Texting was once a niche form of communication, but recent studies show that 55% of K-12 parents prefer text communication from teachers, a staggering 50% jump since 2010. While text messaging for schools is growing in popularity, institutions should implement the form sparingly. Rather than a primary mode of communication, text messaging can be a fast, convenient and effective supplement to other methods.
SMS Marketing Best Practices
Short message service (SMS) communication — or texting — can be a great way for schools to communicate with parents quickly through the devices they use most. Beyond communication, SMS can be an effective marketing tool. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider SMS marketing for schools:
- Choose an effective service: Great SMS services for schools are user-friendly and will message families from a consistent number they’ll recognize.
TIP: Educate by Community Brands offers a robust Communications Center that allows you to send texts, emails and phone calls to families seamlessly without the need for third party services!
- Use personal qualifiers: Address the reader by their relationship with your school, whether they’re a student’s family member or a prospective applicant. Schools can also add a level of exclusivity to entice prospects and reward them for their involvement.
- Keep it brief: SMS is a short form, so use the fewest characters possible to communicate your message.
- Be unique: Don’t repeat the same messages and offers you send on other platforms. Unique messages boost feelings of importance and urgency.
- Be timely, thorough and responsive: If you commit to SMS messaging, be sure to use it reliably without overloading readers’ inboxes. If you include two-way communication, be sure to respond quickly.
- Always obtain consent: Only message the families of current or prospective students who have expressed written consent for your communication.
- Emphasize your values: SMS marketing is an opportunity to communicate with families in a very personal way, so be sure to use language that reflects your values.
Implementing SMS Marketing at Your School
Now is a perfect time to begin integrating SMS marketing and communication strategies at your school. Use SMS at your institution for tasks like:
- Notices and reminders: Use SMS to notify your student body and their families about everything from inclement weather to registration dates or even daily lunch menus.
- Surveys: Gather feedback from families regarding your educational strategies or learn more about your prospective students.
- Parent involvement: SMS is a useful tool to increase PTA membership and find volunteers for school events.
- School initiatives: Announce new programs, fundraising drives, anti-bullying efforts and other initiatives. SMS can spread information and elicit responses, so you can gauge attendance for events or provide a convenient outlet for feedback.
- Recruitment: Send messages to potential students and parents about recruitment events and registration dates.
Request a Product Demo
Educate offers a student information system with SMS functionality for the most convenient communication between your faculty and families. Our software improves various processes for private K-12 institutions, and each program is seamlessly compatible with the next. To learn more or request a product demo, get in touch with Educate today.