During the enrollment process, colleges and universities make hundreds of phone calls and send thousands of emails to prospective students. Anyone who shows interest is added to the list of students to receive these communications, urging to apply and ultimately enroll.

What’s missing here is any insight into where each of those students lies in the decision funnel, which would help tailor outreach to specific groups based on interest level. If Judy Smith visited your website, got put on a list for outreach, but then applied and enrolled at a different university, you wouldn’t know that your time and dollars spent on her were going to waste.

But there’s a way to fix that.

Sending interest surveys via text to prospective students will provide actionable insight to see which students you should be reaching out to, and with what information.

Allegheny College used their chatbot, Chompers, to text students the following series of messages:

1. Would you like to speak with someone about your college search?

chatbot survey for student interest

This was sent to 345 students who showed interest on Allegheny’s webinar. From this, we can see that 5 students asked to be contacted, which tells enrollment staff exactly who they should call.

We also see that 78 students do not want to be contacted at this time, so staff don’t need to waste time with cold calls to these numbers.

It’s also important to note that this message received a 24% response rate! How well do you think this would’ve done if it was sent via email instead of text?

2. Are you planning to attend?

college chatbot enrollment

This was to 955 students who Allegheny was unsure if they were still interested and planning to enroll. 358 students replied to the chatbot that they decided to go to another college and 6 were taking a gap year, which told staff that they no longer needed to contact those students. 15 said they would absolutely enroll, and 41 were unsure, so staff asked a follow up question to understand how best they could help.

3. Is there anything I can help with?

college chatbot survey student interest

This message was sent to the 41 students who said they were unsure if they were going to attend. From these responses, staff was able to contact 3 the specific students who needed help with financial aid, and they also knew that 18 students needed some extra nurturing to urge them to enroll.

“Staff is happier and we’re able to contact the students that want to connect more efficiently.”

Jason Andracki, Director of Marketing & Communications, Office of Admissions, Allegheny College

Not sure how to get started texting students?

Check out our Guide for Effective, Engaging Text Message Campaigns!