How many characters make up one credit? 

For a standard text message, 153 characters will use one credit. The standard font is Ariel, size 13. You'll be able to see if you're using the standard font when you're writing your SMS as you'll see how many characters you've used and how many per credit you have. 



If you change the font or text size the SMS will be considered to be using a none standard character set and you'll only have 67 characters per credit. You'll be able to see this as well:



If you accidentally change the font or size and you want to go back to the original settings you'll need to click on Discard Draft at the bottom of the page to remove the formatting. 

Please note: Discarding your draft will remove all of the text you've written thus far. If you want to retain this text you'll need to select it all and copy it (CTRL+C) then after you discard your draft you'll need to use Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the text without the none standard formatting. 


Can I review my SMS before I send it? 

You can review your SMS before you send it by clicking on Proceed in the bottom right of the screen when you've finished writing the SMS. Sunnyville_CSA.png


The next page that will appear will be the Review Mail Merge SMS page. 

If you're happy with the content just click on Send to actually commit to sending this SMS. Once you hit send you won't be able to cancel or recall this message so make sure you're happy with it beforehand. 



Is the SMS signature included in credits used?

Yes, the SMS signature is included in the number of credits used. You can see how many characters your signature has when you're writing your SMS. 



Can we change our SMS signature?

You can change your SMS signature. To do this just:
Head to School > Communications > Setup > SMS Settings

On this page, just click into the SMS signature to change it. 



How are staff notified if we choose to notify staff members when an inbound SMS is received?

Staff will receive a notification in the speech bubble at the top right-hand corner of Arbor if an SMS is received and they've been marked as someone who should be notified of one.

The notification speech bubble will turn orange and display a number when an SMS is received. 
The staff member can click on this to see the text that has been received. 



How can I check how many credits we've used?

To check how many credits your school has used you'll need to:

Head to School > Communications > Setup > SMS Billing.

Here you'll be able to see your balance.



If you click on the Usage tab you'll be able to see how many credits you've used during the current academic year. 



How can I tell what the credits have been used on?

SMSs can be sent out in different ways in Arbor. You can send them as mail merge SMSs from the main Communications module or you can send them out as part of workflows or follow ups in other modules of Arbor. If you're not sure what the credits have been used on there are two things to check:

  1. Check your sent Mail Merge SMS log. You can get to this by heading to School > Communications > SMS > Sent Messages Log. Here you'll be able to see any texts sent directly from the Communications module and you'll be able to see how many credits each one used. 
  2. Check the Outbound SMS list. You can see this page if you go to School > Communications > All School Communications. Then click on Outbound SMS on the left-hand menu. This will show you texts sent out from your mail merge SMS page but also any that have been sent as part of workflow or follow up from another module in Arbor. If you click into any of the outbound SMSs on this page you'll also be able to see which staff member sent them.
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I'm still stuck!


  • Schools are asking what is the outbound sms number?  Is this stored within the schools site?

  • H Ruth, you can see details of how this works here.


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