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During recruitment season, all colleges have the same goal: to attract the best students with the most potential to enroll in their schools. In the past, this was accomplished largely through visits to high schools and direct mail advertising. However, thanks to the rise of technology, colleges now have plenty of other ways to connect with prospective students. One effective strategy that is often overlooked is the use of a text message service provider to generate and nurture leads.
Lead Generation through SMS
Before you can begin texting prospective students, you must first have their express written permission to do so. Fortunately, most prospective students are hungry to learn more about the colleges they are considering, so they will be glad to provide this information if they are given the opportunity. By posting information about your SMS campaign on your website, on social media and in print mailings, you can encourage interested students to subscribe. Once a student has subscribed, you can send messages designed to increase that student's interest in your institution. You may use SMS messaging to announce events, such as upcoming college fairs your representative plan to attend, open houses and high school visits. You may also use your text message service provider to send targeted messages to athletes interested in your institution, invite students to schedule campus events or even distribute a link to your school's brochure.
In addition to generating and nurturing leads on prospective students, colleges can also use SMS messaging to connect with current and past students for a variety of different purposes. For example, you may use SMS to solicit volunteers from among your current student body for an upcoming event or to remind students of a holiday or deadline. With regard to alumni, SMS messaging can be used to bring in donations from past students, announce upcoming class reunions and keep past students up-to-date on the institution's activities and progress.
Benefits of SMS Messaging for Colleges
SMS offers a number of benefits over other forms of communication. Some of the benefits the use of SMS offers to colleges include:
- Appeal to the target demographic. - According to Pew Internet Research, as many as 98 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 owned a cell phone in 2014, and this number is only increasing. Many of these people check their cell phones multiple times each day, with nearly 70 percent of adults admitting to checking their phones even when they haven't heard an audible notification.
- High open rates. - Text messages have a 98 percent open rate, and most are opened within the first few minutes of receipt. Unlike emails, which are likely to be ignored or missed in a cluttered inbox, text messages will almost always be read by the intended recipient. This ensures that your target audience will receive the information you wish to convey.
- Concise. - Text messages restrict the number of characters sent, making them highly readable and to the point. Recipients of your college's communications will understand your meaning immediately without waiting for an email to load or searching through large blocks of text.
- Cost-effective. - Communicating with prospective students, current students and alumni via text message requires less time and fewer resources than other methods. With the right software program, mass texts can be sent with the click of a button without wasting money on paper, ink or other such expenses.
How to Get Started
The first step in implementing an SMS campaign to generate leads is to select the right text message service provider. Trumpia offers software your institution can use to develop and send mass texts to prospective students with very little effort. Our software also allows for easy collection of student contact information, short codes and two-way texting. If you want to send more customized messages to smaller groups of students, our smart targeting feature is the perfect tool. To find out more about the services Trumpia provides, please contact us.