Sending Out an SMS: Reaching and Impacting Students by Text Message

Multichannel coaching encompasses a mix of outreach types—phone calls, emails, messaging, interactive content—and texting.

Texting is a powerful tool that coaches use to create an impactful personal relationship with students. This direct and reliable communication channel is integral to our coaching platform, which serves as a central hub for coach communication. The combination of texting and multichannel outreach empowers administrators and support service professionals to engage students in new and meaningful ways.

For example, coaches can use texting to touch base with otherwise hard-to-reach students. “Sure, texting is convenient and gives students an easy way to reach out to their coach,” says Micah Wheeler, InsideTrack Coach and in-house texting expert, “but just as importantly, texting is a powerful tool for coaching because it gives students the space to be more open and direct than they often feel comfortable being in-person or over the phone.” Access to coach-by-text enables student support professionals to contact students using the method they prefer, and when they need support the most.

The example below shows how texting at the right moment can give students the support needed to stay on track – and stay in school.

This text conversation took place between a student and InsideTrack Coach – the student was having difficulty reaching advising and contacted their Coach for help:
*ellipses are used to shorten some aspects of the thread

Student: I’m kinda reluctant to stay in school

Coach: Are you feeling reluctant based on the difficulty in resolving this issue or is it something else? The decision of school, which is a life changing decision, whether you attend or don’t … needs a lot of consideration.

Student: I’m not sure I just feel as if maybe it’s not for me. I’m a bit relieved that I got withdrawn but also annoyed because I planned on doing the exam and now I can’t take that web design class

Coach: If you saw the movie Frozen, Elsa doesn’t want Anna to marry Hans because they only knew each other one day and marriage is huge. Anna was happy but one day’s experience is not enough to inform a lifetime. It’s the same with school. One day, or one week, or even one month, is not enough time to inform your decision of if you want to be in college or not. It has to be a deep rooted value. You have to be able to go through thick and thin if this is what you want because, deep down, you know it’s what you want in your life. I mean this … for any school. … Now is the time to think deeply about what you want- not just for right now, but for the next ten years. Then, once you have a goal, make sure the things you do work toward meeting that goal.

Coach: … You are smart, capable, and able to do this work. You can take web design but it may need to be a little later than you thought. Whatever you decide, I will support you. But just know that school is here for you if you want it.

Student: Thank you I’m on hold with academic advising to figure out my classes and the withdrawn one too. I am staying

Coach: Then I am here. Let’s do this!

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