An Introduction to Admissions Texting
Cellphones are everywhere. It may seem an impossible feat to find someone without one. As it turns out, statistics back the notion that everyone has one. According to the Pew Research Center, 100% of adults in the United States ages 18-29 own a cellphone. That’s virtually every single person in this age demographic. Similarly, 98% of adults ages 30 to 49 own a cellphone.
These numbers are compelling when compared to trends in higher education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 83% of college students were between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2016. This number is expected to rise to 84% by 2020. With these numbers, it’s easy to see why more admissions offices across the United States are turning to texting for outreach efforts.
Enter Signal Vine. Through a combination of research and outreach to customers to discover best practices, we've learned that texting prospects and students through the admissions process not only works, but it’s what students want. Higher education professionals seem rather fond of texting, too. Together, we've reached more than 3.4 million students through more than 52 million text messages!
Over the next few months, we’ll dive into how Signal Vine customers are using texting to guide students throughout the steps of admission, turning prospects into enrolled students. Later, we’ll continue through the academic life cycle and talk about how Signal Vine can be implemented to serve all students across the higher education continuum.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Amanda Marstaller, the Director of Institutional Reporting at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), recently explained how texting with the Signal Vine platform transformed the admissions process. She noted that texting was revolutionary for the BFIT admissions team for three reasons:
- Texting is a way to actually reach students. They simply don’t check their email or their voicemail.
- Because virtually all students/prospects have cellphones, texting admissions steps just makes sense.
- Staff desired to keep in touch with students following the admissions process through their sophomore year.
When BFIT first began texting, staff used Signal Vine solely to streamline the admissions process. They sent informational texts regarding tuition, enrollment, open house invitations, and next steps. Later, BFIT staff expanded the purposes of texts to go beyond the initial admissions steps. Now, they use the platform to encourage students to stay involved, to organize school activities, to use features like emojis and GIFs to make the conversation friendly, and to target texts depending on a student’s behaviors.
The results of BFIT’s texting campaign proved that texting worked not only for students but also for staff. Staff could follow up with students through a quick text rather than playing phone tag or waiting for days for a response to an email that may never come.
Admissions texting successes
Other colleges and universities have seen similar successes through using the Signal Vine platform for admissions. Some of these successes include the following:
- Keystone College saw a 49% engagement rate among applicants for the 2017-18 academic year.
- Youngstown State University reported that 86% of students engage with their College Credit Plus program staff via text.
- Southwestern Michigan College measured a 6% increase in admissions yield for students who received texts versus those who did not.
Texting is a clear win for admissions teams. Staff can implement Signal Vine text campaigns for each step of the admissions process to target prospects and keep them on track.
In our next blog post, we'll discuss texting prospects and how to successfully guide them through the steps to becoming inquiries. Stay tuned!
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