How Can Schools Use Bulk SMS Software?
Thousands of schools, colleges, and universities have invested in text message marketing to deploy target messages, alerts, and notifications to faculty, staff, parents, and students. Short Message Service (SMS) is one of the most effective methods for distributing important digital communications. In fact, more than 90% of text messages are opened within the first three minutes of receipt.
Furthermore, most bulk text messaging providers offer a powerful reporting dashboard. With access to deep insights including contact information and delivery reports, system administrators are well-equipped to monitor text message campaign performance.
Use Cases for Bulk SMS for Schools
There are hundreds of potential use cases for bulk SMS in an academic environment. Above all, when administrations choose to partner with a high-powered text messaging software provider, internal efficiencies are enhanced tenfold. The power of a text message marketing application is rooted in its ability to drive maximum efficiency and meaningful interactions with faculty, staff, students, and parents. The most effective text messaging strategy incorporate one (or more) of the following:
- Notify Students of Deadlines and Exam Dates: Use bulk SMS to send students information regarding upcoming deadlines, enrollment information, exam dates, textbook returns, after-school programming, housing information, and other important dates.
- Send Emergency and School Closing Alerts: Use bulk SMS to send parents important information regarding school closings, security lockdowns, suspicious characters, and other emergencies.
- Send Student Social and Meeting Reminders: Use bulk SMS to notify students of upcoming social events including club meetings, after-school activities, concerts, fundraising, and more.
- Share Important Billing and Financial Aid Information With Parents: Use bulk SMS to deploy important billing and financial aid information to parents. Sending a text message reminder is a simple and easy way to make sure that payments are received on time.
- Coordinate With Faculty and Staff: Use bulk SMS to coordinate with faculty and staff on document submission reminders, important meetings, course information, and more.
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What Should Schools Consider Before Using Bulk SMS?
Are you ready to invest in a bulk SMS software solution for your school, college or university? We get it — budget approvals, fear of change, and skepticism towards product effectiveness prevent even the most successful institutions from investing in an industry-leading text messaging solution. However, before committing a text messaging software, there are a few preparatory considerations software administrators can make to streamline the software adoption and implementation process:
1. Ask for Permission: There are several legal requirements governing schools and bulk SMS messaging. The most important is that text messaging for schools is a permission-based activity. This means that every faculty member, staff member, parent, and student must opt-in to receive messages from the school. Typically, users do not hesitate to sign-up for text messaging services.
However, some users may have some concerns about how their contact information is managed and the frequency at which they will receive marketing messages. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulates institutions' use of customer data. Additionally, regulations regarding privacy and spam texting are contained within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. For more information, visit the Mobile Marketing Association and the Cellular Telephone Industries Association.
2. Centralize Contact Information: Secondly, before system outset, commit to clean and well-organized contact information. With ready access to a centralized and secure database of user information including name, phone number, address, and more, system administrators dramatically reduce their chances of a system breach. Moreover, querying contacts based on well-documented inputs is simple and easy.
3. Keep Track of Data: Finally, institutions must commit to ongoing data maintenance and management. Monitor open rates, opt-outs, and more. Having a clear understanding of this data will help you create more targeted and engaging text message communications. Additionally, constant data monitoring will help you avoid making mistakes such as sending text messages after a user has already opted out. It's these types of mistakes that can spell disaster even for the savviest higher education institutions.
How to Get Started With Bulk SMS for Schools in 5 Easy Steps
It's time to send your first bulk SMS. Sending a mass text message is super easy and convenient. Follow these five simple steps to send your first bulk SMS is under five minutes:
1. Promote Keyword and Short Code
2. Organize Contacts Into Groups
3. Build and Deploy Text Messages
4. Analyze Results
5. Contact EZ Experts
3 Examples of Schools Using Bulk SMS
"We send out texts for reminders for Parent-Teacher conferences, etc. but most importantly when there is a closing or delay due to weather or other emergencies." Skyler Mills, Montessori Centre of Barrington, Inc.
"I use EZ texting to send MMS messages for Open House/Information Session reminders." Rafael Escalante, Roberto Cruz, Leadership Academy (RCLA)
"We use EZ texting for our welcome to campus program to alert new students of upcoming events." User, Educational Institution
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Bulk SMS Templates for Schools
- Admission Message: School Name: Hello _____. Please submit the following admission form before _____. For more details visit _____. Reply STOP to opt out
- Billing Reminders: School Name: Hello _____. You have an upcoming payment due before _____. To submit a payment online visit _____. Reply STOP to opt out
- Meeting Reminders: School Name: Hello ______. A quick reminder that we have a committee meeting scheduled for _____. To confirm your attendance visit _____. Reply STOP to opt out
- Emergency Notifications: School Name: Hello _____. There is a forecasted tornado in the area. Please seek shelter immediately. Reply STOP to opt out