Dan Tudor

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August 13th, 2012

Understanding the Recruiting Email Technology You Use

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Many recruiting and email applications will tell coaches when recruits are opening their emails, what links they are clicking, how many times they opened the email, if the email bounced or the user unsubcribed, along with some other bells and whistles. We often get asked how this stuff works when people use Front Rush or some of the other recruiting management products on the market, so we decided to explain the magician’s trick and walk you through the magic of email tracking.

So how does it work? Well, when an email goes out, the recruiting application adds a hidden image inside the email. This hidden image is commonly known as a “web beacon” and it does exactly that. When the email is received, and opened the beacon sends signals to the recruiting application, letting it know when the email was openened, how many times, if any links were clicked etc. This beacon is the workhorse behind the whole thing.

So what are the shortcomings? The issue with the hidden image is that if the recipient does not allow for images, or does not turn images on when they receive the email, the beacon is not actived (if you’ve ever received an email and your email client was asked you to “click here to enable images”). If the beacon is not activated, it can’t let the recruiting application know what is going on with the email. This eliminates one of the major legs of email tracking.

So how do you get around it?  (This is important, Coach!) The recruiting application can do a couple of things. First off, they can still track if links are clicked even if the beacon is not activated (I’ll save the technical reasons for another time). They also can improve the probably that when a recipient receives the email, that the images are automatically shown (this is the secret sauce of the recruiting application).

What about bounces? When an email bounces, the recruiting application gets a note back from the recipients email provider. This note will say something like “hey, this email address doesn’t exits” or “hey, this person’s inbox is full” or “hey, we are having some problems today, please send to us again later”. Typically, this will all happen in the background (automatically) so you don’t have to deal with it. Instead, you’ll get a signal somehow that says the last email to this person bounced.

Now you know, Coach!

When it comes to recruiting emails, Front Rush is the king.  They run the most reliable web-based system in the country, and are the #1 choice among college coaches who need reliable service and cutting-edge technology.  For more information, visit www.frontrush.com