Using Open, Click, and Reply Rates To Tailor Your Outreach Strategy

March 22, 2019 at 9:41 AM by Grace Newman

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Given the sheer amount of time recruiters spend sending off emails to prospective candidates, it’s surprising how few track key engagement metrics. According to the 2019 Recruiting Automation Trends Report, only 53% of recruiters track their email open rates and only 50% track click-through rates.

This is a huge opportunity missed. Without insight into what’s happening on the other end of your outreach, there’s no way to retarget your efforts appropriately. So first things first, if you haven’t started tracking your outreach metrics, it’s time to get started!

For many of you who are already aboard the email tracking bandwagon, you may be wondering, what now? Sure it’s helpful to know whether a candidate has read your email or what template consistently delivers a high response rate. But how do we use that information to improve candidate engagement?

It all comes down to how you interpret your metrics. If you know what to look out for, you can continually optimize your outreach. We’ve put together some simple equations to show you how.



Most of us are familiar with the frustration that comes with an unopened email, especially when it’s the product of detailed research and expert personalization.

Even if the contents of your email are juicy, whether it gets opened usually comes down to the 3-10 words in your subject line. If that subject line isn’t compelling enough, your efforts become all for naught. Some rules of thumb to keep in mind when writing subject lines:

  • Simple is better. Analyzing thousands of emails sent through Entelo, our data science team found that the shorter and more simple the subject line, the higher the reply rate. 

  • Shake it up. Our SDR team had a hunch that switching up capitalization might be enough to catch a prospect’s eye. They ran an A/B test, comparing the open rates for emails with the same subject line, changing whether the first letter of the subject line remained capitalized. Sure enough, subject lines sans capitalization had higher open rates!

  • Personalize. Don’t save all that hard earned personalized content for your email - throw a tidbit of personalization in the subject line, enough to pique their interest but vague enough to lure them in.


You can track candidate engagement even more granularly by looking at your click-through rates (CTR). Of the many candidates who read your email without responding, some of them are actually showing more interest than others by clicking through to your content. These are the candidates you’ll want to be sure to follow up with.

On the other hand, if an email boasts a high open rate but suffers from low click-through and reply rates, something is not resonating in your message.

Re-evaluate the people you are reaching out to and the way you are reaching out. Are the candidates a good fit for the role? If they are, have you sent them a personalized message that would convince them of such? Finally, are you presenting the opportunity in an accurate and straightforward way?

At this point, you are trying to win THEM over. Be both persuasive and succinct. Try out these techniques for quick and easy personalization.  



Your subject line is eye-catching. Your message sparks their interest. Your links generate tons of clicks. And yet, you hear nothing back. Close but no cigar.

An email with high open and click-through rates but low response rates signifies low engagement with your linked content. In marketing, this is called an inconsistent landing page, which often signifies three main issues: the link fails to deliver on the promise in your email, fails to catch the candidate's attention and/or fails to persuade them to take action (in this case, reply to your email).

Make sure that the link you include is consistent with the tone and content of your message. If your email takes a casual approach with a softer ask, sending a link to the job application is too much too fast. Not only does this make your message seem disingenuous, but it asks too much from a candidate before you’ve really sold them on the opportunity.

success@4xRegardless of the answer, any response at all opens the lines of communication. Get a better sense of their timeline, level of engagement, and interest – straight from the horse’s mouth.

And if they agree to a next step? Congrats! You have successfully guided your candidate down the recruiting funnel by providing them with consistent, relevant information throughout your outreach, proving to them that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in their candidacy.

What have you done to increase your open, click, and reply rates? Tell all in the comments below!






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