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The Top 3 SMS Campaigns for Driving Student Engagement This Summer

Summer is a crucial time for student retention. In fact, nearly 75% of stop outs or drop outs occur between the spring and fall semesters of a student’s first year.

As we learned during our recent Persistence Check-In analysis, key factors impacting student persistence, in addition to finances, are mental health and sense of belonging.

To better support students during this critical time, leading institutions are getting creative with their use of SMS texting and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive student engagement in the summer months. Here are three easy-to-execute ways to leverage an institutionally-branded chatbot to maximize student success.

1) Execute a Persistence Check-in Campaign to Identify At-Risk Students

The easiest way to know what’s on the mind of your students is to ask. The simple act of asking a student what their plans are, and if they are looking for support, can serve as a catalyst for countless opportunities for intervention. It’s a tactic that supports institutions like Franklin Pierce University driving retention rate increases as high as 14%.

Here’s an example of a persistence check in action:

2) Use Entertainment to Boost Response to Engagement Campaigns While Building a Sense of Belonging and Community

While student success is serious, it doesn’t mean everything needs to be taken so seriously. To break through the noise, institutions like Missouri University of Science and Technology and Westminster College have been leveraging their AI chatbot in a fund and creative way … Emoji karaoke!

Emoji karaoke is a fun and interactive way to engage students via SMS texting to build a sense of community. At both institutions, 1 in 4 students engaged with the campaign and participated in the game. This tactic not only helps the campus let loose and have some fun; it also helps students build trust and rapport with their institution’s bot.

Check out Emoji Karaoke in action:

Emoji Karaoke isn’t the only creative campaign to leverage entertainment to boost engagement. Many institutions are using their bots to solicit input from the campus community for things like summer playlists. Westfield State University received over 140 song suggestions for the entire campus to enjoy!

3) Leverage a Belonging and Wellness Campaign to Connect Students to the Right Resources

As we mentioned earlier, the best way to understand what your students are thinking or need is to ask! Checking in on student wellness and plans to persist during the summer months can provide key insight into their need for financial, academic, social or mental health support.

While one may expect engagement to slip during the summer months, EdSights partners average a greater than 1 in 4 response rate to wellness checks across all partners.

Here’s an example of a Wellness Check in action:

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These are just a handful of the dozens of great initiatives the EdSights Partner Success Team is executing on behalf of our client partners. Contact us to learn about more creative ways to leverage conversational AI to drive better student engagement for persistence and enrollment.



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