Determining who should be texting students can be broken down into two questions:
- Which departments should be texting?
- Which staff members should be texting?
We’ll take the second part first, pertaining to individual staff members. The best way to start is by asking who needs to text students, not who wants to.
The goals of your staff will lead you to the answer, as choices should be tied to objectives. If your main objective with texting is to increase event attendance, then the staff members responsible for that outcome should be in control of texting - or, at the very least, have tons of input in the process.
If your school is utilizing texting to help more students complete a challenging financial aid process, then someone with the specific knowledge to answer those questions should have control. Texting is a two-way conversation street. With a texting platform like Cadence, you’re not just blasting information, you’re engaging students in helpful conversations that lead to their goals.
In some texting platforms, you can assign students to a specific staff member, or allow any staff member to text with any student. Assigning students can be beneficial with advisement and other tasks that involve one-on-one outreach — but it can also hinder the ability of colleagues to help with shared workloads. Plan your strategy carefully.
Make your messaging count
The next step is to train your staff on best practices and plan out the best times to text students. It might be a good idea to start with a small group of personnel with access to texting. You can always add members as you go, allowing those now experienced staff members to help through growing pains.
Which departments should be texting?
Because texting is a powerful tool that increases engagement and response rate, start with the departments that are having the most difficulty communicating.
List the trouble spots across campus:
- Are your enrollment numbers down?
- Is your advancement team falling short on Giving Day?
- Are your summer melt rates increasing from year to year?
While there could be three “yes!” answers, texting at the beginning of the student lifecycle often works best for our partner institutions. Schools that engage prospective students set a framework for success and see better results in the future. Texting in admissions also sets a standard with which other departments can analyze and determine whether or not they should be texting.
Increase efficiency, campus-wide
Once your staff has realized genuine success with texting, the next steps become clearer for your institution as a whole. New students who have already established a relationship with admissions will welcome text messages from student success.
Faculty can capitalize on existing engagement to ensure that the important reminders sent to students about curriculum are read and retained. If there is a staff member who needs to reach students, they’ll have the power to do so through texting.