Higher education is more competitive than ever. For many campuses to succeed, they must be nimble and outsmart competitors to attract potential students (and to keep the attention of current students). As they say - those who evolve will thrive. Those who don’t may perish. When it comes to texting in higher ed, it all comes down to principles. Welcome to the seven rules of engagement.
1. Say it simply or not at all.
A text that fails to deliver a central point clearly, concisely, and with a call-to-action is a failure – no matter its character count. Free yourself of the outdated 160-character rule and use 300 characters. Write texts that are informative and actionable.
2. Carriers define your character.
The person you’re texting isn’t the only one reading it. Carriers scan dispatches in search of spam. And while colleges and universities must send messages in bulk, the fact of the matter is that spam is sent in bulk, and that’s how carriers view it. To combat this hard truth, Cadence throttles texts at a more natural rate giving you a much better chance to stay out of hot water.
3. Know your audience.
Because texting is so heavily used by students, they have some innate expectations and perceptions that are important to understand.
For instance, once they have someone’s number, it doesn’t change. And when a student receives a text from a new number? Ick. In Cadence, we assign a number to a student and it stays with that student. If a staff member from your team leaves or goes on vacation, it’s easy to assign the account to another team member, phone number and all.
Next, you do not need to respond immediately. We repeat: You do not need to respond immediately. If you’re in the middle of a conversation, by all means, resolve the matter then and there. But, if a student texts you out of the blue - you do not need to jump to respond.
4. Text true.
Texting is not a broadcast thing – it’s a relationship thing. You must treat it as one. To start right, we’ll provide you proven templates so your troops don’t go out untrained.
5. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.
Meaning, if a student wants to opt out, let them. Do not be a pest. If they’re not interested, they’re not interested. Wish them well and move on to others who are interested.
6. Give yourself room to grow.
We’ve seen it many times. A school wants to test the texting waters, so they utilize texting in one department. Soon enough, the rest of the school wants in. Choose a partner that fits your current situation, but can also take you where you need to go.
7. Voice still matters.
Sooner or later, there will be a question that requires a phone conversation (and chances are good the call will be coming from a parent). If they try to call you and the voice call goes nowhere - that’s a terrible impression. With Cadence, you’re covered. Voice calls to every text number are instantly forwarded to any number you want (your personal mobile or office line for example).
Ready to engage?