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As you know, higher education institutions around the world are using text message updates to stay in communication with students, parents, and graduates. Alumni associations have quickly learned that the best way to stay connected is by strategically integrating text/SMS opt-in forms into their processes.

Here are a couple of ideas and real world examples of effective alumni SMS campaigns.

Alumni Event Updates

Many universities are turning to text message updates to announce upcoming events for their alumni near and far. Events include everything from reunions, to fundraising events. SMS has been an effective solution for not only sending invitations, but also gathering key data from alumni to deliver better events. SMS allows your association to collect votes on the top venues for hosting events, ask about topics for workshops, and collect RSVPs for events too.

Alumni Giving

Alumni choose to give back to their university for a number of reasons. Whether they want to show appreciation for their education, help someone else have a similar experience, or just want to stay connected, alumni are among some of the most generous donors. And once a new class passes graduation, an immediate goal for the university is to quickly get graduates into the habit of giving back. A practical way to build lasting relationships and sustain generosity is to stay in touch with alumni via SMS.  Even for graduates who aren’t willing to make a donation, SMS provides an outlet to ask them to support the school in other ways (such as volunteer opportunities).

Student and Alumni News

More than just event announcements are being sent via text, institutions are using SMS to keep those on and off campus up to date about what’s happening. Schools like the University of Southern Florida invite anyone – students, alumni, and even sports fans – to sign up for the latest USF news. If done really well, this program could even segment news updates so that contacts in the SMS database are only receiving news most pertinent to their interests.

You can segment text message updates with a dialog SMS campaign. Rather than using a basic SMS protocol that replies to the contact with a simple, “Thanks for opting in and stay tuned…,” you can ask a question. Try using  multiple choice question such as, “What kinds of university updates would you like to receive? Sports, Events, Student News, Alumni News, All.” As people reply with their choice, their account in your SMS database will be updated with that preference so you know what information to send to them.

Miami University aims to send only the most relevant news to their alumni by offering chapter-specific updates. When you visit their text message sign-up page, the sign-up form offers you the option to choose a specific alumni chapter to receive text message updates.

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Updating Alumni Information

As we all know, people move and change jobs on a fairly frequent basis. Mobile numbers are one of the few contact data points that rarely change, making SMS communications vital.

Sometimes we miss the opportunity to gather that mobile phone number while people are still students. Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Lay a foundation today and start communication with students via text. It’ll payoff for years to come.

 

Curious how mobile technology can improve communications in your school? Learn More

 

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It’s no secret that social media is a huge component in many digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing expenditure in the U.S has reached $7.52 billion dollars (Statista). Virtually every business has some form of social media presence today. To avoid talking to an empty room, marketers use different tactics, such as social media contests and coupons, to measure things like engagement and conversions. But, how do you maximize your social media ROI?

Nearly 80% of social media usage is conducted on a mobile device (Marketing Land). Since social media is already a mobile activity, text (SMS) should be a key element of your social media strategy. When done effectively, Texting can provide valuable insight into how well your social media efforts are converting followers into repeat purchase customers.

Social Media and SMS are the Perfect Pair

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So, how do we put text messaging and social media together? Well, for the most part, it’s similar to using an 800 or vanity number. Businesses can attach a short-code for followers to text into for mobile coupons, contests, or to start a mobile club. Imagine you’re a small burger joint opening  in town. You want to encourage all the locals to try your specialty burgers and prompt them to make a repeat purchase. You can have a keyword for new customers to text in to a short code so they receive a coupon for a free burger when new customers buy fries and a drink. This keyword can be worked into all social media materials from cover photos on Facebook, to a specified hashtag on Twitter, to descriptions on your business’s YouTube videos.

 

Measure Social Media ROI Instantly With Texting

Social media is an instantaneous way to reach a large audience while text messages provides equally instantaneous feedback. While likes and comments are great, they are very passive forms of engagement. A ‘like’ doesn’t always translate into a sale. However, when customers text to your designated short code for a free burger, they are taking that extra step to committing to a purchase.

Promoting your SMS campaign via social media allows a more efficient measure of social media ROI. With a simple text, a marketer can measure a variety of different things about their campaign. A text can serve as a good headcount of active people in your contact list, a way to measure coupon effectiveness, show which keywords are most effective, and more. With True Dialog’s RESTful API, you can easily track outbound texts during the time of your social media campaign. Our API can also be easily integrated into other systems to have one, cohesive place for all marketing measurement.

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Have questions on what SMS can do for your media measurement? Feel free to email us at sales@truedialog.com or call us at 512-501-5940.

 

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Currently, the advertising business in the U.S is worth over $111 billion.  By 2020, revenue from TV and radio advertisement alone is projected to reach $81.7 and $17.68 billion respectively. With so much money circulated around advertising, it is important to make sure that your business’s advertising efforts are effective across your media channels. Vanity numbers, specialized URLs, and other methods are very popular for measuring media effectiveness. However, text messaging can be a valuable media measurement tool as well. With a high open and response rate, low cost implementation, and easy integration, SMS can be a valuable addition to any TV or radio advertisement.

How Does Media Measurement Work With SMS?

It may seem counter-intuitive to use a mobile approach to measure the results of broadcast advertising SMS is not only cost-effective, it  simplifies the overall measurement process. The concept is simple, have a short code associated with your advertisement that allows the viewer to text in when they see it. For example, imagine you’re a restaurant with airspace on all local TV and radio channels. You include a short code in your advertisements that allows viewers to text in and receive a mobile coupon for their next entree. Since people have their cell phones on them 97% of the time, high response is practically guaranteed. This serves as an an instantaneous tally of how many people you’re reaching with your commercial as well as how effective the commercial is.

Kill Multiple Birds With One Smartphone

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It is easy to see why the benefits of media measurements with SMS are substantial for your business. Let’s return back to the restaurant example. The first benefit of your SMS campaign is the prompting of customers to visit your restaurant with mobile coupons. About 74 million U.S smartphone users utilized mobile coupons in 2015; proving just how valuable they can be. In terms of media measurement, texting provides a few key benefits. As we said before, texting can provide an instantaneous count of how many people are seeing your advertisement at a given time. This means that you can figure out when and where your advertisements have the most impact. Maybe more people text in right before dinner time or around major holidays. Perhaps your commercial does better on stations with more family friendly content. Regardless, SMS makes it easy to see exactly where your advertisement stands.

 

Sources: Statista

 

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One of the major indicators of success for universities and colleges is student retention. Out of all the first-time, full-time students that enrolled in a 4-year university in fall 2012, 20% didn’t return for fall 2013 (NCES). One of the main reasons students don’t return in the fall is lack of student engagement due to poor communication. Notification emails are effective but, may go unchecked for quite some time. However, SMS can aid in boosting retention rates for many universities by maintaining a direct line of communication between student and university.

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In all the hustle and bustle of everyday student life, it is easy for important deadlines to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, missing important deadlines can drastically affect whether or not a student returns for another semester. Although email is still the preferred method of communication among many universities, it doesn’t boast the immediacy that SMS has. 90% of all texts are opened within 3 minutes, a drastic change from the 47 minutes it takes for 90% email response.

By using a basic SMS campaign, reminder texts can be sent out to students. Since these texts are more likely to be read than email, more students will be better prepared for upcoming deadlines. When students keep up with these important dates, like FAFSA or enrollment deadlines, they are better prepared to return for another semester.

360 Degree Student Engagement

Student engagement goes beyond communications between students and the university. Many university students do more than just study, they also engage in many different activities. SMS can keep students engaged both in and out of the classroom. Professors can utilize an SMS dialog campaign to facilitate class conversations while on-campus organizations, like alumni relations or Greek life, can send mass texts to keep members updated. Essentially, SMS can maintain 360 degree student engagement by simplifying communications from all aspects of student life.

 

Sources: Dynmark, The Atlantic

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We’re Talking about #EdTech and #MobileLearning on April 8th. 

 

At True Dialog, we value higher education and we aim to support the education community by offering insights into how technology is enhancing the experience in an EdTech Panel webinar. Whether it is kids in a classroom, adults continuing their education from home, or people learning on a mobile device in a far away place, technology plays an integral part in how we learn today.

 

Here are five reasons why you need to attend the EdTech Panel

 

  • The Speakers:
    • Hear from Kathleen Denyer Hall, User Experience Research Manager at Civitas Learning, understands how educators are using technology in classrooms. She hears directly from the users of the Civitas Learning platform, which provides a detailed view of an institution’s historical and predictive student flow.
    • Hear from Sean Duffy, founder of EdTech Austin and marketing lead for the MakerSquare team in Austin, about the important connection between education and technology – especially here in Austin, Texas. He works with his team to offer outcomes-focused learning opportunities for those developing their engineering skills.
    • Moderated by John Wright, CEO of True Dialog, has an extensive background in how people communicate. His professional experience with email communications, text messaging, and business to consumer relationship management supports the insights that he can offer into this conversation.

 

  • Get Answers: You will have opportunities to ask your questions about education technology, mobile learning, and how these technologies are integrated into institutions today. This EdTech Panel of experts will address your questions in real-time or following the webinar.

 

  • Thought Provoking Insights: You will be surprised by some of the insights you hear from these industry leaders about tools and ways technology is truly enhancing education – rather than disrupting it.

 

  • Easy to Join: We’re keeping this panel short out of respect for your time – only 30 minutes of presentation time. Plus you can listen in from your computer or phone, depending upon what is easiest for you.

 

  • Free to Attend: That’s right. There is no cost to register for the EdTech Panel webinar. We are so passionate about sharing information and starting the conversation that we see no reason to charge for this webinar.

 

So what are you waiting for? Register Today! 

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As many millennials are graduating college and entering the workforce, Generation Z (Gen-Z) is rapidly taking their place. Gen-Z is defined as the generation born in the late 90s through the early 2010s. This generation makes up about 40% of today’s undergrads, and that percentage increases every semester. Unlike their millennial predecessors, Gen-Z has never lived in a world without instantaneous communication. This means that they are the most connected generation on the planet. As this new generation enters the realm of higher education, professors and university personnel are facing new challenges in communication.Mobile Education, EdTech, Gen-Z, MLearning, Mobile Operations, SMS Solutions

Using Mobile to Connect with Gen-Z

Thanks to their millennial predecessors, many universities are equipped with some sort of mobile application or SMS alert system. As the most connected generation, Gen-Z is communicating instantaneously with each other and non-stop. So how are universities going to keep up with the new wave of students? SMS has proven to be extremely popular for students of this generation. Although millennials do well with email, Gen-Z is more inclined to use faster methods of communication. Having a text messaging service incorporated into university communications is a smart and affordable solution for maintaining contact while addressing the instant communication lifestyle.

 

Mobile Education, EdTech, Gen-Z, MLearning, Mobile Operations, SMS SolutionsGen-Z in Higher Education

In order for professors and university faculty to keep up with this fast-talking generation, it’s crucial to have mobile tools integrated into everything. This mobile integration goes far beyond basic communications. More then ever, professors have an array of technology to aid them in maintaining their classrooms. The steep rise of the EdTech movement has made mobile devices a pivotal cornerstone for educational success. These tools make it easier for professors to take attendance, record grades, and increase classroom participation.

For students, having a mobile solution means more hands-on learning possibilities. This encourages students to take charge of their learning. And it fits into their fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle.

 

Each generation brings a new challenge to universities around the country. Overcoming the generational gaps such as technology development and communication styles is paramount to university operations. Both students and faculty benefit from a cohesive form of communication. With mobile-based tools such as SMS alerts and mobile applications, the burden of communication can be alleviated. It is important for universities to be well-equipped to reach the new generation of college students. What is your school’s plan?

 

Sources: Business Insider

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Technology is playing an increasingly large role in education around the world

Many schools and classrooms use education CRM systems for student management. These CRM (customer relationship management) systems are crucial for maintaining attendance, grades, homework, and other various classroom interactions. However, many systems operate on email-based integration for communications. Although millennials are extremely receptive to email, SMS has a higher open rate at 98% and 45% response rate (email has an average 6% response rate).

 

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For the busy college student, having a mobilized classroom experience is vital to their success. Although many education CRM systems have created mobile applications, it’s sometimes difficult to convey information in real time. Students need information as fast as possible, and in-app messaging often takes more effort than it’s worth. SMS integration into education CRM systems gives professors the tools needed to inform their students instantaneously – less work, higher response rate.

A simple way to utilize SMS with your education CRM is by setting up triggered messages via a gateway. When certain time-sensitive material is uploaded by a professor into the education CRM system, such as announcements or grades, a text message will be automatically sent out to all students on the targeted list. Although this is a commonplace feature in the email portion of education CRMs, a text-based approach will be massively efficient for both student and professor. You can even give students the choice of how they want updates from you – via email or SMS – and either way, you can include the same information and web links to the details. Students will be more likely to read the important classroom information, while professors will have a simple way to instantly reach all their students at once.

 

Education CRM Supports the EdTech Movement

Education technology, or EdTech, is becoming more than just the technology itself. It is becoming a wide sweeping movement focusing on changing education on multiple levels, all across the world. Integration is huge component of EdTech with many classrooms using apps, software, and even virtual reality to enhance education.  When education CRM systems integrate mobile technology, professors can expand their reach and make room for more students or teach across far distances. By pushing the boundaries of the physical classroom, education can make steps towards being accessible for all.

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Using an education CRM is important to many schools, colleges and universities. As of 2015, the top collegiate LMS (learning management systems), Blackboard, was on the market for over $3 billion. Not only is an education CRM the built into most schools, but it is also the norm for students to have access to their educational progress in a digital format. Making education CRM systems more mobile via SMS is a logical expansion for the fast-paced and highly dynamic realm of education.

 

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SMS for Recruiting Webinar

SMS has gained significant momentum in the realm of recruiting and staffing agency operations. With over 14 million contract and temporary hires per year, staffing agencies are an integral piece to filling the 5.4 million U.S job openings. During the webinar today, we will cover a variety of topics relating to SMS for recruiting, staffing agency operations, and improving brand positioning in the market place. Today’s recruiting webinar will cover 3 main points:

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1. Improve Professional SMS Etiquette

About 25% of marketers use SMS with 65% reporting that it is “very successful”. As SMS expands in professional settings, it is important to maintain proper SMS etiquette.

2. Explore SMS Strategies for Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies deal in a very time sensitive industry. In this recruiting webinar, we will explore a case study in which a staffing agency utilized their SMS database to increase candidate satisfaction. This will demonstrate a real-life example of how SMS is bettering staffing agency operations.

3.  Building Brand Trust

Being tech-savvy is now a major component of positive brand image. Candidates are more likely to flock to brands that incorporate relevant, modern technology in their business practices. This not only increases communications, but increases candidates’ trust.

This staffing webinar will be extremely beneficial for recruiters and staffing agencies – learning how SMS can be a viable tool for operations and professional communication. Staffing agencies armed with this information can stay ahead of the curve in both candidate satisfaction and millennial retention. Join us for our SMS Recruiting Webinar today at 1PM CST / 11AM PST for to explore these topics and more.

 

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As of 2015, the millennial workforce is the largest generation in the U.S working economy . However, 53% of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find and retain new millennial employees. One reason for this large gap is the differences in communication styles. While email remains a popular communication medium for all working generations, Millennials are more skewed towards text message-based communications (MarketingSherpa). This schism between generations can be both frustrating and detrimental to the hiring process.

 

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SMS-based recruiting and hiring tactics are becoming a lot more common. About 82% of hiring managers believe millennials have very unique skills and are more technologically adept than previous generations. In addition to the staggering 98% open rate, text messaging is a great way for hiring managers to dip into the millennial workforce.

An SMS hiring strategy provides the immediacy that millennials are accustomed to while taking away some of the burden for the hiring company. By enabling text message notifications, details about an open position, scheduling, and FAQs can be handled at a much faster pace.

Bridge the Communication Gap with the Millennial Workforce

So, now that you’ve hired millennials for your company, what’s next? How are you going to maintain an open line of communication?

39% of millennials say that having a great working relationship with coworkers is a priority. Not only is SMS important for hiring millennials, it’s also important for staying connected with them. Consider making the inter-office communication easier by using an SMS dialog campaign – creating collaboration, information sharing, and operations instantaneous. 86% of millennials see themselves as adaptable and nothing caters to fostering that adaptability like instantaneous SMS communications.

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The millennial workforce continues to grow, and it is up to innovative companies to be ready for the change in processes and communications. Tapping into this pool of talent can seem daunting – especially since there is a 72% chance millennials are open to change, more so than the 28% for other generations. Stay ahead in both the hiring and communication process by allowing millennials a home-field advantage. SMS is a great bridge for integrating the millennial workforce into your company or organization.

 

Sources: Pew Research, Elance o-Desk,

 GREAT OPPORTUNITY: There will be a webinar focused on how staffing agencies and recruiters are using mobile technology. Get the webinar details. 

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