How often should we send emails? Should they come from hiring managers or recruiters? What does a good open rate look like?
This stuff all matters, but the secret to successful communication is often the simple stuff:
What does someone feel when they open a message from your company? Is it authentic, or does it read like a load of corporate mumbo-jumbo?
We messed up at Beamery last week, and it served as a great reminder of what really matters about the way you speak to candidates or customers:
You might have seen a bit of a fanfare about Beamery Pages over the last few weeks.
It’s a new product that we’ve just released to help companies showcase their brand and convert passive candidates with personalized landing pages and simple forms. We’re pretty excited about it, and as a result we’ve been making a tonne of noise. We want to make sure that everyone who might find Pages helpful, knows about it.
Something went wrong last week though:
We had an issue with the email system we use to communicate with everyone, and a bunch of people got sent an email about Pages multiple times.
This might not seem like a huge problem off the bat, but we take the personal data and contact details that people give us incredibly seriously. By signing up for Beamery content, they’re looking for information that is valuable and helpful.
We’re trying to create a personalized, handheld experience for everyone that interacts with the company. When someone receives a message multiple times, it feels careless. A long way from the feeling we’re trying to create.
You can see the offending email below. (If anyone reading this received duplicate messages, let me take this as another opportunity to apologize.)
So what did we do?
Needless to say, we received a few responses that weren’t pleasant to read:
Whenever something like this happens, it’s best to get out ahead of the problem and take complete ownership. After assessing the damage, we decided to send an apology to everyone who had been affected.
Instead of hoping no one noticed, we were honest about what had gone wrong and encouraged everyone who felt unhappy to unsubscribe.
What happened next was a great illustration of how far authenticity can take you:
Not only did very few people unsubscribe, but we received an outpouring of support and positive messages. I’ve included a few below:
We took the opportunity to reinforce the things that we value as a business. Honesty and transparency. Owning the mistake, and getting on top of it quickly allowed us to reduce any damage to the Beamery brand.
What lessons can you learn from this?
First of all, mistakes happen.
If you’re communicating on a regular basis with your candidate database or active on social media, you have to be prepared for something to go wrong. If it does, you need to take ownership of the problem as quickly as possible, tell everyone exactly what happened and apologize. It’s the best form of damage limitation in the book.
It doesn’t even have to be a mass communication mistake. You could have got a candidate’s name wrong in a sourcing email.
Whatever you’ve done, the speed of your reaction is important, you don’t want your apology to feel like an afterthought.
More importantly, this episode serves as a great reminder of the things that your candidates really care about.
Every person, whether they’re a candidate, a customer or something in-between cares about the how you’re messages make them “feel”.
Do they look forward to your emails because they find them helpful and valuable, or do they hit “delete” without even opening them? Is the content personalized to their interests, or clearly generic?
Being relevant and authentic whenever you speak to candidates is the best way to build a genuine brand following so, before you hit “send” next time, ask yourself: what is someone going to think when they open this?
Things you might find interesting
1. If you’d like to learn more about Pages, we’re running a public demo next Thursday. You can register here if you’re interested.
2. We’re running a webinar tomorrow on creating a more human candidate experience. You can register here. If you’re busy tomorrow, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording to watch at your leisure.
3. If you’re looking for guidance on how to be more relevant and authentic in the way you communicate with candidates, this guide is full of practical advice and examples.