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What departments should be texting?

Texting can help many departments in your institution reach students. When deciding to make texting an enterprise solution, consider which departments are having the most difficulty communicating. That might be the best place to start.

List your pain points

  • Are academic advisors seeing more at-risk students drop out?
  • Is enrollment facing a crisis with response rates?
  • Is open house attendance in decline?
The answer to all might be yes. If that’s the case, and you’re not sure where to first implement texting, we see many of our partner institutions start with enrollment. By engaging prospective students from the start of their lifecycle, you’ll set a framework for successful texting in the future. You’ll also give other departments an idea of what to expect.

Extend your net

When you’ve realized the effectiveness of an efficient texting platform and you’re ready to expand texting into other departments, it should be clear which directions to take.

New students who have a relationship with admissions will accept (and expect) texts from the housing department. Academics can take advantage of the student base’s comfort level with texting to send important reminders.

Texting can increase response and retention in any case where a member of your staff needs to reach students, so don’t limit yourself. Each department can benefit:

Admissions - Acceptance announcement

Hi <FIRST NAME>, you’ll receive a letter in the mail soon, but I wanted to be the first to congratulate you on your admission to <School Name>! Welcome to the <Mascot> family! Let me know if you have any questions.

Financial Aid - Missing forms

Hi <FIRST NAME>, congratulations again on your admission to <School Name>. We are missing <Document Name(s)> and cannot complete your financial aid package without it. Are you able to email that to me by <Deadline Date>?

Student Success - Scheduling academic advisor meetings

<FIRST NAME>, classes start on <Date>! You need to schedule a time to meet with your Academic Advisor to review classes for next semester. Please call or text this number to schedule a time with <STAFF FIRST NAME>.

Student Life - Major campus event

Hi <FIRST NAME>, <Event Name> is happening on campus and is perfect for students like you! The event takes place on <Date>, can you make it?

Career Services - Resume review

Hi <FIRST NAME>, this is <STAFF FIRST NAME> with the Career Center. I noticed that you submitted your resume to <Company Name>. I have a few recommendations to polish it up a bit. When are you free to schedule a resume review?

Residence Life - Hall closing announcement

Hi <FIRST NAME>, your residence hall will be closed during Spring Break, from <Dates>. Please plan accordingly.
-The Res Life Team

Athletics - Travel information

Hi <FIRST NAME>, we're heading to <School Name> for <Game/Match/Contest>. Don't miss the bus. It will be parked at <Location> at <Time> on <Date>. See you there.

Annual Giving/Annual Fund - Fundraising

Hi <FIRST NAME>, this is <Alumnus/a First Name>. I volunteered to help with <School Name> Giving Day. If we reach <Goal>, <Donor> has pledged to contribute another <Dollar Amount>. We appreciate any help! No gift is too small. Please help us continue <Tradition/Cause>!

Share the love

Once you’ve instituted enterprise texting and departments begin to see results, make it a point to share what is working (and not working) across campus. Many schools hold meetings to exchange ideas. Ultimately, the more success each department has, the easier it is to reach and engage students.

Is a story more powerful than statistics? Ellen Treanor, Associate Vice President of Brand Strategy at Southern Utah University explains how engaging students with storytelling can make a huge difference in your enrollment efforts. Mongoose’s Mike Kochczynski hosts the conversation.

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.

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