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Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

Help Me Grow Follow Up Texting Intervention

February 2022

    Project Description

    • Partners: Help Me Grow
    • Intervention: Behaviorally informed text message campaign, testing timing of message delivery
    • Method: Quantitative analysis
    • Outcome: Parents were more likely to respond to nudges when messages were delivered at night, presumably when children were asleep or before parents went to work.

    Project Report

    The Maxwell X Lab partnered with Help Me Grow (HMG) to test if a texting campaign that leverages the importance of timing can better encourage parents to respond to the HMG team more consistently. The goal of the project was to improve parents’ response rates to HMG contact and connect the parents with social services that they need for their children’s growth and development. Prior to the implementation of this project, HMG staff sent text messages aimed to gather additional information on the specific support parents needed. However, the HMG team received no responses. This may have been because the messages were sent during the workday, when the parents were likely working as well or engaged with their children.

    Therefore, for this project, the X Lab designed a texting campaign that leveraged the timing of message delivery to encourage greater responses from parents. Using a texting software, Simple Texting, follow-up texts were sent at 8:30pm. Depending on what services the parents reported they were interested in, a standardized text message was sent as a follow-up. The text messages included behavioral science principles, including personalization and a specific request that is more likely to prompt a response.

    There was a significant uptick in response rates following the implementation of our timed and scheduled follow up text using the Simple Texting software in the intervention period. Among those who did respond to our text messages, the majority sent their responses at night after receiving our text (between 8:30pm-12:00am) or early morning the next day (4:00am-9:00am). This finding suggests that the timing of the text messages did matter, as parents were more likely to respond after their children had gone to bed or before the parents went to work.

    Maxwell X Lab
    426 Eggers Hall