Text Tips, Trends & Best Practices

5 Essential Ways Universities Use Text/SMS

As of 2014, smartphone ownership among college students has exceeded 86% (Educase) and texting is their preferred means of communication. Texting has a nearly perfect open rate and a much higher response rate than email. So, what does this mean for universities today?

Here are 5 innovative ways to incorporate SMS technology into your university. 

1. Online Universities Increase New Enrollment with Text

Over the past year, we've seen enrollment managers use Text/SMS communications in powerful ways to engage and nurture prospective students. For starters, Text is increasingly the medium prospective students prefer. Emails get lost in the shuffle and phone calls can be intrusive. Text communications are read almost immediately and response rates are through the roof.

If you have an Online University, you've probably started experimenting with text messaging. As you weigh the pros and cons of different providers, consider the following:

  • Does the Text platform integrate with your CRM?
  • Is there a reporting dashboard to allow management oversight and quality control?
  • Will it handle multiple 1-to-1 conversations?
  • Is there a click-to-call feature?

2.  Increase Retention and Help Ease the Financial Aid Process

FAFSA and other financial aid steps can be tough to keep track of and complete. By forgetting deadlines or making mistakes while applying for aid, students are more prone to being dropped from their courses. Having SMS alerts in place can help students remember when important deadlines are coming up. Texting can also be used to send FAFSA tips to students who may struggle with the application process.

          Learn more about how SMS reminders aid the financial aid process here

 3. Make Your Campus Better Connected

Like we said, college students are heavily dependent on their cell phones. A mobile emergency alert system is common place in many universities. However, alerts don’t have to be limited to emergency notifications. Students can opt-in to receive campus updates about special events and important reminders.

          Check out our blog about mobilizing your campus with SMS   

4. Continually Engage Alumni...Email Addresses Change. Mobile Numbers Remain.

Many students stop using their .edu email addresses after graduation. In fact, 30% of all email addresses change annually.  University communications don't have to end when students graduate. Since mobile numbers rarely change, a mobile club specifically for alumni can help keep alumni in the loop can also help keep alumni connected with each other.

          Check out our blog on SMS for alumni communications

5. Improve In-Class Participation and Learning

​​​​A notable trend in university education is the use of text messaging as a way to make a more connected classroom. It is typical for many college students to get lost in crowded classroom or lecture hall. Various apps and services, like TopHat and Kahoot, utilize texting as a means to facilitate quizzes, surveys, and general class discussion.

          Read more about improving in-class participation with SMS on our blog


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