Tactical ways to improve student engagement are even more important in times of crisis and change.

Developed by Mainstay’s research and conversational UX design team and based on over 4 million real student interactions at colleges and universities across the country, this guide compiles 10 principles for developing novel, engaging, and meaningful experiences for students through proactive SMS messaging.

Utilizing these principles, our partner schools have seen remarkable response rates and engagement from students. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts sent a timely, thoughtful reminder about financial aid, and within one week of sending the campaign, they saw a 28% increase in completion of financial aid documents.

Considerations like when to use an emoji or making sure the intention of your message is clear can make a huge difference. This guide takes you through each of the 10 principles, complete with examples of how to put it all into practice.