2 Things To Consider Before Sending Automated Emails to College Coaches

Emailing College CoachesBy Steve O’Brien – Goal: College Athlete

Are you using a recruiting service that sends automated emails to college coaches on your behalf? Is this service your only method in trying to contact college coaches? While there can be benefits to this strategy, I wanted to make you aware of a couple of issues that can arise from sending automated emails to college coaches:

1. Automated Emails Are NOT Nearly Personal Enough For College Coaches 

With all the recruiting services and other companies trying to sell to coaches, automated emails are like “white noise” to most college coaches and most of these emails either get ignored or deleted. Very few get opened and even less get responded to. Even if you are a great athlete who would be a great fit for a program, the probability of your automated emails even getting looked at is probably low because it looks just like the hundreds of other automated emails college coaches receive.

The college coaches I have spoken with tell me they want to here directly from the athlete on why they want to be a part of their program. The best way to do this is to research the coach, program and school and send them relevant, attention grabbing emails.


2. College Coaches Don’t Like Click Tracking Emails

Click tracking emails are emails that have embedded links within the email that if the coach clicks on one of them, that click gets reported back to the recruiting service or athlete signaling that the coach has looked at the email and took action (i.e. clicked on something) to find out more. This knowledge can be very valuable to the athlete if used in the appropriate way. For example, if you noticed a coach clicked on an email to view your athletic profile, you could follow up with a personal email or phone call which could result in a meeting with the coach. The problem is, in most cases, the click tracking is used to trigger more automated (not personal) messaging. For example, a coach might click on an email to view a potential recruits profile. Then, a couple days later they get another automated email saying “I see you looked at my profile…….would you like to connect.” This is very impersonal and in some cases disrespectful to coaches. Due to examples like this, coaches are starting to realize that if they click on these automated emails (or on links inside an athletic profile) they might be tracked and inundated with more automated emails. This is not a good thing for you, the athlete, if this is the only way you are trying to connect with coaches.

Automated emails can be beneficial if used appropriately. If you are using a service that sends automated emails on your behalf to coaches, my advice would be to know exactly what is being sent to coaches and to understand how the entire process works. You want to know the answers to questions like:

  • How many emails are being sent on my behalf?
  • What coaches are getting my emails?
  • Do I have access to see what actions (clicks) have been taken on these emails? (i.e. do I get reporting on this)
  • Do I have the authority to stop the automated emails and follow up personally with a particular coach based on the reporting?


In the end this is your process, not the recruiting services. To actually be recruited, you must take control at some point and start to build a personal relationship with coaches, something no amount of automation can accomplish.


Related articles to help you in your recruiting process:

-Examples of Relevant Emails to Send to College Coaches

-Why You Must Pro-Actively Follow Up with Coaches

-Be Respectful to College Coaches and Staff Members


About Steve O'Brien
Steve O'Brien is the co-creator of Goal: College Athlete (GCA). The website was built to inspire young athletes to reach their goal of playing college sports. Information includes a pro-active plan to get the attention of college coaches and also insight from college coaches on what qualities they look for in a potential recruit. Steve played College Hockey at the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1999. Questions? Send Steve an email at [email protected]

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