Arbor's powerful built-in messaging platform allows you to contact students, guardians and staff. While emails are free to send, there is a small processing fee for SMS, so you'll need to purchase credits.
From the date of sending your first SMS, Arbor gives you a 30 day grace period to purchase a SMS bundle. This means that you'll still be able to send all your essential messages to students and guardians while you top up your SMS Credits.
Credits and characters
In general, 1 SMS of 153 characters or less uses 1 Credit.
Please note that the character limit of 153 characters is only an estimate. This is the maximum number of characters allowed, but the real number will be lower to account for an estimated 22 characters for the school name that we append to the end of the message.
The actual number of characters and credits is shown when sending an SMS. This shows a more accurate credit estimate, which often varies on a per-recipient basis because of merge fields (and recipients with foreign or Channel Islands phone numbers).
How do we check our SMS Credit Balance?
The balance of your SMS Credits can be viewed at any time on the SMS Billing page in Arbor. This can be found by going to School > Communication > Setup > SMS Billing.
Click the Usage tab to see your usage.
How do we know we're running low on SMS credits?
No surprises when you need to send important messages and find you don’t have enough credits! If you have permission to top up your school's SMS balance, we'll send you email reminders when you're running low on SMS credits.
You can see how this works here: Email reminder to top up SMS credits
What happens if we run out of SMS credits?
If your credit balance drops below 0, you will have a period of 30 days to top up your balance.
- During this time, you will still be able to send SMS. There is no limit to how many credits you can use or how far you can go into a negative balance.
- After 30 days if the account has not been topped up, you will no longer be able to send SMS messages from anywhere in Arbor.
- When you do top up, any negative balance will be deducted from your top-up amount. This means that your account could still be below zero, depending on the number of credits you've purchased.
If you have already followed the instructions below to top up your credits and you need to send urgent SMS, please email us and we can extend your limit for 30 additional days. Contact the Arbor Support Team if supported by Arbor, or your Support Partner if not supported by Arbor.
How do we buy more credits?
You can see your different purchasing options and how to buy here: How to top up SMS credits to send texts