We’ll divide this into two posts, the first of which will cover low-to-no cost methods of outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing gets less attention these days, as it’s the more traditional route than its digital-first sibling, inbound marketing. But as I outline these marketing tactics for job boards, you’ll that some use the same digital channels as your inbound marketing, and some may be older yet incredibly useful methods.
Low/No-Cost Outbound Marketing for Job Boards
These methods don’t have to cost you a dime, but some are made easier through marketing software, a VOIP plan, or printing some business cards.
Phone & Email Campaigns:
Not everyone naturally gravitates to picking up the phone and calling people, but it’s still an effective way to connect with potential customers, as is email. Some campaigns will combine both emailing and calling prospects, as well.
There are a couple rules of thumb to keep in mind, whether you’re phoning or emailing prospective customer.
Anti-Spam laws vary by jurisdiction, but even if they’re not enforced in your region, it’s very important to keep track of who has unsubscribed or asked to be removed from your call list.
- Phone: this will be a manual effort on your part, but keep a record of who has opted out so that you don’t bother them again.
- Email: include an “unsubscribe” link (if you’re using an email marketing tool) or provide instructions on how to unsubscribe at the bottom of your email. (For example, asking to reply with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.)
Are you cold calling or re-engaging?
- Cold Calling: when you haven’t had any previous contact with a prospective customer, but you’ve researched them and are reaching out for the first time.
- Be sure to clearly identify yourself, your job board, and what you’re offering them
- Re-engaging: when they’ve been your customer before or you’ve had previous contact.
- Identify yourself and your job board, and remind them of your previous contact or business relationship (for example, if they’ve posted jobs on your board before). Let them know about anything new that’s happened since they were last active or in contact with you.
- Keep doing it. Make a point of doing a re-engagement campaign a few times a year, to stay on their radar, build good relationships, and create returning customers.
Your Message – regardless of whether you’re cold-calling or warming up old contacts, it’s a good idea to make it clear what you’re offering or asking them, and what the desired outcome is on your end. Here are two ideas:
- Offer: “Buy a job post, get one free.” Outcome: Employer will sign up and post a job, and return to post a second, moving them beyond a one-and-done style customer.
- Ask: “As a first-time customer, post your job for free and give me feedback on your experience.” Outcome: You start building your customer database and learn on how to improve their experience.
Their Next Steps – Make it clear and easy for your potential customer to do the thing you want them to do.
- Provide contact information
- Walk through the process yourself or test it out on someone you know to see if it’s clear and easy to follow
- End with a clear Call to Action – “Post a Job Now” or “Call me back at this number”
Don’t be discouraged if you end up sending a lot of voicemails or a lot of unanswered emails. But be sure to track how many voicemails you leave or emails you send, how many result in replies, and how many result in your desired outcome.
If you’re using email marketing tools, you should also be able to track more intermediate indicators, like how many emails are opened or how many recipients clicked on links. If these numbers are low, this can help you modify your message until it gets better responses.
- Job Fairs
- Networking Events
- Industry Conferences
If it’s not in your budget to spend a lot of money on advertising at or sponsoring events, attending them can sometimes still be worth it. It certainly helps to have business cards, flyers, or postcards to hand out, but making connections and building relationships can be just as valuable.
Job fairs, industry conferences, meet-ups, and networking events may give you a chance to meet potential customers in person, pitch your services to them, or even make sales on the spot! They can also be opportunities to make your job board and its value known to job seekers.
Events like these may provide the opportunity to introduce yourself to a large group or do some public speaking, during which you can talk about your job board, its value for your audience, and how they can start using it now.
If industry events aren’t local to you and require time and money to travel that isn’t in your budget, check out the event’s online presence. It may be that you can follow its programming online or participate in discussions stemming from the event on social media. Use hashtags or social media groups they use to make contact with employers, candidates, or influencers, and take the opportunity to introduce yourself and your job board to them.