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Stop. Using. Periods. Maximizing your text messaging response rate

2 min read

Why you should (almost) always end student texts with “?” Want to kill a conversation? Stop asking questions.

 I cringe when I see an admissions counselor text “Thanks for visiting campus”—especially when it’s so easy to engage students by simply asking “How did you like your visit?”

It’s not just me. One of our partner schools gets a 56% response rate (and climbing) by ending most texts with a question (and following a few other simple guidelines).

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Our client institutions have sent and received more than 2 million texts, helping them drive more inquiry engagement, increase their application conversion, and drastically improve yield. So we know what works—and what doesn’t. Here’s just a taste of what we’ve learned.

Play the name game

Students care about your institution. But they want to know that they’re talking to a real person. Introduce yourself (using your whole name) the first time you text with any student or parent.

Be excited!

Use exclamation points to show students you’re excited to talk with them. “Hi Samantha!” will almost always get a better response rate than “Hi Samantha.” (Unless you’re sending bad news, of course.)

U R not their BFF. (So don’t text like it.)

Don’t use abbreviations. You don’t have to be boring and stiff, but using proper spelling and grammar makes you more trustworthy—and reflects on your institution’s brand.

Last (but not least)—end with a question

Keep the conversation going by asking questions—especially at the end of each text. Here are a few that work:
· How was your campus visit?
· Did you get the scholarship info?
· Have you decided where you’re applying?
· Did you send in your FAFSA yet?
· We see you applied. Are you still interested?

“Our president, board members and deans couldn’t be happier. Every metric is up when we look at the funnel.”

– Jim Wiseman, Vice President of Enrollment, Carroll University

About Cadence

Cadence lets you have individual conversations with students using the medium they use most—text. Every admissions counselor can text one-on-one with students—or send out personalized, mass texts—right from their phone, tablet or computer. Cadence even integrates with your CRM or ERP, so you can see everything about a student as you’re texting with them. Learn more at mongooseresearch.com/cadence.

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How to text students and parents without breaking privacy laws

You already manage student privacy when it comes to emails, phone calls and other channels. The good news is that texting is just another medium. Yes, there are a few special things to keep in mind, but it’s actually fairly simple to be in compliance. Here’s what you need to know.

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Communicating with parents of prospective students

There is no denying the importance of the parents’ role in college application process. Schools that find effective ways to communicate with parents will have an upper hand when it comes to college admissions. This guide will help you identify who you’re talking to and how to best earn parents’ trust.

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Best practices for texting students

If there’s one thing to take away from this blog, it’s this: Before you hit send, ask yourself, “Is this valuable information for students?”

While texting is a powerful way to engage prospective and current students, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some tips for effective SMS texting.

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[FREE TEMPLATE]  Text Messaging Policy for Your Campus DOWNLOAD