Text messaging is a great way to keep applying or enrolling families in the loop. You can configure custom templates for your text messages, and they can be sent in bulk from list pages or individually from the contact record, much in the same way as your emails. Read on to learn more about text messaging!
Text Messaging Intended Use & Disclaimer
Please note: SchoolAdmin's text messaging system is designed solely for parent/student communication within the inquiry, admissions, and/or enrollment process. SchoolAdmin text messaging is not designed or intended to be used as part of an emergency alert or crisis management system.
Emergency and crisis management systems should include multi-channel communications such as text, voice, email, social media, website, and push notifications along with the appropriate delivery SLAs (such as delivery of notification within X number of minutes). Depending on the needs, it may also include check-in response features.
How-To: Collect Phone Numbers for Receipt of Text Messages
Text messages will only be sent to phone numbers marked with the phone type of 'Cell' in the system. Phone type for any phone numbers already in the system can be edited within the student and parent records.
If phone type information is not currently collected on your forms, you can start collecting it by either:
Allowing parents to select a phone type: n the additional options for your form's phone field, make sure the phone type subfield is not hidden. This will allow parents to select the phone type (i.e. Home, Cell, or Work) from a drop-down menu when they complete the form.
Setting a default phone type for phone fields: In the additional options for your form's phone field, set the Default Value to 'Cell'. This will set the phone type as 'Cell' for any phone number entered into that phone field, so that text messages can be sent to it.
Click here to learn about configuring these special section options on your forms.
International Phone Number Support
Currently, text messages can be sent to Canadian phone numbers. Other international numbers are not currently supported and will not be received.
How-To: Understand Supported Content, Characters, & Styles
Traditional text messaging does not support custom fonts, text sizes, or text styles like bold and italic.
Currently, text-only messages are supported. Images and video support will be evaluated in the future based on usage rates. An image and video support for schools may require additional service fees given transit costs are three times the text-only rates.
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.
How-To: Manage Parent Subscription
Parents can reply with a start or stop message to manage their subscription, but message replies will not be received. They can reply with "STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, END or QUIT" to unsubscribe. If a parent wants to re-subscribe to text messages, they can reply, "START, YES or UNSTOP" to receive messages again. You can see if a parent unsubscribed within the text message history page.
Best Practice: Select a stop and start message that you want to use and include this opt-out/opt-in information as part of the text message.
Example: To opt-out, reply with "STOP." To re-subscribe, reply with "START."
Text Message Delivery Number & Replies
All messages are sent from a universal phone number that cannot be customized.
Parent replies to text messages will not be received. If they attempt to reply, their responses will not be received or stored. Best Practice: In your text messages, let your recipients know their replies will not be received, and include an alternative means of contacting you, if applicable.