3 Ways to Use Bulk SMS at Your School

🕒 6 min.

Using SMS in your school is a great way to:

  • Engage with your students, parents, guardians, and faculty
  • Have a direct line of immediate communication
  • Avoid getting lost in the email inbox

With both kids and parents having phones, using text messages to engage with your student-base has never been more effective.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through how you can use a bulk SMS service at your school to modernize your communication channels, boost engagement, and ensure everyone is always up to date on the latest events.

Benefits to Your School Using a Bulk SMS Service

Benefits of using bulk SMS at schols

1. More Engaged Student and Parent Base

With a direct communication line to students and parents, you can boost engagement at events and on important dates.

For example, if you’re running a parent-teacher meeting, you can send an SMS out 7 days before the event to remind parents of the date, and the day before the event as a reminder.

Your message could be as simple as:

Dear {name}, this is a reminder that we have a parent-teacher meeting on {date} at {time}. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

If you were relying on email, chances are, half of the recipients wouldn’t see it, or read it. On the other hand, text messages are read 98% of the time.

You’ll see higher attendance at school events, and won’t need to worry about anyone missing them due to simply forgetting about them.

2. Keep Operations Running Smoothly

Your staff don’t like to be kept in the dark.

If there are urgent announcements to go out, such as a school closure due to weather warnings, you don’t want your staff left wondering if they should come to work or not.

Text message is the ideal way to send an update to all of them at once.

Using a bulk SMS provider you can send an update to every staff member at once.

You can store text message templates like:

Hi {name}, due to weather warnings we’re advising all students to stay at home.

3. Improved Feedback Collection with a Unique Shortcode

Your school will be able to use a unique short code to send and receive messages.

What exactly is a short code?

Well, it’s a short, unique phone number that your school can use.

For example, all messages from your school could be sent from a dedicated short code, such as “15521“. Every time you send a text message campaign, it’ll come from that number.

Students, parents, and teachers can reply directly to that number and it’ll land in your inbox.

To avoid getting accidental replies, you could also create rules around replies. For example, to give feedback, parents would have to text “FEEDBACK” to 15521, followed by their message.

It’s a simple and effective way to open a line of communication and feedback between teachers, parents, and students.

Use Cases for SMS in Schools

Use cases for SMS in schools

There are a multitude of ways you can use an SMS marketing strategy in your school.

Let’s take a look at some of the most impactful ways.

1. Remind Parents and Students About Upcoming Events

Naturally, your school runs multiple events throughout the year.

These good be parent-teacher days, school talent shows, or sporting events.

To ensure attendance is high, you can send text message reminders about the upcoming events. You can create step-by-step campaigns so people are reminded at regular intervals, or simply send a one-off message.

It also helps you avoid the problem of students not telling their parents about important events, such as parent-teacher days.

2. Ensure Important Announcements and Alerts are Seen

When you have important alerts and announcements, text is the best way to get them seen.

It can be used for routine announcements, but is also perfect for emergency alerts if your school ever needs to send out messages immediately.

If you relied on email, your message wouldn’t get seen. After all, only 21.33% of emails are opened.

If you asked students to relay messages to their parents/guardians, as you know, there’s no guarantee they will.

SMS solves that problem.

You can send important announcements and alerts, and be sure that everyone will see them.

Examples of messages you can send include:

  • Meeting reminders
  • Weather alerts
  • Updates on exam timetables
  • Links to online report cards
  • Reminder about deadlines for school fees

90% of texts are read within 3 minutes, so it’s the perfect channel for time-sensitive announcements. It won’t cost much either, considering you can use a platform like Instasent to send texts for less than a cent per message. If your school is already investing in digital marketing, it’s a perfect new channel to add.

3. Simple System for Absence Management

If a student wakes up feeling under the weather, it can be a hassle for a busy parent/guardian to phone the school and explain.

Instead, they can text your school’s short code to update the school. The teachers can be updated, and won’t need to wonder whether they’re just late for school, or coming in at all.

If a student doesn’t show up to school, parents can receive an automatic update from the school.

For example, “Dear {name}, this is an update that {child name} is not in school today. If you’re aware of this, there’s no need to take further action.”

It’s a perfect way to ensure parents stay up-to-date on their children’s attendance.

4 Example SMS Templates for Schools

We’ve already mentioned a few examples of texts you can send, but writing them can be a challenge if you’re new to SMS marketing. 

Hare some useful text message templates you can implement immediately at your school.

The Meeting Reminder

Dear {parent name}, this is a reminder that you have an upcoming {meeting type} scheduled for {date} at {time}. We’re looking forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, you can reply directly to this message.

The School Closure Alert

Dear {parent name}, the school will be closed today due to adverse weather conditions. We ask that you keep your children at home today.

The School Feedback Collection

Dear {parent name}. We’re collecting feedback on the past year. If you have any feedback to share about events, academic schedules, or other school functions, we would love to hear it. Please just reply to this text with your feedback.

The Important Information Request

Dear {parent name}. This is a reminder that you have to submit your admission form before {date} to ensure your child is enrolled next year. For more details on this, please visit {school website URL}.

Wrapping Up

A bulk SMS system for your school is ideal for communicating with your staff, students, and parents/guardians.

It’s a direct line of communication to their phones, which everyone carries with them. It’s more effective than emails, faster than phone calls, and one of the most affordable marketing channels available.

It’s a perfect channel to send important updates, and keep everyone up-to-date on what’s going on at your school.

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