A prospective student showed interest, asked questions, and committed to attending your college. Now, it’s been weeks (or even months) and they haven’t deposited. And, you haven’t heard back from them.
You’ve been ghosted
A drop-off in communication is a common and frustrating problem for college admission departments. There are effective ways to re-start a conversation with students to eventually guide them to enrollment. (You can even call these “Ghost-busters!”)
Try yes or no questions
Event invitations are a great way to reestablish a connection. If your college or university has scheduled a virtual orientation or Q&A session, send a quick reminder text and include a prompt for potential concerns/questions.
Hey <FIRST NAME>, it’s <STAFF NAME> from <SCHOOL> Admissions. Our virtual orientation is set for <DATE> and I wanted to reach back out to see if you were attending. Do you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming semester?
Send a reminder nudge about a recent email
Students live busy lives and might not be able to immediately respond to your texts. Inevitably, that could mean your message has been forgotten. Now is the time to 'nudge' them by sending out a helpful reminder, especially if the information is something they need to reach their goals and complete the enrollment process.
Hey <FIRST NAME>, it’s <STAFF NAME> from <SCHOOL> Admissions. I wanted to confirm that you received our email that reviews the upcoming semester's protocol. Did you receive that link? Let me know if you have any questions! Happy to help!
Emojis are a powerful engagement tool
Never underestimate the impact of an emoji. It's extremely important to recognize when texting practices are effective. Corny or not, emojis remind students that there is an actual human being on the other side of a text message.
Kelvin Santana, the Director of Recruitment at AdventHealth University, swears by a specific emoji as a way to help his department reconnect with students they haven’t heard from in an extended period of time:
“Send them a text saying ‘Are you ghosting me?’ with a little ghost emoji. We’ve used that and it’s worked amazingly, every single time. We get a response. I always tell everyone who works in higher ed to try that. Some people are scared, but it works every single time.”
Are you ghosting me? 👻
Even if that specific text is outside of the comfort level of your school, encouraging students to use emojis to express themselves is extremely effective. And, according to Nicole Winget, J.D., the Assistant Dean for Student Life in Adult and Online Education at Campbell University, emojis should not be limited to high school students:
“Don't assume your adult population doesn't enjoy the silly emojis. In fact, I found that sometimes they enjoy them more than the high school demographics.”
When a quick text doesn’t gain a response, many times your staff can then refocus their efforts elsewhere with students who need help and still have interest in your institution. When you do manage to get the attention of a student who may be on the fence, your staff can get to work answering their questions.
Want to learn more about improving engagement?
Then listen to our webinar - Creative texting strategies to increase engagement and reduce melt - with Lauren Findley from Jacksonville State and Nicole Winget, J.D. and Scott Miller Jr. from Campbell University.