The importance of testing your message when engaging sourced candidates

Ryan Winemiller

Whether you are creating a webpage or writing an email, A/B testing is the most effective way to know what is working. When it comes to your outbound recruiting efforts, the case for A/B testing is no different. In fact, A/B testing is the only way to tell with statistical certainty what messages are resonating the most with your audience.

Luckily, A/B testing is easy to set up and even more straightforward to assess. To get started A/B testing your outbound recruiting strategy you’ll need to first spin up your outreach platform.

Next, let’s pick a sizeable audience to test. As they say, the more, the merrier, however, a ballpark of 500 individuals per variation should be a good start. Of course, this number, the sample size, is best calculated as a portion of your population *yay, statistics*.

After we have a suitable audience, we need to create our variations. In a typical A/B test we’ll test one element of the email. We can also run multivariate tests by switching out larger portions of our messaging and testing these variations against each other. For our first test, we’ll keep it simple and swap out our subject lines.

Testing personalization:

  • Variation A: Help us grow TopFunnel
  • Variation B: {{first_name}}, help us grow TopFunnel

You’ll see within our two variations that we’re personalizing Variation B to detect if the change helps our response and conversion/”yes” rate. Remember, when comparing your variations you always want to test for your desired outcome. While having a higher click rate might sound good, it doesn’t necessarily equate to having higher positive responses. Since we’re trying to attract the best candidates, the conversion/”yes” or equivalent positive response rate is really what we are after.

It should come as no surprise that our personalized message (Variation B) outperforms our in-personal message (Variation A). This outcome has been explored many times over across various A/B and multivariate tests and should hold true for the majority of your outreach–just be sure not to overdo it.

Here’s a quick tip: add personalization touches to your messages to increase your conversion rates.

Once you’ve let your test run, check back and compare your results. Again, you’re looking for the variation that has the largest percentage of positive responses. Always compare percentages and NOT the number of conversions to make sure you’re getting accurate results!