“Re-Applies” & Wasted Advertising
If a driver applies to three places, there are two carriers that are not going to hire that driver. Statistically, many of the same applicants that apply to a carrier each month have applied there before. Carriers know that many reapply, but they are often blown away when they learn that as many as 45% of their applications are “re-applies”.
Across our platform, the number of re-applies in any given month is 40%-45%. This means that the carriers already have a fair amount of information about the drivers, including several open lines of communication.
Instead of leveraging that information and the existing open lines of communication, carriers are spending advertising dollars to get the same drivers to re-apply. Their failure to stay in touch with them is costing them in advertising.
It’s far less expensive and more successful to stay engaged with existing applicants by advertising to the same applicants, rather than starting from square one. Thus, we think there’s a better way: specifically, an automated campaign that keeps the lines of communication open. With the information you have already gathered from an applicant, you can send the right messages to the right drivers at the right time. So the next time a driver is thinking about a change, they’ll know where to go.
We’ve learned what works from the 1.5 million messages sent to 500,000 drivers over the last year or so. Most of our solution includes sending emails, but the same approach works for text messaging and even personalized phone calls from recruiters.
When an applicant comes through the hiring process, carriers are able to gather a lot of information: what type of job they’re looking for, where they live, whether they have a pet, whether pay or home time the most important thing to them, etc. With an automated “drip” campaign, you can use that data to send relevant messages. Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. For example, if a driver is experienced and has no interest in being an owner/operator, don’t send a message about your lease program. If a driver tends to stay at a carrier for at least six months, don’t send him a message as soon as he declines your offer. It would be better to send him a “Sorry you didn’t take our offer, good luck” message and a “Keep us in mind” message, followed by another message in five months.
Click-Thru Rates vs. An Integrated System
Most email marketing has a 2%-3% success rate; this “success” is measured by the click-through rate. But it is our experience that simply measuring click-through rates is misleading. Statistically, 8 times out of 10, drivers will NOT click on the “apply now” button in a carrier’s email. That means you are left in the dark about 80% or more of the email recipients. This is a flaw in all stand-alone email platforms: Emma, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc. If you want more than just click-through data, you’ll need access more of the applicant’s activity. You’ll need an email platform that’s integrated into your recruiting tools.
Emails, Attribution & Brand
Within an integrated system, it’s clear that in the end, it comes down to timing. Response times can vary from several days to a couple of weeks after the last message is received. By that time, it’s not likely the driver will be able to remember a specific email or text. What remains is your message and your brand, so spending time on those two elements is time well spent. The goal is to keep your brand in the forefront of a driver’s mind through consistent targeted messages. When the driver is ready to make a move, he or she will remember you.
Aim Small Miss Small
Targeting is key, but be careful not to target too narrowly. It’s easy to be enamored with technology’s ability to finely target sets of clients and create limited pools too small to return the quantity of results you need. For example, targeting drivers who live within 10 miles of the terminal and have spotless records and a certain eye color may end up with a great conversion percentage but only deliver a small number of actual applicants.
Additionally, you need to be smart about matching the mode of communication with the content and the target. If you’re really in need of a super-specialized set of drivers, don’t send bulk emails: leverage the drip system to queue up personal calls from recruiters perhaps followed up by text or email messages.
Speaking of texting, it’s a great channel, but the regulations are clear. If you don’t have very clear opt-in consent (and a clear way to opt-out later), and you’re sending text messages, you could be on the hook for some massive fines and will certainly annoy the very people you are trying to hire.
We’ve had great success with clients using drip email marketing to screen multi-carrier job board applications. This type of campaign can enable recruiters to focus on quality applicants rather than wading through a long list of mediocre applicants with only a minimal amount of information.
Targeted Communication and an Integrated System
Our advice is that you not waste your ad spend blindly trying to reach the 40%-45% of applicants that will re-apply. Create targeted “drip” campaigns to keep lines of communication open with applicants until they are ready to re-apply. About 80% will not click on an “apply now” button, but an integrated system will give you much more insight into the success of your campaigns. Focus on your brand and on crafting targeted messages. It’s what drivers will remember when they’re ready to apply.
Our drip marketing email tools are integrated into our suite of recruiting tools enabling us to see the whole picture. Learn more about our increased attribution and success rates, including IA Now that enables recruiters to communicate with applicants in real-time.