How do I create and send an SMS message?
To create an SMS message, select SMS > Compose from the left-hand menu.
In the top-right, you will find how many credits you have available and how many credits are scheduled to go out. You can purchase more credits by clicking Buy Credits.
Tip: Sending an SMS message costs credits, and sending an email does not. Always consider how urgent your message is before pressing send, you could save some money!
To select who you want to send your SMS to, click in the Contact Recipients box and this will open the Contact Book.
Note: You can only select students and/or staff, not parents.
You can also manually enter mobile numbers for users who are not on the ParentMail system in the box shown in the following graphic:
Give your SMS a subject to make it easy to refer back to within your SMS > Sent section. The subject has a limit of up to 200 characters.
Note: Parents will not see the Subject, it is simply for your reference.
Do you want to send this message immediately?
This option allows you to send the email message immediately or in the future. If you select Yes, the message will go out as soon as you click Send. If you click No, you can select a date and time using the calendar and this email will be stored in your SMS > Scheduled section located in the left-hand menu until it is sent.
Note: The time automatically sets at 00.00. Remember to change this before clicking Send.
Send to Primary Contacts only
Tick this box if you want the message to go only to the primary contact for each selected student.
Selecting this option will allow the system to automatically prioritise sending an email instead of an SMS to any parent who has an email address in ParentMail. Registered parents who use the app will still receive a push notification as normal. This option has the potential to save you a lot of text credits!
Scenario: If you have 100 parents and 90 have an email address, you will only spend 10 text credits as the 90 that have an email address will receive an email instead.
Send Per Student
Tick this option if you want the parents to each get one message per student.
Send Per Family
This option is ticked by default. This option will de-duplicate and send 1 message per family; parents with more than one student at your school will be sent just one message, rather than a message for each student.
Creating the contents of your SMS
Important: 1 text credit = 160 characters.
Add the contents of the SMS message you want to send in the large text field.
There are several functions available in your toolbar which can help you when composing your messages. Hovering over each one will display a tooltip advising what the function is:
Note: The Student First Name and Student Last Name buttons cannot be used in conjunction with the Send Per Family option and will only work with Send Per Student.
When you have completed your SMS message and it's ready to go you will find the Send button at the very bottom-right of the page. When clicking Send you will be prompted with a confirmation message advising how many SMS messages will be sent, how many credits used and how many emails will be sent. Click Yes to send the message.