Communications FAQ

Setting up communications

Why can't I select recipients?

In some instances, if you've previously created a draft communication and not sent it, you might not be able to edit the 'to' field. 

To clear the draft and create a new mail merge, just click the Discard draft button at the bottom of the page.



What is the maximum file size we can attach to an email?

9.5 megabytes (9.5 mb) is the limit per individual attachment. It isn't possible to increase this limit, so you will need to reduce the file size or compress it using a tool e.g. Adobe.


Can we schedule when to send a communication?

It isn't currently possible to schedule an email, SMS or in-app message to send at a later time and date. At the time you want to send the message, you'll need to set it up and send it.


Can we email all staff that teach a student?

You can do this by going to School > Communications > Email > New Mail Merge Email. Type the name of the student into the 'to' box and you should have the option to choose this particular students' teacher.

Please note: You will need to have the Send and administer school communications: Administer permission. If you don't have this permission, ask a member of your admin team to assign you the permission.



Can we send URLs in messages?

It is not possible to send links in SMS or in-app messages, although you can send the URL for the user to copy and paste in their internet browser.

You can add links and URLs to emails using the link button when creating an email.



Can we send out polls or surveys?

It isn't possible to set up polls or surveys through Arbor. Instead, you can send out an email to them with a link to a poll you have set up in Google forms or another polling system. You'd just need to use the link button when putting your email together.



Sent communications

Can we recall a sent communication?

It isn't currently possible to recall an email, SMS or in-app message sent through Arbor. We'd recommend sending another email or SMS with an explanation of the previous error.


Can we stop guardians replying to communications?

As with most messaging services, there is no way to prevent guardians from replying to emails or SMS messages. You can see what happens when they reply here. To help prevent them from replying you could:

  • Sending out a communication to let them know you would prefer them not to reply. 
  • Include a sentence at the bottom of each communication instructing them not to reply.

You can prevent guardians from replying to in-app messages, but this does mean they will not be able to initiate sending messages to you either. You can see how to toggle this setting here


Can recipients see who else an email has been sent to?

From most places in Arbor, the 'To' field acts as a bcc so recipients can't see other’s email addresses.



However, when you click the Communications / Notes button to send an email from a Student or Guardian Profile, the ‘To’ field acts as a Cc field so recipients can see other’s email addresses, or you can Bcc other guardians in.



What do the arrows on the communications log mean?

  • An orange/red arrow appears on any communication sent directly to that particular person. So when viewing a guardian's communications log, a red arrow means the email was sent directly to them, regardless of whether or not the message arrived successfully.
  • A green arrow appears next to a communication sent by that person, such as a guardian replying to an SMS the school sent.
  • No arrow means the communication was sent to someone linked to the user. For example, an SMS that was sent to their child's other guardian. They appear in this guardians communications log because they relate to that guardian/the student despite not being directly sent to them.

Arrows will be different colours in different places, for the same communication. So for an email sent from the school to a guardian, the arrow will be green on the whole-school communication log, and orange on the guardian's communication log.



Why is the communication not showing in the Communications & notes section of a profile?

A reply to an email or SMS may show in the All School Communications log but not on the person's profile if the email address or mobile number is linked to multiple profiles. In the All School Communications log, the message will show, for example, the mobile number but not the person who sent it because the system can't figure out which person the message came from.

To make sure a number is only linked to one account for future messages, change the number on one account from the Contact Details section of their profile.



To have this SMS be linked to the right user's account, click to open the message. Click Actions on the right then Manage communication tags.



Select the person's name in the Tag Inbound message to drop-down box, and tick the Shared box, then click the green button.


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