Portal. So the stars are aligning for a post on email.
Basically, because it is just so effective… There, does that surprise you? I suspect that for many readers it will, and because you wont just take our word for it, here is some evidence on why it should not be overlooked in the rush to embrace and spend all your money on social networking:
McKinsey the famous management consulting firm did a study only last year (published in January) that found, and we quote: “E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined”. It is not just McKinsey’s either, there are other studies that show similar results. So what is going on?
When they looked at it, McKinsey (and others) found that consumers tended to respond better to emails when making purchases than social networking ‘prompts’. McKinsey found email prompted a purchase more than 3X that of social media. They also found order values were higher. Another study we have seen, saw customers found by email were 11% more valuable than the average. It demonstrated that on average Facebook and Twitter sourced customers were 23% less valuable than the average obtained from email. Thus, the evidence suggests email can still be a very effective tool in generating sales and from what we have seen this translates also to recruitment.
Social Networking and Email
Email tends to get compared side by side with social networking. But perhaps that is an unfair comparison, they are quite different. Social networking tools are great at customer engagement. But the evidence – from the studies we see - suggests they are not that great at driving actual sales. Email – if well done – is currently the more effective tool at driving sales and generating action. Ideally of course you should use both together. But as one of the quotes we saw in a study said when comparing both: “If you have just one bullet left in your gun to sell something, then email should always be that bullet”.
In recruitment terms, social networking can engage. But at the end of the day you still need candidates to ‘cross the bridge’ and commit, i.e. to apply for your vacancies. Capturing interest - perhaps using social networking - but then emailing with a call to action is where both really score. We all know that Talent Pools is one of the most effective recruiting tools used by the best recruiters. Email Marketing - well done - is simply extends that concept. Indeed, most good users of Talent Pools use email to work the pool.
How cost effective is Email Marketing?
The only major direct cost for email is a subscription to a mailing list provider. They even have free accounts you can use if you just want a basic service and it is not a very big list. Hopefully you already have a recruitment system like ours with an inbuilt Talent Pool facility that can provide a list of potential candidates to contact. The rest is just access to the time, a little expertise to manage the lists and craft compelling emails linked back to your careers site. Compare this to the cost of generating facebook/twitter communities and you will soon see it costs a small fraction in comparison. And as we have shown above it generally has a much bigger payoff.
So, what's not to like…