31 Mar Low Response Rates? You’re Not Alone.
Feeling like your email or InMail campaigns are going almost nowhere? You’re not alone.
✔️ Most sales & marketing jobs (staffing & recruiting definitely included) will attract people who want to pose and posture: “Oh, my business is great! Every sales email I send out gets a response.” Bull 💩.
✔️ We are still very much in a candidate-driven market and you may have to send out more messages than usual to get enough potential applicants in your hiring funnel. This is reality.
✔️ This is a good time to test and beta test. You can’t get stuck on the way things worked pre-Covid or pre-Great Resignation.
Links I discuss in this episode:
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, thanks for tuning in. So today I want to talk about low response rates. And if that’s something that you’ve been experiencing lately, please know that you are not alone. In any sales and marketing, field, staffing and recruiting very much included in that. There’s a tendency you will find amongst people sort of puff out their chest and posture, I’m sure you’ve had some sales managers or some co workers who fell into that category before, they wanted to act like everything was fine. Oh, every email that I send out gets responded to, every voicemail that I leave gets the phone call returned, I’m not having any struggles at all. They want to act as though they are God’s gift to sales are God’s gift to recruiting. Meanwhile, you know that it’s just not true. They’re acting tough, they’re playing the hard role, instead of just accepting reality. It’s all a big facade, or a smokescreen. And I want to take the opportunity today to call BS on all of that. If you’re listening and you’re freelancing, you own your own business. You’re involved in sales and marketing in some way, or you’re involved in HR, staffing and recruiting and you feel like, right now, it’s just really an uphill battle to get a response. Please understand that you are not alone. If you have a sales manager, some co workers or other people in the industry that are doing that, puffing out of the chest acting like that they’re God’s gift to the industry, you can tune that out. People like that are not going to be real, they don’t want to own up that they might have a struggle or that their business might be suffering due to the pandemic or due to the great resignation, they want to just lalalalala like sort of poke their fingers into their ears, and act as if well, if I just ignore that my business is in shambles or I ignore the fact that nobody’s responding to me, maybe it’ll just magically get better on its own. I don’t want you to fall into the trap of people that want to strut around like a Bandy rooster as though they are cock of the walk. I’m guessing that if you’re tuning into this podcast today, you already know that you might have some issues, and you just want to get a temperature check of what else is going on out there in the market, you are in a safe place for that today. You may have heard the old statistic before that in order to get one qualified prospect out of the bottom of your sales funnel, someone who will actively get on the phone with you or they will meet with you and hear out your sales pitch, you have to put 100 leads into the top of the funnel. Sometimes it may be less sometimes it might be more I can remember being in the industry early on and people would hand you a Tear Sheet, you know, your manager or president of the company, somebody would hand you some sales leads and say, Alright, it’s time to smile and dial. However many people that you have to call this morning to get a meeting set for this afternoon is however many you have to call. Maybe it’s 50. Maybe it’s 150. Maybe it’s 500. But you’re going to sit there on that telephone until somebody says yes. And that can be pretty daunting and pretty grueling. Of course now a lot of people rely on email marketing or email messaging. But even that has become a sort of no man’s land or a wasteland at times. There is an article that I will drop a link to in the write up for this podcast episode that was published on HubSpot, I believe last year. And they were talking about sales teams having to send out so many more emails than normal just to get any response. And I’m going to briefly read a paragraph from that article for you now, sales teams are sending about 50% more emails to prospects than they were pre COVID. But responses continue to drop. Last week, sales response rates hit an all time low for 2020 at 2.1%, a lower response rate than Christmas week of 2019. In quote. The hiring market, for example, fluctuates. Sometimes there are more candidates on the market looking for jobs, and not a lot of jobs to go around for the individuals who are looking. And those are client driven markets. And in a market like that where there are an abundance of candidates looking for work or needing work wanting work. Then if you’re involved in recruiting, you’re probably going to have pretty high response rates. On the other end of the spectrum, like the market that we’re in now, with the great resignations still going strong there. A lot of people that feel they hold all of the cards they’re not out on the market just Oh please, I wish someone would call me Oh, please, hiring manager Oh, please recruiter, oh, please reach out to me that’s not happening. We are very, very much in a candidate driven market. So one piece of advice I want to give, whether you’re in HR or not doesn’t matter. You want to pay attention to what the market is doing for whatever industry that you’re in. Many markets are going to have ebbs and flows. There will be times when you can do your marketing and you’ll have really great responses and times when you won’t. That is very natural. And sometimes you may have to dig deep and really remind yourself of why you’re involved in a particular industry. If it feels like you’re just getting one door slammed in your face after another or you’re just getting ghosted. Frankly, nowadays, with the prevalence of ghosting, no answer is your answer. If someone is just ignoring you, you can typically assume that it’s at least a no for right now. It might not be a no forever, but it’s at least a no for right now today. They’re willfully not responding to that email or that email or the text or the voicemail whatever platform or medium it is that you’re using. No answer has become your answer. There’s another article that I will drop a link to from GMAT CO, where they asked the question, what is the average cold email response rate? And they have written the short answer, the average is around one to 5% and quote, and I think that’s pretty much the reality that we’re living in right now. I can remember times earlier in my career, where if I was recruiting for a position, I would have well over a 90% response rate for the emails or in mails that I was sending out to people. And they weren’t All yeses. I mean, it wasn’t just everyone saying, Oh, yes, I would love to have this job, or Oh, yes, I would love to interview for it. But you would at least get a response back. Some would be favorable, they wanted to be considered. And some would say, Hey, thanks for reaching out that this isn’t something I want to do right now. Or I’m really happy, I just accepted a job offer somewhere else haven’t updated my profile yet, you know, you would get some kind of engagement from the person on the other end of the screen. But now it’s pretty brutal. And I just want to be honest with you guys about that, because of the people that want to get braggadocious. And they want to do all of this posturing. And to give you some examples, you know, I’ve been talking to other people that are involved in HR and staffing. And we’ve been having similar experiences, you know, it’s almost like your communications are going into a black hole. And you may hear back but you probably won’t. And you have to just assume no answer is not right now I’m not interested and move on with your life. Now, some people want to cyberstalk candidates or they want to just ping them over and over and over again. I don’t really recommend that you do that. I know how I feel when I’ve been on the receiving end of that. And it’s very annoying. Or if someone sends me an email and I say no, thank you. This is not of interest to me. And then five minutes later, they call me on the phone because they want to try to arm twist me or, quote sell the opportunity to me. I just find that so annoying. It’s like, listen, I politely told you no, that means you need to go on and get it doesn’t mean you need to turn into a stalker. So if you’re trying to stalk people, or you’re trying to get belligerent or arm twisty don’t do that that’s not the right way to handle your business. It’s going to turn people off. And they will remember if someone acted like a psycho, believe me. But it’s funny because I was talking to another person in the industry that I admittedly don’t know very well. And this person works I think within a software company and she was really doing the posturing Oh, well oh five send out an email just always gets responded to him even if they don’t say yes, they’ll at least politely decline. I mean, I just low response rates. Oh, collect my pearls. I just can’t imagine and I’m sitting there thinking yeah, my my eyes rolled all the way back into my head like Tony Stark and the Avengers. And I thought, hmm, like you’re either not sending out very many emails, if you feel like they’re all getting responded to or you’re just full of it and you’re trying to act tough or play it cool. But like everyone else that I know in the industry says, Yeah, my response rates right now suck. This is pretty brutal to try to hire. That’s reality. And again, even if you’re not involved in HR or staffing work, if you feel like man, I am hustling. I’m like the people in the HubSpot article I’m sending out 50% more emails or 50% more in mails or text messages, just to kind of scrape the barrel and get anybody to respond to me. I feel like that’s more reflective of rain. Reality, you don’t want to beat yourself up about it. Now you don’t want to bury your head in the sand either and pretend that it isn’t happening. But you don’t want to take it personally. And you don’t want to make it a reason to feel like, well, I’m just a failure. No, this is not personal. It is business. There’s another article on woodpecker CO, that I will drop a link to in the write up, and I have not used their products. So this is not any kind of endorsement one way or the other. I don’t have any experience. I just found this particular blog post to be interesting. And I want to read their key findings to you here. So they did a study. And it sounds like it must be pretty expansive, because they’re saying that over the span of about two years, they sent something like 20 million sales emails, but the the assessment that they came to in this blog post involves 20 million sales emails, and what their conclusions were based on assessing that vast number of sales emails. So I’m going to read those assessments to you now, you can double your email reply rate with advanced personalization. Now, again, this is not going to promise you a 100% response rate. So the example they give in the article is someone who didn’t use personalization and got about a 7% response rate. Whereas when they increased personalization, it was at about 17%. You should also be making a high quality list of contacts, you should maximize your open rate by narrowing down your target group, you should write a campaign to fewer and more carefully chosen contacts. You should write more follow ups and you’ll need to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. I mean, speaking candidly, that all sounds like pretty common sense advice. If you’ve been involved in sales and marketing for any length of time, you shouldn’t be having like a big lightbulb moment. But again, sometimes getting back to the basics and thinking about what can I do will help how can I move the ball down the court, do some a&b testing, if this doesn’t work, then try something else. And you definitely don’t want to get stuck in the mentality of well, this is how we’ve always done it. This always worked before. Especially when we think about human resources and staffing work. If you’re still hiring the way that you did five years ago, you’re out of date, if you’re still hiring the ways that you did pre COVID, like 2019, which wasn’t that long ago, by the way, but it might might as well have been a lifetime ago, because so many things have changed the landscape of work the language of work, what candidates will and will not put up with what employees will and will not put up with it 2019 Might as well have been 1919, you cannot hire and recruit and manage talent the same way that you did three years ago, it will not work. So it is very, very important to take an honest appraisal of what’s going on, and to be willing to change. And if you need to get assistance from a sales coach or a copywriter. It’s something to consider one word of caution about that. One of my business advisors once gave me the word of caution that sometimes people involved in sales copywriting are really good at pitching themselves. They’re excellent at being able to sell themselves and sell their service. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to be able to produce sales copy that works well for you in your business. So as with anything out in the marketplace, Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, do research, read reviews, if they are willing to offer you some kind of portfolio or samples, you should look that over. And you should also determine if they have any previous experience in your industry or in your market. And if so what kind of success rate did they have? I mean, you could probably find a plethora of people out there that say they write sales copy for coaches. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re sales copy converted. Same thing for staffing, recruiting HR, there’s probably tons of people out there in the marketplace that can say they write sales copy that will help your staffing business get to the next level, but will it so you want to be really conscientious? I’m not telling you to not go out there and hire help. You just want to use good sound judgment and you never want to spend more money than you can afford to lose. I’m very candid with you, you know that. So it’s a bit of a gamble. In the same way that you wouldn’t go I hope to a slot machine at the casino and toss in more money than you could afford to lose for the night. You don’t want to overspend on a sales copywriter either you want to be judicious make a good decision about it. But really what I wanted to accomplish in this podcast episode today is offer a kind of olive branch to those of you out there who are like man, I feel like I’m just in the market getting beat up day in and day out. I’m sending and sending Sending and calling and it’s very difficult to get candidates to respond or it’s very difficult to get anybody that’ll even get on the phone with me about my product. You are not alone. Do not listen to the BS artists out there that want to puff their chest out and tell you oh, well, I’m great. I’m the most amazing salesperson ever. Are they? Probably not. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.