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How Eastern Washington University reinvented communications with texting

1 min read

Jens Larson, Director of Student Communications at Eastern Washington University, details how texting helped his institution improve enrollment numbers, and how EWU continues to develop and improve the ways they use texting to reach students.

The challenge

EWU has a class made up of 40-50% transfer students who tend to submit applications later in the cycle. Candidates from “feeder schools” were in decline. Response rates from students across all mediums were also perpetually declining.

Immediate results

After just one cycle, EWU saw a dramatic improvement in responses, engagement, and yield. Key metrics improved almost day one.

More applications
were finished.

Start-to-submit rate:
2017: 39%
2018: 62%

Enrollments
increased.

Overall: +3.5%
Freshmen: +8.9%

Summer melt reduced.

Overall: -30%

Net revenue
increased.

Overall: +8%

Engagement with students

EWU uses an engagement model when texting students, allowing for a more effective, personal experience. Because messages are more impactful, the number of students opting out of texts has decreased.

Response Rate of Push Text Vs. Engagement Text

< 1% when push (and many unsubscribe)
> 40% when timely information is sent

Texting should be part of an integrated communication flow plan

While texting is highly effective, you shouldn’t abandon other forms of communication such as emails and campus flyers. Use what has been working and supplement it with your texting platform.

To learn more about how one school used texting to drastically improve responses, engagement and yield, download our case study.

Case Study: How Eastern Washington University Reinvented Communications with Texting

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