Why Email Makes ZipRecruiter the Smartest Way to Get Hired


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ZipRecruiter uses SparkPost to help people find great jobs, and to help employers build great companies.

ZipRecruiter started in 2010 as a tool to help small businesses distribute job postings affordably. Today, it’s a thriving marketplace where millions of people across the U.S. and U.K. find a better job for a better life.

Dedication to its mission to help people find meaningful employment is a big reason why ZipRecruiter is the #1 rated job search app on Android and iOS. But it’s the smart use of email that helps ZipRecruiter accomplish that mission—and drives the growth of its service.

ZipRecruiter app experience

Since its founding, ZipRecruiter has enabled more than 1 million companies, including Ford, Verizon, Target, and many others, to quickly and easily post their open positions on more than 200 leading job boards. Employment seekers can create a profile and search for and apply to jobs whether they’re on the ZipRecruiter web site or using the service’s mobile app.

All of that activity requires ZipRecruiter to send a lot of email. “Email is a core part of the ZipRecruiter business,” says Matt Plummer, Vice President of Product for ZipRecruiter. “Hundreds of thousands of customers rely on our new candidate notification emails to help them hire and grow their businesses. Millions of job seekers rely on our job alert emails to help them find the job that will improve their lives.”

In addition, the company transmits nearly 20 million emails a day for more than 450 sending partners. “We’re essentially acting as an ESP ourselves and need a bit of extra guidance in navigating the challenges that come along with that,” explains Plummer.

Hundreds of thousands of customers rely on our emails to hire and grow. And millions of job seekers rely on our emails to find the job that will improve their lives.

Every Job Seeker Email Is Unique

As a result of ZipRecruiter’s need to serve job seekers, hiring companies, and sending partners, “there’s not just one typical ZipRecruiter email,” according to Plummer. “We have sent thousands of unique message types over the past year.” Nearly every job seeker receives a daily ZipRecruiter job alert email, though, that offers each recipient a tailored set of results in a standardized template.

“Because of the range of emails we’re sending, we’re using different metrics to measure each of them,” Plummer notes. “We look at how our users engage with a credit card failure transactional email with a completely different mindset than we would a marketing campaign. Naturally, we keep the top level engagement metrics at the forefront of our analyses, but our email decisions are driven by many other factors, too—revenue, deliverability impact, market research, and so forth.”

He adds: “The great thing about email is that everything about the interaction is documented and stored in a database. We can pull actionable insights from this data, daily. The bottom line at ZipRecruiter is simple: We want to match great job seekers with great jobs, and email plays a pivotal role in that.”

ZipRecruiter emails

Email Is Where We Look for Important Updates

Email is a linchpin of customer engagement, and it remains the backbone of how companies communicate externally, even when they adopt file sharing and instant messaging platforms for many workflows. Plummer observes that “email is an ever-evolving medium,” but it’s also one that “isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

He continues: “Remember: Email has emerged as the central location where we receive all of the important updates in our life: bank notifications, Facebook updates, work communications, messages with loved ones, flight confirmations, and so forth. However, I do think that folks will continue to get more and more picky about what they do and don’t want in their inboxes. As large-scale senders, we need to remember to respect the sanctity of the inbox and do our best to continue to facilitate human interactions there.”

Email is the central location for the important updates in life. We do our best to facilitate human interactions there.

SparkPost’s Technical Strengths

As ZipRecruiter has blossomed into a business with over 400 employees in two states and three countries, the company has outgrown a series of ESPs. The company uses SparkPost as part of a diversified messaging strategy. “We’ve worked with quite a few different providers,” Plummer says. “We’ve been pleased with our experience at each of those companies, but as we’ve grown, our needs have changed.”

He adds that ZipRecruiter first became interested in SparkPost because of its technical strengths developing high-performance mail delivery systems. SparkPost is “the company that built Momentum, the de-facto mail delivery platform utilized by most ESPs and large email senders.”

SparkPost and ZipRecuiter also share a commitment to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure. Both companies use core AWS services such as EC2, S3, SQS, Route 53 DNS, and others. That’s not a coincidence—the flexibility and rapid provisioning that the AWS cloud enables is a critical part of why SparkPost can deliver the performance fast-moving companies like ZipRecruiter require.

SparkPost has helped us achieve a higher level of deliverability than we ever have before. SparkPost helps us deliver emails, and helps us do it the right way.

SparkPost Helps ZipRecruiter Deliver Email the Right Way

Whether it’s quickly ramping new message streams or scaling for peak volumes, AWS allows SparkPost to deliver email expertise, not data centers and racking servers. That focus makes a difference for ZipRecruiter. As Plummer says, “We were very impressed with how the SparkPost team took a look at our multifaceted and complex email ecosystem, and provided us with a very detailed plan on how we needed to move forward to be successful.”

ZipRecruiter’s initial test with SparkPost actually “exposed a subtle, but important, flaw in how we had previously built our email ecosystem,” Plummer recalls. “It ended up being a great learning experience for us, and the SparkPost team guided us in a direction that would strengthen our email deliverability in the long run.”

In fact, Plummer says, “SparkPost has helped us achieve a higher level of deliverability than we ever have before. SparkPost helps us deliver emails, and helps us do it the right way.”