If your communication strategy only includes texting your student population, you’re missing the mark. By expanding your outreach to parents, high school counselors, and employers, you’re widening your net and creating a much bigger impact when it comes to a return on student engagement.
One school that has achieved remarkable results utilizing this method is Rosedale Technical College, with a 60% reply rate to texts sent, a 15% increase in Orientation attendance in their first year texting with Cadence, and a start rate of 76% (more than a 10% increase than the previous year).
These improvements led Rosedale to expand their texting platform, enterprise-wide. A key piece of the expansion was looping in important shareholders like parents, counselors, and employers.
Keep parents in the loop
According to the Ruffalo Noel Levitz 2019 E-Expectations Trend report, 62% of parents played a role in helping students review and select a college. And, it’s important to connect with parents early as they have more influence in the beginning of the process.
Train your staff to obtain parent contact information at every possible touchpoint. Many schools request that a student submit a parent or guardian’s phone number during the enrollment process to help keep them aware of milestones and deadlines.
In addition to texting, consider sending parents emails that are specifically for them. Having a page on your website dedicated to parents is a great approach to making them feel welcome in the process.
Texting template - Financial aid information for parents
Hello <FIRST NAME>, This is <STAFF NAME> from <SCHOOL NAME> financial aid department. We know you wanted to be involved in the process and wanted to keep you in the loop. Would you like us to send a list of financial aid opportunities for the upcoming semester?
Align with high school counselors and instructors
Guidance counselors and teachers can play a big part in helping students make a decision about college. Target high schools within your area and text their staff reminders of important school events like career fairs and field trips. This can help your institution identify prospective students and help you narrow your focus.
Texting template - Webinar information for high school counselors
Hello <FIRST NAME>, This is <STAFF NAME> from <SCHOOL>. We are holding a virtual event for high school students interested in receiving more information about the <SCHOOL MASCOT> experience. Could you provide us with a list of students who might be interested in attending?
Reaching out to employers and media
Rosedale Technical College offers unique hands-on training in high demand fields, allowing students to immediately join the workforce. The staff at Rosedale schedules interviews, organizes job fairs, and updates students on opportunities through newsletter articles. There’s no greater recruitment tool than a proven record of job placement.
Texting has become an integral part of the process, allowing Rosedale to stay connected with students and make them aware of these opportunities. Rosedale can also alert media outlets of student achievements and special events taking place virtually or on campus.
Guest speakers present another opportunity for media exposure. When noteworthy visitors are scheduled to address an audience at your school, whether virtually or in-person, your staff should alert local news agencies via text.
Texting template - job fair invitation
Hi, <FIRST NAME>. This is <STAFF NAME> from <SCHOOL NAME>. We are holding a job fair on <DATE OF EVENT> at <JOB FAIR LOCATION> to introduce our students to potential employers. Would you like to add your company to the list?
A multi-tiered communication strategy
Extending your outreach significantly improves your college’s chances of building a relationship with students and potential students. And, as is the case at Rosedale Tech, it also helps get students and staff closer to their goals.
Having difficulty connecting with parents?
This robust guide is loaded with tips and best practices to help you reach the folks with crucial influence over a family’s decision-making process.