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While Campaign Basics covers most of what you need to send simple, effective campaigns, there are additional tools that provide further customization when messaging your students.
Now, it’s time to take your messages to the next level by utilizing optional tools to give you more control and insight into your campaigns, and elicit more meaningful results. Discover the function of each below, and keep reading below to see each feature in action.
Understanding Advanced Features
- Outcomes: Select an audience to track conversions. This takes configuration on our end, let us know.
- Tags: For internal purposes only, this allows you to label campaigns, making them easier to sort and navigate later on. Popular tags include “Orientation.” “Acceptance Letter” or “Graduation Experiences.” Advisors might put their name as a tag in order to easily go back and find them, or tag a certain type of messages together, like "Inquiries."
These configurations are for schools with integrated mobile apps. Click the toggle alongside the feature, and hit save, to activate.
- Only deliver in-app: To only message to those that have downloaded the mobile app as a push notification
- Force SMS: To send a standard text to recipients, instead of the in-app message. This is recommended for high priority communications, such as drop for nonpayment notifications
- Nudge to Mobile: To send a standard text to those who haven’t downloaded the app. The original message will stop at 100 characters, and replaced by: "don't forget to download our mobile app and stay up to date: <<mobile_app_link>>"
Response to this message
Now that you’ve labeled your message and can control deliveries, Auto Responses is one of the most valuable tools. To enhance student engagement, you can set up automatic responses, which will be triggered by replies (you guessed it, automatically). You can create unlimited responses, although 1-2 usually suffice. For example, if you’re gaging interest in an upcoming virtual event, you can direct students to reply ‘YES’ to receive more event details, or ‘NO’ to be redirected toward future events.
With every response, you have more information for your team about your students!
To access this feature, you must create, save, and refresh your campaign. Then, it will appear at the bottom with ‘Option 1.’ Click this to get started.
You'll be taken to the page to fill out the details of your auto-response. Here are the main parts:
- Auto-response name: This purely internal, so you and others know what your auto-response is about.
- Received by: This is where the auto-response will come from. This should match your campaign’s sender details. If this will require follow-up, make sure you designate the specific advisor to receive these responses or elect someone within your department to manage incoming responses.
- Regex: We recommend you toggle off. It’s a way to account for more complicated inbound messages. To learn more, please create a ticket and we'll help you out.
- Inbound message: What the student needs text in to receive the inbound message. Ideally, one word that matches the purpose of your message. YES/NO, DETAILS or REGISTER are popular inbound response terms.
- URL link: If your follow-up response will include a link, add it here, or directly into the Message below. If you'd like it to come through in a separate text bubble than the message, for whichever reason, utilize this feature.
- Message: The actual message that students who send an inbound message will receive in return. Even though there isn't a counter, try to keep it under 160 characters, like all regular campaign messages. Unless this is an in-app only campaign, leave SMS on.
- HTML: If you’d like to create an in-app component for the response, do so here as you would other HTML areas.
- Save: Click Save to (you guessed it) save your work before returning to your campaign. Your auto-response name will now appear under Responses.
- Save & Activate Once you are confident with your response message, you must hit Save & Activate to make the response live. If you do not activate before launching your campaign, the response won’t work. Once the response is activated and the campaign is launched, students can reply to the original message with the given inbound phrase to receive the auto-response message. Viola!
Advanced Features in Action
Following the Virtual Orientation example in Campaign Basics, we’ll show how these features apply to the same example from Campaign Basics.
- The Admissions Team at Winsford University is inviting all incoming to Freshman to a Virtual Freshman Fall Orientation on August 26th, 1-4pm.
- They want to message students a month and week before the event.
- Students will register via https://Winsford.edu/virtualfallreg
Outcome: Registered Students
Tags: Virtual Events, Orientation, Freshmen
Not all students in this audience have necessarily downloaded the app, so there is no reason to deliver it in-app. Nor is this a message that requires students to download an app, so there is no need to nudge to mobile. Finally, there is no need to only force SMS, as it's not a highest-priority communication. Without toggling any of these features, students who have elected to receive in-app or text messages will do so respectively.
To create an auto-response for the Virtual Orientation Event, we will first create the initial campaign message. For this example, it will be:
Get ready for Virtual Freshman Orientation on August 26th! Join feature classmates to learn about available classes & clubs. Reply REGISTER to get the registration link, or NEXT for details about future events.
Now, if students reply REGISTER, they can get a message like:
We are glad you’ll be joining us! Visit http://winsford.edu/virtualfallreg to sign up!
Or, for NEXT
We’re sorry you can't make it to August 26th’s Virtual Orientation! We still have more upcoming sessions in September. If you’re interested, visit our event page learn more: http://winsford.edu/virtualschedule
Now students are receiving useful information, while you can also gather more student data based on each response. You may choose to follow up with students based on their answer, or just use the data to understand how students interact with your messaging.
Congratulations! You’ve now upgraded your messaging strategy. If you’re interested in further information, our team recommends exploring Messaging Best Practices.