I just completed a couple interviews with college coaches and one of the questions I asked them was, “How do you like to be contacted by a student-athlete?”
There was one thing in common from both coaches, who were on opposite ends of the country by the way. They said they delete any emails that are not personal. If it’s a group email or has no sign of custom touch, they’re gone. Not only did these two coaches say that, they started getting a little excited when they told me. I knew this was a big deal.
So, if you’ve sent emails with the subject line, “Recruiting” or something as bland as that, your email probably wasn’t read. And, if your email starts with, “Dear Coach,” it probably got deleted, too.
Coaches want to know you’re taking the time and you’re really interested in their program. As I’ve said many times, “Coaches can smell a spam campaign a mile away.”
Before I give you those three magic words, I want to say something about the body of your email. Do everything you can to personalize it by addressing the coach by name and inserting the school name one or more times. If you show that you’ve taken the time to write this email specifically to this coach, you can get his or her interest. Or, should I say that you won’t lose their interest out of the gate?
One more thing. This email must, must, must come from the student-athlete. I got an earful from both of these coaches about parents getting in the way. Coaches want to communicate with the athlete and hear from him or her. Parents, we know your athlete is great, but the coach doesn’t want you to tell him that.
Now the three magic words. I didn’t learn this from a coach or anyone in athletics. I learned it from a friend who is a great communicator. It works and almost guarantees you will get the coach to open your email. These three magic words should be in the subject line of the email. These three magic words work on our nature to perk up when we hear or read our name. These three magic words are very rarely used in a subject line. I bet you’ve probably never received an email that uses this “formula.” Your email will stand out among all others!
With that said, I’m not talking about deception or manipulation. I’m talking about extending your hand to the coach. And here are the three magic words: “Dear Coach Smith…” Yes, with the three dots at the end. It will be opened.
Yep, personalizing the email right off the bat in the subject line. Who doesn’t notice when they see their own name? I can assure you that you will probably be the only one who does this. In fact, even if your email is in the middle of a lot of others, the coach may go to yours first.
I’ve used these three words often, and my emails get opened.
In the door
Once your email is opened, you’re in the door. But only really barely in the door. The next thing you need to do, as I mentioned earlier, is to personalize the body of the email as much as possible. As far as specific content, I invite you to search previous blog posts where I deal with that in more detail. You can also go through this in my free Athletic Scholarship Mini-Course. You can have access to that right away.
There you have it. Three simple words that go a long way towards your success. Use those words in your next email when you are introducing yourself to a coach for the first time. And don’t forget the dots!