The ideal position to be in is knowing that your officers are staying within reasonable limits and avoiding overloading each student with 'too many' emails and texts.
So, how many messages (emails, SMS) is too many 🤯 for each student like Zoe?
Thinking about the immense power of using Student CRM for mass communications for a moment can make you ponder "just how do we guard against overwhelming students with too many emails or texts?". That's a really good question.
More nuanced than simply defining a 'magic number'
The challenge is more nuanced than simply figuring out a 'magic number' above which you do not go. There is no point telling all your Student CRM officers to send no more 2 emails per week to enquirers but if the student is an applicant they can send 4, and so on. It quickly becomes apparent that the University can not be the arbiter of such limits.
Add to that the intricacies of personal taste per student and you end up wondering if there is any answer at all to this challenge. There is.
Personal control is the only answer
Ever since GDPR put the student in charge of what universities can and can't do with their personal data, it became obvious that personal control by each student is the only answer.
It also places responsibility fair and square on the universities' shoulders to make this work. Collect student contact details compliantly, process their data compliantly, and communicate according to each student's wishes. It becomes evident that each student has their own 'magic number' but can't disclose it to you - plus it can even change day by day!
Example 1: Zoe, a prospective student, makes an enquiry (using ENQ, see video) and gets into a helpful email conversation with an officer who, after 20 mins of back-and-forth emails, satisfies that student in a total of 3 emails.
Example 2: Zoe next requests a prospectus to be sent to her (post or digital), and the request web form she submitted her details into now thanks her and says "Hey Zoe, keep an eye out in your (email) or (post) as it will be with you soon". Zoe gets an email touchpoint (sent out from PRQ, see video ) with more helpful info about the course she is interested in (that is an automated Touchpoint that sends her more info about the Law Degree she is interested in). A total of 3 useful emails were sent. 🤗
Example 3: When Zoe ticked the 'sign me up to Uni News' checkbox on that prospectus request form, she knew it would then send her monthly email newsletter and delights in each copy. She knows she can click to immediately unsubscribe from any issue. A total of 8 useful emails were sent. 🤗
Example 4: Zoe then booked onto an open day (using POD, see video) and got an immediate Booking confirmation email. As the days and weeks counted down to that Saturday she received several helpful emails about travel and parking options on-site, and on the day before she got a text with her personal programme for the day and a number to call if she got stuck. Zoe arrived in plenty of time, enjoyed the day, and said so when the follow-up email asked for her thoughts (using SRV). A total of 6 useful emails/texts were sent. 🤗
Example 5: Zoe now applies online and gets her own private Applicant Portal (using APS, see info) inside which she can add details to her application form, upload documents to provide evidence to meet each condition, and, in doing so get emails and timely in-portal messages from her personal Admissions Officer who is guiding her through from Application to Enrolment. A total of 20 useful emails/texts/in-portal messages were sent. 🤗
Let's add up Zoe's magic number
The total count of emails/texts sent to Zoe over an 8-month period was: (Enquiry (3) + Prospectus (3) + Newsletter (8) + Open Day (6) + Application (20) = 40.
It could easily have been 80, if Zoe had engaged more with you, or you had run email campaigns targetting others just like Zoe with extra and helpful info. 🎉
It could just as easily have dropped off at just 10 if you had lost her with unhelpful content or timings in the early days. 🤯
The real question is how to plan so you only ever send out useful and helpful info, so each student stays engaged:
So Zoe's number could have been anywhere between 10 and 80, depending on what YOU did.
✅ We are collecting Zoe's personal data compliantly (see video).
✅ Zoe can open or close channels (email, SMS, Post and Tel) herself.
✅ Zoe can add or remove the Topics she is interested in herself (see info).
✅ We send all Emails and Texts to opted-in, open-channel students.
✅ We send helpful transactional Emails and Texts to meet the obligations of proving Zoe with an Enquiry service, sending out prospectuses, delivering Event details, and managing her applications.
✅ We can see a complete record of all interactions in and out for not just Zoe but for every student (see info).
✅ We can see how engaged not just Zoe but every student is (see info).
✅ We know how to craft our message content based on each student's persona (see info).
✅ We can stop all comms forever in just one click if requested.
Student CRM modules mentioned in this article: