Texting was once a niche form of communication, but recent studies show that 55% of K-12 parents prefer text communication from teachers, a staggering 50% jump since 2010. While text messaging for schools is growing in popularity, institutions should implement the form sparingly. Rather than a primary mode of communication, text messaging can be a fast, convenient and effective supplement to other methods. 

SMS Marketing Best Practices 
Short message service (SMS) communication — or texting — can be a great way for schools to communicate with parents quickly through the devices they use most. Beyond communication, SMS can be an effective marketing tool. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider SMS marketing for schools:  

  • Choose an effective service: Great SMS services for schools are user-friendly and will message families from a consistent number they’ll recognize.

    TIP: Educate by Community Brands offers a robust Communications Center that allows you to send texts, emails and phone calls to families seamlessly without the need for third party services! 

  • Use personal qualifiers: Address the reader by their relationship with your school, whether they’re a student’s family member or a prospective applicant. Schools can also add a level of exclusivity to entice prospects and reward them for their involvement.  
  • Keep it brief: SMS is a short form, so use the fewest characters possible to communicate your message.  
  • Be unique: Don’t repeat the same messages and offers you send on other platforms. Unique messages boost feelings of importance and urgency.  
  • Be timely, thorough and responsive: If you commit to SMS messaging, be sure to use it reliably without overloading readers’ inboxes. If you include two-way communication, be sure to respond quickly.  
  • Always obtain consent: Only message the families of current or prospective students who have expressed written consent for your communication.  
  • Add relevant disclaimers: Include information regarding message or data rates, the duration of the recipient’s communication subscription, links to your privacy policy and links to unsubscribe.  
  • Emphasize your values: SMS marketing is an opportunity to communicate with families in a very personal way, so be sure to use language that reflects your values.  

Implementing SMS Marketing at Your School 
Now is a perfect time to begin integrating SMS marketing and communication strategies at your school. Use SMS at your institution for tasks like:  

  • Notices and reminders: Use SMS to notify your student body and their families about everything from inclement weather to registration dates or even daily lunch menus.   
  • Surveys: Gather feedback from families regarding your educational strategies or learn more about your prospective students.   
  • Parent involvement: SMS is a useful tool to increase PTA membership and find volunteers for school events.  
  • School initiatives: Announce new programs, fundraising drives, anti-bullying efforts and other initiatives. SMS can spread information and elicit responses, so you can gauge attendance for events or provide a convenient outlet for feedback.  
  • Recruitment: Send messages to potential students and parents about recruitment events and registration dates. 

Request a Product Demo 
Educate offers a student information system with SMS functionality for the most convenient communication between your faculty and families. Our software improves various processes for private K-12 institutions, and each program is seamlessly compatible with the next. To learn more or request a product demo, get in touch with Educate today. 

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