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6 Big Reasons Why Branded Email Templates Still Matter in RecruitingSaturday, January 4th, 2014

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

So by now, everyone (including your prospects, Coach) has seen, received, or sent a branded email template.

These are the emails that are sent with pictures of the team, links to the school’s websites, images of the coach, and other information we find that recruits like. We wanted to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of these templates today, and try to give you – as a college coach who may be wondering if those graphic-rich emails are still something smart to send – some insights on how to use them.

Here is the first rule and really the only rule you need to remember:

The content of your email (the stuff that you write) is far more important in obtaining a recruit than whatever pictures, action shots, or links that a branded email template can provide. To clarify…the words that come from your brain and are typed into the email are much more impactful, over time, than the email templates that either you create or that a third party company builds for you.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. How many recruits have committed to you after the first email that you sent them?  Zero. Recruiting is about relationship building. Its the consistent, ongoing emails, phone calls, and messaging that helps you ‘sell’ the recruit  – not a single email that “wows” them. You should spend more time thinking about the content of the email than thinking about the pictures and action shots of the team that brand it. The action shots of the team provide a specific purpose, but we’ll discuss that in a moment. For now, take a moment and internalize the fact that the content that you write is the most important part of any correspondence with a prospect – and the consistency with which you send it helps establish you firmly in their mind over the long run.

So, what role do branded email templates play in the overall recruiting message?  There are several, and they are important:

(1) It provides your program with a professional appearance especially on an initial email. For a low cost, you can make an impact on a recruit with hand picked action shots and customized branding that is consistent with the visual message that your school/program is attempting to portray.

(2) It allows you to begin the branding process of your school with the recruit. Logos, school colors, imagery, and more will now have an association from the recruit’s perspective (in other words, they know who you are by associating you with those visuals I just mentioned).

(3) It provides a visual call to action or ‘button’ that you want them to click directly from the email and do something for you. This could be to fill out an online questionnaire or visit your athletic page, or another type of call to action you deem appropriate.  Having something to click easily is far easier for a prospect to take action on than text that they will have to decipher.

(4) You can track who is opening your emails.  You can judge their interest level, what links they are clicking, how many times, if they forward it to someone else…and more.  It gives you the ability to gauge the interest of a prospect at various times throughout the process.

(5) They can (and should) compliment the stuff that you wrote in the body of the email. The images (like a picture book) can help to tell a story of your program.

(6) Branded, graphic emails are now considered the norm among recruits.  Most high-level, Division I programs use them.  If you want to be viewed as on the same level as those programs, we have seen it smart to use graphic-rich emails.

There are more advantages than disadvantages in using those branded email templates, Coach.  They are still a big part of the overall recruiting story you should want to tell, and helps you keep track of their interest in you and your program.  Both of those reasons should be important to serious college recruiters.

Sean Devlin is the lead technical architect of the popular contact management database, Front Rush.  Yes, they can help you produce branded, graphic-rich email templates to use with your prospects.  But that’s just the tip of the giant Front Rush iceberg!  Visit Front Rush online for a complete rundown of their awesomeness, and find out why they are the #1 choice of college coaches around the country.

Why Coaches Are Calling This Technology a Recruiting “Game Changer”Saturday, November 30th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Imagine being able to watch any video from any recruiting event.

Or, picture being able to send one coach (instead of two) to the event in order to save budget dollars because you know that all of the video will be available afterwords.

Now imagine being able to confirm the athletes you saw on the field or discover new athletes because you can click on any game and watch it in its entirety or rewind at key points.

We normally don’t push our own stuff when advising coaches on Dan Tudor’s blog, but the ability to watch EVERY game and EVERY athlete from an event is game changing when it comes to recruiting at the college level. We send professional video crews to the events and put a camera on every field. As coaches watch athletes, parents watch their children and recruits participate, every second of the action is being recorded so these athletes will be viewable later on by coaches all around the country.

Here’s how it works:

First, coaches download our iPad app at coachpacket.com. Then before the event, coaches can set their schedule on the app or on the website so they don’t have to do it the day of. At the event, the app is available offline so coaches can evaluate and rate athletes, create notes, and follow the schedule accordingly. After the event, the video is made available to all coaches so that they can confirm their initial thoughts, find new athletes and coordinate with other members on staff about recruits. Once the athletes are decided, coaches can transfer that data to their Front Rush account or export it into excel if they use a third-party recruiting tool. The loop is closed.

CoachPacket is being used by events across the country, along with thousands of coaches from Lacrosse to Field Hockey to Tennis to Softball to Baseball, and on and on. They are leveraging the technology to push their respective disciplines forward and take recruiting to an entirely new level. Its making recruiting more effective by increasing the number of athletes that can be seen, to decreasing the amount of money that coaches need to spend to recruit, to making the evaluation process more accurate and more efficient.

Its a game changing technology and we hope that you enjoy it – and use it!

To find out more, or to get the free app, visit www.CoachPacket.com

Why Every Coach Needs This Time-Saving ToolMonday, November 11th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Today, I wanted to focus on a productivity thing.  Or, quite possibly, a “ridder of annoyance” thing.

(And yes its for Mac users, but its the best $1.99 I have spent recently.  So if you use a Mac, listen up!)

If you use a Mac, how annoying is it when you have to constantly drag your open windows around, or resize them to get to your desktop or to another window? Ugh!  You know when you are working on something in your browser (surfing the web or whatevs) and you have to resize the window to get to the document on your desktop…or you have a bunch of windows open and you are dragging everything around to just make it fit perfectly. The productivity loss is in the dragging and resizing.

So anyway, this cool resource is called BetterSnapTool  and it is a game changer, in my opinion. Basically what you do is drag the window that you want to work with to the top of the screen and automatically your window resizes and fits perfectly in your view area. So the meticulousness of clicking, dragging and resizing is changed to a single, time-saving step.

This is something many Windows users have had for a long time, so they probably will take this ability for granted but us Mac users have longed for a solution to this annoyance.  And, BetterSnapTool solves it.

So if you’re a coach who longs for more time-saving tools, this one comes highly recommended.

Speaking of time saving tools, Front Rush is the best of the best.  If you’re a serious recruiter, this is one tool you don’t want to be without.  Click here for the low-down on this incredible resource used by thousands of coaches around the country.

Using Retention Techniques To Build, Change, And Grow Your ProgramMonday, July 8th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Retention is such an important thing these days. Everyone is talking about it. You know, keeping athletes on the team and in school…your school and your team. Here at Front Rush we have a very similar concern which is client renewals. We want coaches to renew and not leave our team. As a result, we thought we would provide some insight into our best practices that are applicable to coaching. (Note: we have a 90% renewal percentage with 1 year contracts)

Retention starts when recruiting starts, and recruiting starts with setting expectations.

Wow Factor

We don’t try to sell coaches on bogus stuff. We let them know the facts and often times will leave out some of the coolest benefits. Then when they sign up, there is an additional “wow” factor. When you are sharing your message with recruits, be honest. You don’t want them showing up on campus and being disappointed on day one. You want them to be wow’d. You want them to be wow’d time and time again.

Wiggle Room

My co-workers and I recently went to a restaurant in town – the place was hopping like crazy. It is a small Mexican restaurant, but always jam packed. When we showed up, they told us that they were happy to seat us, but the kitchen was overwhelmed and that they were running extremely slow. They gave us an out, but promised to do their best to speed things up. After we sat and ordered, 25 minutes passed and we still did not have our food. Have you ever been at a restaurant and waited 25 minutes for food? Yeah – you start to get annoyed and frustrated. We weren’t because we knew it would take this long. Our expectation was that it would be awhile so we had already settled in. It’s just like going for a long drive. When you know the drive is going to be long, you settle in a bit.

Over Deliver

When you are waiting in line for a ride at Disney World, there are always signs that say how long the expected wait time will be. It says “Expected wait time 45 minutes”. Well have you ever noticed that you have never actually waited 45 minutes. Typically it will be more like 25 or 30. This is by design. They are  promising 45 minutes, but delivering in 30. Over deliver!

Do Less Better

When buying software, consumers look at a feature list and of course buy the software that has the most. There is a direct correlation between the number of features and the number of sales. Ironically, there is the opposite correlation between the number of features and the renewal percentage here at Front Rush. You see, the more features that a piece of software has, the more likely someone is to buy. However, it turns out that Front Rush renews the most clients with software that has the least amount of features. This is because most people don’t use them all and instead only use a select few.

It is like comparing a pocket knife and a steak knife. The pocket knife has everything from a knife to a fork to a magnifying glass. A steak knife has one thing and that’s a knife. On the surface the pocket knife is more appealing because it does so much more…it even has a toothpick for your teeth. Unfortunately though, most pocket knives don’t do one thing particularly well (you lose the toothpick, the knife breaks, the magnifying glass it too small, etc). Now compare it to the steak knife which does one thing and that is to cut. The toothpick is the software with a ton of features and the steak knife is the software that renews.

It’s up to you to find the balance.

Front Rush is the #1 choice of college coaches across the country when it comes to recruiting management software.  If you want to be more organized, more effective, and more up-to-date with your prospect conversations, Front Rush is the go-to choice.  Now is the time to have a conversation with them about how they can help your program, Coach!  Click here.


Making The Most Of Your Google SearchesMonday, June 17th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Most answers are a Google search a way. Sounds obvious and ridiculous, but it’s true. Well, it’s true to the extent that you are proficient in Google searching. Just like having the fundamentals in your respective sport, we feel like it is important to know the fundamentals when doing a Google search. The fundamentals will help you get better results quicker. Here are a couple of tricks and tips…

Exact Phrase Search

Search using the quote (“”) marks. This allows you to search by exact phrases so that you only will be returned results that match this exactly. For example, searching by “Dan Tudor” will return better results than searching for Dan Tudor. This is because it will look for the exact phrase Dan Tudor as opposed to Dan and Tudor.

Math Caluculations

Do the math right in google. If you don’t have a calculator on hand, you can type directly in Google things like 87 + 10 – 2 + 4 and you will get back 99. You can do 10 * 2 and get back 20. It supports all kinds of calculations.

Weather Reports

Just type the word weather and then your zip code. For example: weather 08530 and you will get the weather report back immediately without searching on a weather site.

Time Zone Information

Type in the text current time: and include the state or zip code and you will figure out the whole time zone thing. Like current time Indiana.

Image or Picture Search

Type the word image before your search term to get back pictures. For example: image princeton logo will get you back initial results with the Princeton University logo.

These are a few ways to make your Google search much more efficient and resourceful for college coaches. And, they can save you time along the way.

Front Rush should be one of the tech tools you and your fellow coaches go into this upcoming recruiting season with.  There’s a reason they have become the #1 choice for recruiting management software among college coaches: They’ve created a system that’s the best in the business, with personalized support to match.  If you aren’t a Front Rush user, consider becoming one soon!


My Dad, His Outdated Computer, and the Lesson for College CoachesMonday, April 22nd, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

This past weekend, I updated my fathers operating system on his computer.

It was a real pain because I couldn’t just install the operating system, I had to install a previous version of the operating system, update that version, and then install a new version after downloading it, and then update that…woah!

Do you know what my father learned from the experience? Absolutely nothing! Do you know what I learned from the experience? Absolutely nothing (I do this stuff all the time!)

So now the next time my father needs his computer fixed, he is going to call me and he is going to be inconvenienced because he has to wait for me and no comment on my my side because its never an inconvenience to do anything for my father…but you get the point.

So what can we all extract from this…?

Well let’s take the classic example of the older non-tech savvy coach and their younger more technically sophisticated assistant. How often is it that the assistant is doing all of the technical stuff and the head coach just looks on like either (a) it’s magic or (b) its beneath them or (c) too time consuming to learn. Well here is my request to you…

Assistant Coach: Make an attempt to teach whatever technical stuff you are doing. Make an attempt. You are use to teaching and coaching (you do this for a living) so try teaching and coaching your head coach. There might be resistance and awkwardness but if you teach them to fish, you can concentrate on bigger fish instead of spending time going after the little fish like “click on the icon with the big e on it”. Teach them to google. If there is an answer to any question, there is a good chance it exists in google. “How do I save a document”, “Where do I find the file I downloaded”, etc. Start off small and expand just like you would with anything.

Head Coach: Take the humble approach and ask questions, be open to learning new things. This ‘magic’ stuff is really impressive until you pull away the curtain and realize that all that it takes is to type in a search phrase into google to get an answer. Think about the productivity improvement that will occur on all ends when you free-up the reliance on your assistant. Think about the fear that you have now that your assistant will leave and in turn leave you with a wonderful system that you have no idea how to use. Think about the independence that you will have not to mention you might even wow them with a thing or two that you learn.

In high school, I spent many hot summer days swinging off a rope swing into the Delaware River. I was quite impressed with my ability to fly through the air and splash effortlessly into the river 30 feet beneath me. Then one day my 60 year old father shows up, without hesitation grabs the rope, does a perfect swan higher than any of us had reached prior, and leaves almost no splash beneath him. He got out of the water, strolled to his car and never said a word.*

*Note: He happened to be an all-america in the pool at Villanova and set several national records in High School…but the point still remains.

Front Rush is the #1 choice among college coaches who want to take an organized, intelligent approach to tracking and communicating with their recruits.  They are the go-to tech experts for the staff at Tudor Collegiate Strategies and coaches around the country.  What???  You aren’t one of them?  Find out what all the buzz is about…CLICK HERE

Review Of Windows 8: What You Need To KnowMonday, February 4th, 2013

By Justin Chud, Front Rush

With the release of Windows 8 last month, many consumers’ curiosity has piqued as to whether we can expect another Vista blunder by Microsoft or something spectacular. Microsoft’s new advertising campaign seems to suggest the latter, however, the reality falls somewhere in-between. All comparisons to previous versions of Windows will be made against the Windows 7 OS. I will attempt to break down the ins and outs of this new operating system as your average consumer would use it.

Disclaimer: I have been using Windows 8 for about 2 months now. This review is based on all updates released by Microsoft as of 1/20/2013. It is very possible that any function, performance, or usability that I discuss in the review will be altered, even drastically, in the future by Microsoft.


Updating from Windows 7 did take quite some time. From the moment the update button was pushed until the system was fully functional again lasted about 3 hours. Beware however, as many applications you have may not be supported in Windows 8, so they will have to be reinstalled once the update is complete. To Window’s credit though, it did a very nice job of clearly and appropriately laying out which programs would need to be reinstalled and how to reinstall them once Windows 8 is live.

First Impression, Functionality, and Performance

Windows 8 does a great job with one of the first things any computer user will take note of: startup time. The startup time generally does not take more than a minute, which includes the standard “lag” time. Computers usually take a while to boot up, display the desktop, and get the system loaded and functional.

The amazing start up time gives the user a flavor of greatness, only to leave a sour taste when you really begin to use the operating system. The biggest gripe I have with Windows 8 is that many programs, including Microsoft’s in-house programs (Office), have a noticeable lag time when using them for even routine tasks. Many programs seem to run more smoothly and efficiently in Windows 7. At times Windows will freeze when doing the most basic tasks (i.e. opening the notepad) and will manually quit the program. These issues, however, should (and I can’t stress “should” enough) be addressed with updates in the future when Microsoft analyzes system reports from their users.

Another issue with Windows 8 is accessibility to the hard drive. Deciding to remove the start button, Microsoft has created an entire start screen with the purpose of taking over all functions previously accessed through the start button. The screen is set up “grid style” with different sized (and colored) boxes representing apps, programs, and folders. All the way to the right (and when you hover your mouse in the upper right hand corner of the screen) you can find the search and settings features. The search function is clunky and has a difficult time running searches across multiple areas of the computer. The settings section is set up very “idiot proof” with highly visible menus that have basic English names. This is an attempt to create a balance between ease of use and in-depth functionality.

Microsoft has swayed too far towards ease of use with the menus in this section only covering basic functionality and features. This may be ok for someone with very basic knowledge of computers but for anyone looking to customize or alter meaningful settings in Windows 8 you must take the back end route. This entails going to the desktop where you can right-click in the bottom left of the screen to bring up a menu with selections very similar to the Window’s 7 start menu (including the classic control panel and file explorer). One annoying morsel of this feature is that your mouse must be located in just the right spot when right-clicking to bring up the menu (as there is no longer a button there), otherwise you will get quickly switched over the start screen. This is a trivial issue, but nonetheless annoying when it happens (which can be quite often).

The Verdict

Overall it is obvious that Microsoft is trying to slow down consumers who are jumping ship from PC’s and joining the legions of Mac users. With Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to create an OS that maintains the strengths of PCs while mimicking the highly aesthetic features of OS X. This causes two issues right off the bat. First, this leads Microsoft to stray from their strengths in order to accommodate the characteristics of OS X. Second, both OSs are written mainly in different programming languages, with each one having inherent advantages and differences. Windows has always been very structured with a highly linear feel. This is great for things like word processing, working with spreadsheets and databases (which can be very beneficial to enterprises), and being more customized at the hardware level. OS X has always been far superior when dealing with tasks that require creativity, such as photo/video/music editing, having a very aesthetically pleasing layout, and greater customization at the consumer/software level. In order to keep up with Apple OS X, Microsoft needs to focus on their strengths and build wonderful features on top of them. Instead, they are trying to incorporate features and strengths from an OS that is built upon foundations inherently different from their own.

Grade (1-10): 6.0, not as good as Windows 7, but exponentially better than Windows Vista.



“Think Outside The Box” For Recruiting Strategies That Can Make A DifferenceMonday, January 7th, 2013

By Sean Devlin, Front Rush

This week, I digressed from technology…

“Love something besides magic, in the arts.  Get inspired by a particular poet, film-maker, sculptor, composer.  You will never be the first Brian Allen Brushwood of magic if you want to be Penn & Teller.  But if you want to be, say, the Salvador Dali of magic, we’ll THERE’S an opening.”

This excerpt is from an email between celebrity magician Teller (Penn & Teller) and a young up-and-coming magician Brian Bushwood.

I read the above in a blog post and my head exploded with the simplicity and obvious nature of it, yet we all practice this so little. It’s true. Think about how often you look to your peers or predecessors for inspiration but rarely look outside the coaching world. Or think about how often you emulate your competition instead of seeing how others in a different domain dealt with their challenges. We all fall into this trap of tunnel vision so let’s explore the idea of breaking away a bit.

Let’s start with an example that you are already using with this blog/newsletter. You are learning techniques that Dan Tudor has taken from a parallel industry (sales) and applying it to your own (recruiting). It’s a small chasm to cross to make the leap from recruiting to sales yet the lessons and strategy and passage are the same.

So let’s step further outside our comfort zone, and look at magic. Is your presentation style that of David Copperfield: very dramatic, very elegant, very artistic. Or more of a David Blaine: up close and personal, very raw, very simple. Or maybe you are the Chris Angel of the recruiting world? Where else? What about music? Could you learn from the calculation of Mozart or the business of KISS or maybe the intelligence of Tupac? What if you research business leaders? Are there lessons from Rockefeller and his outright declaration of war on his competition or Warren Buffett and his focus on the long term?

In the competitive world of college recruiting where so many coaches and schools are looking to “stand out” or find their niche, one great way to do so is look beyond your initial surroundings. Instead of looking at the person next to you, look to outside worlds…look to presidents and world leaders…look to artists and musicians…look to engineers…look to war heroes…look to ancient cultures. Expand your recruiting and coaching by incorporating ideas found far off of the playing surface.


Sean’s Favorite Things: Fabulous and Useful Tech Gifts For ChristmasMonday, December 10th, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush


So I know this guy – he’s a real character. He makes a living teaching people how to “get rich”…seriously. This weekend there were pictures of him all over Facebook and the Lamborghini he bought himself for Hanukkah. It’s outrageous and ridiculous really but, it fits the image he is trying to get across.  Since it is the holidays I was thinking of making a list of the best technology gifts for you to get yourself…even if it is not a Lamborghini.

There are plenty of great technology gifts that can be extremely useful to you as a coach or recruiter. So, add some of these items to your own list for Santa or shop for yourself while you have the Christmas spirit and are buying gifts for others.


Apple MacBook Air ($1199)

It’s an ultra thin, portable, high performance, awesome laptop. Our head of training has one and it’s the only device left that people still take a double take when you are at the coffee shop.



Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones ($299.95)

When you are on the plane and need to tune out the background noise so you can concentrate and get in the zone. There literally is nothing better on the market. The new version even comes in blue.



Google Chrome (FREE)

Its time to move away from Internet Explorer. I can’t stress this enough. Unless you are on Windows 8, the most recent version of the browser that you are using is outdated. Not using the latest web technologies put you at a disadvantage.



iPad mini ($329)

It’s the latest greatest iPad. The big negative is that it does not have a retina display, but everything else about it is amazing. Feels great to carry, very portable…it’s essentially thinner then the iPhone 5.



Getting Things Done Kindle Edition ($12.99)

This is the book that “they” all talk about. It’s THE book on productivity. Seriously, read this, it will kickstart a life (lifestyle really) of making things happen.



Athletic Recruiting Software (prices vary)

Obviously our bias is toward Front Rush but we recommend moving away from Excel/Outlook, Pen/Paper, etc. and looking into a product that is built to help you manage your recruiting. The upside just keeps increasing.


Acorn Image Editor for Humans ($49.99 for Mac users)

Do you ever have to do any image manipulation but are scared off by the technical nature of Photoshop? Acorn is like a scaled back Photoshop (but not so scaled back that it lacks key functions) and it’s a bit more friendly than its much more expensive counterpart.



Dell UltraSharp U2311H-23″ Monitor ($249)

If you are using a laptop as your primary computer, it’s time to invest in an external monitor. Once you try two screens, the single screen lifestyle is almost unimaginable.



Apple TV ($99)

Yes – this is the 3rd Apple item but for $99 bucks it’s amazing. At the very least, it can replace your projector which can be a nightmare to get started. With Apple TV, you can project whatever is on your iPhone, iPad, MacBook directly onto your TV. It streams directly.



Makerbot 3D Printer ($2199)

So this is really what I want. It’s a printer that sits on your desk and prints in 3D. It’s the next wave of technology. If you get one, please let me know, I would love to see it.











Understanding the Recruiting Email Technology You UseMonday, August 13th, 2012

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