By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Texting is a great tool to use in your communication with different groups of prospective students.
While most are okay with colleges and universities texting them, just under 22% said they preferred to never receive a text from a college at any point during their search. There continue to be some clear do’s and “don’ts” according to students.
Timing wise, texting shouldn’t be incorporated into your communication plan until you’ve built some trust and rapport, or a student has taken a major next step like applying. Additional Tudor Collegiate Strategies survey data says just over 57% of students don’t want a college to text them until they’ve either applied or been admitted.
When it comes to big no-no’s, students have no interest in a college trying to “sell” any part of their school in a text message. Also, don’t send multiple text messages the same week (unless you’re replying back), don’t send a long text that requires them to scroll, don’t use overly formal or robotic language, and don’t go crazy and overuse emojis and exclamation points. Last but not least, don’t text students unless you (or your staff) are prepared to respond in a matter of seconds or minutes – the majority of students believe BOTS send every single text they receive from a college. Without an instant reply, you’re confirming that narrative for them.
Here are the primary reasons why, according to students, a college or university should send them a text:
- Reminder of an upcoming deadline or missing documents
- Inviting them to an upcoming event (in-person or virtual)
- Updating them on the status of their application or financial aid package
- Scheduling a phone call to talk about financial aid
- Alerting them to an email you sent or a voicemail you just left
- Double checking on something (i.e. they registered for an admitted student event and they’re still planning to attend)
- Gauging how students are feeling about something (ex. their college options, making their decision, the timeline for their decision, paying for college, your school’s location)
And remember, students want text messages that are short, clear, conversational in tone and feel personal and relevant.
How do yours stack up?
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