I have a flight in the morning. I know this because the airline just sent me a text message as a reminder. It doesn’t contain much, just the flight details and a link so that I can check in online. Basically, everything I need to know the day before a flight. It’s simple and it’s designed to make my experience of the trip as pleasant as possible.
SMS as a means to ‘push’ information has been common practice in sectors such as air travel for a while now but this has been slow to extend to education. Given that we know SMS is effective and cheap in relative terms, it seems strange that we continue to ignore the demonstrable benefits it affords.
Put into the context of education, an industry that is under pressure from uncertainty around funding and other market forces, that represents an opportunity to lower costs as a means to improve margin, as well as promoting a better service to students and other stakeholders alike.
We know that the way we consume information has changed a lot in the last few years and significantly, smart devices have made mobile communication more prevalent. The value of SMS lies in the efficacy of the medium to successfully reach the intended target. Unlike email, there is evidence to show that the message is received more often than not.
Do you know what the open rate for SMS is? According to a recent report, it was found that text message open rates exceed 99%, and even more interesting is that 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.
It is clear that SMS can provide a strong return on investment. Depending on volume, you might send a message for around 15 cents. That 15 cents might guarantee your attendance or online assessment completion rates improve. It might ensure that facilitators are in the right classroom. Tasks that otherwise may require a resource to co-ordinate if not system automated.
Content is key. As the name suggests, a short message should be brief and most importantly, relevant. Be reductive, only include information that is of some value to the recipient. Think in terms of your own experience with SMS – be it from airlines, medical practitioners, banks etc. Think of what you appreciate and what seems redundant. Those that execute SMS well show marked improvement in their customer satisfaction and this is what you should be aiming for.
I’ve long been an advocate for SMS as an intrinsic part of any education administration workflow design. I’ve espoused the virtues of SMS for confirmations, notifications and reminders to almost everyone who will listen. I’ve seen it successfully applied in practice with many of our progressive providers and how those early adopters have refined how they use SMS as they more fully understand its worth. I’ve seen SMS become a competitive advantage in those that have committed to embedding it in their operations.
To help you understand the opportunity that SMS can provide, our valued partner Message Media, produced a case study of how a successful implementation of SMS can benefit you as an education provider. This demonstrates how an organisation with significant volume uses SMS to reduce administration and enhance the student experience.
Many thanks to our friends at Foundation Education.
Click to here to see the detail – http://www.messagemedia.com.au/case-studies/aipt
For more information on how you can better use SMS, contact:
The Support Team – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales Support Specialist, Channel Partners
Tel: 03 9945 4250