By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Texting is a wonderful tool to use in your communication with prospective students. It’s instantaneous and convenient, which both sides appreciate.
But are you using it as effectively as you can be?
Remember, the majority of students continue to tell us in our ongoing survey research that they believe BOTS send every single text they receive from a college.
While most students are okay with colleges texting them (only 21% said they preferred to never receive a text from a college during their search), there are some clear “don’ts”.
Don’t try and “sell” any part of your school in a text message. Don’t send a bunch of bullet points. Don’t send a long text that requires them to scroll. Don’t send press releases or links to event flyers. And don’t go crazy and overuse emojis and exclamation points.
Students tell us when you do any of those things it feels like a “spammy”, impersonal mass marketing message.
Texting is about having a genuine, back-and-forth conversation.
It’s also important to understand at what point students are comfortable receiving text messages from colleges during their search. The latest Tudor Collegiate Strategies data indicates that just under 60% of students don’t want a text until they’ve either applied or been admitted to a school.
Only 9.3% of students told us they were comfortable receiving a text after they had visited a college, while 28.2% told us they were okay receiving texts at any point and time.
With all that in mind, here are a few topics and talking points you can focus on when texting students:
- How they’re feeling about their college search or their college decision.
- What advice their parents, family, and friends are giving them.
- What are some of the reasons why they think your school is a good fit?
- Have them walk you through their timeline for making a decision – What do they have left to do before they decide?
- Ask them what else they’re wondering about when they imagine being a student at your school.
- Ask them how they’re feeling about financial aid and their plan to pay for college – Would it be helpful to schedule a phone call or video chat with their parent(s) and you to talk about those things?
Want even more info and advice on texting students? Check out this article I wrote back in March for a list of additional things you should be utilizing text messaging for, as well as the frequency that most students are comfortable with.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said in this article, let’s do it. Simply reply back, or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.