Working in Marketing for a vendor in the talent acquisition technology space is an interesting view into two drastically different worlds. On one hand, working on a small, fast-moving team has opened my eyes to all the work that goes into successful marketing campaigns – and the technology that fuels them. Cutting-edge marketing automation software is key to making sure we meet quick deadlines and get relevant content in front of the right leads at the right time.
On the other hand, in talking to customers and talent acquisition practitioners, I constantly hear about their challenges in integrating marketing best practices into their recruiting strategies. A lot of those challenges are rooted in the limitations of their technology – and, in some instances, their lack of practice utilizing such technology. Recruiters and recruitment marketers today are being asked to accomplish a lot of the same as my team, but the truth is, talent acquisition technology has been playing catch-up to solutions used by traditional marketing teams for some time now.
That’s why when SmashFly redesigned its email campaign tool in our recruiting CRM this week, I was ready to explore the new functionalities as a marketer, not as part of SmashFly’s marketing team.
Spoiler alert: It’s pretty sweet. And I’ve sent a lot of emails.
Here are three of the best features of this new functionality – from a marketer’s perspective:
Drag-and-drop template creator
This is, by far, the most impressive feature of SmashFly’s new email editor tool. The new drag-and-drop template creator makes it easier than ever to get creative with your recruiting emails. When you create a new email template in the drag-and drop-creator, you essentially start with a blank slate. From there, you can drag placeholders for different elements into the template, including text, images, video, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, social links and more. You can even include a token for a talent network form, meaning candidates can opt in to learning more about your organization without navigating away from your email.
The beauty in this editor is its simplicity. There is absolutely no coding required (although, you can still create templates with HTML if that’s more your style). The intuitive nature of the editor makes it easy to visualize what’s possible.
One of my favorite use cases for this new editor is video. We know video is effective in recruiting, and the drag-and-drop feature makes it easier than ever to incorporate it into your emails. No more hunting down iFrames and guessing where to insert them into the HTML code; all you need to do is insert the URL and watch it populate.
Segmentation is a critical part of any email marketing strategy. Your emails could be amazing, but they’d mean nothing if sent to the wrong people with the wrong message. In marketing automation tools, lists are the building blocks of segmentation. Essentially, we set up lists of people based on a unifying quality – maybe they all downloaded the same content piece or maybe they are all based in a certain city or region. When we’re ready to send an email (which has been smartly crafted based on the target recipient list), we choose which lists we want to send to and which we want to suppress. It’s simple and effective to target the message to those most likely to take action from it; a true departure from the one-size-fits-all strategy that doesn’t influence conversion.
Similarly, SmashFly’s CRM now uses lists as a method of segmentation for email campaigns, but it’s not the only way. Say you were recently searching your talent database for candidates for a new job you posted. You filtered your search based on several fields and ended up with 50 people who, on paper, meet all your requirements. Maybe you want to include them in your next email campaign, but they were just search results, not an actual list. No problem! You can actually use saved searches for segmentation.
And talk about easy for busy recruiters: they can now segment based on a field in the candidate’s profile stored in your CRM database. So, say you were hiring for call centers in rural Massachusetts. You can set up your email segment to send to all candidates in Massachusetts, except for those living in Boston, meaning only people living outside the city will receive your communication. SmashFly will pull these people based on the “City” field in the candidate’s profile, so there is no need for you to create a list of Massachusetts residents who don’t live in Boston beforehand. Time saved.
As you decide who to include or exclude from your email, SmashFly estimates the reach of your message in real time (including a look at who might have opted out or unmailable/duplicate contacts). With just a few easy clicks, your emails will be on their way to the right audiences.
I’ve found that there are, more or less, two kinds of marketers in the world – those who love data and those who view it as a necessary evil to be successful. The latter usually appreciate data served on a silver platter. (I think I can find some recruiters who would love that meal.)
SmashFly delivers here, with not only insights, but context (since truly, data is nothing without context). In the performance tracker, you can see metrics like delivered emails, clicks, opt-outs and more, all in an easily digestible bar graph. But even better is the benchmark data; SmashFly automatically tracks your email performance over the previous 90 days and shows if your latest email performed better or worse. For people who love crafting emails but don’t love (or have time for) diving deep into data, this is the perfect way to understand what is working and what isn’t for your audience without overcomplicated reporting.
Talent acquisition is changing in a lot of ways, one of the most profound being the upskilling of recruiters – and the hiring of marketing skills in talent recruiting teams. Recruiters are starting to look more like marketers, especially when it comes to crafting smart, relevant, segmented email campaigns. Thus, they need marketing-grade tools to help them reach the best talent for their businesses, which is why SmashFly focused on updating this critical function of our CRM.
I won’t lie, after years of working in different marketing automation platforms, I’m actually a bit jealous of the recruiters who get to use this new campaign editor on the daily.