This is an easy way to send and receive messages for free. Keep in constant contact with your students and keep in touch with parents using a medium that they are already familiar with–text messages. Simply collect phone numbers, determine the providers, build the email addresses and you are done.
There are various ways to stay in contact with parents and clients. Are you looking for a hassle free service to easily communicate with your parents, colleagues, and clients? Well, this method that I am going to show to you is an option that you may want to keep in your arsenal, and best of all, this messaging method is free and fun. To take advantage of this system you will need the following:
1. An email account. For this exercise, I will be using Gmail, but any email service should suffice. You can create an account for free if you do not have one.
b. A CSV file with the cellphone numbers of your contacts. Please make sure that you have permission from your contacts to contact them via cellphone. The hardest part here is to get the csv template. If you are using Google, you can use my template to get you going. optionally, you can log into your Google account and add one entry to your contact. From that one entry, you will be able to make a template by exporting your contacts to your computer. With the contacts on your computer, you can fill in the information about your contacts and import the completed template into your email client.
c. A list of cellphone provider email extensions. When someone sends a text message to you, it actually comes to you via an email. I have compiled a list of some of the most common cellphone providers below. Did I leave off providers that you are familiar with?
|Carrier||Email Address||Main Areas Served|
|AT&T Mobilityemail@example.com||Continental USA|
|Verizon PCSfirstname.lastname@example.org||MS, TN, FL, AL, GA|
|Metro PCSemail@example.com||AL, GA, MS, FL|
|Walmart Family Mobilefirstname.lastname@example.org||AL, GA, MS, FL|
|Straight Talkemail@example.com||Continental USA|
|Power Telfirstname.lastname@example.org||Continental USA|
Table above shows the most common cellphone providers.
Download the example CSV file below and add your contacts. If you do not already have the contact information, you will need your contacts to provide that information to you.
Import the completed CSV file with your contacts’ information.
If you have parents who speak a second language, what do you do? Well, my suggestion is that you paste a version of your message in Google Translate, and Google will take care of that for you. I would tell that to my parents before hand, so they are not offended if Google or Bing translates the message incorrectly. Optionally, you could place a translated version of your message on your website or blog and place a link to that page in your message.
Log into your email client and send a message to your intended audience. I would suggest that you add all of your contacts as BCC. This will prevent your parents or customers from receiving garbled messages. Hit send and you are done. I am not sure about the maximum amount of users that can be added to an email in Google. When your recipients receive the messages, it will go to their phones as a text message. And if they reply, it will come back to as an email message. Pretty cool and a lot of fun.
Take this for a spin and let me know how this worked out for you.