Putting it in Staffing Firm Autopilot: Why You Need Email Marketing Automation
Defining your email strategy
When it comes to your email strategy, it’s always important to look at your areas of business that need assistance. Different staffing firms struggle in some areas more so than others, whether it’s candidate acquisition, client acquisition, or keeping up with current candidates and consultants. There are so many different areas that need to be addressed. In your strategy, you need to look at the most pressing challenges and address those first. Secondly, when looking at each of those, we recommend talking to the audience first. For example, if you are building a keep-in-touch program, sitting down with your recruiters and talking to them about the various things that they try to do, but don’t always succeed at is a very valuable resource when determining what needs to go into your email marketing. The additional areas are for you to talk to current clients to understand what they find valuable so that you are able to apply that to your prospect audience.
In your staffing firm email marketing efforts, you are most likely looking at your salespeople and recruiters and explaining the things that are required as part of their job. An example of this is client outreach to secure new job opportunities or reaching out to their prospects through email, LinkedIn, phone calls, mailings, etc. This also includes your recruiters when it comes to staying in touch with their database of candidates so that they are always fresh and at the top of your mind with the candidate pool. All of these things are certainly realistic when you talk about what is needed, but as you evaluate your strategy, you’ll likely find out that it’s happening about 8-10% of the time, which is not a lot. The value comes from creating consistency of your approach for everyone. With the tools today, you are able to automate these for them in many different areas to free them from doing the essential elements of their jobs.
Staffing and recruiting has changed. The fact is, there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that we used to think salespeople and recruiters should do. Now, look at automation and different marketing efforts to drive those efforts and ensure they are being done. Is that at the foundation of your strategy?
Tools for marketing automation
Marketing automation is not a new concept. We’ve been working with it for about twelve (12) years. However, the price points have changed dramatically as well as the capabilities and feature stack. When you are looking at these various tools, be sure to look at a couple of different concepts. One concept is: do you want to walk before you run? This is more from a budgetary perspective. The other concept is: do you want to jump in feet first? There is a very big difference across the products in their price range. The key is to find what fits your needs, which is why the email marketing strategy is the most important part to start with. Without that, you’re looking at products that do more than you can actually handle. We have seen the price range anywhere from $75,000 down to $35 per user, per month. Whether you are looking at Hubspot, Pardot, Eloqua, or Yesware, they all provide a wide variety of capabilities. All of them give you the marketing automation, but some of them bring features to the table that truly make a difference in your sales and recruiting efforts beyond the simple automation.
Some tools integrate with your website and some allow you to bring a wide array of lead generation capabilities to the forefront. When evaluating the tools that are out there, we really recommend that you figure out what you are capable of handling. All of the sales presentations that you sit through will be enticing, accurate, and list all of the possible capabilities that these tools do to bring value to your staffing business. However, if you are not prepared for these tools and capabilities, you will be paying for things that you won’t use.
One of the most common questions we get about email marketing regards what workflows are. The simple definition is that workflows are a series of automated emails that are triggered based on subscriber behavior or data. These are often referred to when marketers assemble a series of automated emails that work together to accomplish a goal such as onboarding new customers and nurturing new leads. This is more of a textbook definition. The reality is, in our sales efforts, there are a number of different workflows that we use to acquire new clients. For instance, you might have a workflow set up for oil and gas clients that is different from a workflow that is set up for education, retail, or financial services. The workflows are essentially multipronged emails that ask these simple questions: Did the person open it? Did they click through? If they opened it, there is a likely chance that they are going to receive another email that pushes them down a road to get them to click further. If the email was opened and clicked, then supporting information follows that workflow.
What marketing automation is looking for is the engagement that a client or prospect of yours is taking with you. If they didn’t open an email about your capabilities, maybe they will open an email with a case study that describes how you’ve helped someone else. Or they will open an email that is a testimonial from someone in that industry, which brings credibility to you. The options are limitless; however, each workflow needs to be customized to their audience and ask a simple set of questions: 1) What is the marketing automation going to do if they don’t open it? 2) What will the marketing automation do if they do open it? 3) What is the marketing automation going to do if they open it and click through, but they don’t complete any information that tells us we get to work with them? The keys to your marketing automation workflow are to think through your sales activities, candidate marketing, and how your jobs market to candidates. Also, keep-in-touch programs and keeping our databases warm are things to think through. All of these are a different approach to marketing automation and different workflows that need to be thought about. Within each of these, every workflow could potentially be an additional workflow based on technology stacks, profession, industries, or geographic areas. You might have different things to say in those emails to make it more applicable to the audience. Workflows are essential to the success of your email campaigns, as well as really thinking through how to apply them to get maximum traction.
Valuable features that assist sales and recruiting
These tools are absolutely amazing these days. We used to know the very basic information, like someone received the email, someone opened the email, and someone clicked. Now, we are looking at features that include auto alerts, dashboards, and reporting capabilities that really dig into what’s happening. There are also integrations with your website that allow for you to have gated content features so you know who is doing what. In just some of the tools that I mentioned, there are capabilities where the salesperson is alerted in real-time to the opening and clicking of attachments and web addresses. Although this is a very beneficial feature, we all have to remember the big brother effect and be sure to not create an environment where people think we’re spying on them. This is easy to avoid by not acknowledging that you know that they’ve opened it. These tools are here to assist your sales and recruiting team in getting to business faster.
A simple example is a scenario where a salesperson sends over a candidate to a client in order to fill a job position. How many of you have waited…and waited…and waited…for a client to get back to you while you’ve reached out multiple times trying to receive feedback on a candidate? The fact is, the absolute best way to reach someone is right when they’re reviewing it. If you were to know that they opened your email regarding the candidate and you saw that they opened the resume that was attached, you have an opportunity to call instantly with confidence of receiving a response. This becomes very valuable when you want the salesperson to immediately pick up the phone saying, “I want to review the candidate I just sent you”. The likely response from the client will be, “Too funny, I just opened it”. These tools help your sales people and recruiters close business faster and more efficiently. It’s important that we all revise our thinking that sales people and recruiters can handle all of the communication that we believe is essential to conducting good business.
In closing, if you are not currently using marketing automation tools, there is a good chance your competition is ahead of you. These tools are focused on putting you ahead of a large part of your audience and it really needs to be examined in order to drive success in your business. Good luck to everyone out there, and if you’d like to know any more information about how we can help you, feel free to reach out.
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.