How to Write Effective Sourcing Emails

Cold recruitment emails can be challenging. The kind of candidates your company wants to recruit are already being bombarded with emails and calls from other organizations and agencies. So what can you do to boost your response rate and grab your dream candidates’ attention? It’s simple: you need to stand out with personalization and creativity. Here are some unmissable tips that will help you write effective sourcing emails: 

Choose your candidates wisely

The success of any recruitment campaign will mostly depend on who you’re emailing in the first place. Emailing everyone you can is a bad idea, mainly because mass emailing makes it almost impossible to personalize its content. As such, we strongly recommend you to source and build your list of potential candidates yourself. You can, for example, use LinkedIn to search for and filter through ideal recruits.

Grab their attention with a great subject line

The subject line is the most important part of an email, as it determines whether the message gets opened or not. It’s a make-or-break moment, so you must put all your creativity into it. A catchy subject line can stand out among the scores of dull ones around it and make a great first impression of your company.

Make it as personalized as possible

Most cold emails are generated automatically or simply copy-pasted from other send-outs. We've all had emails like this, and we've all deleted them straight away. To prevent this from happening, you must demonstrate you've put some effort into your email. You must include evidence so people can see they're not just another entry in a database. For example, you can add a personalized comment on the candidate's professional performance, a recent corporate blog post, or mention a company achievement.

Start a conversation

Think of initial conversations with candidates via email much like you would a regular in-person meeting or live networking event. Focus on starting a conversation rather than selling a job straight away. This way, you’ll be showing genuine interest in the candidate and a willingness to understand his current situation and expectations.

Use some visuals to grab attention

Another way to make sure your email stands out is to include a visual - be it an image, GIF, or short video. Something as simple as a photo of your office or team can add a dash of creativity to the email and make it stand out. Candidates will admire your effort and at least take a second to drop you a line in response!

Keep your goal in mind: to schedule a call/meeting

When you're writing an email, a good call to action is essential. Recruitment emails also follow this rule and use this prompt to get an answer from the candidates. A button with a text such as “Would you like to learn more?” or “Shall we grab coffee next week to chat” can definitely increase your chances of getting a response. But remember: keep it simple and don't be invasive. 

Send a follow-up email

A few days after sending your sourcing email, you can also send a follow-up, but keep in mind that the purpose of it is purely to direct the recipient’s attention to the previous email. For your message to make sense, you obviously have to send it in the same thread as the original email. This also saves the candidate from having to search through their inbox for your previous email.


One rule of cold email writing is to put yourself in your prospect's shoes. If you're writing a recruitment email, you're effectively trying to "sell" them on a job opening, so go ahead and ask yourself why this potential candidate should care. Be clear, brief, and genuine, and make sure the whole email is relevant to your prospective candidate.

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