The ABC’s of SMS Messaging for Schools
Even now, many schools still rely on flyers and word of mouth to get the message out on essential, time-sensitive information. These antiquated communication strategies are being replaced by a more practical, targeted, and efficient outreach method.
SMS messaging for schools is a communicative modality that educational institutions use to connect with parents and students via text. A school can provide rapid updates to its learning community directly on everyone’s on-the-go information channel – smartphones!
Why use SMS messaging for schools?
Cell Phones are our most relied upon means of communication, so why not draw on the ease and prevalence of text messages for your school’s direct information flow? Compared to other advertising methods, SMS boasts higher engagement rates and enviable ROI.
Text messages are the quickest way to inform people about schedule-oriented school news. Did you know that, on average, the time it takes someone to open and read a text is within 3 minutes of its delivery?
SMS is the most widespread interactive option for keeping up with friends, family, classmates, and colleagues. With member opt-in, you gain access to students’ inner circles and can have more productive, honed conversations.
With SMS messaging for schools, families have the ability to opt-in or out of text message notifications, allowing them total control of the information that they receive.
SMS campaigns can be easily managed and monitored. Because SMS is permission-based, users are always clear about who they’re messaging and when the messages are being sent.
Text messages don’t require an internet connection; therefore, individuals still get important school information with just a cellular signal.
Who will benefit?
Individuals connected to the school or who have interest in the school internal affairs can benefit from SMS for a variety of purposes.
SMS for parents
Parents can choose to receive information about their child to better understand their academic progress. If a child is underperforming in a particular area, teachers can use SMS to keep parents in the loop.
SMS for students
Texts can be sent directly to a student’s phone to remind them about homework assignments and tests.
SMS for teachers
Schools can remind faculty about upcoming meetings and events to keep the staff informed.
SMS for communities
SMS messaging for schools is an ideal way to engage family members and the community about school activities; such as fundraisers, exhibitions, or sports events.
Use cases of SMS messaging for schools
Weaving SMS into the fabric of your school’s routines will illuminate day to day happenings on campus. With an effective SMS strategy, schools can automate many repetitive, tedious in-person tasks.
Parents who opted-in the prior year can receive registration reminders for the upcoming school year and register their child with a simple yes or no response.
If a student is absent from a given class period or activity, parents can choose to be informed instantly to ensure the child’s well being.
In the case of critical conditions, weather-related or otherwise, immediate, reliable updates can be disseminated.
General school announcements
While so many wordy email bulletins languish in their inbox, families get the gist on the spot from just a few succinct lines of a text message.
Need a fast, convenient way to inform families about teacher conferences? With SMS, you can reach out and get calendared in just a few minutes. No more missed meetings between the classroom and the living room; a same day SMS boosts family attendance rates!
School members can opt-in for progress reports, quarterly scores, or academic red flags via SMS.
You’ll help families get out the door faster each morning, now that they know what day of the week their kid’s hot lunch favorites are on the menu!
Athletic and artistic events
Parents will never miss the big game or an unforgettable show again due to scheduling conflicts; they’ll get the heads-up in advance, along with same-day reminders.
More family and community participation in off-campus excursions come from wider outreach and requests for resources, input, and volunteers.
Informed schools are smart schools! By getting timely opinions and perspectives from the ones with the most at stake, your administrative decisions will be on point.
Permission slips and authorizations
No more scavenging for signatures on crumpled up pieces of paper at the bottom of students’ backpacks. Streamline front office tasks by having parents e-sign obligatory, one-time forms via text.
Get the word out quickly and clearly: what does the school need, who can help, and how does it benefit the students? Reaching fundraising goals can be easy now!
Who will manage the campaigns?
The copious information and diverse channels with which it may be disseminated often flows through social media or email, when appropriate for the general public. However, sensitive information such as grades, interventions, and payments require much more prudence.
Depending on the information your school decides to share with its stakeholders, you can designate individuals or groups to manage specific information channels.
Pro Tip: When assigning responsibility for managing communication, be discrete so as to avoid spamming recipients with messages.
Ability to easily opt-in
Before you can start your outbound SMS campaign, you need a user base and in order to obtain this, users must have the ability to conveniently opt-in.
During student registration
When parents enroll children, part of the procedure could be an SMS opt-in choice. Before the first day of class, you’ll have total connectivity!
Parent conferences are a great way to consolidate and update contacts.
On the school website
Throughout the school year, traffic on your website will have the opportunity to learn more about the SMS messaging service and sign-up for it there.
Have an existing list of email recipients? Send them an email asking if they would like to take part in the schools SMS outreach program.
To ensure the good-faith nature of your relationships, provide people with a hassle-free option to stop participating in your SMS campaign.
Your recipients should be able to opt-out by using various keywords such as “STOP,’ “QUIT,” “UNSUBSCRIBE,” etc to cease incoming messages. Upon leaving the program, no messages should be sent to the contact unless they later choose to opt back in.
SMS messaging is suited for any device that can send and receive text messages to a 10-digit phone number.
Messaging apps such as Google Voice that have a unique phone number can still participate in SMS campaigns. Google Voice numbers are phone numbers that are configured online and are only accessible with an internet connection.
School SMS Platform
Cloud Contact AI is a customer communication platform that specializes in SMS relations. CCAI is built for durability with bulk messaging support for educational organizations of all sizes.
With CCAI’s innovative inbox, you can communicate with people in 2-way conversations.
Engage with students on a school-wide level, rather than one-by-one messages.
Stay ahead of your schedule by programming messages minutes, hours, days, or months in advance.
Upload contacts one-by-one, or in bulk in seconds.
Create and designate multiple numbers for unique departments, regions, and profiles to manage and sort your communication with ease.
Keyword & Short Code
Encourage members to message you with a unique keyword or shortcode to receive general school announcements.
Generate templates that will be used often and streamline the process of creating unique messages each time.
With CCAI, you don’t have to worry about being charged for the time you’re not using the platform such as the holidays or summer vacation. Only pay for the messages that have been sent.
Create a personalized experience and use dynamic tags to make your messages more sincere – proven to yield higher engagement rates.
With sub-accounts, schools can categorize campaigns according to department, grade, activity, etc.
How to start using school SMS messaging
Cloud Contact AI offers a 14-day free trial period so that you can test all of the unique features and see if CCAI is a right fit for you. Try out unlimited messages on us for two weeks with no up-front credit card or contracts required.
1. Sign up on CCAI
Navigate to Cloudcontactai.com and click Sign Up in the header.
2. Upload Contacts
Select Contacts in the left-hand menu and upload contacts one-by-one or as a group in CSV format.
3. Create a campaign
Click SMS in the menu and begin your mass outreach.
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