First-Year Student Strategies: Communicating Before They Get To Campus


Weber State University

First-year student strategies

This webinar features our collection of text examples and best practices for communicating across the first-year experience, originally published in Nudging Students Through the Academic Life Cycle ebook.

We were joined by Amy Huntington, Coordinator, College Access & First-Year Transition from Weber State University who discusses how their team used texting as one of their first-year student strategies. Doing so, they were able to effectively communicate with their students before they even got to campus.

WSU worked together with Signal Vine to do the following:

Focus communication strategy on text messaging

WSU wanted to utilize texting as smartphones are where today’s students operate the most and have much less “noise” than other channels. A mobile-centric strategy guaranteed response rates superior to the previous email-based approach.

Develop a messaging calendar

First-Year Transition staff accessed a calendar that managed which messages were sent to different students based on their attributes per the university’s databases (admitted vs. matriculated) and upcoming deadlines (orientation, end of the semester). The guiding principles on scheduling is to send texts 3-5 days before a deadline and do not send more than 3-5 mass texts per month.

Combine peer mentor input and best practice templates to craft messages

WSU tapped the expertise of peer mentors and Signal Vine’s messaging templates to create a series of messages tailored to Gen Z preferences.

Watch the webinar to learn more about Weber State’s texting initiative and details on their results, which included reduced summer melt.