Higher Education Myths: Admissions Text Messaging

by Paige Roosien | May 30, 2017
Higher Education Myths: Admissions Text Messaging

There are a lot of misconceptions about texting students. We already know that texting is the most ubiquitous way to reach them. In fact, 97% of college students use texting as their primary means of communication.

Higher education myths

We recently read a white paper called “Mythbusting Admissions: Where Prospects and Professionals Agree, and Disagree, on Enrollment Marketing, Messages, and Channels,” which shared a few misconceptions about text messaging. For example, the white paper says text messages are marketing spam – which they certainly can be, if done incorrectly. That’s why it’s so important to be strategic when sending students text messages!

“The fact that teens text their friends doesn’t mean they want spammy text messages from an admission office or even want to be contacted that way at all.”

Let’s be real – no one wants spam texts. Anything I get from a shortcode gets deleted immediately. If a message comes from a real ten-digit phone number, I open it.

There are so many ways to text without looking like spam. Personalizing texts with a student’s name and providing timely, relevant information about the admissions process is a much more effective approach than a generic mass text. It’s also important to send students messages with information you know they need.

Admissions Offices

Another interesting misconception:

“Not surprisingly, although teens use their smartphones to keep in touch with friends, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want an admission rep texting them.”

Fair enough. Does anyone really want a university reaching out to them on social media and cluttering their news feed? Or through text, if it markets to them? Emails are easy to ignore, so it’s no surprise students want schools to communicate with them that way. Less than 3% of students email every day.

If you ask students, “Hey, do you want a university to text you?” they might say no! They’ll automatically think of a school trying to advertise to them – exactly the type of message nobody wants to receive. If admissions offices text students with messages designed to help them through the enrollment process, it feels personal and helpful.

It’s easy to make generalizations about texting. We want to make sure you have your facts straight. #mythbusted

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