Universities have a unique demographic among their student body and potential applicants. Reaching out to young people can be a challenge for institutions, as tech uptake differs significantly between demographics. Text messaging for Universities, however, is a seamless way to reach out to potential applicants as well as the broader student body. Text messages have a high open rate and have a faster response rate than email. SMS is a fantastic way to reach out – let’s see the five reasons why universities need text messaging.
1) Outreach For Potential Students
High-schoolers are not the best organized demographic, let’s face it, and convenience is the name of the game. If you’re hoping to recruit the next intake for your student body, it can’t hurt to reach out to potential students in an incredibly accessible format – the text message.
You can encourage potential students to sign up for text message alerts and then issue short bulletins with key information. These can include the top reasons why they may want to apply to your institution, information about fees and deadlines as key dates are approaching or instructions to guide them through the application process. Because of the high rate with which SMS messages are opened, you can be sure the information will be getting through.
To maximize the impact of these missives, however, keep them to a minimum. Ensure that each message contains genuinely valuable content otherwise the recipients will begin to switch off.
2) SMS Appointment Scheduling
Potential students need to familiarize themselves with your campus before they feel comfortable making big decisions about where to study. Campus visits are integral to this process, and visits need to be scheduled to make this happen.
Today’s students aren’t running calendars in the way their predecessors were, and email and phone scheduling is falling by the wayside. Streamlining the scheduling process by creating SMS appointment capability can get more footfall on your campus, and more student sign ups. SMS messages receive almost instantly responses so your scheduling can be done in real-time, giving your institution instant and accurate data about interest in your campus.
3) Real-Time Q&As
The transition from high school to college is a big change in the lives of young people and high-schoolers frequently have misgivings and anxieties about the details of these moves. Answering these questions reduces the barriers that potential students might have about entering your institution.
“SMS messaging services offer a seamless way to host Q&As and helplines for students with queries,” says Leonard Stephens, marketing writer at State Of Writing. “Encourage high schoolers to fire off questions any time and make it known how long they can expect to wait for an answer.” Concerns about application requirements, the opportunities they might discover on campus as well as wider college culture can be addressed with ease.
4) SMS Reminders
As deadlines approach, high-schoolers and college students often need a nudge to get their act together and organize themselves to meet these deadlines. Missed deadlines are a drain on university resources as well as a source of deep anxiety for students and those who are interested in enrolling.
The open-rate of SMS messages is high even when compared to email reminders so an SMS reminder system can ensure that these notifications are seen and acknowledged. These reminders can be tailored to specifically targeted groups or sent out to large mailing lists when generic deadlines are approaching.
5) Application Advice
Navigating college applications can be challenging for high-schoolers who have little experience in the professional world. Sometimes completing these applications can actually become a barrier to potential applicants, so anything a university can do to simplify and support this process will increase applications.
“SMS services can offer timely and targeted advice about personal essays, checklists of what applicants may have missed as well as other support,” says Timothy Rosas, brand expert at SimpleGrad. “Ease student stress with a service that slides into student’s messages.”
Text messaging services have a number of advantages due to their high open rate and real-time interaction functions. Universities can leverage text messaging to offer support in an accessible way to its student body as well as potential applicants. By demonstrating this support, as well as functional communications, institutions can reveal their value to potential students and see applications soar.