This feature is only available for customers in the U.S. and Canada. Local, state or federal government regulations may place restrictions on how you utilize this feature. In particular, using text messages or (SMS) and recorded phone calls to market your business or services may be against the laws in your area. It is always best to consult with a lawyer with any questions before taking action. We ask that you never mark a customer as being eligible for text messaging without their consent, as standard messaging fees will apply through their carrier.
What is the Text & Voice Broadcast feature?
At a cost of $0.03 USD a credit and one credit per message, you can communicate with your customers via text message or voice broadcast! This can be a very useful tool in emergency situations or even to notify customers of a cancellation or change in schedule.
*To receive text messages, the phone number(s) listed under families must have a "text-able" phone on file. Text-able phones will display on the family Details page, with yes selected in the drop down menu for texting next to the phone number.
To set up this service for the first time, go to Settings>Setup>General Settings>SMS & Voice. You must have payment information on file in your iClassPro account to set up a number and purchase credits for messaging.
STEP 1: Getting Your Phone Number
During the setup process, you will be asked to enter an area code. This will search for an available number in your area and dedicate it to you for all outgoing messages from iClassPro. You can give this number to your customers so that they know it is your business calling or messaging when they pick up the phone.
STEP 2: Purchasing Credits
To utilize your phone number, you will be required to purchase credits. One credit ($0.03 USD each) will deliver a one minute voice broadcast or a single text message (160 characters) to a single phone number. A minimum of 100 credits must be purchased at a time.
STEP 3: Notify Staff & Customers - When Texting, Have them Opt-In
All customers at all numbers are eligible to receive a recorded voice broadcast. Making this the most sure-fire way to send out your messages. But if a customer misses the call, it can be nice to have a text message they can read later.
Since text messages cost money not only to send, but to receive, customers must voluntarily opt into this service. Normally, we recommend sending out an email or posting a notice in your facility to inform customers that they can opt-in to receiving these messages from inside the parent portal. This can be done by logging into the portal, editing their family information and selecting Yes for text messages next to their text compatible phone numbers (Seen below).
With consent, a staff member can also make these changes inside of the staff side of iClassPro from within a family or another staff member's record. (Depending on laws in your area, you may want to get expressed written consent.)
For additional phone number fields, all customers must be updated using the Family Template under Settings>Setup>Family Settings>Family Template.
From the family, students or staff page, use filters to narrow your search results to the intended recipients of the message.
If there are multiple pages of recipients, try to get them all listed on the same page by changing your view number at the top right of the page. Only recipients on the page you are viewing will be sent the message. Additional pages will have to be sent separately.
Select recipients by checking the box next to their names or by using the Select all box at the top of the page next to the column titles. Then, click the SMS Text/Voice icon at the bottom of the screen..
To Send a Text:
If you want to send a Text Message, enter the text in the message box at the bottom of the window. The SMS Details section located in the same window shows how many credits you have purchased and in your system and how many messages are being sent out. To send the text message, click Send.
To Send a Voice Broadcast:
To send a Voice Broadcast, click the "Send Voice Broadcast" button after clicking the SMS/Voice icon. Another window will appear asking you to enter your phone number. Enter a phone number where you can be reached directly and you will receive a phone call from the Voice Broadcast System. When you receive the call, answer with "Hello" to initiate the instructions. Follow the instructions given to you by the phone call to send your broadcast.
* Voice broadcasts charge one credit per minute in the recording, so if you record a message longer than one minute, 2 credits will be used per recipient phone number. The call to record the message is also billed at one credit per minute.