This article will cover sending various communications in Arbor. If you require help getting to communications, we have an article on how to access communications in the knowledgebase. As this guide will assume you have reached the chosen communication and you are ready to begin the mail merge.
- SMS - Email - Letters - In App Messages
- You should ensure that your school has enough SMS Credits before attempting to send a SMS before following the SMS instructions. There is more information here SMS Billing and how to top up your SMS credits – Arbor Help Centre (arbor-education.com) - You should ensure you have the correct permissions to send various communications before following this article.
1. Access the SMS communication in your normal way. For this article, I am accessing this through the top menu.
2. Going through the fields of sending the mail merge message via SMS.
The 'From' Field - This would come from the school and therefore cannot be changed from your school.
The 'To' Field - You can edit this to be students, guardians (Primary/Legal), different business roles in the school. All providing a mobile number is set for them in Arbor.
Combine messages? - This field allows you to send a message per student, for all students, per household or per recipient. As two parents may live in the same household and therefore not require the same message.
The message box - This is where you compose your message to the recipients. In the top right of this box, you can use the 'Merge Fields' to add data to automate the process. (You would like to address the parents by their last name for example.)
SMS Balance -At the bottom of the message box, you are given a SMS Balance that your school has in credits, if this is too low then you may not have enough credits to send out the message. You will see an estimation just above the balance of how many credits this could cost. (In this example, I do not have enough credits, so I cannot send the SMS. I can save it as a draft.)
3. When you click proceed, you will be given an opportunity to review the message, to check the message is displaying correctly for everyone. When happy, click send in the bottom right. You will be notified when they have sent.
1. To send an email communication, access this in your normal way. For this article I shall be accessing it through the top menu. School -> Communications -> Email -> New Mail Merge Email
2. When on the mail merge email screen you may wish to load a premade email template. You can create these by going to on the top menu School -> Communications -> Templates.
If you would like to upload a signature as well for the emails, you can do this on "Set up sender's signature".
3. Next, in the:
From field - you can select whether you would like the email to appear as from yourself or the school. (Dependent on permissions provided.)
To field - You can decide who you would like the email to be sent to. For the purposes of this I have decided those with equal or less than 95% attendance.
Combine Emails - Would you like one per recipient or one per household? One per student or one email covering all students for that parent(s).
Subject - What would you like the email to be titled.
Message box - What would you like to type in to send to the recipient. You can also make use of the formatting and merge fields features which are available.
When happy with the email, click proceed which is in the bottom right.
4. You will be asked to review the Mail Merge Email and to ensure you are fully happy with this.
5. Check if any recipients have an X next to email. The recipients who have the X may require another form of communication, if they do not have an email in Arbor to send to. If you have an email for them, you can enter this through clicking on the X or on their name. You can also preview individual letters to ensure that the mail merge has brought across the right information.
6. When happy, click the green Send in the bottom right of the screen. You will get a notification when all the emails have sent.
Letters can be useful for sending a communication where a person may not have an email and it is more detailed than a phone message can provide.
1. To create a letter communication, go through your usual method. For this article I am going through the Arbor top menu. School -> Communications -> Letters -> New Mail Merge Letter.
2. You will then be required to fill in the fields to create your letter these are:
Set up sender's signature - This allows you to add a signature into the letter from a saved picture. This could be a signature you have scanned in prior.
To field - This will select who you would like to send the letter to.
Combine Letters? - Do you require one per household, one per student or one for all students in a household for example.
Document layout - The C5 standard is the default document layout, you can create other layouts to suit your requirements from School -> Communications -> Letters -> Setup Layouts
Also show tick boxes - Do you require the student's name, year group and registration form included in the address box?
Message box - This is where you compose your message with the help of the merge fields drop down in the top right of the compose a message.
Once you have completed this, click proceed in the bottom right of the screen.
3. Review the letters that you are going to send out. You can see the review with the settings chosen. In the table below, you can preview individual letters. Once happy with the results you can click the green generate button in the bottom right.
4. When happy to proceed, click Download All Letters. Your download will appear as the picture below.
In App Messages
This method is not recommended for time sensitive or critical messages as some parents may not have the Arbor App or they may not log in regularly.
1. To send an in-app message, follow your usual method of doing this. For the purposes of the article, I shall be going through the top menu.
School -> Communications -> In-App Messages -> New Mail Merge In-App Message.
2. Fill in the required details to send the message.
From - This field is for showing who the message is from.
To - Who would you like to send the message to, in the example it is the primary guardians of the children who attend Chess Club.
Combine Messages? - Would you like to send one message per household/per student or per recipient.
Message Box - Compose your message here making use of the merge fields option. When happy with your message, click the green Proceed button.
3. You can review your in-app message. You are given a list of the names who will recieve the message. It will show red if they have never logged into the app so you can consider sending the message to them via an alternative method. If happy you can click the green Send button.