If You’re Not Texting, You’re Not Trying

Valuable, future focused insights on texting from the CEO

For all of our hyper connectivity, why is it that it always seems impossible to actually talk to somebody when you need to reach them?  While we are all tethered to our phones, the actual number of phone conversations we have on a daily basis seems to keep dwindling.  Along with this a significant body of research continues to illustrate that Millennials especially are adverse to phone call conversations. At the same time, talk to any Director of Admissions and they will confirm that the best way to get a prospective student moving through the process is to get them on the phone for a conversation.


More and more, the critical importance of text messaging as the main outreach point for prospect engagement is becoming clear.  The rules and etiquette of texting continue to evolve as it becomes more mainstream to receive messages from contacts outside of people’s direct social circle.  In terms of performance, we routinely see response rates of over 20% from SMS campaigns that achieve 3-5% from email or outbound calling.  What once was only used as a means of confirming conversations is now the first outreach medium to engage new inquiries.


Setting up the technology tools to manage SMS campaigns is much less complex than most Institutions realize and many CRM solutions include SMS capabilities as standard solutions.  Developing the communication flow and the best point to insert texting is where the gold is at.


With that in mind, here are a few tips for establishing a SMS program:

  • Make sure the number you send from is the same displayed for call back. Consumers are suspicious of texts from businesses and anything that doesn’t look right will instantly get ignored. Everything about your message needs to appear legitimate and not like an unsolicited ad.
  • DO NOT over text. Both from a list hygiene perspective and common courtesy it is important to text sparingly to anyone that is not already involved in a back and forth conversation.
  • Provide a meaningful call to action in initial messages. The prospect may or may not remember they requested information and the lure of information about your Institution may not be enough to get them to engage. Use scholarships, job outlook guides, tuition discounts or other “offers” as a means of creating engagement.
  • Provide quick responses. Getting somebody to re-engage in a conversation is extremely difficult so make sure you have personnel available to respond to any replies immediately.






Mike McHugh, CEO