Text Send Requirements

All text messages should be sent via Slate, and in cooperation with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. This ensures that student statuses are up to date, and reduces the risk of texts being filtered as spam. In addition, it allows centralized metrics and functional tracking.

Importantly, the unit sending the text message must have staff online for at least two hours after sending a text message to handle responses. Communication expectations with text messages are immediate, unlike email.

In addition:

  • You must have consent to text the people on your list. When a student or parent fills out an inquiry form, they have the option to opt-in to texting. It is illegal to text people who do not opt-in.
  • Texts should be no more than 160 characters, or the text will send as multiple text messages.
  • Only official Illinois links should be used (no link shorteners, etc.) to avoid spam filters.

Tip: avoid including things like “www. and https://” in your links so that the recipient’s phone will create links on its own.

Text Content

Your message content should be relevant and urgent. Texting is not the place for general marketing messages. Instead, texting should be about events, scholarship deadlines, student to student texting nights, and other specific actions. The OCEM team will be reviewing content (much like applicant emails) to make sure content is relevant and urgent.

In addition:

  • Colleges and academic units may not send messages about general campus dates or deadlines (Ex: “Your app is due soon!”, “Don’t forget to apply for housing!”) since those are done by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Content cannot be a general marketing message.

Text Setup Requirements

  • Each college or academic unit will receive their own texting phone number (upon request).
  • Each college or academic unit will receive their own corresponding Slate inbox for text responses (upon request). Text responses must be handled in Slate.
  • The unit sending a message must include with their request which staff member will be monitoring the Slate inbox and for how long after the text is sent (minimum 2 hours).
Read how to send a text