Monthly Archives: January 2011

Why Schools Need Group Text Messaging

If you are not familiar with what group text messaging is or how it works, we will give you a brief overview, then talk more specifically about how it can be used in a school setting. Group text messaging is simply a way of sharing a brief message (sometimes called SMS text, or short message service) with a group of people in one message. The message can be sent from a computer, cell phone or other handheld electronic device. You may have seen billboards or signs in your local area that say something like: Text keyword GAS to 77948 to get free gas. This is an example of using group text messaging for marketing purposes.

When someone sends a keyword to a specific short code (short phone number) they are sent a message letting them know that they have opted-in to receive messages from that company. Because of FCC regulations, there must be some form of “opting-in” for any type of message to be sent to a cell phone, otherwise your message is just spam and it is illegal.

Now you may see how you could use such a system for announcing your new product or offering a discount coupon code, etc. but let’s look at how this type of system could be useful in a school system. Having all been in a school setting, we know that there are constantly things happening at school. Whether it is a big assignment that is due, a play rehearsal, basketball practice, or something unexpected, an emergency event or school closure that you need to let people know about right away. Sending a text message to a large number of people at one time is a very effective way of communicating such information.

It is estimated that 93% of the US population owns a cell phone. Most of these phones are carried with the person wherever they are. It is estimated that a text message sent to a person is most often viewed within 1 hour after it is sent. Receiving a text message can be less intrusive than a  phone call and may be more private. If your child doesn’t show up to school and you haven’t called to excuse them, the school could send out a notification letting you know. If your child is going to be absent and you know, you could send a simple text message letting the school know.

One of the newest providers of group text messaging is TXT180. At TXT180 you will find a number of resources for text marketing uses as well as video tutorials, FAQ, and text marketing tips. When reviewing the how it works information provided at TXT180 we see that you can set up groups within your network as well. This may be handy if play rehearsal is canceled and you want to send a quick message to just this group of people.

Visit the TXT180 site for more detailed information on how group text messaging could be useful at your school. They provide email and phone support in addition to all the resources and information on their site. In our review, TXT180 is providing the cheapest service in the industry. The Value plan starts at only $9.95/mo and lets you send up to 500 messages with an unlimited number of incoming messages and an unlimited number of subscribers. Other plans and options are available, visit TXT180.com for details today.