The Step-by-Step Guide To Creating An Effective Candidate Nurture Campaign

October 16, 2019 at 3:51 PM by Grace Newman

Step by Step Guide To Creating An Effective Email Campaign Blog HeroAs any seasoned recruiter knows, it often takes more than just one email to catch a candidate’s eye. In fact, recruiters who consistently leverage follow-up emails receive 50% more replies overall than those who do not. That’s why more and more recruiting teams are taking a page out the marketing book and investing time and resources into candidate nurture campaigns. 


However, an increase in emails to candidates doesn’t necessarily equate to an increase in positive responsiveness. Rather, if your messaging comes across as repetitive and demanding, you run the risk of annoying candidates and ultimately damaging your company’s employer brand. 


Don’t let that dissuade you from nurture campaigns all together! With the right know-how, you can get in front of the candidates with the right message, at the right time. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be well on your way to more effective candidate email nurture campaigns.

Step 1: Segment, Segment, Segment 

Segmentation is the key to personalization at scale. By grouping candidates based on a set criteria, segmentation allows you to share more relevant information and content to candidates without manually crafting each message individually. The catch here: segmentation is particularly powerful with an emailing tool that provides rich dynamic fields as that allows you to sprinkle in tidbits of personalization at bulk.


To start off, it’s important to have a general understanding of the addressable talent market for your given job req. Put simply, what are all the possible titles, industries, degrees, skills, and experiences that would qualify a candidate for this role?


For example, if you were hiring for a Product Manager, you would likely want to target technical candidates with entrepreneurial experience in addition to those in a more traditional product management role. Once you’ve identified your target segments, you can easily build out a separate pipeline for each and feed these into the appropriate nurture. 


Entelo pro tip: Create an Entelo Project for each of your segments so that you can bulk add them into the corresponding Track campaign.

Step 2: Set A SMART Goal For Each Campaign

SMART goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. Setting a SMART goal keeps you accountable to your campaign’s success as the steps to get there are clearly laid out before you.


For the Product Manager example we gave above, here is a SMART goal you might set: Increase applicants with engineering leadership experience by 20% in Q3. Once you launch your campaign for this segment of candidates, you’ll know exactly how you are tracking towards this goal in the set time period and can make adjustments as needed to reach your goal.

Step 3: Design Your Nurture Journey 

After you have built out your candidate segments and set your campaign goals, it’s time to map out how candidates will journey through your email nurture campaign. 


There are lots of questions to ask yourself when designing your email nurture campaign. How many emails will you send? What content will you share? What will your Call-To-Action (CTA) be? For inspiration, check out this post on how to structure email campaigns


Each email you send should have a specific objective. While your ultimate goal is to persuade a candidate to apply to your role, you should start off with a CTA that requires low effort from your candidate such as checking out a social post or reading a blog article. The idea is to increase the level of engagement required from the candidate with each email - invite to a recruiting event, coffee with a team member – until you have built enough credibility and buy-in from the candidate and they are ready to apply to the role. 

Step 4: Launch, Analyze, And Optimize 

Once you’ve launched your candidate nurture campaigns, the work has just begun. Email campaigns are an iterative process: you can continue to test things out, analyze their success, go back, tweak as needed, and repeat. 


After launching your campaign, carefully track the open, click, and reply rates of each email within the sequence. If this is your first stab at nurture campaigns, use these initial metrics as a benchmark and aim to improve these numbers. If this is not your first rodeo, analyze your previous engagement metrics and use those as a starting off point. 


A few easy equations to keep in mind:

Low Open Rate = Poor Subject Line

High Open Rate, Low Click-Through Rate, Low Reply Rate = Poor Messaging

High Click-Through Rate, High CTR, Low Reply Rate = Irrelevant Links

High Click-Through Rate, High CTR, High Reply Rate = Success

Another thing to analyze is the level of engagement within each segment. Is there a group of candidates that is significantly more responsive and interested in your company than the others? What is it that they are responding positively to? Use this information to better target future candidates with the right content. 


Keep in mind that while there is a science to nurture campaigns, there’s an art to it as well. You can measure, test and optimize, but there’s no perfect equation for email campaigns. So have fun with it and take the opportunity to showcase just how amazing you know your company to be. We’d love to hear what you decide to try out in the comments below!