There's a lot to do when it comes to a student's first day of college or university - moving into residence, acquiring their student ID, buying textbooks, scoping out their classes, and signing up for Frosh Week activities, just to name a few. So, it's no surprise that among all this excitement that a student would forget to sign up to receive alerts from the campus mass notification system.
If the student doesn't sign up within the first few days of their time on campus, chances are they will forget to sign up until after they missed an important notification during a situation — which could potentially be a risk to the student's safety, depending on what the incident is. How can your institution be sure that the majority of students sign up for the campus mass notification system well before an alert needs to be sent out?
Here are three ways to help increase the number of signups:
Promote the campus mass notification system on social media
Social media is a powerful tool with an extensive reach. Your institution's social media accounts are a great way to provide students and followers with need-to-know information — including information on how and why to sign up for the campus mass notification system. Post a link to the opt-in form on a regular basis and encourage current students to sign up to receive messages. Make sure to emphasize you will send them notifications sparingly and will avoid spamming them with messages. A large reason why students "forget" to sign up is likely because they don't want to be constantly receiving unwanted and unimportant messages to their personal devices.
Post signage strategically around campus
Another way to remind students to sign up for the campus mass notification system is to ensure there are references to the system posted around campus in areas where students tend to frequent. Posters in the library, cafeteria, and common areas are easy ways to be sure the mass notification remains top of mind for students, meaning they may be more likely to sign up. To simplify the sign-up process, you can include a shortcode phone number on the signage. Students can text into the number using their cell phones to automatically opt into the campus mass notification system. Providing a convenient sign-up method such as shortcodes will increase the likelihood students will sign up. It's as simple as that.
Remind students in regular email newsletter updates
During Frosh Week students will provide their email addresses to receive newsletters from the multiple societies, causes, as well as the institution itself. This is another method you can use to gather sign-ups for the mass notification system. Insert a regular reminder at the bottom of an email newsletter to opt into the campus mass notification system and include a hyperlink to the opt-in form. Students give out their email addresses much more freely than their phone numbers, which is why you may be more likely to provide them with the opt-in information with this method. You can then request they provide their other information, such as their phone number, in the opt-in form.
Greater awareness = safer campus
The more students you have opted in to receive alerts from your campus mass notification system the safer your campus will be whenever an incident occurs. By ensuring as many students as possible are being notified as soon as a situation arises means there is less risk of students remaining in an unsafe location throughout the event. Proper and efficient notification helps with the incident mitigation efforts by ensuring students and staff are provided with the information they need at a moment's notice, which can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Let SimplyCast help with your campus mass notification!
SimplyCast has the tools you need to provide your campus with efficient mass notification. Our Alerts channel lets you send notifications using multiple communication methods, and our Form Builder and Facebook and Twitter scheduling tools can help with gather opt-ins. If you are interested in seeing how SimplyCast can help with your campus mass notification, contact us today!