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This post is written by Greg Bauch, copywriter at Mongoose.

Earlier this month, Mongoose held a retreat for users of their texting platform, Cadence. The main goals of the action-packed agenda were not only to bring attendees up-to-speed on new product features, but to also inspire and motivate these progressive higher ed professionals heading into the 2018 academic year.

Over the course of four days, countless ideas and best practices for communicating in higher ed were exchanged.

Here are the top six insights from ELEVATE 2018:

1. Shattering Myths

Michael Stoner, co-founder and president of mStoner, detailed misconceptions about communicating with teens.

His research shows that teens want to receive information via text, but they’re not looking for you to be their BFF (not initially at least). Spoiler alert: the friendship comes later as their selection process narrows.

  • Texts are most desired during the accepted/deciding phase.
  • 56% of teens said that receiving a text from a college would positively impact their view of the college.
  • 82% (!!) of teens have never received a text message from a college.

2. Achieving Results

Jake Joseph from St. Michael’s College gave a simple example of how his institution used texting to elicit instant responses from 1,400 students about their enrollment intentions. While the message below was an example of what NOT to text (it’s impersonal), the resulting data speaks volumes for how efficient texting is over other mediums.

Jake is an expert at sweating the small stuff. Little things like updating your business card, email signature and website are quick and easy ways to promote how accessible you are via text.

3. Exploring Data

Jenn Passalacqua and Caroline Manning from Norwich University looked at data from over three years of incoming classes and presented an eye-opening stat. Texters yielded at a 48% higher rate than non-texters.

While, initially students just want the facts and nothing else, texting opens the door to much more personal relationships:

4. Increasing Yield Rate

Eric Mullen from Grand Rapids Community College chronicled how, after completing a full recruitment cycle using Cadence, their school saw a 3% increase in yield rate. Because of that success, texting has spread across his institution like wildfire. While we have not (yet) received word of a statue of Eric being erected on campus – many departments are already joining in the success.

5. Making Every Text Count

Joe Madigan detailed how Florida Southern utilized texting to increase their freshman enrollment yield by 3%, with a 7% increase in freshman students and a 16% increase in transfer students:

We can also thank Joe for a golden rule Florida Southern lives by when texting; something everyone can take to heart.

“Rule of thumb for text message content: Is it something students will be grateful to you for sending?”

6. Igniting Your Brand

Ellen Treanor, AVP of Brand Strategy at Southern Utah University, taught the audience to use engaging stories to ignite their schools’ brands, complete with a workshop.

Admittedly, this one is not really an insight as much as it was just plain awesome. Enthusiastic attendees brainstormed and presented compelling tales about their respective schools. The prize for the best school story was too close to call, which led to a literal toss-up of a stuffed dragon.

A little help from friends
Navigating student communication is like driving in a snowstorm; you never know which way the wind will blow and your view of the road ahead is never clear. When like-minded, innovative people get together to share experiences, successes, lessons learned, and new ideas, it’s impressive to see how they tackle the ever-evolving landscape.

Master the art of texting with Mongoose Cadence, higher education’s preferred text messaging platform. Elegantly designed and exceptionally intuitive, Cadence is a game-changing texting solution for your entire institution.


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Higher Ed Live

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