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Using SMS Texting to Boost University Enrollment

Using SMS Text Messaging to Boost University Enrollment

SMS texting in college admissions is a necessity. Research shows today’s students overwhelmingly prefer text messaging and often don’t respond to traditional phone or email marketing. And while enrollment and retention rates are critical metrics, higher education texting offers many other valuable benefits as well.

COLLEGE STUDENTS PREFER SMS TEXT MESSAGING

Text messaging dominates the modern communication landscape. And nowhere is this more evident than on higher education campuses. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that times have changed. But the extent to which it has may surprise you.

Recent studies show that 95% of 18-24-year-olds own cell phones and 97% of them use text messaging extensively. On average, this demographic sends around 110 texts per day or more than 3,000 text messages per month

In comparison, these numbers are nearly double those for ages 25-34 and triple for persons 65 or older. Clear evidence that SMS text messaging has expanded rapidly and is now a critical part of higher education marketing.

One of the most common complaints from university administrators is that schools can’t reach students. They frequently won’t answer their phone or respond to email. Texting is the only way many students want to communicate.

And an estimated 97% of text messages are read in 3 minutes or less.

However, institutions shouldn’t abandon traditional forms of communication. They instead need to develop a holistic communications plan that lets the student choose their preferred method – text messaging, email, or phone.

Bottom line – higher education partners must meet enrollees where they are in order to thrive. Sometimes that means a phone call. Other times its email. Yet, for the vast majority, texting reigns supreme.

SMS TEXTING IMPROVES COLLEGE ADMISSIONS AND RETENTION

Admitting students is a complicated process requiring coordination between multiple departments such as admissions, registration, and financial aid. And, unfortunately, when one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, problems arise.

Records are lost, deadlines go unnoticed, and students and their families pay the price. 

That’s why SMS texting is a high-value solution. Enterprise-grade platforms offer advanced options which allow seamless communication between all parties. By using a cloud-based communications platform, universities can be up and running the same day with no technology expenditures or development required.

Admissions and enrollment staff can effortlessly transition between mass notifications and engaging in one-on-one personalized texting dialog at scale between students and multiple departments.

University staff can all chime into the same texting thread with the student to resolve issues faster and create a truly seamless experience. While students need only to make a single request to receive all the help they need.

Once contact is made, departments can hand-off tickets and keep entire case histories intact. Behind the scenes, transfers happen as needed while still maintaining a single conversation thread throughout.

Students get better, faster customer experiences without jumping through hoops or worrying about falling through the cracks.

The latest developments in text messaging have created cloud-based, enterprise-grade platforms that can be immediately deployed with minimal effort and allow multiple staff members to all engage in the same texting thread with students and prospects.

A stark contrast to messages getting buried in a forgotten email account or unreturned phone calls. SMS text messaging is a high-value communication platform that offers incredible ROI for university stakeholders. 

BENEFITS OF TEXT MESSAGING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

The benefits of including SMS text messaging are undeniable – both from the student perspective as well as the institution. Students get the assistance they need in near real-time communication, along with relevant reminders about upcoming events, due dates, or submission requirements.

Universities receive value from improved response rates, higher enrollment yield, stronger retention metrics, and overall student engagement.

, Texting Software for Admissions & Enrollment

Gentle reminders add value – A recent Harvard Business Review study showed that many college students welcome a proactive outreach program. Not only for staying informed, but also to provide gentle “nudges” in completing required tasks and staying ahead of admissions and financial deadlines.

In one example, Georgia State University implemented a text-based program to help students navigate the admissions process. The result? A 71% student engagement rate with less than 2% of message traffic requiring additional staff intervention.

Students received the help they needed using the format they enjoyed most (texting).

Texting improves admission and retention rates – In 2017, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission reported increases in both GPAs and retention rates after implementing higher education texting. Their “Txt 4 Success” initiative gives students information and reminders about registration, tuition deadlines, and advice for completing FAFSA applications.

Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the HEPC, said texting programs align perfectly with students who are “usually glued to their phones.” Hill also noted that the study outcomes showed, “retention rates and attempted credit hours increased” for students who opted-in to the program.

The Chancellor pointed out that students were more comfortable using a medium so familiar to them (texting). Which made asking for help less intimidating and proved to be “an effective way to open a door for conversation.”

Texting in education saves time – another powerful benefit of incorporating SMS text messaging into university settings. Using an enterprise-grade SMS messaging platform allows you to integrate your existing CRM and pull student data automatically. 

With texting, higher education facilities can easily send students reminders about:

  • tuition deadlines – to inform students of upcoming fees and deadlines before it’s too late. Preemptive text messages help students plan better and may reduce stress during busy periods.
  • incomplete applications – such as courtesy reminders for missing forms, transcripts, or other important documents. These notifications ensure applications are received (and processed) in a timely manner. 
  • event notifications – for registration drives, career fairs, open houses, or alumni events. Activities that students and parents might not be aware of otherwise.

SMS text messaging can also be used to quickly coordinate meeting times and schedule interviews with support staff. Which eliminates the back and forth associated with traditional phone calls or email.

Text messaging improves student satisfaction – in multiple ways. Marketing departments can segment their messaging to ensure the right content goes to the proper audience. Engineering students don’t want to receive psychology department updates. Just like alumni shouldn’t be bothered with new student orientation schedules.

Texting Solutions for Enrollment

Proper segmentation – along with providing relevant updates – is key to earning and keeping student trust.

Access to someone’s SMS inbox is a privilege.

Which can be easily lost if abused. University managers need enterprise-grade tools with powerful administrative controls to grant and restrict access, monitor communications and compliance, and easily deploy and train their reps.

Besides the right message, an outstanding customer experience makes a great impression as well.

Texting offers much higher response rates than phone or email.

Students get their questions answered quickly and easily using their favorite mobile device. And because students are comfortable and familiar with texting, it’s a breeze to keep the conversation going and build rapport.

Support staff can use these opportunities to share information about scholarships and grants, advising/mentoring services, or invite students and parents to networking events.

Which – in many cases – are the updates they care about most.

ENTERPRISE-GRADE SMS TEXTING SOLUTIONS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATION

Text messaging is becoming a critical part of university outreach strategies. Thus, it’s important to choose the right partner for your SMS messaging platform. A service provider that’s not only affordable but built to scale and grow with you over time.

TrueDialog’s SMS education solution is designed to securely and reliably meet the needs of large universities and colleges. Yet, remains easy-to-use for smaller and midsize institutions as well.

Our higher education texting platform was custom-built over several years by working directly with university partners. The result is an enterprise-grade text messaging solution that was designed for the needs of both online and ground-based facilities alike.

Texting Solutions for Student Admissions

While other SMS texting vendors shoehorn their existing text platforms into the education marketplace, TrueDialog designed a solution from the ground up by working with and carefully listening to large universities. TrueDialog’s cloud-based, enterprise-grade software offers high performance and scalability, at less than half the cost of the competition.

TrueDialog’s scalable enterprise SMS solutions set the standard for value and ROI. Our unique message platform works on both desktop and mobile apps and includes industry-leading features that others simply can’t match.

  • Direct carrier connections – means higher messaging volumes at lower cost. We securely handle tens of millions of messages each month for organizations of all sizes. And at pricing our competitors can’t touch. 
  • Proprietary “Cross-Code” and 2-way mass texting features – enable two-way text messaging dialogs that create threaded, multi-user, many-to-one conversations with ease. Seamless texting with both Short Codes and Long Codes in the same agent thread allows sending mass text messages and then effortlessly engaging in personalized one-to-one dialog at scale.

No other SMS platform comes close.

  • Professional administrative controls – provide granular system access based on specific user needs. Give administrators full control while limiting agents to view-only mode or other customizable profiles.

Unlike other SMS messaging products, TrueDialog assigns a dedicated, company-owned text number to each individual rep. Bypassing the headache of shared SMS inboxes or the unprofessional use of personal cell numbers. 

  • FREE multi-channel campus alert – provides an emergency alert notification system at no extra charge. Send mass notifications simultaneously via SMS text, voice, email, or social media directly from within your dashboard.

To learn more about these and our other unique SMS texting benefits, visit our website.

CONCLUSION

SMS texting in university and college admissions is a high-leverage marketing channel that produces incredible ROI. Universities adopting this technology report more engagement, increased enrollment yield, higher retention rates, and better customer satisfaction. Not to mention huge time savings and enhanced productivity amongst staff.

But in order to be effective, higher education texting must be done right.

Enterprise-grade solutions like TrueDialog make the process easy. Our five-star rated, scalable SMS messaging platform is built from the ground up for higher education managers.

We are the cloud experts in SMS text messaging technology and offer more features than the competition – for about half the price.

Don’t sacrifice. Insist on getting more value for less money. Give us a call and let us introduce you to the power of TrueDialog.


Interested in learning more?

Give us a call today at 512-501-5940 or sign up online for your FREE 15-day trial (no credit card required).

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The Top 3 Reasons to Integrate SMS Texting into Your CRM

Integrating SMS texting into your current CRM is easy and low cost with our pre-built SMS integrations. Combine the power of your CRM with a Salesforce SMS, Marketo SMS or Microsoft Dynamics SMS integrated solution to improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and boost your ROI.

SMS/CRM INTEGRATION AUTOMATES WORKFLOW

The two main purposes of any hardware/software integration are to reduce workload and improve operational ROI. Adding SMS texting to your current CRM (e.g., Salesforce, Marketo, or Microsoft Dynamics) is a prime example. Many repetitive tasks are eliminated while those that remain can be greatly simplified.

Better Customer Service

Let’s face it – faster response times increase overall conversion rates. In fact, studies have shown businesses who respond in the first hour after contact generate 7X more leads than those who don’t. And that number jumps to a whopping 60X more when brands wait for 24 hours or longer.

TrueDialog’s unique SMS platform makes responding to customers easier than ever.

Our Contact Center solution allows agents, help desk teams, and employees to conduct threaded, multi-user, team-based SMS conversations at scale. While TrueDialog’s proprietary “Cross-Code” technology allows both short code & long code messages to appear in the same text thread.

This highly unique feature allows enterprises to seamlessly integrate mass sms marketing messages & text notifications with personalized 1-to-1 texting dialog for an unparalleled customer experience. Businesses respond faster and save time by allowing multiple agents to contribute to customer support conversations using a single group thread.

A much smarter approach than maintaining separate, single-agent conversations or frantically digging through a series of disparate texts or emails.

Automatic CRM Updates

Previously, sending text messages and updating your CRM records were separate functions. But with an enterprise SMS texting solution like TrueDialog, that’s no longer the case. Our integration suite intuitively translates conversations into CRM leads and automatically updates customer accounts.

A truly native SMS integration builds enterprise-grade texting directly into your CRM instance. Imagine sending texts and automatically logging them into your analytics CRM data for Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics. No separate windows and no more copying and pasting. No more editing in multiple systems. Each new conversation seamlessly flows into your chosen CRM.

Not to mention that texting is a highly-efficient way to engage with customers. Statistics show that more than 90% of mobile users read text messages in 3 minutes or less. With the average response time being around 90 seconds.

A far cry from email or other traditional forms of outreach.

Reminders and Notifications

With SMS integration, both clients and employees stay up-to-date with the latest account information. Agents can use text messages to automatically remind customers of upcoming events. Or push instant notifications to fellow employees regarding updated tasks, assignments, or meetings.

Changes to your CRM database can be scheduled for delivery (or dispersed in real time) to those that need the information most. Doing so keeps customers happy and helps employees close more deals.

SMS INTEGRATION IMPROVES OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Efficiency is another key benefit of integrating SMS texting with your existing Salesforce, Marketo, or Microsoft Dynamics database. Merging your CRM and text messaging platform allows employees to be more productive and responsive. Easily see message history and customize message data flow into your CRM. The perfect combination to make better use of limited resources – whether it be time, personnel, or technology assets.

Unified Communication

One of the biggest advantages of integration is bringing your communication and client data together under one roof. TrueDialog’s enterprise messaging solutions provide “native” integration between your existing CRM and cutting-edge SMS capabilities.

Imagine texting a customer account from directly within Salesforce. No more jumping between screens or having to duplicate your work in multiple systems. Sent messages (and responses) are automatically logged as CRM events with no extra effort required.

SMS Message Dashboard
SMS Message Dashboard

TrueDialog’s SMS integrations transform your CRM into a unified communication hub.

Now you can respond to customers and manage internal communications using one interface. Agents have instant access to client records and can easily view prior text, email, and call history in a single consolidated CRM record.

Customers decide how they want to interact with your company while reps seamlessly switch options to accommodate their preferences. And employees benefit too.

SMS integration means sales teams are notified about CRM account events or lead assignments as they happen. Leaving agents more prepared to respond to clients and better understand their needs before making contact.

Most importantly, increased efficiency means sales and support reps are able to manage additional client requests. Thus, generating even more leads while simultaneously expanding your customer service capabilities.

CRM SMS INTEGRATION ENHANCES MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Brands using SMS messaging for opt-in marketing and mass texting see exceptional results. Not only is this medium fast and incredibly affordable, but obliterates the ROI of traditional advertising methods.

Research has shown that text message open and response rates exceed 97%. Email marketing, on the other hand, is lucky to hit 20%. Factor in that nearly all US adults own cell phones (with text messaging being the preferred means of communication) and these stats become impossible to ignore.

Blended Marketing Options

TrueDialog’s innovative SMS solutions allow brands to combine their email and text marketing into a single enterprise-grade solution. Once integrated with Marketo, Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamics, businesses can deploy SMS texting campaigns just as easily as traditional email promotions.

TrueDialog’s Process Builder Overview
TrueDialog’s Process Builder Overview

Better yet, these same mass marketing texts can be effortlessly converted into 2-way personalized messages as needed. An ideal option for companies wanting to do both (at scale) with multiple contact center reps, client agents, or mobile field employees.

User Segmentation

To take full advantage of these hybrid communication options, audience segmentation is a must. TrueDialog facilitates real time interactions with inbound leads and provides easy-to-use options for customer follow-ups and appointment requests.

Native SMS Texting integration with most CRMs means robust SMS segmentation options for promotions and/or retargeting campaigns. Send welcome deals to new customers while offering loyalty rewards to existing clients – at the same time.

SMS text messaging integration allows for process-driven campaigns as part of your marketing automation strategy. Using the built-in components of your CRM software, SMS texting can be included as a process or activity (since all users fall into different parts of your automation process).

All from within the comfort and security of your existing CRM platform using our cloud-based enterprise-grade texting solution.

Custom Reports

TrueDialog’s pre-built SMS integrations provide an array of expanded reporting options to analyze data and extract metrics. Since SMS is defined as its own object, CRM administrators can easily build custom reports that include individual CRM objects for reporting.

For example, if you want to look at click rates or opt-out rates of email vs SMS, our native CRM integrations make the process simple.

RAISING THE BAR IN ENTERPRISE SMS/CRM INTEGRATION

When it comes to SMS pricing, reliability, and value TrueDialog leads the way. We offer corporate text messaging solutions with more pre-built features than any other SMS platform. All available through our turn-key, enterprise-grade platform or our brilliantly designed SMS API for developers.

Other industry-leading benefits include:

  • Direct Carrier Connections – to eliminate 3rd party middlemen and provide our customers with unparalleled reliability. Reducing points of failure improves deliverability while dedicated connections afford extremely competitive pricing.
  • Proprietary “TrueDialog” feature with “Cross Code” and 2-Way Texting Features at Scale – our unique texting software and Contact Center SMS Solution enables both mass short code texting and 2-way text dialogs with threaded, multi-user conversations all in the same platform.
  • Now you can seamlessly combine both short code and long code messages in the same thread.Imagine sending mass text messages and then effortlessly engaging in one-to-one conversations at scale.
  • No other SMS platform offers such advanced options.
  • SMSafe Dual Cloud-Database – TrueDialog maintains a duplicate ISO 9001 cloud-database for extra protection against accidentally texting opted-out contacts. To achieve this same level of protection on other SMS APIs, developers would have to build this expensive capability themselves.
  • TrueDialog incurs significant costs to provide this feature. But enterprise customers who are serious about compliance understand why.
  • Native SMS CRM Integration – SMS texting solutions for most major CRM applications including Salesforce SMS, Marketo SMS, Microsoft Dynamics SMS, Oracle Eloqua SMS, HubSpot SMS, and CampusNexus SMS.

All of these incredible features are available without pop-ups, plugins, or configuring additional networks. Start sending and receiving text messages from directly within your CRM to improve operations and delight your customers.

Conclusion

When it comes to SMS/CRM integration, TrueDialog simply can’t be beat. Our industry-leading services have garnered a 5-star rating and made us Capterra’s Top Rated SMS Software Platform. We provide enterprise-grade SMS texting solutions with more features than the competition – at about half the price.

  • Uninterrupted Workflows
    Use established workflows to import messages into ques or create new routes and triggers based on specific needs.
  • Persistent Conversations
    Quickly scan prior messages using existing CRM records. Agents stay informed and can handoff conversations without missing a beat.
  • Customizable Configurations
    Integrate SMS into multiple data objects (leads, cases, contacts, accounts, etc.) to effortlessly text individuals, groups, or entire organizations at scale.
  • Unified Analytics
    Easily port messaging data between systems for review and analysis.
  • No New Software
    Add text messaging functionality to your current CRM without having to retrain employees.
  • Maximum Agent Efficiency
    Monitor multiple cases simultaneously without needing to jump between screens or applications.

No other provider comes close.

If you’re ready to add integrated SMS capabilities to your existing enterprise infrastructure, give us a call today at 512-501-5940 to schedule a demo of our SMS integration for your specific CRM and let us show you why we have the best SMS enterprise-grade platform on the market.

Want to try before you buy? No problem. We offer a FREE 15-day trial with no credit card required. Just fill out the registration form, create your login, and you’ll be texting in minutes.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

All Things SMS for Growing Your Business – Texting Tips

Taking your business to the next level this year with SMS

If you find yourself spinning your wheels on how to maintain meaningful relationships with your customers, leads and partners, you’re not alone. Business marketers are trying everything from social media, to email campaigns, to paid internet ads. And while those are certainly helpful tasks, developing an SMS marketing campaign deems to be a strong asset to the marketing mix that is sometimes overlooked.

This article, “How (And Why) to Use SMS to Grow Your Business in 2018” does a great job of sharing some key reasons why businesses should be looking to SMS text messaging for growth opportunities.

  • Factors that contribute to why SMS marketing has taken off
  • Suggestions on the business aspects that would benefit most from texting
  • Action steps for adding SMS to your 2018 Strategy

Click here to read the article.

Higher Education: Alert Notification System Best Practices

Life inevitably throws us curve balls. Hazardous weather may cause an event to be delayed or cancelled. A natural disaster may cause a widespread outage or leave behind damage. Campus violence or crime may put people in extreme danger. Even something as mundane as a technical difficulty may cripple essential functions. In these circumstances, students and faculty need to be informed. When time is of the essence, the most reliable way to instantly inform people of circumstantial changes is an SMS emergency alert notification system.

Before we dive into some of the best practices for setting up your urgent alert notification system, let’s answer the question of why we should use SMS / Text for alerts.

Benefits of SMS Urgent Alert Notifications:

  • SMS texts can be broadcasted to a large group in a matter of seconds
  • SMS text is the preferred method of communication among college students
    • Open rates for texts are at about 99%, while open rates for emails are at about 15%
    • Approximately 90% of texts are read in under 3 minutes
  • SMS provides no requirement for an internet connection to receive an alert
  • SMS will often work even when voice circuits are overloaded
  • SMS provides receipt confirmation to show your message was successfully delivered
  • Some systems, like TrueDialog’s, allow recipients to discretely text back to the administrator (1-to-1) with live updates.

It’s clear that SMS text is opening doors for rapid information sharing, as well as improving overall safety and security on campus.  So, if you’re in the midst of developing (or improving upon) your urgent text system, here is some insight on the best practices.

Top 5 Best Practices for Creating an SMS Alert Notification System:

1. Determine who has the authority to send alerts

First, develop a protocol that establishes who exactly should be sending which type of alert, and under which circumstances.  Only key people should be given the capability to send mass alerts, so start by building your team.  Many alert notification systems will allow you to customize the rights and restrictions for each administrator.

2. Prewrite clear and concise messages

Spend some time carving out “canned” messages you know may be needed, such as campus closings due to severe weather.  Certainly pieces of information within the message will need to be changed once an actual situation arises, but it’s helpful to turn to an existing template during a critical situation.

3. Promote your Urgent Alert Notification System

One of the easiest ways to build your database is to include a subscription form with enrollment materials for new students.  Ensure both faculty and students know how the SMS Alert System works, and educate them on how they can reach campus security during an emergency via text.

4. Regularly train faculty and test the system

More than likely, your university won’t need to send out alert notification systems on a regular basis.  As time passes in between each send, it’s easy for urgent alert administrators to forget how to use the features of the system.  Periodically, you should conduct mock drills with faculty, and review the protocols your university has established.

5. Be conscious of how frequently the urgent alert notification system is used

Be courteous of your students and faculty by only sending urgent alert text messages that are absolutely needed.  Remember not to overuse the system, because if students feel they are receiving too many alerts, they may fall into the habit of ignoring them.  In order to avoid diminishing the importance of your messages, never blast your entire list (unless it is a major emergency, such as a campus shooting).  Segment your list and only send an alert to the people who would be impacted depending on the situation.

Conclusion:

Remember, the benefits of having a solid alert notification system in place at your university cannot be overstated, but there are important logistics that need to be sorted through in order to put a successful system in place.  For more best practices download whitepaper, “Higher Education: Regulations to Know Before You Text”.

If you’re university is currently in the market for an SMS urgent alert solution, TrueDialog can help.  Unlike other campus urgent alert solutions, with TrueDialog you can send mass SMS text, voice messages, email and social alerts in just one click.  Additionally, you can continue the dialog, one-to-one, when students reply to your broadcast.  Click here to learn more about the TrueDialgo SMS text platform.

If you have questions, we’re happy to help. Call 512-501-5947 or Text “Easy” to 370370.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational and educational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes legal advice.  The samples, suggestions, best practices and other information detailed here are provided as general background information only and may or may not be appropriate for your particular situation.  You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking the advice of an attorney, and you agree that neither TrueDialog nor its agents shall have any liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on this information to the fullest extent permitted by law.

“Summer Melt”: How to Keep Students Enrolled in College

It’s no surprise that the transition from high school to college is full of obstacles and unknowns. But what may come as a surprise is that the summer prior is the most significant period in the college-intending student’s journey, and it’s often the most overlooked.

During the time between confirming college acceptance and arriving on campus in the Fall, teenagers are faced with major responsibilities, decisions and tasks to complete the enrollment process. And as it turns out, universities are failing to bridge that very important last mile.

What is Summer Melt?

College-intending students who fail to show up on campus in the fall comprise a phenomenon known as the “summer melt”. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 20% of students who have committed to enroll “melt away,” with minority, lower-income and first-generation students being the most vulnerable.

If you’ve found that your university has been plagued the summer melt, fortunately there are tactics to keep students actively engaged and committed. Continue reading to learn why the summer melt matters, current melt statistics, and successful strategies that other universities are using to mitigate the phenomenon.

Top 3 Summer Melt Factors

There are many factors that impact a student’s ability to complete the last mile of the admissions process, but most commonly they boil down to the following:

1. Financial Burdens

The reality of just how much it costs to earn a degree begins to set in during summer months. Students begin to receive bills related to tuition, housing, and health insurance, and working through the logistics of setting up payment plans and budgeting for other costs can be overwhelming.

2. Lack of Support

After graduation, students support from high school staff naturally disappears. Also, not every student receives adequate support at home, and even parents who are involved may be just as overwhelmed by the process. During the summer, students are now tasked with paperwork and deadlines, many times without mentorship from there chosen university. To make matters more difficult, often times universities run on limited staff during the summer, so departments may be closed and support services may not be accessible when needed.

3. Transition Anxiety

Aside from all the logistics, it is common for students to feel emotionally unprepared to leave home. This apprehension may stem from family dynamics, but more often than not, students feel a lack of connection with their new school.

Top 3 Ways to Keep Students “Cool” During the Summer Melt

1. Go Mobile

According to Cappex, 77% of students do want relevant information from their university via text. Today’s average college student no longer uses email as their primary source of communication. In fact, open rates for emails have fallen to about 15%, where text message open rates are soaring at 99%. And 90% of these texts are read by the recipient in under three minutes. Texting college-intending students can simplify the process of sending task reminders, and improve students access to their academic information, as well as the overall relationship between the student and university.

2. Assign a School Counselor

Once a student has confirmed acceptance, they should be assigned a counselor to help them navigate through the entire enrollment process. If possible, universities should extend the counselors contracts to include summer months. Universities should also provide workshops for students and their families over the summer, or create a web-based portal to demonstrate how to complete certain tasks.

3. Build a Solid Community

Establishing a community where students feel at home at your university before they even set foot on campus will create a sense of loyalty. As a best practice, universities should start this process right after a student is accepted, which will even boost yield rates.

In order to encourage your students to start their college careers, your university has a big role to keep them on track during the summer. Research has proven that interventions do reduce the melt. In fact, Georgia State University was able to reduce summer melt at their university by 21.4% just by utilizing smart text messaging (click here to learn more about the study). Therefore, it’s worth the investment to put measures in place to close the opportunity gap at your university.

If your university is looking for a SMS text solution, click here to learn more about TrueDialog, the preferred platform for colleges and universities, and start your free trail today.

What will your university do to keep students “cool”?

Best Practices, Education, Mobile Solutions, SMS Campaigns, Universities and Colleges

SMS Couponing for the Holiday Season – Texting Tips

Preparing for the Busiest Shopping Season of the Year

Believe it or not, the winter holidays are already upon us! And as we prepare our holiday shopping lists, retailers are gearing-up for the busiest shopping period of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer a prime opportunity for organizations to connect with customers via SMS to offer competitive sales and drum-up revenue.

If you haven’t thought about your SMS marketing strategy for the holiday season just yet, you’re in luck. Here are a few tips to consider before you start sending your mobile coupons:

1. Consider your audience: To make the most of your campaign, develop targeted campaigns for the various audiences you may be catering to.
2. Interact with your audience: Try sending out a quick 1-question dialog with multiple choice answers to determine which coupon your customer wants most, or what is on the top of their shopping list. This enables you to deliver a highly targeted offer to your customer, as well as learn more about their preferences/behaviors.
3. Develop a referral program: Consider how to best reward your loyal customers who pass along your SMS coupons to their friends. Savvy marketers are capitalizing on this practice by targeting teenagers and young adults who are most inclined to “share” their latest purchases with friends.

To learn more, check out our blog post, “Reducing Coupon Fraud with SMS”.

Your SMS Strategy for Holiday Office Closures – Texting Tips

Get Set for a Stress-Free Holiday by Utilizing SMS

Believe it or not, the winter holidays are already upon us and many of us are looking forward to enjoying time off with friends and family!  But in the midst of preparing for the season ahead, it’s common to forget some important steps you should take before closing up shop.

Here are a few ideas to consider and reasons why your SMS strategy will come in handy as you prepare for a stress-free holiday:

  • If your office/university will be changing over to “holiday hours”, you’re not alone. However, don’t assume employees, staff, students and partners are aware of your change of schedule. SMS provides a perfect outlet for communicating closures and delayed openings.
  • The holiday season also poses the threat of severe winter weather, and of course, winter weather brings about new challenges in keeping everyone safe. SMS allows for a quick and easy way to share updates on weather-related closings, hazards, and safety information.
  • Last but not least, if you’re looking for a few creative ways to spice up your automated “Out of Office” emails, click here for inspiration. (Link to one of the articles I sent you.)

From all of us at TrueDialog, we’re wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Make Halloween Fun With SMS – Texting Tips

Give your digital marketing the ultimate treat this Halloween with SMS

The season of all things fun and spooky is upon us. A great way to get your customers in the spirit is incorporating SMS into your digital marketing strategy.

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to have some Halloween fun with text message marketing, including:

  1. How to boost your creativity and crush the competition
  2. How to speak to your target-market specifically
  3. Real examples from Halloween inspired marketing campaigns

Click here to read the blog post. From all of us at TrueDialog, we hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. If the thought of incorporating SMS into your business seems spooky, never fear! We’re here to make the process a little less scary. Click here to contact us.

Best Practices, Education, Halloween SMS Campaigns, Holiday SMS Marketing, Mobile Solutions, SMS Campaigns

Regulations to Know Before You Text – Texting Tips

“Can I legally text my university’s students and alumni?”

If you’re wondering whether it’s legal to text as an organization, you’re not alone. In fact, the #1 reason why organizations are hesitant to SMS text is because they’re unsure of the legality.

In an effort to make the topic easier, we’ve invited communication law expert attorney, Adam Bowser, to host webinar, “Regulations to Know Before You Text”.

During this free presentation on November 15th at 2PM ET, Adam will break down the various levels of consent needed to text students and alumni.

You’ll learn:

  • The #1 question you should ask yourself before hitting “Send”
  • The legal categories approved for texting
  • When you need permission to text and when you don’t

Click here to learn more and register for TrueDialog’s webinar: Regulations to Know Before You Text.

Best Practices, Education, Mobile Solutions, SMS Campaigns, Universities and Colleges

Utilizing SMS Alerts During Severe Winter Weather – Texting Tips

How to start preparing your university’s SMS Alert System for winter…

The leaves are just beginning to change colors in some parts of the country, but regardless of your location, we all know the threats posed by winter weather is around the corner. And for many universities, winter weather brings about new challenges in keeping students and faculty safe.

Fortunately, SMS provides a quick and convenient outlet for sharing alert notifications on weather-related closings, hazards on campus, and safety information.

Is your university prepared to implement a SMS Alert System this winter? Here’s a few tips to help:

  1. Ensure you have all contact phone numbers in your database. Remember, as a university, you’re legally allowed to send emergency notifications. For more information, check out our whitepaper, “Regulations to Know Before You Text.”
  2. Segment out your notification system. During certain campus-wide emergencies, everyone should receive an alert, but to help manage the crisis, different messages might need to be sent to certain groups. Spend time determining these groups now.
  3. Enable your SMS Alert System to work both ways. Students and faculty should be able to reach campus security during an emergency via text, so ensure everyone is aware of that and review the appropriate contact information with them.

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