Whether your school is large, small, or part of a group of schools, communicating with members of staff, parents and students presents a complex challenge; you must ensure you’re reaching the right people at the right time and with the right messages, as well as monitoring the outcome of each series of comms.
So, what’s the best method for schools to adopt to ensure they’re engaging with the right members of their school community to achieve positive outcomes? How does SMS for schools support this?
Well, it’s a rare sight these days to walk down a street and not see a mobile phone. Over the last 2 decades in particular, the “mobile” revolution has cascaded around the world in accordance with our increased expectations of being able to access all the information we need 24/7. According to recent surveys by Statista, 95% of 16-34 year olds in the UK own a mobile phone along with 91% of 35-54 year olds – and mobile phone usage is only increasing year on year.
What this does undeniably mean is that if you’re trying to reach students, parents, teachers and other members of staff, you’re almost certain to be able to get hold of them via their mobile phones; and we designed our SMS Gateway very much with this in mind.
Giving you the ability to compose, send and track text messages for every possible member of your school community, here are 5 ways using our dedicated applet for SMS messaging can transform engagement across your school:
1. Simplify comms management via a single platform
Our SMS Gateway sits within the iSAMS Management Information System (MIS) and is remarkably easy to set up and use. Its rich functionality for scheduling, authorising, sending and recording your SMS activity, including the helpful ability to send emergency broadcasts, enables you to retain complete control over all your communications.
You’ll have immediate access to a snapshot of your SMS activity, including graphs detailing inbound and outbound messages by day, cost breakdown by date, credit availability, provider, user and module usage, and more.
2. Stick to strategy and budget with authorisation
When you have multiple people working on delivering communications across your school, it can be difficult to monitor every activity and ensure you continue to work within your budgets.
To help you keep on top of which communications are being sent out and when, our SMS Gateway enables you to set up access controls for staff sending SMS messages by user or group and to create authorisation rules, so that all messages can be checked before they’re sent. For added ease of authorisation, messages can be approved by batch or by individual message, and can be quickly granted via email.
To support your budgeting, you’re able to define cost profiles and set budgets by user or group – with limits set on a daily, weekly, monthly, termly or yearly basis.
3. Track your communications
Before sending any messages you’re able to check the cost for the SMS delivery and see a preview of how each message will be viewed, so you can make sure every detail is correct and in line with your budgets. All cost breakdowns can also be viewed by month, user and module, including the counts for posted, errored and sent messages. Not only this, but you’re able to view detailed information about the logging of each message, including the author, gateway, sender identity, recipient, body, credit, cost, status and more.
4. Enjoy versatile and holistic functionality
We understand how important effective communications are to help with the efficient running of any school, and our SMS Gateway is designed to enhance the experience for your school community. This includes the ability to create personalised message templates and send predefined emergency messages to all staff, students, parents and custom groups as required. Plus, you can create unlimited numbers of unique sender identities (e.g. SENIOR SCH, JUNIOR SCH) and attach permissions as required.
More than this, you can also receive inbound messaging to improve two-way communication for your different school audiences, encouraging important dialogues across the school.
5. Send SMS messages to a global audience
As the first MIS to be 100% web-based, iSAMS was designed to increase the accessibility of key school information, whenever its needed and regardless of where each member of the school community is around the world. Our SMS Gateway supports this global accessibility, with the inclusion of international characters and the ability to work with an unlimited number of outbound providers. There is also support for local providers in international countries outside of the UK and schools have the option to use local third-party providers as needed, so you can be sure your messages will be received across country borders.