These dynamic features will help you get the most out of your platform
You’re ready to institute a texting platform at your institution. It’s a powerful move that is certain to increase engagement, responses, and critical outcomes. But, before you hit send, make sure you’re set up for success with these 10 fantastic features.
1. Texting templates
Some people are natural writers. Some are not. Regardless of whether or not you’re a wordsmith, it takes time to craft effective texts. Providing your team with SMS texting templates for messages that are commonly sent will make your operation more efficient and prevent embarrassing mishaps.
2. Unlimited texting (with no strings attached)
While your school should be selective in the quality of texts sent to students, you should never be limited by a preset quantity. Be careful here, some platforms indicate they offer unlimited texting but then limit the number of text campaigns you are able to send. Make sure unlimited actually means unlimited.
3. Two-way integration
This feature puts up-to-date student information front and center for your staff. It also automatically updates your information system with new text interactions as your staff communicates with a student.
4. Multi-department, multi-information system ready
You do not want departments to go rogue and find their own solution. This can be a support nightmare and gives staff the ability to make up any best practices they want (like the volume of text messages, or what types of phone numbers from which the text messages are sent). The student experience will be disjointed and your communications strategy will be unmanaged and fraught with issues. Get in front of the problem and provide your team with an enterprise-level platform that integrates with all of your information systems. Customizing permissions and access by department ensures that students will only receive texts from the right department at the right time.
5. Being 100% self-sufficient
There’s great value in having the ability to manage user accounts, import lists and campaigns, and configure different integration options (different departments need to integrate with different information systems). Start your own campaigns without having to rely on the schedule of the vendor.
6. Account caretaking
Sick days, vacations, and (unfortunately) turnover occur on every campus, so it’s important to act fast and assign texting accounts to other staff members. Filling gaps in your communication strategy will ensure students don’t lose faith in your school due to ignored texts and calls.
7. Phone number validation
Proper validation of numbers saves your staff time. Reducing invalid numbers will also decrease your undelivered rate, helping you avoid carrier violations and the very real potential of being blocked by carriers.
8. Opt-out management
While you’ll be hard at work crafting engaging and relevant texts, it’s vital that you allow students the option to opt out of your communications.
The more organized your texting platform is, the more agile and efficient your staff will be. Segmenting gives you the ability to quickly send information to specific groups of students at once.
Data is king, and the more you analyze what is working (and what isn’t), the more efficient and effective your strategy will be. Tracking and reporting activity related to a specific group of texts will give you valuable insight.
The right texting platform can be a springboard for your institution’s communications strategy. Features like these will get you that much closer to your goals.
Download a PDF guide to share with your team: 10 features to look for in your texting platform