Release Note: Messenger 5.8 October 2014

Welcome!

Introducing, by popular demand, Messenger v5's all new eCard functionality. We are really excited to tell you all about our new features; especially the ability to send rewards, merits, certificates, thank you cards, reminders and more to your students and their parents.

  • Do you only use Messenger to send SMS messages?
  • Does your history read like a who's who of absenteeism?
  • Wish you could jazz up your messages with some images?

Why not take this opportunity to start using Messenger for positive home school communication and to fully embrace all message formats such as email, letters and voice (we can add voice functionality to your Primary subscription from as little as £100* pa - get in touch with the sales team to find out more!).

Last month we added all new search functionality and the ability to resend messages from the history page; we really hope these changes help you get more from Messenger v5 - could you spare 5 minutes to complete a survey about the new features please?

Headline Features

eCards

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There are over 20 professionally designed eCard templates built in to Messenger. They can be sent by email or printed in school. This allows them to be sent or given directly to students, to parents or both and add a whole new visual level to home-school communication natively within Messenger v5.

As sending emails is free for all Messenger v5 users you can send as many of these as you like quickly and easily. Individual teachers, year heads or subject leaders can send their own eCards on demand using their own Messenger v5 user accounts.

The eCards are sent as PDF files so that recipients can easily print and share them to display 'on the fridge' or with family and friends on social media.

You will get all the eCards automatically when M5 is updated - just send a message as normal and look out for the "eCards Primary" and "eCards Secondary" folders in your message library. We have categorised them between secondary and primary schools as some designs are aimed at children of different ages, but you have the flexibility to choose from either to suit your specific needs.

 

More eCard examples

Messenger v5 has a range of eCards built in, some of which are shown here. Why not login to M5 now and have a look at them all? If there is a card you'd like us to add let us know and we'll see if we can include it in future.

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DontForget Sec100Att Pri100Attendance MeritCertificate

 

Dynamic Tokens

Messenger has always used tokens, like $StudentName$, to allow for personalisation but you can now add your own tokens in addition to the standard tokens. This is particularly useful for the new eCards functionality so that you can personalise certificates to your exact needs but it can be used anywhere in Messenger v5 where you'd like to specify something that can be changed easily on demand.

These will be particularly useful for any messages you have saved in the Message Library.

See some examples
  • $TeacherName$ is a dynamic token used by the eCards so that certificates and reminders can be personalised for specific teachers when being sent out by the school office or by one Messenger user on behalf of another or multiple teachers.
    • Can be replaced by e.g. "Mrs Thornton" or "Mrs Thornton and Mr Cutler" on messages received by parents.
  • $Achievement$, $DontForget$ and $Reminder$ (plus several others) are dynamic tokens used by the eCards so that certificates and reminders can be personalised for each use scenario.
    • $Achievement$ could be "Excellent effort in class" or "Over 90% on the class test" ...
    • $DontForget$ could be "School Fete Donations on Friday"...
    • $Reminder$ could be "Please bring your Football boots to school on Wednesdsay"...
    • ...or anything else you can think of!
  • You can add anything else you like in between two dollar symbols ($). Here are some examples;
    • $Signature$ - e.g. "Regards, Mrs Thornton" to allows users to personalise each message they send so that parents have a specific point of contact rather than enquiries coming to the school office.
    • $ClubName$ - would allow a library message to be quickly recalled and personalised to say e.g. "Chess Club has been cancelled tonight".

When you specify a dynamic token name (something between two dollar symbols ($)) you will see a table on the Send Message screen that prompts you to specify what the dynamic tokens should say when sent to parents. The values can be 'remembered' on a per user basis so that they will be used again in future whenever that same token is used.

DynamicTokenSetting

 

School/Organisation name field

An administrator can specify your school or organisation name to show in messages from the token $SchoolName$. This can also be used on emails as the sender name as well as showing at the top of all eCards.

As eCards will not work without this field being populated, administrators will see a message asking them to set this when they first login to Messenger v5.  This can be set to the same as your account name, or to give finer control to each school, can be set as anything else you like. Your account name might be St Mary's Catholic College Lancaster, but parents will know you as St Mary's College so you can better identify yourself on home-school communication.

 

Bug Fixes

We've fixed a few bugs that you have reported - thank you for taking the time to let us know. We work really hard to ensure Messenger is as stable and bug free as possible, but occasionally due to differences between the live environment and our testing systems some things slip through. Things of note that we have fixed in this release are below;

  • An issue with 'un-ticking' gender groups in the recipient selection filters.
  • Improvements to the way SMS units are counted - you are now more accurately shown SMS unit counts when composing messages. This affects longer messages (over 3 units).

 * Voice calling is included with secondary school subscriptions and can be added to primary schools. Call costs apply for minutes used, these are billed twice a year. See the Voice User Guide for more information.

 

 

 

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