To save time and keep consistency across your messaging, you can create text message templates to use whenever you send text messages through the SchoolAdmin system. Watch our short video or read on below to learn how!
How-To: Create a New Text Message Template
To see your existing text message templates or create a new one, navigate to Settings -> Communications -> Text Message Templates.
Within this page, click on the green plus sign or the 'Add a new Text Message Template' text in the upper left to get started. Alternatively, if you have an existing text message template you want to clone from, you can click on the Copy button to the right of that template on the page.
The template editor will open. If you frequently send emails or create letters in SchoolAdmin, you will notice that the template editor looks a bit different from usual. This is because the additional customization options (e.g. bold or color text, images, different fonts) will not work in a text message, as HTML formatting is not supported for text messaging. Because of this, you should be mindful when copying content from another source, such as emails.
Within the text message template editor, you can:
Name your template. The template name isn't parent-facing, so feel free to name it however is easiest for your team to remember. Text message templates will display in alphabetical order.
Type the content of your message and insert merge fields from the drop-down menus as needed to customize your content. This works the same way as your email and letter templates. Click here to learn more about merge fields. Please keep the following important notes in mind as you craft your text message content:
Character Limit: We recommend limiting text messages to 160 characters if you want to ensure all carriers receive a single message. Texts longer than 160 characters may be split into multiple messages depending on the carrier.
School Name: You should always include your school name in all templates. This is critical due to the delivery phone number being the same for all schools using SchoolAdmin. We have a standard number of (844) 330-8001 for text messages, which is used across all SchoolAdmin sites. This means that if a family receives SMS messages from multiple schools in our community, they will all come from the same number and it will be difficult to know which school that information is coming from if it's not indicated in the message. The send phone number cannot be customized at this time.
Text Replies & Opt-In/Opt-Out: When creating text message templates, you should let your recipients know their responses will not be received, and optionally include a reply-to number or another method to contact you in response. You should also include instructions on how they can opt out and opt back into your messages. Click here for a list of opt-in/opt-out commands, located under the 'Parent Subscription Management' section. If a parent opts out of a message, you will see this indicated as a send error on the 'Text Message History' page.
Remember to click on the blue Save button to save your template for future use.
How-To: Edit or Delete a Text Message Template
If you need to edit or delete an existing text message template, you can click on the corresponding links along the far right of the page. Please note that deleted templates cannot be recovered.