[HOW TO] Six Secrets to Mastering Texting with Students

How many times do you see it on social media? A friend makes a great point — one you agree with heartily — but he words it in a way that undermines the message. You like what he’s saying; it’s how he’s saying it that needs some work.

A play off the old saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” opens the blog post, Crafting Text Messages That Make the Grade, by our friends over at Mongoose, a technology company that creates a platform regarding texting with students for colleges and universities. They know texting at Mongoose, and in this particular post, they list some great pointers on writing effective text messages to prospective students.

“In our experience, the way a text is crafted can make or break a campaign, and determine whether the student takes action or immediately goes back to looking at Snapchat,” the post says.

According to Mongoose, writing a message for texting with students comes down to three elements: structure, tone and — this is crucial — respect. How do you accomplish this? They offer six ways:

  • Identify Yourself:  “Introduce yourself using your name and position so they understand who you are and know they’re talking with a real person.”
  • Be Casual But Professional: “Rule of thumb: read your message out loud. If it sounds strange to say, it will be strange to read on the other end.”
  • If You Want A Response, End With A Question: “Asking a relative question keeps the conversation going.”
  • Be As Concise As Possible: There’s no hard character count, but be as concise as possible while still being clear with your message and maintaining a conversational tone.”
  • Address the Student Directly: “If a message reads like a mass text, it’s probably going to be ignored. Be personal so the student knows this is relevant, urgent information.”
  • Clearly Articulate the Call To Action:Don’t force students to guess what you want to do next.”

 In the post, each of the above criteria comes with examples of a text message that earns an “F” and one that gets an “A.” Below are the examples for “Be Casual But Professional.”

Grade A Text Messages

Click here to read the whole post. It’s an excellent overview of communication fundamentals when texting with students.

By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed