What to Look for in a School Messaging System App | SimpleTexting
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What to Look for in a School Messaging System App

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Choosing a school messaging app can be challenging. In this simple guide, you’ll learn how to pick the right app to send texts to students, parents, and faculty.

Teachers and school administrators are unsung heroes. They fight every single day to make the world better through small, measurable actions. Excuse the cliche, but it’s true: not all superheroes wear capes.

We also get that the last thing you might want to do is browse hundreds of websites looking for the best school messaging system app. It’s a waste of your time, and we appreciate how valuable that time is.

So–in this article–we’ll break down everything you need to know to choose the right platform. You might be bracing yourself for a full-on sales pitch, but we want to make this as informative for you as possible. Even if you decide not to go with our platform, we hope that this guide helps you make the right choice for your school.

Choose the Best School Messaging System App In 3 Steps

A lot of businesses claim to have the best school messaging system app. And there are a couple of great offerings out there. But how can you be sure you’ve found the best one?

You need software that is easy to buy and use. You also need a comprehensive suite of features, all at an affordable price. It’s not too much to ask, right?

If you want to make sure a platform can get the job, follow these three steps:

1. Look for a School Messaging System App with Leading Features

Every school messaging system app needs one thing. That is the ability to send text messages to large groups of parents, faculty, and teachers. So, before you sign up for any messaging system, it’s essential to tick that box. These are the other features a platform needs to have:

Lists and Segments

Chances are you’re going to want to send specific texts to certain groups of students or parents. This will likely center on grades or involvement in extracurricular activities. As a result, it’s critical to be able to organize your contacts by lists and segments.

Scheduled Texts and Autoresponders

There are key dates in every school’s calendar. As a result, you might want to schedule texts for a future date and time. Scheduling texts allows you to set it and forget it, doing the bulk of work upfront. 

Autoresponders are great for sending homework assignments or links to helpful resources. They allow teachers to set up group texts to go out at set intervals. You can also send daily motivational texts to students studying for the SAT or ACT.

Send MMS Messages

A good teacher-student messaging app lets you send more than SMS texts. MMS allows you to include photos, videos, and other files in your messages.  MMS messages are particularly useful for providing educational resources to students.

Supports Two-Way Messaging

While you want to be able to text groups of students and parents, it’s crucial to be ready to receive responses and start conversations. This way, you build relationships with your students–and their parents. You are also communicating in a way that works for them and is not time-consuming for you.

Link Tracking and Analytics

It can help to find out whether a parent, faculty member, or student has clicked on a link. You can then send specific follow-ups to these people. If a student hasn’t clicked on a homework assignment, you can send them a gentle nudge.

Keywords

Before sending a text message to your school’s stakeholders, you need contacts to send them to. Keywords help with that. Set up a word or phrase that customers can text to your number to subscribe to your SMS texts. You’ll also likely want to be able to create different keywords for specific areas of your school.  You can create a keyword like “SPORTS” for sporting events or “VOLUNTEER” for volunteer opportunities.

Multiple Logins and Access Levels

You’ll want to be able to set up more users with various levels of access. Individuals teachers or administrators will need a unique login with access to their class or team contacts. 

2. Check Third-Party Reviews of Your Mass Text App

If a school messaging system app doesn’t work well, customers won’t be quiet about it. Do a quick search on third-party websites such as Trustpilot, Capterra, GetApp, or Software Advice. Does the app you’re considering have a profile with positive reviews? If not, you may want to go with another option.

3. Try Your School Messaging System App for Free

You’ve found an app with stellar reviews and a robust suite of features. Nice! Now give it a try and see if it lives up to the hype. Be wary of a school messaging system app that asks for your credit card before starting a trial. Keep a lookout for apps with hidden in-app purchases too.

How to Build a Contact List for Your School Messaging System App

Once you’ve signed up for a school messaging system app and given it a try, you’re ready to start building your contact list. After all, you’ll need to get the numbers of your students, parents, and faculty!

Keyword Opt-In

We touched on keywords above. Let’s go over an example of how they work. Say, for example, you’re a high school, called Marymount, that wants to provide updates about school closures. You could create the keyword “MARYMOUNT.” Now, anytime a student or parents texts in “MARYMOUNT” to your number, they’ll be signed up for your texts.

Import

If you already have a list of contacts, and express consent to text them, then you can start sending messages right away! With SimpleTexting, you don’t have to add contacts one at a time. Instead, upload a CSV or Excel file with the names and numbers.

How Our Schools Using SimpleTexting

We have a whole guide dedicated to text messaging schools and services. This guide goes into more detail on the uses below and provides examples of text messages. Many schools are using our school messaging system app to:

  • Communicate class cancellations
  • Send emergency alerts related to safety and security
  • Notify students and parents of essential reminders
  • Promote school events
  • Give students and parents a heads up about report card/grade releases
  • Provide information and resources on bullying through a bullying hotline
  • Send homework assignments, with links to handouts and more learning materials
  • Enable sports teams to coordinate schedules, collect dues, and more.

School Messaging System App Success Stories

First, we covered what to look for in a potential messaging app. Then we examined how to build your database of subscribers. We also provided examples of how schools can use SimpleTexting. Now let’s review some real-life examples of schools that have been using our school messaging system app.

1. Alpha School Keeps Parents Involved Through Texts

Alpha School uses texting to connect preschool parents and staff.  The Alpha team ensures everyone knows about crucial school-related information.

2. South Arkansas Community College Uses SMS To Connect With Students

South Arkansas Community College uses text messaging as an affordable way to connect with students. 

3. Alabama Extension SNAP-Ed Helps People Text Into A Healthier Lifestyle

Auburn University’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program texts healthy resources to its community.

Get Started With the Best School Messaging System App

After working with thousands of customers, we’ve learned exactly what makes a school messaging system app work.

We’re so confident that we let anyone try it completely free for 14 days–no credit card needed. If you need a custom pricing plan or a feature to fit your school’s needs, then don’t worry. Tell us what you need, and we’ll be happy to design a plan to suit your school.

Send your first message in minutes. Try SimpleTexting free for 14 days. No credit card required.

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