Most schools and universities try to get new agents by emailing agents they’ve never met before.
However, they do not get much success from that – and here’s the 3 most common outcomes:
- Agents give no reply
- Agents say they’re not interested
- Agents say they’ll think about it
So, universities and school believe that emailing education agents don’t work.
I used to do that too when I started. I thought that I had to go to agent networking events and travel everywhere to meet with agents. But, there was only 1 little thing in my way: I don’t like to travel that much because I want to spend time with my family! Also, travelling disrupts my healthy diet and I can even go to exercise, and meet with my friends… You get the idea. It disrupts my daily pattern.
But, I really loved my work at that time. I wanted to help more international students study at our universities (I truly believe that our school has a program that can REALLY help students mold their futures).
But what choice do I have? Maybe I need to resign and not work in international student recruitment anymore – because working in this position means I must travel and I won’t have much personal time nor have time with my family. (isn’t that what everyone says? In fact, this is one of the top reasons why people quit working in International admissions.)
Then, with my resignation letter all typed up, I went on my daily Facebook scrolling routine to distress.
While I was scrolling, a Facebook ad stopped me in my tracks. This Facebook ad featured Neil Patel, a famous digital marketer, was talking about why writing personalized emails can help us get more responses.
I started researching frantically on how to write more personalised emails.
But then, I slowly realised that personalisation is not just what we put in the emails, but the whole experience the agent gets when they receive a stranger’s email like mine.
“Personalisation of Emails is not just what we put in them, it’s the whole experience on how the agent receives the email.”
There’s 3 Key Components to Creating a Personalised Email (/Experience) for Prospective Agents:
- Right Person
- Right Message
- Right Time
The very first email that universities and schools send off to an agency is usually an intro about themselves, attaching their marketing brochure, give a sales pitch about their school, and ask if them if they’re interested in promoting the programs. Or, they ask the agency ‘Are you free for a call for next Tuesday 9am?’
Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. Only a few responded.
Imagine, you get these education agent lists online (or from somewhere else), some of these are even the email addresses of the agency for general inquiries: How do you know if the person reading these emails are responsible for talking about partnerships with you? They may even just be a receptionist!
And when you’re sending an email that the receiver doesn’t care about (such as the receptionist, or even a staff that’s not in charge of partnerships), the receiver will ignore your email. They are not even paid to negotiate for partnerships- that’s not in their own job descriptions – so why should they care?
So, the first email that I always send to stranger agents is always asking who is the responsible person in negotiating partnerships with me. And when I get a name, I will contact them directly from then onwards – since I am sure this person cares as that’s their job and can help them get more commissions!
Emails to prospective agents MUST BE PERSONALISED.
Why? Every school and university is providing a similar commission, and every agents gets email messages everyday to promote different schools and universities. This means that, they can similar financial rewards by working with different schools and universities.
The only reason why agents want to work with you and not the others, is therefore, not a monetary factor (well, given that you provide average commission of around 10-15%, some provide as high as 20% [more than 20% commission is unheard of]). The reason is actually dependent on your relationship with these prospective agents.
So, in order to build a relationship with agents who you’ve never contacted before, you need to personalise the emails.
Most schools and universities do it these ways:
- Send off generic emails without personalisation (this does not create a relationship with agents, because you’re just like Jane Doe down the road, blasting off emails without any research)
- Personalising the full email from head to toe, so each email is different from different agents. They personalise are what countries the agents represent, what awards the agents get, even what content they’ve posted on their Facebook and compliment them in that email.
Of course, personalising the email from head to toe definitely gives the best results. However, I was spending so much time of these, but I can only get a few more agents only because not all agents are suitable.
The time in personalising so much wasn’t worth it for me. So I tested out by only altering the receiver’s name and the company’s name. And because I was able to send emails to much more agents with the same amount of time, I was able to pick from a large pool of agents, which allowed me to get 25 quality agents in 2 months.
Personalising emails by the First name and Company Name of receivers give the best Return on Investment of Time.
When recruiting agents, we all have our own routines. For me, I loved sending emails from 9am to 11am. However, I heard about trying to send emails to prospective agents at different times of the day. So I spent months of testing and realised 1 key thing:
We need to send emails during working hours!
(duh…. everyone knows that, nobody wants to work outside working hours?)
But wait… If it’s our working hour, it might not be a working hour for the propective agent!
Agents are located in different countries and have different timezones.
We need to send emails when they are at work.
So, it means that while they have their email inbox open at work, when your email arrives, it will be at the top of their inbox. It’s very visible, it’s very easy to click on, and they’ll open your email and you’ll get more replies.
Do you need help in getting even more agents through email?
Watch our webinar here: How to Get Students in 2021