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How One College Used Texting to Talk to Recruits

Sarah Steimer

Presbyterian College used a texting platform to communicate with students and saw improved indicators for enrollment


In an era of undesirable communication trends (e.g., ghosting), universities and colleges are looking at different ways to reach prospective students—and sometimes even garner a response.

“I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but there’s a communication crisis in higher education,” says Dave Marshall, president and product manager at Mongoose, an SMS management platform. “[Schools] can’t reach [students]: They don’t answer phone calls, and they’re not checking their e-mail.”

For some context, a HubSpot sample of more than 965,000 e-mails found the average e-mail open rate for the jobs and education category is 32%. Figures from Constant Contact customers are even more dismal: Data from more than 200 million e-mails show the open rate for higher education is 13.39%.


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Sarah Steimer is managing editor of Marketing News. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.