When done right, texting strategies can help your institution reach students, increase enrollment, and drive engagement

3 ways to boost applications and enrollment

When done right, texting strategies can help your institution reach students, increase enrollment, and drive engagement

It’s no secret: 2020 was a tough year on application and enrollment for schools, academies, colleges, and universities. The pandemic changed how and when students start school. Many waited to start new education programs and deferred as remote learning became the norm, and the entire system faced an upheaval.

But it’s time to refocus on strategies that will drive prospective interest, attract incoming students, and help to start the application process.

Declines in enrollment have added to mounting pressures to ramp up interest. And the best way for higher education marketers to reach students is, of course, where they already live: their mobile phones. Incoming candidates often ignore traditional ad campaigns like print catalogues and brochures — while favoring text message marketing, social media, and other digital strategies.

1. Attract New Students & Continue to Engage Throughout the Process

Generate interest among prospective students on the device that already has all their attention — their mobile phones. With students spending an average of 94.6 minutes a day on their phones, you can be assured that text messaging is the leading channel to grab their attention.

Cut through the clutter with texting software for higher education. Send text blasts that will entice students and propel them to get excited about your institution. Perhaps you can send updates on your baseball team, texting MMS videos of a homerun in your campus stadium, or you could send a message spotlighting exemplary student work or alumni achievements.

Like any other industry, higher education needs to continually nurture relationships with leads.

2. Start the Application or Enrollment Process via Text

Sometimes boosting enrollment is as easy as a simple text. Keep students on schedule with trackable links that will show which messages are landing. Links streamline the process as well, giving students a quick way to begin the paperwork (as opposed to hunting down the site on their own).

3. Use Keywords & Sign-Up Forms to Build a Text List of Prospective Students

Encourage prospects to opt in to your database by promoting custom Keywords and website Sign-Up Forms. With a Keyword campaign, you can build a much more targeted audience that will be receptive to your messaging.

But what is a Keyword? In short, it’s a word or phrase used to promote your text message marketing program.

Promote these messages at college fairs and counseling offices — as well as on social media, brochures, catalogues, signage, emails, flyers, and your website. Consider direct and to-the-point messaging like: “Text FRESHMAN to 858585 to get updates on incoming Freshman Orientation Welcome Week.”

Here, FRESHMAN is the Keyword and 858585 is the dedicated short code or textable number. After texting the Keyword to the short code or 10-digit textable number, the new contact’s mobile number will be automatically subscribed to your text messaging list.

Like signing up for an email subscription, Keywords allow contacts to easily join into your SMS database and agree to receive ongoing text communications. As a bonus, it’s also a simple way to maintain legal compliance.

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