One of the most frustrating things in recruiting is when you reach out to some new recruits for your next class with an email you spent a long time crafting, and no one responds. Or maybe a few do, but not nearly as many as you would have liked.
This first step in the recruiting process kills recruiting for so many programs. When a recruit doesn’t respond to the first email a coach sends them, the chances that they open and respond to a follow up email are much lower.
The main problem is that coaches do not focus on that goal of getting a response. It is what coaches want but the way their emails are structured does not make it the priority.
How can you increase the chances that a recruit actually replies to that first email? Here are two ways:
1) Eliminate unnecessary information
This is such a critical step when crafting that initial email. What you’ll find when you do this is it shrinks your message. And that is one of the first goals of this elimination. A shorter message is more visually inviting which increases the chances the recruit reads and responds to it.
But, eliminating unnecessary information also makes the recruit more interested in responding.
What are some examples of unnecessary information to put in the body of this first email?
Your school, sport, and name. “Well Dan, I need to introduce myself and let them know where I coach!”
I don’t think you do. And this simply because you probably have an email signature that includes all of that information. Your recruit will see that signature and know who you are. No need to add a sentence or two explaining this. Just get right into the email.
Another example of unnecessary information is any kind of selling of your program. Coaches often try to overload this message with info about the school and reasons why it is a great school to choose.
The problem is, in this first message your recruit is not looking to be sold. What they are looking for are the reasons why you are reaching out and where you found them. And they want something that will peak their interest enough to respond. A full-on sales pitch is too overwhelming and consequently decreases that response rate.
“Does this part of the email contribute to or take away from the likelihood a recruit will want to respond?” Ask yourself that question as you construct this message.
2) Include a clear next step
What do we want your recruit to do with this message? Respond!
So, what should we ask them to do? Respond!
It sounds obvious. But, so many first contact emails end with something like, “let me know if you have any questions” or “feel free to give me a call.”
Neither of those statements are you clearly asking the recruit to respond.
To further increase your chances of them responding, make it clear how and when to reply. Even something as simple as, “text me” does not provide much clarity.
What should they text you with? What if they text you the wrong thing or text you at the wrong time? Should they text you after they read the email or the next day?
These are all questions your recruit might be asking. Make it clear. Ask for a response and tell them how to do it. Leave as little room for them to not respond as possible.
If you can do these two things, you’ll see a big bump in your first contact email response rate!
Want more of the latest strategies that are proven to increase response rates and tell a more complete story that gets your recruits talking to you throughout the process? Make sure you’re getting our regular stream of new data, research and instruction through our Honey Badger Recruiting site. We’ll send new exclusive articles and podcasts to you throughout the week, keeping you on the leading edge of the latest information and research. Plus, you’ll get immediate access to all of the past training we’ve given. Hundreds of coaches are following us…you should too! Click here to check it out and click on the Subscribe Now button when you see it. You can also contact Dan Christensen, the author of this article, at firstname.lastname@example.org.