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Case study: Bullhorn gets high marks with e-mail quiz

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Boston-based Bullhorn Inc., a company that sells software programs to staffing and recruiting firms, wanted to boost its brand recognition among decision-makers at recruiting firms. To do so, the company knew it had to contribute to subscribers’ knowledge of best practices while appealing to their emotions.

“They are entrepreneurial salespeople who pride themselves on professional certification, have big egos about being knowledgeable and make decisions [about opening e-mails] based on their emotions,” said Joe Cordo, VP-marketing for Bullhorn.

So the company this summer introduced the Recruiter IQ Series, sending an online skills test to 34,000 people on its e-mail list. For the first installment, Bullhorn developed a simple, 10-question assessment test that focused on general recruiting skills, including questions about sexual harassment practices, proper interviewing techniques and equal opportunity compliance rules, Cordo said. The test was created with the help of First Advantage Assessment Solutions, a provider of skills and behavior assessments tests.

To entice e-mail recipients, the message began with the subject line: “What’s your recruiter IQ?” Once recipients opened the e-mail, Bullhorn appealed to their competitive nature by prodding them to take the test and find out how they stack up against their peers, Cordo said. Anyone who took the quiz received scoring results immediately, with a comparison against others in their group.

Judging from the campaign’s first round, the effort is paying off already. Bullhorn reported an 18% open rate and a 20% click-through rate, Cordo said. An estimated 2.2%, or about 750 people, actually took the test and submitted it online to Bullhorn. As an added incentive, those who completed the quiz had an opportunity to win a Nintendo Wii.

“These are busy people who are always with clients or building relationships, and it’s very difficult to get their attention,” Cordo said. “We thought we had a great response rate considering the group we targeted.”

Bullhorn’s next online skills test will run later this month and will focus on social networking and recruiting. Future tests will quiz recipients on sourcing candidates and client relationship skills. Cordo hopes to expand the e-mail list and offer more prizes, such as iPods and flat-screen TVs.

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