The contract is signed, the texting program is created, the staff is trained, and now it’s officially Signal Vine Launch Day! Today’s the day you start sending text messages to your students - and they start texting you back.
The great thing about texting is that students actually respond to you, with an average response rate of 10-60% on any given message. You might not be accustomed to receiving so many student responses, so here are five easy, tried-and-true tips for managing incoming text messages and making the most of your Signal Vine text message inbox:
1) Stick to the schedule.
Most responses find their way into your Signal Vine inbox within four minutes of students receiving your initial message. Since you schedule the message to go out at a certain date and time, you know exactly when students will be responding! To keep your inbox under control, log in soon after your messages are scheduled to send.
2) Spend fifteen minutes checking in.
Signal Vine is not meant to be an extra task for staff. Fifteen minutes each day is all it takes to read and respond to students’ questions on days when messages aren’t scheduled to go out.
3) Use the auto-responder.
The beauty of text is that it’s instantaneous, which means that students expect you to respond within minutes of receiving their messages. If you’re not able to log in to check messages, set up an auto-response! Similar to an email out-of-office message, auto-responder messages keep the lines of communication open until you’re able to respond personally.
4) Mark your messages as read.
For security and oversight purposes, Signal Vine does not delete text message conversations. This can quickly lead to a cluttered inbox if you don’t mark texts as “read.” Marking messages as “read” will automatically sort those messages out of your inbox, allowing you to focus on new incoming messages.
5) Use it!
This is the most important tip we have for making the most of your inbox. You have a great new way to communicate with your students, so use it! Once students and parents know that they can text you, they won’t hold back. Log in, check your messages, respond to questions, and send some of your own.
You’re now well on your way to becoming a textpert. If you can think of any other user tips, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with the rest of the Signal Vine Community.