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April 18, 2022

Email marketing strategies to compel candidates

A large part of finding candidates is communication, and email has long been one of the most common ways to connect with them.

When you think of your own inbox, there might be multiple unread emails or messages you may give a glance, but not fully read. The same can be said for potential candidates.

Statista, specializing in market and consumer data, shared in a 2021 study that more than 306 billion emails are sent and received every day. According to Constant Contact, of those emails, the average open rate is 19.8%, the click-through rate is 11.3% and the bounce rate is 9.4%.

They receive emails constantly and only have so much time and energy to read through them. So how do you ensure your recruitment emails aren’t just sitting unread in a candidate’s inbox?

Here are some useful tips to having your emails delivered, opened, read and even encouraging action.

Get your email delivered

Just do it. Because you’re worth it. Breakfast of champions. Are you in good hands? 

Those are just some advertising slogans that might make you think of the brands they promote.

An advertising slogan is similar to a physician recruiter’s email subject line or the headline of a job. Just like a slogan for an ad, your subject line or job ad headline need to catch a physician’s attention and inspire action.

But in order to do that, your emails first have to make it past their spam filters and into their inboxes.

Spam filters are rules created to protect email users from receiving unwanted or potentially harmful emails. These rules are put in place with trigger words that, if used, will send your email straight to the spam folder.

What you say in your email - and how you say it - plays a large role in how well your email will reach physicians.

7 ways to avoid becoming spam


  2. Don’t use one-word subject lines like "Hi."

  3. Don’t deceive the recipient by putting "Re:" in the subject line to make it appear you’ve emailed before, marking an email as high importance when it’s not or offering false promises that aren’t fulfilled in the actual email.

  4. Don’t add an attachment if you haven’t emailed the recipient before.

  5. Avoid generic "personalization" ("Dear Physician," "Dear Sir or Ma’am," "Hi there"). Use merge tags instead to personalize the email ("Dear Dr. Jones").

  6. Avoid using spam trigger words in your subject lines. The marketing tool, Hubspot listed 394 email spam trigger words to avoid in 2021. Here are some examples for your emails:
  • Sign on instead of earn money
  • Salary or package instead of offer
  • Benefits instead of bonus
  • Certified instead of guaranteed
  • Learn more instead of click here
  • Submit your CV instead of apply now
  • Practice instead of opportunity

Get your email opened

Once your emails make it past spam filters, it’s earned a chance to compete for the recipient’s attention. That’s where a strong subject line comes in play. Competing with other emails can make the inbox cluttered. However, there is hope for physician recruiters, and it lies in the subject line. This single line of text is the gatekeeper to your email for physicians, and it’s the single greatest factor determining if your email will be read or deleted.

Here are six basic concepts that can help your email stay out of the trash folder:

  • Be personal. Segment lists or use merge tags to specify contacts, location or specialty to better target your reader.
  • Be natural. You’re human, so don’t sound like a robot. Use personal pronouns and be exciting! (But remember excessive punctuation is a spam trigger.)
  • Be relevant. Make sure the physician sees the relevance in the subject line, so they find value in opening your email. If you’re too vague, the physician may simply delete it.
  • Be concise. Keep your subject lines to 50 characters or less.
  • Create a sense of urgency.  For example: We’re hiring 15 physicians by February 15. Submit your CV today.
  • Use numbers. People respond well to concrete figures like "7 reasons to read this email."

Inspire action

Your email has been opened, but as a recruiter, you don’t want it to end there. You also have to encourage some action be taken to move to the next step.

Here are five ways to compel the reader to seek more information or apply for your open job:

  1. Be human
    Sound natural. Write your email as if the physician is sitting directly across from you. Personalize your email with the physician’s name, mention details from the candidate’s profile or other information you have or comment on one of their accomplishments.

  2. Get to the point
    Keep your email short, sweet and to the point. Sending a long email can run the risk of having the candidate decide to look at it later (which may or may not happen) or delete it immediately.

  3. Be cohesive
    Your email message needs to be cohesive with the information you promised to give in your subject line. If you tell them you think they would be a perfect fit for your Family Medicine position in your subject line, then your email needs to tell them why.

  4. Be creative
    Text-heavy emails can be overwhelming to readers. Adding a picture or video gives the candidate a focal point. Make important information stand out so the candidate focuses where you hope they do.

  5. Include a call to action
    After the candidate has read your email, be sure they know the next step. Tell them what you want them to do and give them an easy way to do it.A call to action should be included in every recruitment email. It gives your email purpose and tells your reader what specific action you’d like them to take. Should they send their CV? Reply with their interest? Apply now?

    CTAs should be:

    • Attractive and enticing
    • Short and to the point
    • Use an action verb
    • Easily visible (contrasting in color and big enough to draw attention)
    • Easy to understand 

Read PracticeLink articles by Megan Trippi

Megan Trippi

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