Blackboard Inc. has announced the U.S. release of Blackboard ConnectTxt, a 2-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 and strengthen community engagement and participation.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 73 percent of mobile phone owners are active SMS users, and young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 send and receive an average of 3,200 text messages every month. Using Blackboard ConnectTxt, education, government and private organizations can leverage the popularity of text messaging for more meaningful conversations.
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 over 50 percent of the recipients.
The core Blackboard ConnectTxt messaging engine processes and routes inbound SMS with unique keywords, shortcodes and standard codes, QR codes, and inbox filters and workflow rules. These tools enable customers to improve communications and strengthen relationships with their communities 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.
* Integrate mobile into marketing campaigns: Shortcodes, keywords and QR codes make it easy for recipients to interact with marketing campaigns, print collateral and social media.
Blackboard ConnectTxt also offers a range of outbound messaging capabilities. Users can leverage mail merge tools to personalize each message, plan and schedule message distribution, and track message delivery. Visual demonstrations of Blackboard ConnectTxt and its specific applications for K-12, higher education, government and the private sector are available at www.blackboard.com/connecttxt.
Source: Blackboard Inc., www.blackboard.com