Admissions Texting: Enrolled Students
Congratulations, we’ve made it to the end of the admissions funnel! Our last topic from the funnel is texting enrolled students. Arguably, this group is the most fun to text.
By this point, college staff have accomplished some pretty difficult tasks. They’ve not only likely answered many questions that prospects have had in their decision-making process, but they’ve provided just the right information to make prospects fully commit to becoming students. With all of the postsecondary options today's students have, those are not easy feats!
The great thing about texting enrolled students is that these students form a captive audience. They no longer need to be “sold” on enrolling at your institution. This frees up the conversation for college staff so that their texts can change and be a bit more fun.
We believe that college staff will get the most from their texting program if they incorporate the following message strategies into their campaigns.
Get students excited about attending your institution.
You’ve already shown off the programs of study and financial aid resources your institution has to offer. Now, it’s time to get students truly excited about the upcoming semester.
Staff can accomplish this in many ways. For example, you can text pictures of your institution’s beautiful fall foliage. You can text pictures of last year’s ice cream social. You can describe last year’s end-of-semester bash, attaching pictures of it for your incoming students to see. These types of pictures can help alleviate students’ fears regarding what college will be like. It shows them that college is fun, too.
You might also consider incorporating GIFs into your strategy. GIFs can foster a sense of informality among students, making them more comfortable. Using a funny GIF that coincides with the first day of school is a great way to get students to feel less anxious while lightening the mood.
Get students prepared to attend your institution.
Okay, so maybe there’s just a few last (potentially stressful) reminders for students over the summer months. However, when worded just right, these texts can help alleviate students’ hesitation about their first semester at your college.
You can text your students to provide them information regarding orientation, move-in, and what to expect on their first day of college. And be prepared for questions! These topics particularly seem to attract many student questions, many of which can likely be handled by the Virtual Advisor. Many students have the same generic questions that you may not include the answers to in your original text. For example, for an orientation text, students might ask where to park. This is a perfect use case for the Virtual Advisor, which could answer that question for you by answering with a programmed response. This ensures students get the information they need without sacrificing staff time.
Ask a very important open-ended question.
One of the most effective questions we see college staff ask is so simple that it’s often overlooked.
Hi there! Do you have any questions for me about your first semester of college?
For such a short question, it accomplishes quite a bit. First, it shows your surely nervous students that you are there as a resource for them. They can associate you with the first place they look for help as they transition to college life on your campus. Second, it gives students a chance to ask those questions that no other text has prompted them to. It nudges students to ask those questions they may have hesitated about asking before simply because you’ve opened up that line of communication, asking them to ask you questions.
One important note about this text: Be prepared for an influx of student questions and responses. Some may simply be that they are good to go, which is great. Others may lead to unfamiliar areas even for the most skilled advisors. It’s important to plan ahead of time for this open-ended text so that students can have their questions answered as quickly as possible to ease their concerns.
One final thought on this text: This type of open-ended question is where Signal Vine’s Virtual Advisor really shines. Many students will have general questions, such as the last date to register for classes or when the first day of classes is. The Virtual Advisor can handle these sorts of questions. This frees up staff time while also making sure students get the information they need in a timely manner.
We certainly hope that you’ve enjoyed our Admissions Texting blog series! We’re confident that Signal Vine’s texting, AI, and automation features will help you engage your students throughout the admissions pipeline and beyond. Happy texting!
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