Improving Student Life with Text Messaging

4 minute read

Upland Admin

Student life offices at colleges have a difficult time getting through to students. Students often ignore posters and flyers and don’t read school emails. Even if students do catch wind of an event, they’re so busy that it’s hard for them to keep track of what’s going on around campus.

Text messaging is a great way for student life offices to promote events to the student body. That’s because students’ phones are their best friends. Young adults have their phone on them around the clock, and 98% of messages are read within three minutes.

So how can student life organizations capitalize upon a student’s relationship to their phone?

Spread the word about campus events and boost attendance with SMS

When it comes to campus events, many students want to get involved but don’t know where to turn to or how to find resources. Text messaging’s ubiquitous reach allows you to connect students to events they’re interested in, no matter where they are. Sending out a text the day of an event allows students to figure out how it fits into their schedule that day…after all, most college students don’t plan much more than 24 hours in advance.

And because a text message can efficiently delineate all the event’s details—time, place, and date—students have all the information they need in a tidy text message that they can refer back to.

Improve campus events by knowing exactly how many people will attend

When students receive a text message about an event, they can RSVP within that same conversation so you can plan accordingly. All it takes is a one word response!

Say, for instance, you receive 50 RSVP’s to a cultural event. This information helps you decide which venue to use, know how many pizzas to order, and how many staff or volunteers you’ll need. Using SMS to gain foresight saves your office time and money by streamlining efforts for maximum efficiency.

RSVP’s also allow you to reach students with real-time updates in the case of last-minute changes. New locations, cancellations, or rescheduled start times can all be texted out and duly noted by the event’s attendees immediately.

Conduct polls with text messaging for student engagement

Text messaging can also be used to collect information on student preferences and help you improve student life events. It’s much quicker and easier for a student to respond to a text message than to go online and fill out a web form. Say, for instance, you’re not sure what band to hire for the beginning of the year concert. With a simple text message poll, you can learn what students are interested in instantly!

Similarly, you can send out surveys at the end of an event to gather feedback from students about their experience. Ask them if they enjoyed the event, if there was anything they would change, or whatever else you want to know. Students can text in their thoughts immediately after the event, thereby giving you valuable input and them a voice in student life on campus.

Start now with an easy on-boarding process

All students need to do in order to receive updates from your student life office is text a keyword to a shortcode. No list servs, no flyers, and no new marketing materials necessary! Just add your call to action to preexisting materials—websites, banners, and the like – and watch your mobile list grow. Students can also sign up to receive texts by filling out an online web form, which you can add to your student life homepage to help spread the word.

Bowling Green State University saw amazing success onboarding students to receive text message updates by announcing their mobile call to action at Freshman Orientation. The announcement, combined with other marketing efforts, resulted in 98% of students opting in to their mobile campaign!

Because of its ubiquity, flexibility, and ease of use, text messaging is point blank the best way to communicate with your students. To find out more about how to integrate it into your university, contact us today.

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