A visit to most college campuses and you would likely see students with their heads down gazing intently at their phones. Mobile devices play an integral role in college student’s lives due to their need to constantly feel connected. According to a study by Nielsen, 80% of college students own a smartphone, creating a perfect opportunity for universities to connect with the students on and off campus.
As a student, I constantly receive university emails informing me of upcoming events, emergency alerts and tuition deadlines. Although these emails are very helpful, the open rates are drastically slower (and fewer) compared to text messages. According to a study done by BusinessWired, emails are typically opened six hours after they are sent compared to text messages which are opened within the first four minutes. Therefore, I would not only benefit but would prefer if these reminders were sent via text message to inform me almost immediately. And text marketing is not the only mobile strategy that universities could implement; mobile websites provide numerous benefits for college students. They help to eliminate the unnecessary information and provide students with what they are looking for on an easy to navigate interface.
A mobile strategy does not just benefit the academic and admissions side of the university but the extra-curricular side as well. Student life and Greek organizations could use text marketing to send reminders of dues and upcoming events. As college students continue to depend on their mobile devices for all sources of communication, universities need to begin to make moves to take advantage. A successful mobile strategy would not only appeal to current students but it may largely impact the decisions of prospect students as well.