7 Mistakes Undermining Your Healthcare Recruiting Emails

Healthcare Recruiting email mistakes

Other industries might be seeing a slowdown in job growth, but in healthcare, recruitment is still a fast-paced race to reach and lock in the best candidates—and every move you make counts if you want to secure top talent.

In this hyper-competitive environment, email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal. Yet despite its vital role, many healthcare recruitment professionals find that their email campaigns fail to generate expected responses and engage candidates effectively.

Are your healthcare recruiting emails falling short of expectations? We’ve rounded up seven common mistakes that might be sabotaging your efforts—and how to avoid them. From sluggish strategy to lackluster subject lines, explore our solutions to elevate your email game and start connecting with top healthcare talent.

Mistake #1: You’re Working With Poor Technology & Strategy Infrastructure

Without a robust and effective technology and strategy infrastructure, your campaign could be plagued by low deliverability. This can lead to your domain being blacklisted by email service providers or flagged as spam, hampering your efforts to attract and engage potential hires.

How can you avoid these campaign-killing pitfalls? Consistent, evenly distributed messaging across your communications can help maintain engagement and prevent your emails from falling into the unread email void. Start by establishing a quarterly content calendar to ensure a steady stream of relevant, valuable content that keeps your subscribers engaged and reduces the risk of your emails being overlooked, trashed, or simply unmemorable.

Follow best practices, such as implementing proper authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to help verify the authenticity of your emails and prevent them from being flagged as spam by mail servers. It’s also essential to address any complaints and unsubscribe requests from recipients by promptly removing them from your mailing list.

Mistake #2: Your Database Is Too Old

Using an outdated database is one of the top healthcare recruitment email mistakes you can make. An old database may be populated with invalid email addresses, inaccurate or obsolete contact information, and recipients who are no longer interested in receiving the content you’re sending. The result is higher bounce rates and lower open and click-thru rates, increasing the likelihood that your email will be marked as spam.

Email addresses will inevitably decay over time, as people get new email addresses, move away, change professions, retire, or even pass away, so it’s imperative that you use a database with proper data hygiene processes to help you avoid squandering your resources and undermining your ROI. You can help to maintain the integrity of your database by implementing strategies like:

  • Inviting candidates to opt out of future communications
  • Encouraging them to regularly update their personal information
  • Partnering with data hygiene companies to ensure data accuracy

And for targeted recruitment efforts to be successful, it’s crucial to tap into a database that’s populated with healthcare professionals for your specific needs in your specific location. Put more simply, if you’re seeking to hire critical care nurses in, say, Alabama, you need to make sure you tap a database that can pinpoint both the right specialty and the right region.

Mistake #3: Using Poor Subject Lines

You can craft the best email copy, but if your subject lines are weak, they can sabotage your entire campaign. Subject lines that fail to grab attention or are too sales-y often end up unread or, worse, flagged as spam—in fact, 69% of email recipients report emails as spam just from the subject lines.

A compelling subject line, on the other hand, entices your potential candidates to open the email and learn more about career opportunities with your organization. If you want your emails to get noticed, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Get right to the point. Keep subject line character counts between 30-50 characters so they’re fully visible in the recipient’s inbox
  • Use personalization
  • Be clear about the value you deliver—things like financial incentives, work/life balance, a supportive environment, or the opportunity for professional growth tend to get noticed
  • Test, test, test (more on that later)

Avoid “clickbaity” or vague subject lines like “Check out this amazing job opportunity” or “Hello!

We’re hiring!” and never use all caps, hashtags, emojis, excessive punctuation, or other gimmicky typographical treatments. Instead, create hard-working subject lines like:

  • Dr. {{lastName}}, Family Medicine Physicians Thrive At {{organization}}
  • {{firstName}}, Your Work As An RN Is Valued
  • {{firstName}}, Sign-On Bonuses Up To $20K For {{organization}} RNs!
  • {{firstName}}, $15,000 Incentive Bonuses for Rad Techs
  • {{firstName}}, Check Out Our Featured Opportunities For Cardiac Nurses And More!
  • {{firstName}}, {{organization}} Offers LPNs/LVNs Work-Life Balance
  • Dr. {{lastName}}, A Sign-On Bonus And Supportive Workplace Are Waiting For You!
  • {{firstName}}, Many Benefits Come With A Career At {{organization}}

While the above subject lines may perform well, it’s important to keep in mind that writing good subject lines is not “plug and play,” and what works well for one campaign won’t necessarily perform for another.

Mistake #4: Bad CTAs

Forgetting to include a call to action (CTA) or using one that’s weak, vague, or uninspiring is another healthcare recruiting email mistake that can undermine your whole campaign. Whether you’re trying to spur the recipient to apply for a position, schedule an interview, or simply reach out for more information, every email you deploy should include a CTA that provides a clear and concise next step.

Healthcare workers have demanding jobs and jam-packed schedules, so weak language that fails to get right to the point doesn’t perform. Instead of a vague CTA like “Get more information,” your messaging should be decisive and actionable to guide your candidate to the next step of the recruitment journey. Below are a few examples of CTAs that spur action and why they work:

  • Learn more before applying: This low-pressure CTA works because it invites a no-commitment personal conversation, which could convert an on-the-fence passive candidate into an active job seeker.
  • Apply in one easy step: Here, the CTA stresses the convenience of your hiring process and could be attractive to a busy healthcare worker who is applying for multiple jobs.
  • Start immediately: This CTA appeals to active job seekers hoping to find employment quickly.
  • Come work with us or Join our team: These CTAs are collaborative and welcoming and are designed to appeal to candidates who want to work for a healthcare organization with a strong sense of community.

Just as important as language is placement: the CTA should be above the fold—the section of your email that’s visible on the screen without scrolling—so the recipient doesn’t lose interest or click delete before they see what the next step is.

Mistake #5: Not Optimizing Your Campaign

Email marketing is not “set it and forget it”: Healthcare recruiters must continuously adapt their strategies to meet candidates wherever they are on their journey.

Failing to optimize your communications is another common oversight that can undermine recruitment efforts. Using the reams of data that you have at your fingertips, you can modify and improve your messaging to increase click-thru rates and, ultimately, conversions. Some examples of optimization strategies include:

  • Predictive sending: Leverage data analytics to identify optimal times to send emails so they reach recipients when they’re most likely to engage, like during their lunch break or while they’re commuting home from a long day at the hospital.
  • A/B testing: Experiment with different elements of your email, such as subject lines, content, and call-to-action buttons, to determine the most compelling combination that resonates with potential candidates. Your testing can get hyper-specific, such as testing the performance of subject lines with a bonus offer or the use of imagery with a shot of your hospital vs. one with a human photo, such as a nurse.

Remember, too, that optimization is an iterative process that requires constant attention to make sure you’re not missing out on opportunities to attract and engage top healthcare talent. If one strategy doesn’t work, pivot and try again.

Mistake #6: Not Telling a Story

What makes your organization a great place to work? When recruiting for healthcare openings, you have to differentiate yourself from other hospital systems if you want your efforts to get noticed. And that means telling a compelling story that goes beyond a mere job description and list of qualifications.

Disjointed, one-off communications won’t convey the essence of your workplace and its culture—and that means you’ll miss out on the opportunity to establish a meaningful connection with potential candidates. This is where an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) comes into play. A well-thought-out EVP captures the unique values, mission, workplace culture, and benefits that you offer your employees.

By weaving storytelling into your recruitment efforts through an EVP, you can create a compelling narrative that resonates on a deeper level and gives candidates a glimpse of the meaningful work and opportunities that await them if they come to work with you. Get creative with how you tell your story. For example, include videos of current employees giving feedback and testimonials about their positive experiences as part of your organization to position yourself as an employer of choice. 

Just as important as what you say is how often you say it. Plan to send at least six emails over three months to create a cohesive and engaging narrative.

Mistake #7: Not Combining Email with Other Channels

Email is an essential tactic for recruitment, but it should be just one of the many channels you use to reach prospective applicants. Successful healthcare recruiters combine email marketing with other channels to reach a wider talent pool, including passive candidates who may not open recruitment emails when they pop up in their inboxes.

To implement omni-channel marketing, start by utilizing data analytics to hone in on the best-performing channels for your target audience, such as email, direct mail, and job advertising. Once you’ve identified your channel mix, you can tailor the messaging and content for each channel to create a consistent brand message across all touchpoints and a more seamless experience for candidates.

Start Reaching the Best Candidates

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to deliver targeted messages directly to in-demand potential candidates’ inboxes… if you do it right. Adfire Health specializes in crafting and deploying healthcare recruiting emails that communicate your job opportunities, highlight your organization’s values, and engage with candidates on a personalized level. Contact us to learn how we can help you use emails to build a pipeline and, ultimately, hire top talent.

FAQ — Mistakes Undermining Your Healthcare Recruiting Emails

Why are healthcare recruiting emails so important?

In a competitive market, email is vital for engaging top healthcare talent. However, many struggle with low response rates. Avoiding common mistakes will enable effective communication with clinical candidates.

How does poor infrastructure affect recruitment emails?

Inadequate technology leads to low deliverability, risking blacklisting. Consistent messaging, authentication protocols, and prompt responses to complaints are crucial. Establishing a content calendar maintains engagement and reduces issues.

What are the consequences of using an outdated database?

An old database increases your bounce rate and decreases open rates, risking spam classification. Data hygiene processes maintain integrity: send opt-out invitations and partner with a data hygiene company.

How can recruiters improve subject lines?

Compelling, personalized, and value-driven subject lines enhance engagement. Avoid vague subject lines and test variations to optimize and boost campaign success.

Why is it important to optimize email campaigns?

Continuous optimization ensures engagement and conversions. Strategies like predictive sending and A/B testing enable you to adapt to candidates’ preferences.

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