In this guide, we will cover the following processes;
- Send SMS Messages or Emails to Parents, Contacts or Students.
- How to Schedule a Message.
- How to see an Overview of Sent Messages.
- How to Create a Message Template
- How to Create a Watchlist
- How to Schedule Report via Email
- How to View Sent Messages and Emails.
- How to Purchase SMS Messages
Access: The Permissions required to send an SMS Message or Email from the Student’s List are found in the Framework Module of Config>Setup>Roles and Permissions.
Sending an SMS Message or Email
To start, go to Students List page from the left Menu and select the relevant Student/Students (in this example, two Students have been selected).
Alternatively, you can use the filter cups in the column headings to filter by a specific Tutor Group or Year Group for example.
Once the Students are selected, you can then use Selections>Select All to highlight all Students.
Now that the Students are selected, press Actions>Send SMS/Email.
This will open the Send SMS and Emails page where you will need to complete the relevant information;
- Message Type – Select SMS or Email.
- Recipient – Select Contact, Student or Staff (Emails only).
- Templates – If a Message Template has been created in advance, select the relevant template from the dropdown list. A preview of the template will appear in the Message Box
- Message – Type the Message you wish to send.
- Dynamic Fields – Select the relevant fields to personalise the Message such as Student Fullname or Student Tutor Group.
- Upload CSV – Provides temporary Dynamic Fields (please see below for further explanation).
Clicking the Upload CSV button gives the option to add Temporary Dynamic Fields for use in one-off Messages allowing Student/Staff/Contact items to be used without the need of storing them within the system.
When a CSV file is uploaded a second dropdown list Temporary Data Items is displayed, use this list to select your temporary Dynamic Fields.
Note: The CSV file must have the UPN for Students or the Staff Code for Staff.
Moving back to the rest of the Send SMS and Emails page, there are multiple tick boxes you will need to choose from as well.
- Send push notifications for mobile app users – This will send the Message as a Push Notification to users who have the MCAS App installed and Push Notifications enabled on their phone.
- Consolidate multiple messages – If there are multiple Students that belong to the same Contact, the Contact will only receive one Message rather than one Message per Student.
- Send Parental Responsibility contacts only – This will make it so that only Contacts who are marked as having Parental Responsibility of a Student will be eligible to receive the Message.
- Copy sent/received messages to student communication log – This will keep a copy of the Sent/Received Messages on the relevant Student’s records.
- Produce Quick Letters for contacts who do not have an email address – This will let you produce a Quick Letter if the Contact cannot be reached via Email.
- All Priorities or 1, 2, 3 etc – All Priorities means all Contacts of all Contact Priorities are eligible to receive the message. Ticking Priorities 1, 2 or 3 is only available if you untick All Priorities and means that only Contacts of the Contact Priority that you select will be eligible to receive the message.
Note: When sending an SMS Message, you need to ensure that the Contact has a Mobile number on their Contact Information and that Use this mobile for text messages is ticked.
This is done by editing the Contact Information from the Student’s record and editing the Phone Number.
Note: The Priority shown in this area is the Priority of the Phone Number, not the Contact.
The Contact Priority is found/set in the Linked Students panel of the Contacts Information.
Now that your Message has been compiled and all of the relevant tick boxes have been selected, click the Recipients button to check who will receive the Message before you send.
Tick or Untick as required or go back and update the information from the Student Contacts if you think it is incorrect.
When complete, click the Send button.
The Send SMS/Email option can also be used to send Messages to both Staff and Groups by selecting the option from the Actions button whilst on the Staff or Groups pages.
When selecting to send an Email from the Students list page, you will be able to select Staff from the Recipient drop down. When you select Staff as the Recipient, a +Staff option will appear at the bottom which is used to add additional Staff Members to the Recipient list.
A Copy can also be sent to the Student Communication Log.
Note: If Messages fail due to a lack of credit, you will need to re-run the process as there is currently no Resend option.
How to Schedule a Message
To Schedule a Message, click on Schedule rather than Recipients or Send while on the Send SMS and Emails page.
To see previously Scheduled Messages click on Tasks.
From the Schedule dropdown, choose either Once, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Termly or Yearly.
Next, complete the dropdown choices dependant on the Schedule choice you need.
In this example, a Weekly Schedule in chosen on Academic Weeks Only, Every Monday at 10:40.
In this example, a Monthly Schedule in chosen on the First Monday at 10:40.
Once you are happy with the Schedule options, click Save.
How to see an overview of Sent Messages
To see Sent Messages, go to Modules>Communications>Overview.
In the example below, two Emails have been sent, which will display in the Information Table when you click on Emails Sent Today or Emails Sent This Week.
If needed, you can use the Date Selector in the Credits Remaining widget to update the page.
Lastly, to see if any Messages/Emails are Scheduled, you would take the following path as if you were going to send a new SMS/Email;
Students>Select a Student>Actions>Send SMS/Email.
Now, instead of preparing a Message or selecting Recipients, press Tasks at the bottom of the Screen.
This will then show you any Scheduled Messages or Emails that are currently active.
See also: How to Schedule a Report via Email