How Texting Fosters an Open Line of Communication with Students
How texting fosters an open line of communication with students
Picture this: you’re just trying to keep an open line of communication between you and a specific student.
This student might be on a dozen email subscription lists. They probably receive a plethora of emails from their advisors and professors. They might read their email–if it doesn’t go straight to spam–once every three days. This student might take classes at your school and may go straight to work after their afternoon class.
Since they’re either in class or at work surrounded by others, they don’t have the time to pick up your calls, especially if they don't recognize your number. In fact, The Atlantic reported that telephone culture started disappearing in 2018. Meaning, people aren't picking up phone calls as much as they used to. In other words, fostering an open line of communication with any busy student can be difficult.
Given this student’s low likelihood of picking up your calls but high likelihood of having questions at this point in their academic career, my question to you is: Have you tried texting them?
Why texting maintains an open line of communication between you and your students
About three-quarters of American adults send and receive text messages. In fact, 53% of them say that they prefer a text to a phone call. This makes sense, considering the student you’re trying to reach is usually in class, at the library, or at work where chatting over the phone isn’t welcome when their attention should be elsewhere.
Thus, my strongest advice in order to reach this student is to text them. It was reported in 2018 that people generally prefer to interact with larger organizations over text social messaging channels–such as texting–versus legacy channels such as phone and email. Also, Gallup found that 68% of millennials check their phones “a lot.” In other words, if you want to eventually reach students, you have to meet them where they are.
So, text them. They might not respond right away, but at least you know that your message is reaching a platform that they’re always checking.
By sending a text message, you know your communication won't be buried under dozens of other emails. Even better, they're not immediately being flagged as spam.
Using text messaging signals to students that your message is so important that you wanted to deliver it into their hands–literally. Additionally, by using personalized, two-way text messaging, you’re signaling to the student that you want to maintain an open line of communication. More specifically, you’re signaling to students that you want them at your institution and care about their academic journey.
If you’re curious about how you can optimize text messages to students to maximize engagement, read our blog post here. Or, if you’d like to look into how you can adjust your thinking for your institution's communications, visit our blog here.
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