Making the most of back-to-school with SMS messages

17 August 2022

August is the perfect time of year for retailers, schools, and student organisers to start interacting with parents and students. Come September, many young people will be ready to walk back through the doors of their educational institutions. If you are not already using SMS messages to reach out to your target audience, then maybe we can convince you that it’s a move you can’t afford not to make.

How can you ensure that students and parents don’t overlook important information this term? SMS messages are a more efficient way to cut through the back-to-school noise. Don’t rely on email or direct mail to get the job done, both are too often overlooked. SMS is 4 times more successful than email in reaching and engaging subscribers. This is because it has an open rate of 97%. We just can’t ignore text messages on our phones. We look at our phones on average 85 times per day.

Let’s take a look at how different sectors can benefit from SMS:


 Many retailers trade in back-to-school supplies, so the summer break is  one crucial shopping season that is not to be missed. 

Products such as stationary and uniform will mostly be purchased according to convenience and price. The market is very competitive now supermarkets are offering much the same as traditional stationery and clothes retailers. To maximise sales, you will need to catch the attention of busy parents and make the experience hassle-free. Put yourself out there with targeted SMS messages to alert your customers to what you have in stock. With segmentation, you can select only the relevant customers to send your back-to-school shopping SMS to.

Some ideas to catch attention in your SMS marketing process are:

  • Voucher codes
  • 3 for 2 offers
  • Back-to-school countdowns
  • Good-humoured parenting texts with funny gifs, images, or memes
  • Free delivery
  • Parenting hacks or tips


It’s not uncommon for services and the leisure industry to see an upturn in business in August and September. Parents either cram in the last-minute appointments for their little ones or plan their appointments and leisure time for after the kids have returned to school. Businesses such as hairdressers, opticians, beauticians, health spas, gyms, and cafes will all see an upturn in business during these months. To capitalise on the flow of extra business, it is important to let your customers know that you are ready and available for them. Don’t let your competitors take the lion’s share. For example send text messages such as:

“Only 2 weeks left to get those back-to-school haircuts ticked off your list! Use our SMS appointment booking system to secure your place now. Hurry! places are running out fast”


“Need a relaxing spa day after the kids have gone back to school? We hear you. Click on the link to reserve your oasis of calm.”

Automated SMS for Appointments 

At TextAnywhere, all of our service providers can benefit from automated SMS messages to help manage appointments and workloads at busy times to increase efficiency and reduce no-shows.

By using automated sms, you can allow customers to amend or re-arrange appointments to suit their ever changing needs. Additionally, when appointments have been made by whatever means, the platform automatically sends a confirmation that can be added to the client’s calendar. From here automatic reminders can be sent out to the client to reduce the incidences of no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Make sure you are never without customers. When last-minute cancellations occur, with the click of a button you can send out a text to your subscribers to let them know that you have a free slot.

Schools and universities

SMS is more than just marketing. Many organisations are now using business SMS as a communication tool. If you are a parent or guardian, you will have noticed that text communication is the norm now. If you thought that there was an overworked secretary punching everyone’s numbers into the school mobile phone from its contacts, you would be wrong. Savvy schools are using SMS platforms to streamline communications. It’s very popular with parents and guardians who are too busy to keep on top of newsletters. School staff also report that it has reduced workloads as they are not wasting time issuing reminder letters to book bags or chasing parents or guardians on the phone to action requests. Text messaging for business in schools is good for:

  • Linking newsletters
  • Linking consent forms
  • Asking parents to call or make an appointment
  • Sending pupil praise
  • Alerting parents to behavioural issues
  • Confirming absences
  • Emergency messages such as school closures or changes to term dates
  • After school clubs

Around this time of year, schools are dealing with new and existing parents and guardians. It won’t matter that an end-of-year newsletter came out with all of the necessary information for the new term such as, start back dates, uniform requirements, etc. Very few people will have remembered or have remembered it wrong. Worse still are the rumours that circulate on social media groups. Use SMS messages to send out clear reminders closer to term time to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Universities and colleges

When talking about university faculties, we also include student unions and activity groups in that category. Students are the best audience for SMS messages as they seem to do everything on their phones. We don’t wish to stereotype but, in this digital age with a digital generation, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Back to uni organisation has never been smoother than when managed by bulk SMS. Here are some of the things it can help with:

  • Term date reminders
  • Welcome information
  • Freshers week
  • Orientation
  • Accommodation information
  • Absence reporting
  • News and Alerts
  • Emergency info
  • Grade notifications
  • Exam schedules
  • Much more

Why TextAnywhere?

  • we have a wealth of experience in SMS marketing and like to share it with our customers.
  • We continually strive to bring you the best ideas and the best product.
  • No hidden charges. 
  • Tansparent pricing options at competitive prices.
  • Easily track your campaigns using our SMS delivery reporting software. 
  • Our API has been developed with the industry’s highest security standard to work well with your existing software (ISO27001).

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