In an age of smartphones, SMS messages can often get overlooked. We have grown so used to the messengers and apps shoved at us by every social media platform out there, that we don’t really stop and think about where the foundations of those messaging pathways lie. Before these, email largely stole the limelight, casting a – in my opinion – underserved shadow over SMS messaging.

According to Ofcom, during lockdown callers spent around 50% longer on their mobile phones than before lockdown started. With social distancing and face-to-face communication being massively reduced, more and more people are turning to their phones as a way of communicating both with family and friends, as well as the outside world. In 2019, Ofcom found that 99% of the UK population aged 16-34 used the internet, and 71% of this time spent online was done on a smartphone. In addition to this, 18-24 year olds spent around 4 hours and 24 minutes online in October 2020.

With life changing so rapidly around us, a need for businesses and institutions to change with it is clearly felt. One of the ways we can adapt to the smartphone surge is to look back at messaging that isn’t new but has managed to keep a strong foothold despite our fast-food approach to technology. With a massive 98% open rate, SMS messaging is one of the most reliable ways to get your message seen by those that need to see it. Compared with 17.80% of emails being opened, it’s clear to see that our channels of communication are not being focused in the right direction if we stick with our email approach.

So, what does this tell us? Firstly, it draws attention to the fact that younger generations are becoming increasingly digital in their interactions – which probably won’t come as a surprise to many of us! Secondly, the increase in use of messenger apps show that communicating through mobile devices is now the norm. From these observations, the question of whether we are reaching out to students in the correct way needs to be raised.

Many younger people are on their phones constantly, being bombarded with notifications left, right, and centre. How likely is it, with all these other distractions, that they will take the time to open a browser to check their college or university emails? The short answer is: not very.

Mobile usage during lockdown shows that digital communication is critical to keeping your students engaged during lockdown, with SMS messaging rising to the top as a clear winner for open rates. At Janet txt, provided by PageOne, we believe there can’t be education without communication.

So, are you doing everything you can to make your students feel connected when they connect during lockdown?

What can Janet txt do for your communications? Text ‘Janet’ to 60081 or contact us here.