How To Write Winning InMails

Being able to write a winning InMail will directly influence your success in recruitment. You might have the best job in the world. A real game changer. A truly ‘fantastic opportunity.’ But if you can’t engage a target candidate you might as well give up now.

Your writing game needs to be up to scratch. 

It needs to be better than the rest.

Whether that’s InMails, text messages, sales letters or sky writing by plane trail. In a previous article I talked through writing great job ads. In this article I show you how to get an increased response to your rambling, winding emails, currently irking your target audience.

1. Get Personal

Before you question whether you’re able to find a personal link to over 4,000 people in a mail-shot, you’re not, so don’t try it. Especially with GDPR still looking for its first victim. This advice isn’t for blanket emails, it’s for personalised efforts to individuals.

But, if you know your email is personal and only going to one person, a bit of research will go a long way. There are products out there that can help you by the way.

By ‘get personal’ I don’t mean typing ‘Hope you’re well?’ as the intro.

Be different. The person reading your email won’t care, that you care. They want to know what you want. So get there quickly. And make what you want, relevant to them and something they also want.

‘I want to solve your hiring headache and save you money.’

Top tip: Think about how your email will look in their inbox. This means personalising the subject too. If the subject of your email doesn’t draw attention, quickly, in a personalised way to the reader, they won’t open it.

While talking about them, be a person, not an organisation.

Write in first person. Use the same language you use in real life. Because that’s how people talk, and the clearer you are, the clearer the message.

Writing in a field

2. Get A Summary Body

Just like the body you see advertising fitness products, the body of an email needs to be slender and have no excess fat.

You need to offer a summary of why you’re emailing. If you’re waffling, saying one thing in multiple ways, the recipient will get frustrated trying to read it.

Use short, sharp words.

Words that play on the emotions of the reader. Words you’d use in conversation with a friend. Explain, in the shortest possible terms why your proposition is the best thing since sliced bread.

No more.

Cut everything else out. Everything else is irrelevant. So don’t drive down the value of the main message.

Top tip: You can ask a question if you’d like to, but only if you have a solution up your sleeve.

Q. Don’t you hate Recruiters who have no idea of how your business works?

A. I’d like to solve that for you.

Once you’re happy that your body is clear, concise and pulls on a pain point for your reader, that’s personal to them, edit it.

Then again.

Then edit some more.

3. Call To Action

A call to action is what you want your recipient to do. Maybe it’s call you back. Maybe it’s view a CV. Maybe it’s book a meeting.

The best way to think about a call to action is to think about a mediaeval Army General standing on the battle line. They’d deliver an emotive speech, drawing on the heart strings of the army behind them. (This is your email body).

They’d get every single person in the crowd fired up, under no illusions of the importance and relevance of the forthcoming battle. It’s not about the General. It’s the freedom the General is offering. And following them will yield that freedom.

The call to action (after this speech) is simply ATTACK. Or, FIRE. Or, ADVANCE.

Whatever it is, it’s short. It’s directly actionable and is merely repeating something you’ve already pointed out is a great idea.

Top tip: Don’t have more than one call to action on your email.

If you want someone to follow it, make it clear, concise, and in line with the fantastic body you’ve already shown them.

Jump Building


You should be changing the variables on your emails and testing which get the best responses. This means changing one thing at a time. Test out 3 emails where everything’s the same apart from the titles.

Then do the same with the copy of the email.

Then the call to action.

You get the idea…

But if you don’t do this you’ll have no idea which variations work well.

5. Use Technology

There’s a lot of technology in the world that can assist with your sales emails. Clicking here’s a good start.

From making sure you’ve got the correct email address, to looking at click through rates and open rates, and even knowing which type of language to use.

Read our productivity series for ideas on how you can be a step ahead of the game. 

Bookmark this page so the next time you open a new email to send you’re not simply copying and pasting a job spec and hoping for the best. Get scientific. Track everything. Get creative.

You’ll make more introductions. More placements. And most crucially of all… more commission.

And if you want to step up your storytelling game, you want to click here.