Your Guide to Email Marketing for Job Boards

Over the past two weeks we’ve talked about ways that job boards can use outbound marketing to generate business. We touched on email marketing, but it’s a subject that deserves a blog post of its own.

Job boards can use email marketing to engage existing job seekers and customers, or to reach out to new ones. Email marketing can be as simple as sending out an email to a large number of people waiting for a response. Or you can get more complex with segmentation, automation, and A/B testing.

In this post we’ll talk about a few areas worth learning about as you get your email marketing started, including anti-spam laws, available tools, automation, A/B testing, campaign goals and optimization.

Keep it Legal

Anti-spam laws vary depending on your region or the region of your target market: Wikipedia has a list of email spam legislation by country available, so check it out.

You may need explicit permission from someone before adding them to a mailing list, or you may be limited in how often you can contact a person or business with whom you have not had previous contact. In most circumstances, if it’s not mandatory, it’s still a best practice to always allow an email recipient to opt out by providing an unsubscribe link or instructions in the email.

Tools for Email Marketing

There are lots of tools out there to help you along your quest to use email marketing, many of which are free. Here a few worth checking out:

  • MailChimp is great for newsletters and maintaining mailing lists, it’s free for sending email to less than 2,000 contacts, and its paid features include automation and A/B testing
  • AgileCRM combines customer relationship management with automated email campaigns, among other sales and marketing tools.
  • Yet Another Mail Merge takes advantage of Gmail and Google Sheets to email contacts and track things like who opened them, who clicked, etc.
  • MailTrack adds a checkmark in your Gmail on every email that has been read

Email Marketing Automation

The use of automation in email marketing usually hinges on the assumption that you aren’t simply sending out one email and leaving it at that. MailChimp has a great overview of automated email campaigns suggested for ecommerce websites, such as welcoming new customers and re-engagement campaigns. Automated actions, like sending a series of emails, can be triggered by time or by behaviour.

An example of a time-triggered automation might be a welcome campaign for job seekers, with one email sent upon sign up, a second sent a week later, and a third sent two days after the second.

An example of behaviour-triggered automation could be a re-engagement campaign sent to employers where if the first email is opened, a second email is sent an hour later, and a different email is sent a week later if they have yet to open the first email.

A/B Testing Your Emails

A/B testing has many applications, but for email marketing, it’s great for testing out the effectiveness of content elements like email subject lines and calls to action.

An A/B test of an email’s subject heading could look like this: 100 emails sent total, 50 sent with subject A, and 50 sent with subject B. By tracking which subject line garnered the most opens, you can adjust your next email campaign to use the most successful one. From there, you can A/B test other elements to further optimize your campaign. Which brings us to…

Email Campaign Goals and Optimization

Before undertaking any sales or marketing initiative, it’s important to outline its goals and what steps will be taken upon reaching (or failing to reach) those goals.

Let’s say you want to sell an additional 20 job posts in two months by re-engaging customers who have previously used your job board. You set up a promotional discount or package deal, and your campaign introduces this special, time-limited offer. The desired behaviour of the employers upon receiving your emails is for them to use your promotion to buy job posts.

Ultimately, the most important behaviour to track for this campaign is how many sales you make with the promotion. However, tracking the intermediary steps (such as emails opened, links clicked, replies sent, etc) will help you understand the points in the campaign that need improvement. An email that no one opens probably needs a better subject heading, and an email that gets no clicks or replies probably needs better messaging or calls to action, and so forth.

Similar to experimentation with social media, email marketing can be optimized by taking an iterative approach. If your first campaign doesn’t meet your expectations, make adjustments and try again.

Segmentation in Email Marketing

Segmentation is an important one, but may not be a necessity until you’ve reached a certain critical mass of contacts on the receiving end of your campaign. If you’re reaching out to ten customers, you can probably get away with sending them all the same message. (On the other hand, if you only have ten customers, contacting each of them with a personal message may be worth the effort.)

For job boards, you could start segmenting your customers by the size of their organization, by industry, by the types of roles they’re trying to fill, or the role of the person posting jobs (for example, are they a small business owner or corporate recruiter?). Your job seekers could be segmented by experience levels, career goals, or current employment status.

Alternatively, you could try segmenting employers or job seekers by behaviour. Has an employer been posting jobs regularly, but never bought a featured employer listing? Has a job seeker applied for a job and not returned for a month? Try setting up campaigns that move them forward and increase their level of engagement with your job board.


Job boards have a wide variety of options for how to use email marketing. Your choice of tools, campaign goals, volume of emails, and the effort put into optimizing can all make for very different types of campaigns. Regardless of your campaign’s size and complexity, email marketing remains a low/no-cost way to market and sell to your customers and job seekers, and it’s somethign you can build on over time. Once you lay in the groundwork for a couple different campaigns, it becomes easier to repeat and re-purpose campaigns later on.

Got any great tips or tricks on using email marketing for your job board? Let us know – we love hearing your stories!