Do you read a long-winded email the moment you open it? Chances are that you’re more likely to delete that email or send it back to the limbo of your inbox. You’re not alone. TL;DR.

TL;DR (or “Too long; didn’t read”) is a popular phrase with students. It’s a common response that students have to information that they deem unnecessarily lengthy.

When a person becomes overwhelmed with information, they tend to do nothing. #TLDR demonstrates a common cognitive phenomenon. Teens are particularly prone to postpone tough choices and complex tasks in favor of pleasurable pursuits. But they’re not the only ones; adults procrastinate as well when faced with complex directives.

We know that organizations have a lot of great information to give to students. So, how do you maintain student interest and avoid a response like TL;DR?

Beat #TLDR with These Texting Strategies

1. Get To The Point

Text messages contain a maximum of 160 characters, which means that each one counts. The very nature of texting forces organizations to decide what information is most important to send to students.

2. Keep it Simple

Lay out next steps in a way that makes it easy for students to take action. Including a link, resource, question, or call to action at the end of your text makes a big difference.

3. Reduce Hassles

Make it easier for students to overcome perceived hurdles like financial aid or scholarship applications. The fewer steps, the higher the completion rate. Guide them along the way.

4. Send Quick Nudges

A simple nudge via text message can prompt or remind a student to accomplish a task on time. Messages sent less than three days before a due date can trigger high task completion rates (but make sure students have ample time to complete it).


So the next time you direct your students to a website with tons of information, or find yourself about to hit ‘send’ on a long-winded email, just remember: simplify your message.

Armed with your newfound TL;DR awareness, you’ll develop reader-friendly text messages that won’t result in student procrastination.

Ready for more texting tips? Download the Best Practices Guide!

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