TheLadders Proves That Email Marketing Gets the Job Done

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The job matching site's new email strategy has all of the right credentials.

Email marketing is not an easy job. Indeed, marketers must ensure that their messages meet numerous qualifications, such as high deliverability and relevant content, if they hope to resonate with subscribers. Job matching site TheLadders.com saw its own email program climb up through the ranks by switching from an entry-level, in-house infrastructure to a well-qualified vendor solution.

The resume

Every day, TheLadders helps more than eight million professionals find new work opportunities. The job matching platform's algorithm combines users' on-site interactions with their self-reported data (e.g. information they provide in a profile, such as salary and job function) to serve up relevant job postings. Deepa Miglani, VP of marketing for TheLadders, says that the platform, in turn, prevents job seekers from having to consult multiple job boards—making the job hunt less fragmented and time consuming.

Email is the company's primary vehicle for driving job seekers to the site. “The majority of the users are coming to our website because the jobs are being delivered to them in an email platform,” Miglani explains. “Email is absolutely critical for our business in terms of continuing to create the interaction between the users and our website.”

Although TheLadders now sends more than 170 million transactional, job matching, and content-filled messages to its users, it didn't always have the tools needed to do so.

Recruiting the right solution

Originally, the job matching site relied on an in-house solution. But when its infrastructure couldn't provide the scalability, deliverability, or customization that it needed, TheLadders implemented a marketing communications suite; however, many of these issues still remained. So, the company switched vendors and began working with email service provider SendGrid in August 2014.

“The customization that we wanted to do with jobs, the ability to segment our users, the ability to create different kinds of job matching and new email campaigns—everything  was much, much harder before we moved to the SendGrid platform,” Miglani admits.

SendGrid's technology offers TheLadders a number of benefits. For example, SendGrid's subuser accounts, IPs, and technical account management help TheLadders boost its segmented emails' deliverability. Furthermore, the solution's API and webhooks enable the job matching site to continue its segmentation and personalization efforts. For instance, the company can now send users customized job-matching emails based on whether users are hunting for work in a local area (versus a nationwide search) or aiming to work for a specific organization (compared to casting a wider net).

After all, for Miglani, segmentation is all about understanding a user's need.

“Segmenting the content, delivering the content at the frequency that makes sense for the user, and understanding that user's need at that point in time and delivering them the appropriate content [are] key ingredient[s] in making your content customization strategy through segmentation work for you,” she says.

But to do this segmentation, TheLadders has to ensure that all of its data is accurate and up-to-date, which can be tricky in a world filled with changing job titles and companies. To get a better handle on its data, TheLadders encourages members to update their information frequently. It also sends subscribers a survey when it detects a drop in user activity to identify if the decreased activity is the result of finding a job or is due to something else.

Finishing the job

Since working with SendGrid, the TheLadders has significantly enhanced its email deliverability.

“Our lives have changed because we know that the emails are getting delivered on time,” she says. “We're not experiencing blockages at the ISPs because we've changed the type of content in the email or [because] we launched a new sort of email. Not having those issues that we were having previously is the one fundamental change that has happened with our migration of SendGrid.”

Miglani adds that the company experienced a “positive impact” on open rates when it first switched over to the solution.

As for future enhancements, Miglani is aiming to further refine its segmentation efforts by segmenting its users based on their lifecycle, which can be partially determined by whether they are highly engaged with the platform. The company is also introducing new educational resources and tools to help users advance in their careers.

It just goes to show that a marketer's work is truly never done. 

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