What contact data should I have in Message?

In Message, data is key. The data that you have for your contacts allows for personalized & targeted messaging, which boosts engagement and the overall success of your program. We don't limit the data that you can include, so if you want to bring EVERYTHING over from your CRM/SIS - you technically can, but that's not always the best way. Below are 4 questions that you should be asking yourself when thinking about data.

How do I want to segment the population?

Not every message should go to every contact. Using what you know about each contact to send them relevant messages is so important when keeping them engaged. Sending a message that's not applicable to a contact is the easiest way for them to ignore you and opt-out in the future

When sending FAFSA reminder messages use data around FAFSA completion to make sure the message isn't going out to students that already submitted their FAFSA.

What do I need to personalize the messages?

Even if you're sending a message to the entire graduating class, it shouldn't feel like that to your contacts. Using "mail merge" technology, saves you time while providing the one-on-one feel that your contacts appreciate.

If you're sending a message to the entire School of Architecture, pull in elements like first name and major to further personalize the content

Can I use this information for scheduling the message?

One of the best ways to use your data is for event-triggered messages. These messages "float" behind the scenes and only are sent out when a contact fits the criteria. These messages can help you nudge students through processes (like the admissions funnel) by sending timely messages based on events specific to them. These date fields can be anything from a contact's birthday, to the day they submitted their application, to their campus tour date.

Use a contact's application submitted date to send messages 7 days after, 15 days after, etc to keep them engaged in the admissions process. 

What is going to be helpful for the users?

Using the data to send and personalize the bulk messages is great, but don't forget about your users! There are going to be staff in the system communicating with these contacts one-on-one, so think about data elements that are going to provide context for their conversations

For organizations that have multiple staff supporting the same students, a field like call notes is helpful to provide insight to other conversations that your contact has had with staff.

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