Open. Click. Send. Repeat. Six steps to sending the perfect email

1. Subject line

Q) When you’re sifting through your unread emails, how do you decide which ones to open and which ones to delete?

A) The subject line.

The language you use here can have an enormous effect on open rates. Firstly, you need to personalise. The subject line is your first opportunity to stand out from other recruiters and show you’ve done your research. The easiest way to do this? A little personalisation. Think of it as your “icebreaker”. Reference any personal details and check their social footprint for good talking points. 

Subjects to reference include: 

  • Charitable work or extra-curricular projects that the candidate mentions on social media.
  • School or university achievements 
  • Content and published work (Blog posts etc.)
  • Sporting and musical activities (Favourite sports team, musical group etc.)
  • Horoscopes (a little off the wall, but remember, if it’s important to them, it should be important to you!)

2. Shared connections

If you have any friends in common – tell them in the first line of the email. By mentioning a friend, colleague or acquaintance you’re providing an endorsement of trust and giving them a reason to speak to you. This seal of approval makes a massive difference to the candidate’s decision-making process. 

3. Personalisation 

We’ve all become accustomed to filtering and ignoring any messages we feel may be generic or automated. Ensure you always address candidates by name, and try to customise the email to show that you’ve looked at their LinkedIn profile and reviewed their past experience. 

4. Call to Action

Every message you send needs to have a CTA. You need to give candidates a clear next step. Remember, you’re sending an email for a specific reason – to draw attention to a new vacancy – so make sure the candidate knows that!

5. The sign-off

The sign-off could involve a follow-up call, in-person meeting, formal interview, or just a simple ‘reply’. Be decisive! Being vague won’t help you convince a potential new employee to come in for an interview!

6. The follow-up

The recruiters that have the most success are the ones that understand the power of the follow-up. The key is to get the balance right; you don’t want to appear too pushy, however you still want to get your point across. There are a number of legitimate reasons why a candidate hasn’t replied to your message. For starters, people are very busy. Plus, they may not have seen your original message. Silence does not mean no!

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