How To

How to Develop an Email Marketing List – A Guide for Recruiters

Email marketing is one of the most effective approaches to building a client and candidate base in recruitment, as well as providing a way to keep in contact with leads you are nurturing or potential business partners who may not quite be in the right place to work with you. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend writing perfectly structured emails and setting up intricately personalised pathways on your marketing software; if you don’t have any recipients then you’re not going to see any difference.


There are a wide variety of different ways to develop an email marketing list, which can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out. In this article, we share some of our best advice on the ways you can build a list for email marketing, along with three of the top tips for successful campaigns.


What is Email Marketing?


Email marketing is an approach that is particularly popular in the recruitment industry because of how it can be effectively used to keep in contact with potential clients or candidates, share more personalised content with your audience and convert leads into new business partners.


There’s a lot of debate as to whether it’s actually an outdated method of marketing, but when you look at the data you’ll see that this is far from the truth. Statista estimates that over the next few years there will be a 30.3% increase in email users, meaning that there’s a lot of potential for future business as well as plenty of opportunities to be had right now.


Whether you’re sending out a regular email newsletter, nudging your mailing list further down the buyer funnel with personalised content and automated responses, or keeping in contact with potential leads with whom you want to build a relationship, setting up email marketing campaigns is relatively simple and cost-effective. It’s also been found that ROI is four times higher for email marketing than any other digital marketing channel.


The benefits just keep coming…


Benefits of Email Marketing


Not only are the ROI rates for email marketing particularly impressive, but the list of other overall benefits is pretty long as well.

Firstly, it gives you access to a contact list you actually own. Having large followings on social media might mean there’s a lot of potential users who might see what you share, but an email list is a dedicated collection of contacts who won’t disappear if a profile gets lost or your email provider has to change.


Personalisation is an essential part of successful email marketing, and one of the benefits of this approach is it means that you deliver much more relevant and interesting content to your audience. This means that they’re more likely to engage with it and continue to engage with your brand because of the valuable things you share, which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates for your recruitment agency.


Email also gives you a channel for directly communicating with your audience, allowing you to build strong relationships and develop customer loyalty. Again, this increases the chances of conversion and long-term business, as well as generally improving your reputation as a helpful and pleasant agency to work with.


Having this channel of communication also makes it easier to receive direct feedback from your target audience, which in turn will allow you to improve your business offering and build on your success.


7 Methods of Building an Email Marketing List


Now we’ve dazzled you with the benefits of email marketing, you’re probably wondering how you can get to setting up your list and start reaping these rewards. So without further ado, here are seven of the best methods for building an email marketing list.


Add a Call to Action on Every Landing Page


One of the easiest ways to build a list for email marketing is to simply ask the reader to give you their details at the end of a piece of content. This is known as a call to action, as you are inviting them to take a proactive step in reaction to what they have engaged with, instead of remaining passive.

Writing a call to action that actually persuades people to send you their details isn’t as easy as it sounds however. You need to be as convincing as possible in as few words as possible…sounds like an impossible task, right?


Wrong. It just takes a bit of editing.


If you want to collect email addresses with a call to action, start with this instruction. For example, ‘enter your email address here’ or ‘subscribe to our mailing list here’.

Then, give the reader a reason why they should follow your instruction. For example, ‘If you want more specialist recruitment advice…’.

Sometimes, these two components will be enough. Other times, you might want to add a bit of extra incentive, such as telling the reader that they’ll get access to exclusive content, or with a short, humorous comment if it fits with your brand.


Remember to try and describe the value as much as possible in every call to action you write. You can then assess how successful each of your approaches is, and refine each CTA from there.


Implement Pop-Ups


Pop-ups are another of the most common ways that recruiters use to develop an email list for marketing. It’s unusual these days to visit a website that doesn’t have some kind of pop up on one of its pages, especially if there is a product or service that a company is trying to sell.


You want to use a very similar approach to writing a call-to-action as you do when designing a pop-up to get people interested in your email marketing content. Most pop-ups only fill a small section of the screen, so using as few words as possible is useful. You also need to grab the reader’s attention quickly, so keeping to the point and stating the value of your emails straight away will make this method more effective.


Because you are trying to catch attention and make an impact in a matter of seconds, using sarcasm or humour can make people more likely to stop and read the pop-up and then share their contact details. This might not be suitable for all recruitment agencies, but it is a tactic that works well.


A classic example of this is writing something like ‘No, I don’t want talented candidates in my company’ or ‘No, I don’t want to find my perfect role’ as the option that comes up when a user goes to close the pop-up, as this shows them what they are missing more lightly.


Pop-ups can be triggered by a range of things; when a user goes to exit a page, when they have been browsing for a certain period of time, or when they click on a certain link. You can test the effectiveness of each of these and see which ones yield the most results, which may differ depending on the page the pop-up comes from.


Include a Link in your Email Signature


Something that we’ve seen a lot of recruiters doing recently is including a direct link to subscribe to their mailing list in their email signature. Whether you work independently or as part of an agency, this can be an incredibly quick and easy way to develop an email marketing list.


All you need is a short sentence at the bottom of your signature, instructing the reader to subscribe and giving a short description of what email content they will receive. This is a great way to turn warm leads into frequent recipients of marketing material, as if someone is already receiving an email from you then they are likely going to already be interested in what your email marketing content offers.


Offer Gated Content


Gated content is a very common method of building a list for email marketing, where you grant access to an exclusive piece of content in exchange for someone’s email address. You can then target them with an email campaign based on the content you already know they are interested in, increasing the likelihood of positive engagement.


In recruitment, gated content could be anything from a detailed eBook offering insight into an industry trend or career advice to access to an exclusive webinar or recording on a similar topic. You need to ensure that it’s not something already freely available, either on your website or from one of your competitors.


Gated content is also known as a lead magnet, which is well-renowned as being one of the most popular ways of developing a mailing list.


Advertise on Social Media


Paid social media adverts are a great way to generally advertise your recruitment agency and get your name out in front of relevant people who may not otherwise have found you. But it’s also a very effective way of directing people to your opt-in forms or landing pages that then lead to them subscribing to your email marketing content.

You can set up ads on Facebook for example that will advertise your agency and then, when clicked on, take a user to your site and give them the offer to sign up to your emails. This can be particularly effective as ads on social media don’t require the user to leave the app, which makes them much more likely to follow through with signing up as it can be done very quickly.


Offer Deals or Discounts


Similar to the gated content tactic, another method of building a list for email marketing is to offer deals or discounts in exchange for contact information. As a recruitment agency, this won’t be as straightforward as other brands that provide products to their customers, but a good relevant example is offering a free, 15-minute consultation if a potential client signs up to your mailing list and remains subscribed for a set period of time.


Collect Emails with a Contact Form


This final method for curating an email list for marketing is the most straightforward; include a section on your website’s contact form that collects email addresses. You can be confident that anyone submitting this information has a high chance of being interested in your email marketing content, which means that your messages will be well received and have higher levels of engagement.


Email Inbox


3 Tips for Successful Email Marketing


Keep Your List Clean


When it comes to building a quality email marketing list, remember that gathering contact information is only half of the task. You should regularly put the time in to go through your email list and remove any addresses that have been deactivated or your content is bouncing back from, as they aren’t bringing any benefits to your business and could be affecting the data you gather from email marketing campaigns.


You should also ensure that every email gives recipients the option to unsubscribe from receiving messages and that this is an easy process to go through. Ideally, nobody will want to stop getting the emails you regularly send out, but ensuring that your mailing list will self-clean as well as pruning it yourself will ensure that you’re only interacting with potential clients and candidates who really want to hear from you.


Size isn’t Everything…


It’s understandable that when you start building your mailing list, you want to focus on making it as big as possible. There’s definitely an argument for quality over quantity however, as having hundreds of subscribers doesn’t mean anything when a large proportion of them never actually check their inbox or are spam accounts.


Having a bigger group of subscribers obviously increases your chances of converting more leads. But instead of putting time and resources into simply trying to collect as many contact details as possible, focus your efforts on developing strategies that attract the right kinds of potential customers and lead to a mailing list of individuals who really engage with the content you share.


The Importance of Frequency


‘How often should you send email marketing content?’ is one of the most frequently asked questions by people who are just getting started. Unfortunately, there’s not a clear cut answer.


You need to strike a fine balance when it comes to the frequency of the emails you send out. You want to land messages in your list’s inbox frequently enough that your agency stays on their mind and they start to anticipate when new content will arrive, but you want to avoid sending out constant, useless emails then lead to your subscribers reasoning you and opting out of your mailing list.


It’s a good idea to start slow and then build up your mailing list schedule based on the feedback you get. Don’t go all out with an email every day as soon as you begin; focus instead on curating genuinely useful and interesting content and then figure out how often you can produce this.




Once you’ve built up an established mailing list for your email content, you can take the time to ensure that the content you’re sending out is valuable and each of your recipients is receiving messages that are genuinely relevant to them. To begin with, focus your resources on building and refining your list of email subscribers, as this means that everything you send out will be well received right from the get-go.


If you’re looking for more advice on email marketing for recruitment, or want to work with an agency you can help you develop an email marketing campaign that makes a real impact, get in touch and chat with our team about the services we offer.