[Texting] Bulk Messaging Dos, Don'ts, and Best Practices

Created by Josh Mentzer, Modified on Thu, 08 Dec 2022 at 09:12 AM by Josh Mentzer

When utilizing bulk messaging in Gradforce, it's important to exercise a certain degree of caution. Mass text messaging is a closely regulated form of communication, and we want to be very careful not to get flagged by mobile carriers for spam or other violations, as this would stop messages from going through and could risk a shut down to our services. We've put together the following guidelines to help inform your texting practices. 


  • Put yourself in the receiver's shoes
    • Is this the kind of message you would want to receive? How might you perceive this message if you didn't know who it was coming from or what it was about?
  • Be aware of how often you're sending bulk messages
    • There is no hard and fast rule here, but limit bulk messages where possible and avoid unnecessary communications sent in bulk
  • Focus on beginning 1 on 1 conversations
    • While informational messages are ok, messages that generate a response are generally preferable.
  • Identify yourself and the purpose of your message
    • A greeting like "Hi, this is Mr. Mentzer from Cristo Rey" will ensure alumni know who is communicating with them, and will also help prevent messages from being flagged. Always be clear about why you are sending a message.
  • Personalize as much as possible with merge fields
    • Merge fields help your message come off as more personal and will help it not be flagged as spam.
  • Use shorter messages rather than longer messages
    • Aim to keep messages under 160 characters so they do not split into multiple SMS.

Examples of good mass text messaging:

  • Reminders about FAFSA deadlines

  • Announcements of College Visits

  • Occasional Surveys if the purpose is clearly states


  • Don’t send pictures or other images in bulk

    • These tend to be flagged more often as spam and should be avoided.

  • Raffles and gift card giveaways look suspicious

  • Talking about prizes can look suspicious

  • Don’t tell people about purchasing opportunities or opportunities to donate

    • This is not part of our original agreement when we collected students' numbers, and should be avoided at all times.

  • Asking for follows on social media can be suspicious if done too often

  • Sending just a link on its own can be suspicious

    • Always preface what a link will contain or what it's for, so alumni know what they will be opening. It's important to do this in the same message as the link.

  • “Does it feel spammy?” test

    • Think about how your message might be perceived by an outside party and whether it looks like a spam message.

Examples of Suspicious Messages

$$$ Want a chance to win a gift card $$$?

Fill out this survey by Friday to be eligible for a prize $$$$: https://example.com/survey

Hi everyone! You asked and now we have them - hats and shirts are available for purchase at the Cristo Rey Store! https://example.com/store



In general, aim to keep your bulk messages in line with your central goal as an alumni advisor: to provide support, advice, and information to students as they navigate the post-high school world. Avoid the kinds of messages you wouldn't like to receive yourself, and always be sure you are clearly communicating who you are and why you are reaching out.

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