Blackboard has announced the U.S. release of Blackboard ConnectTxt, a two-way mass notification platform. With Blackboard ConnectTxt, users can send text messages and emails to a broad audience, through an inbound messaging engine, and receive replies via text as well.
Blackboard ConnectTxt already helps more than 500 customers around the world – including more than half of all colleges and universities in the United Kingdom – improve response rates to communications.
The core Blackboard ConnectTxt messaging engine processes and routes inbound SMS with keywords, short codes and standard codes, QR codes, and inbox filters and workflow rules. These tools enable customers to improve communications by enabling clients to:
Increase response rates: text messaging is more immediate and interactive than email or other modes of communication. Blackboard ConnectTxt users report significantly higher open and response rates when communicating via SMS.
Establish text-based hotlines: institutions can invite community members to use Blackboard ConnectTxt to report issues or problems, or to request assistance.
Drive contact database registration: organizations can encourage members to sign up for community updates by registering by text.
Run real-time SMS surveys: clients can run live, text-based surveys to make presentations, lectures and community programs more interactive.
Track message delivery: audit capabilities enable users to track message delivery to reduce errors and improve quality of database.
The admissions office of Westminster College, a private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, participated in a pilot of Blackboard ConnectTxt. Officials used the system in an effort to increase response rates from prospective students that had not completed their applications and who were unresponsive by phone and email. In all, officials received responses from more than 50% of the recipients.