Text messages should be used only for emergencies, school closings, time sensitive reminders and announcements. Messages must be less than 160 characters.
Text messages are quick and interactive. They are easy to send and receive. However, they are limited in content and recipients may incur costs.
Not sure how to get started with SchoolMessenger? Start here
Strategies for Text Messages:
- Use sparingly
Families will quickly unsubscribe if they receive texts that do not include critical information – if it’s not critical, send an email instead.
- Keep it short
Never use more than 160 characters. Some parents may have to pay for receiving text messages. Sending the same text multiple times is ineffective.
- Never let SchoolMessenger write the text for you
Always select the message option “General - Phone, Email & Text” when sending a text message, and write it out yourself. Text messages generated by SchoolMessenger from your email or phone message come out jumbled and nonsensical. Create text messages separately from emails or phone calls. See tutorial for more details. If you do not have access to the option "General - Phone, Email & Text", contact Taryn Soza at 663-1898.
To keep your message short, it is okay to use abbreviations. However, be aware that not everyone in your target audience may know what they are. Make sure you are using common abbreviations only and don’t change them from text to text (i.e. always use “info” for “information” and don’t start using “inf” or “infor” instead).
Samples of effective text messages:
“Unpaid school fees are due before 6/13. Pay via Infinite Campus or call your school secretary. Ck your email for details.”
“Don't miss Conversation with the Superintendent TONIGHT at 6:30pm at La Follette HS. more info at mmsd.org/superintendent-entry-plan”
“Improve school/home communication. Take the MMSD survey @ mmsd.org/survey or call 663-1879”
“Don't forget this Friday is an early release day for all elementary schools!”
“Reminder: NO SCHOOL Thursday or Friday this week - mmsd.org/calendar”
Do you have questions about the toolkit? Contact the Communications Department