As you may have read recently, nudges (important reminders sent via text messaging) may not be all they are cracked up to be:
Nudgin’ Aint Easy.
A trio of recent papers by big hitters in ed research have found unpromising results for low-cost nudge campaigns. Disappointing, but important to see how institutions and edtech companies will adjust.
— James S Murphy (@James_S_Murphy) August 19, 2019
Or are they?
While it is common knowledge that texting is a preferred medium for communication, the challenges with text messaging in a meaningful enrollment strategy specifically are the when, why and how. Recent research from RNL indicates that while most students are open to texting, many students have still not yet had the opportunity to receive texts from a college. This means that preferred information like deadline reminders go to just e-mail … and we all know where that goes.
Getting Started with Texting
First and foremost, you can’t text without cell phone numbers. So, the first thing you need to do is an audit of your communication plan and data collection processes and determine when and how to collect them. Here are a few examples:
- Inquiry cards at college fairs and high school visits (that is, if you aren’t using Strive Scan already).
- Included in registration forms for campus visits (oftentimes deeper in the process than a standard RFI form, where you can ask for additional information without the risk of significant drops in conversion)
- At check-in for campus events when you have their undivided attention (and can explain the value of subscribing to texts)
- On your online application with a clear explanation of the benefits (like receiving immediate updates of the status of their application)
Additionally, it is critically important to collect opt-ins by your audience to avoid SPAM complaints.
One of the challenges with “nudge” campaigns is they seem to rely on one specific point in the process versus taking a more holistic approach. As you collect text messages it is important to think through each point in the process where texts will be most welcome. For prospective students, that’s at the middle to the bottom of the funnel in the form of event and deadline reminders.
When building your texting plans, think of the text as another channel for sending your message. Do you call students to confirm their attendance at some events? Great. Do you send email reminders? Perfect. Text messages work well as an added method for event reminders and confirmations (for on-campus, regional and online events).
Texting as Part of an Omnichannel Engagement Plan
When we build online engagement plans, it’s important to think of them as added layers to overall efforts. We didn’t stop traveling when we started sending email, just like we didn’t stop sending email when we started doing digital advertising.
Q-Message, the global broadcast SMS tool built in to the Conduit platform, empowers you to send personalized and targeted text messages to students around the world both quickly and easily. You can leverage Q-Message in a variety of ways that all align well with how students want to connect, including:
- Invitations to live online chats where they can connect with current students and counselors at scheduled times via the Campus Connect chat tool
- Live and on-demand video content made available via Conduit’s integrated webcasting software
- Reminders for events they have registered for or important deadlines based on where they are in the application process
A solid text messaging campaign goes beyond blast “nudges” and is truly integrated in to the overall enrollment campaign.
Ready to get started?
Contact us to plan your yield and demand generation strategies with the Conduit platform today.