Higher Education Mass Texting: Reach Students and Staff With Ease
Mobile phone usage is growing. In 2021, people in the top 10 mobile markets globally (including the US, Canada, and Mexico) used their phones an average of 4.8 hours a day. That’s almost 20% more than the year before.
Generation Z is more connected than ever. More than 70% of this digital-native generation use their devices primarily for text and chat. This generation shuns phone calls while never being far from their mobile device. Schools that want to reach their students need to modernize their communication strategy. Higher education mass texting is a great place to start.
Higher Education Mass Texting
Of course, not all of your students are in Gen-Z; we get that. Students come in all ages, and with online and evening classes, more people are opting for continuing education beyond their early 20’s.
Gen-Z is still dominant in your student population, no matter the appeal in older generations. Dubbed Generation Alpha, those born in 2010 or later are already on a technology-rich educational journey, and they will be on campus in no time. This generation was well and truly born with digital devices all around, with parents connected via mobile devices and tablets or televisions serving as entertainment. A recent study found that kids are getting their own cell phone as early as seven years old. Texting has become the norm in recent generations.
That means Gen-Z and Gen Alpha are accustomed to receiving information digitally. Schools that insist on sending print materials will risk presenting themselves as outdated institutions and struggling to build trust with prospective and current students. Higher education mass texting will help get messages out and received in a timely manner.
Boost and Streamline Enrollment
Your journey into building a relationship with students begins at the recruitment and enrollment phase. First impressions matter, and how you reach your prospective students will create a persona for your school. If your outreach strategy is clear and approachable, you’ll see enrollment increase.
Schools can use higher education mass texting in several ways during the recruitment and enrollment phases. Consider these stages to leverage SMS for better communication:
Invite prospective students to campus events and send reminders. Institutions can use SMS for both in-person and online events, and you can provide links to RSVP. Sending reminders will decrease the no-shows for events and recruitment meetings, meaning your staff will be able to spend their time more effectively.
Your text messages can include embedded links to forms and documents, too, making it easy for your recipients to access the things they need to move through the stages of admission. You can direct students to helpful information from various departments, including financial aid or one relevant to their degree or major.
With such a heavy reliance on mobile devices, digital reminders are crucial in this day and age. Your prospective students are likely engaged with other schools as well, and it can be challenging to keep all of the dates and locations straight along the way.
Institutions can use higher education mass texting for reminders of upcoming events. Send a nudge to those who haven’t yet responded in order to increase RSVPs. For those who have replied to say they’ll come, a reminder will help to ensure they show up. That includes one-on-one meetings with advisors, of course.
Reminders can also be used for application deadlines, ensuring your students don’t get locked out for failing to submit in time. Class enrolment and financial aid deadlines are crucial stages in the student journey, and your subscribers will be grateful for the reminders.
Reach Students and Alumni Effectively
Once you’ve shown what a great communicator you are in the enrollment and admissions stages, you have to keep it going with your students and alumni.
There are many practical reasons to send texts to students. The need for financial aid carries on throughout the education journey for many, and missing a deadline can be detrimental to one’s path. Sending financial aid deadlines or links to resources will prove invaluable.
Deadlines for submissions and exams are also crucial to current students. Using higher education mass texting to remind students of upcoming milestones in the semester will help them keep focused and on track.
The personal pressure of higher education can become burdensome for many students, and schools recognize the importance of mental health support. Use SMS to reach out and offer internal or external resources to ensure they are well looked after.
You can use SMS to reach students with timely alerts, too. Send messages with updates about housing for those living on campus. You can send texts with policy changes or updates, too. Urgent alerts are more likely to be seen immediately when they go out via text message. If severe weather, a dramatic traffic incident, a health or safety issue, or a power outage is affecting access to or life on campus, use higher education mass texting to let your students know.
Once your students graduate and enter the workforce, it can be more challenging. Sending SMS to alumni is a simple way to keep them involved with your school.
Send messages with alumni resources or invitations to campus events. Solicit feedback or collect testimonials from graduates to help build referrals for your school and understand the student experience.
If you have a mentorship program or opportunities for your alums to engage with current students, text messages are a great way to invite them to participate. If you’re looking to get the word out about fundraising opportunities for programs on campus, try sending a text or MMS (multimedia text message) with more information about your goals.
You can also use texts to alumni to share about continuing education opportunities including night courses and certificate programs. With so many schools expanding online or hybrid learning opportunities, alumni are a great audience for promoting distance learning.
Communicate with Staff
Prospective, current, and former students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from higher education mass texting. Your staff will also appreciate clear and timely communication.
Keep your faculty and staff up-to-date with notifications and alerts via SMS. The same urgent alerts for students are relevant to your staff. If additional information or action is needed from faculty, you can send a separate message to only internal subscribers.
Internal processes don’t need to be long and drawn out. SMS is more effective than email, and you can get straight to the point. Policy changes, open enrollment workflows, training opportunities, deadlines, and other relevant information for staff are great opportunities for text messaging. These texts can include links to your intranet with more details.
If you have multiple campuses or remote teams, SMS is the perfect way to reach them effectively. As classes move to online or hybrid models, text messaging is more effective than campus bulletins for staff and students alike.
SMS Platform for Effective Texting
It’s easy to get started with higher education mass texting. It’s much easier than hiring a strong-thumbed millennial to start sending text messages rapidly to your students. A feature-rich texting platform like TrueDialog can make outreach a breeze.
Quickly craft, send, and report on text messages to students and staff. You can easily create audience segments and distribution lists to ensure your messages reach the right people. If your institution is using a CRM, leveraging integrations will help you to add text to your communication strategy without reinventing the wheel. Seamlessly add higher education mass texting to your existing workflow, and see all communications in one place.