by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
If you want to have an effective recruiting relationship with your prospects, it needs to be a two-way conversation.
When recruits do not reply to your emails, you have no idea whether or not they are actually reading or understanding your messages. This will severely impede your ability to know how to best recruit that athlete.
So, how can we increase the likelihood that recruits will read and reply to your emails? Here are two ways:
1) Keep them focused
One mistake a lot of coaches make is to throw a lot of info at recruits in a single message. I think the thought process behind that strategy is that hopefully something will stick with the recruit if we give them a lot to think about.
But, the opposite effect happens.
When a recruit is given a long email that jumps around to several different topics, they get confused. They are wondering what the point of this message is.
And when a recruit is confused, their reaction is not to respond to the coach and ask them for more clarity. Their reaction is to ignore the message and hope the next one is clearer.
Figure out what your goal of that message is. What point do you want to get across? Pick something specific and focus on that.
If you get them to actually read and respond to the shorter, more focused message, then you’ll have more opportunities to send them future messages that they’ll engage with.
2) Clearly define the next step
One fear that many recruits share is the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Because of this, if they’re not sure exactly what they are supposed to do, their go-to response is to do nothing.
If they do nothing, at least they won’t say or do something wrong. Which is why many of them choose not to respond to emails.
What do you want them to do after they read your email?
If you want them to reply back with an answer to your question, tell them that.
If you want them to share their schedule with you, tell them that.
Ask for a response. But, also detail what you want in that response. Something like this:
“Jimmy, after you read this email, can you reply back and let me know one or two things you’re looking forward to when it comes to studying biology in college?”
Simple but clear.
Make your messages focused on one topic and include the next step in the process for your recruits to take. If you’re doing these two things, you’ll get responses, Coach!
Want help crafting more effective recruiting messages? Dan Christensen and the rest of the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies are currently working with over 500 programs around the country to help them connect with top recruits. You can email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have about making your recruiting message more effective.