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Metrics that matter when texting students

3 min read

“How do I know if my texting campaigns are working?”

It’s a perfectly valid question, whether you’re new to the medium or an early adopter. Often, institutions using email marketing want to compare texting performance with metrics they’re familiar with, like open and click rates.
Except…it’s not quite that simple.

  Metric Available?
Message Delivered NO
Message Undelivered YES
Message Read NO
Link Clicked YES (with shortened URL)
  *In the US and Canada

In North America, we do not have the ability to receive the delivery status of a text, even though other parts of the world have this capability. However, we believe it’s accurate to assume that 99% of text messages are read, primarily because, unlike email, there isn’t an abundance of spam that people are trained to ignore. (Another reason every text you send needs to be relevant and valuable.)

In the end, metrics like number of messages sent, delivery rate, and open rate (even if we could know those last two numbers) are meaningless unless they result in student engagement and improved outcomes.

The era of digital engagement.

Thanks in large part to technology, there has been a major focus shift in higher education from traditional success indicators to engagement behavior based indicators. For enrollment, retention, and student success, the key is to incite students to take action and track desired behaviors.

Texting is an ideal medium to nudge students to take action and align them with appropriate resources. It’s instant, efficient, student preferred, and highly measurable.

In the reporting feature of our texting platform (Cadence), our partner institutions can quickly view campaign metrics demonstrating engagement and behavior.

Reach Total number of students who received at least one message
Replied percentage Average response rate based on all outgoing text messages in the campaign
Replies Total number of replies from students
Average replies Average number of replies per student
Student reply time How long it took a student to reply to any message in the campaign Number of student replies – Total number of replies per student

So, how do you use these insights to measure outcomes? One of our clients, a four-year private institution, found that 76% of students who confirmed their enrollment had engaged through texting by replying at least once. And 40% responded three times or more.

Another client, in Adult & Online Education, engaged all of their students with text messaging and saw adds and drops decrease from 21% to 9%, as well as a 5% increase in retention.

THE TAKEAWAY: the more engagement you’re creating - the better.


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[FREE GUIDE]  Texting Across the Enterprise DOWNLOAD