Higher Education Marketing

What can SMS Alerts do for Your Education Marketing?

Date posted: July 28, 2011

As we have discussed in the past, SMS (Short Message Service) Alerts can greatly increase your education marketing options and versatility. Implementing and maintaining an SMS Alerts channel will allow you to leverage mobile and smartphone usage, which continues to grow by leaps and bounds (this year, in fact, smartphones are expected to overtake laptops for Web usage).

What are SMS Alerts?

SMS Alerts are text messages sent from your school to target audiences of your choice (this can include current or prospective students, alumni, staff and more). Because of the explosion of mobile ownership, the importance and effectiveness of SMS Alerts has increased in the last few years, giving schools the ability send information about events, open houses, admissions, registration and more, straight to the cell phones of target audiences.

As you can imagine, this is a very powerful marketing technique and recent students have shown that over 90% of SMS messages are viewed and read within the first half hour of being received. This  makes it a much more effective tactic than email marketing.

An effective Mobile SMS Alerts implementation will generally include SMS Push and Pull Messaging, SMS Alerts, Mobile to Web Integration and Social Media Integration.

How Can Your School Benefit from SMS Alerts?

SMS Alerts can improve your university or community college’s brand awareness by creating a more personal relationship with your core audiences. You can, for example, use SMS Alerts to treat different audience segments (e.g. alumni) as exclusives groups for special events, open houses and registration information that only they have access to. This “exclusivity” tactic can make your programs more attractive to prospective students, and can help maintain a bond with your school’s alumni.

SMS Alerts can also provide an easy to implement platform for school contests and competitions. Consider this example from Centennial College. Text messaging was offered as one of the three ways that students could enter to win an iPad Touch. This sort of interaction (from the school or program to the audience member’s handheld device) is much more intimate and engaging than simply asking them to fill out a form (which aids the aforementioned attraction and retention). Best of all, though, applicants can then be added to a database for future marketing, admissions and open house messages.

This, however, is only the tip of iceberg. A recent issue of Academica’s “Top Ten” reported on yet another way schools are using the SMS Alerts platform: text message systems that notify parents and students of campus emergencies. As you can see, SMS Alerts open doors to numerous services and marketing strategies.

What are the Benefits to SMS Alerts Marketing?

As we have shown, SMS Alerts can give your university or community college the ability to interact with its target audiences by offering numerous services and information. The benefits to a marketing campaign involving SMS Alerts are just as plentiful, they include:

  • Continuous accessibility to prospective and current students, alumni, staff and more
  • Ability to deliver your marketing message directly to your audience’s phones
  • High open rate compared to email marketing campaigns
  • Mobile to Web integration
  • Social media integration
  • Online SMS sign-up form
  • Admin interface
  • Back-end database capture
  • Campaign reporting

Contact Higher Education Marketing today for more information on SMS Alerts for education marketing.

 

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