When 95% of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one, it’s probably no surprise that texting is the preferred method of communication among students. That’s why colleges and universities are starting to include peer-to-peer texting campaigns into their admissions and marketing strategies. If your school hasn’t already, now is the time! The digital landscape is wider than ever, especially since physical distancing and isolation have forced us to embrace technology. It’s natural for students to constantly check their phones and to communicate with peers over text. According to an online survey, 73% of Gen. Z and Millennials in the U.S would choose messaging over phone calls (if they had to pick just one). Not only is there an overwhelming favoritism for texting, but students today actually expect communication to be quick and non-intrusive.
Enter Peer-to-Peer (P2P) texting! It is the only technology that allows your prospective and intending students to have individual, personalized conversations with your school at such a simple scale. The research even proves that texting leads to higher engagement rates and faster, more effective responses than email, traditional mail, and phone calls.
Here are some of the statistics:
- Text messages have a 98% open rate, whereas email marketing is only at about 20%.
- 90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes.
- On average, college students spend 94 minutes per day texting.
- Text messages have a 45% response rate, while email has a 6% response rate.
- The average time to respond to a text message is 90 seconds, whereas emails have an average response time of 90 minutes.
P2P texting can be a massive asset for your college or university to build key relationships with intending and prospective students. The quick back and forth capabilities of texting is something that is hard to replicate through other means. Plus, there's nothing else quite like this technology’s scalability, data management, and personalization. You can meet students where they are by sending one-to-one messages that are completely personal and friendly, while still maintaining the tone of your institution.
High school seniors do not always receive the family, friend, or community support they need to make the right college decision and to transition into this new chapter. A P2P texting campaign will connect them with current students at your school who can offer support, help them prepare for classes, and get them excited to begin their first semester! Not only that, but a texting platform can inspire a sense of community and friendship before moving in. Since there is a casual nature to texting, there is room to play with voice and tone. Using emojis and other symbols can help build a playful voice that high schoolers and young adults are used to. This personal conversation helps the prospective or intending students see your school as individuals that care about them, rather than a faceless entity.
If your college or university wants to increase yield, a P2P texting campaign can do just that, by keeping students engaged with your school. A platform that combines the idea of peer mentoring and support with the effective technology of texting is the best solution to grow your numbers. Students are not only more likely to answer a text message, but they are more likely to ask for help and listen to their peers. A study shows that peer mentoring can have a positive impact on GPA, credits earned, and retention. And, it can help incoming freshmen better adjust to campus life and feel more satisfied with their colleges. Our Summer Melt Campaign has shown us that these students are interested in their evolution and growth since orientation, asking personal advice on things related to their future. Here are just a few questions that students have asked their guides through HelloCampus Connections:
- “Is there any advice you can share on getting internships?”
- “Do you have any recommendations for clubs to join?”
- “What do you like to do that’s off-campus?”
- “What has your experience with the dorms been like, any advice with those?”
Texting is powerful because it lets these students express their concerns, big or small, with peers who have been in their shoes. One student from William Peace University asked their guide, “Were classes online last year? How was it handling everything with the pandemic while still living college life?” These are the kinds of questions that students don’t want to ask their admissions counselor. They want to hear from current students who know what it’s like and have gone through these experiences. Besides asking the bigger questions of what worries them, many prospective and intending students appreciate asking their peers even the smallest of curiosities. Like, “Is there a specific laptop you would recommend getting?” a student from Maryville University asked their guide, or "So what can you tell me about the school? How nerdy is it? Are there any Star Trek watch parties or trading card game clubs?" another student from Caroll University asked. Not only can they receive an answer right away, but the college guides love it, too! It’s so easy for them to do their job and offer support anytime, anywhere. Plus, they are connecting with peers who may become their friends later on.
P2P texting not only lets prospective and intending students find out what to expect when they arrive on campus, but their conversation with a current student may just reassure them that they made the right decision to choose their school. Our clients at Keystone College said that HelloCampus Connections helped one of their prospective students solidify their decision to come to Keystone. Their student texted during their Summer Melt Campaign and said, “Thank you for reaching out. I’m just a bit nervous about starting in a new place and moving away from home. One of the summer guides also spoke to me, and I’m feeling a bit better. I’m super excited to start school.” Interactions like this are why it’s so beneficial to implement a P2P texting campaign into your admissions and marketing strategy.
Learn more about HelloCampus Connections and why we think it's the best solution to reach your objectives, easy to launch and with no IT requirement.