Getting Started - Communication Guide
- User Consent
- How to Opt-In or Subscribe (Consent) Prospects and Students to Email / SMS
- Opt-Out or Un-Subscribe to Email / SMS
- Unsolicited Email/SMS Laws
- ampEducator anti-Spam Requirements
- Junk Mail, Spam Filters & SafeSender Lists
- Testing Your Emails
- How does Email work with ampEducator?
- Redirecting Email
- Tracking Email Status
- Setting up your Email Provider in ampEducator
- Email Notifications
- Google OAuth 2.0 “Single Sign On”
- Google Gmail Workspace API
- Sending / Receiving Email
- Sending SMS
- Receiving SMS
- Bulk Email & SMS
- Setup – Bulk Email
- Setup – SMS Gateway
- Sending Bulk Email/SMS
- Response to Bulk Email
- Response to Bulk SMS
The Communication Guide is intended to help you understand and utilize the available communication tools in ampEducator and how they function. These tools include;
- Course Discussion Boards
- Course Collaboration
You may or may not use all of the tools, but each one is an effective ways to communicate with Staff, Prospects and Students. ampEducator is intended to integrate with your existing email provider and not replace it. Email for example, only tracks Prospect/Student Emails with Staff and ignores all Personal/Business Email. Announcements (with the option to email copy) can be made system wide to multiple Locations and Roles (Staff & Students). Discussion Boards within a Course can be established with Private or Public questions between Instructors and Students. Collaboration allows you to integrate web meeting/conferencing software such as a Zoom account to create and send out Course online meetings to Students. Instructors no longer have to login to Zoom to set up meetings, this can be done in Courses. SMS (or Text Messages) can be used and tracked in the Prospect or Student Profile, as well as under the Home Menu in the Email/SMS Client. If you use Google Workspace, ampEducator works seamlessly with Gmail API and OAuth to allow Staff email to be fully tracked and single sign on with Staff Google Accounts. Templates can be established with personalization for auto-responders, recruiter emails, confirmation of application received, letters of acceptance and more.
2. User Consent
Before using any of the Communication functions, it is important to collect consent from your recipients to be contacted by electronic methods and provide a clear and easy method to unsubscribe or Opt-out. ampEducator provides this capability built-in.
*IMPORTANT* Any Prospect or Student does not have Opt-In in their Profile > Other > Emailing List turned on will not receive Email sent to them.
3. How to Opt-In or Subscribe (Consent) Prospects and Students to Email / SMS
There are 4 methods to collect consent and manually Opt-In users:
- Email Consent via Webform. Have a contact us or Request for information form you want to submit to ampEducator? Any webform (ie. a "Contact Us" form you collect data from your website) on the internet can be connected to ampEducator using several methods and a consent checkbox (not pre-checked) should be added as well stating that the person submitting the form consents or agrees to be contacted by electronic method (email/sms) by “Your Institution/Business Name” and understands they can be OPT-out or Unsubscribe any time. This form field can then be submitted with name "OptedIn" and the value set to "true" which will automatically set the Opt In as well as record the date, time and IP address (method) that the consent was collected. Some website creation software such as Wordpress may require you to use modified techniques depending on your webform setup. The HTML code below can be added and this will automatically collect consent and add the Prospect to ampEducator. This technique is preferred because it requires no manual intervention by your staff and is the recommended method. If you would like help with this option please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or your website designer can simply insert the following HTML code to any webform to pass Opt-in automatically to ampEducator.
<input type="checkbox" name="optedIn" value="true">I agree/consent to be contacted by College Name via email/sms and can unsubscribe at any time.<br/>
- Manually sending an Opt In Link (Subscribe) Email. This is a button under the Prospect/Student Other Tab > Emailing List that will send an email to the Prospect/Student with a link to click as show below:
- Email Opt In Manually. This button will manually Opt In a student and you must provide details of how / when consent was given (e.g. verbally via phone, or via contract). If you need to set Opt In for multiple Students at the same time then there is an option to select multiple students from the Student list and then under Students > More Actions > Opt In / Opt Out Mailing.
- SMS. TEXT “START” via SMS. Any user can Opt In by texting START to your Institution assigned SMS Number. If they TEXT STOP this will unsubscribe them.
4. Opt-Out or Un-Subscribe to Email / SMS
ampEducator provides one click UNSUBSCRIBE link built-in to any outgoing email message that is sent. This allows a user to Opt-Out at any time they like otherwise they can contact you directly and a member of the staff can Opt Out manually under the Student > Profile > Other > Emailing List in the Prospect/Student Profile. Texting “STOP” to any SMS sent via ampEducator will also Opt Out any user (assuming the SMS Gateway selected supports this – check with your provider).
5. Unsolicited Email/SMS Laws
Disclaimer: ampEducator Inc., its employees, contractors or this Guide do not constitute legal advice. If you have more questions after reading this Guide, we encourage you to contact an attorney in your area who is familiar with this issue. We do not warrant or guarantee that by simply using ampEducator you will not violate Spam laws and/or trigger Spam Filters.
Spam is an unsolicited email (or SMS) sent in bulk to a list of recipients. If you purchase email addresses or phone numbers from a business and the people in the list didn’t give you explicit permission to contact them, sending an email/SMS to that list would be considered Spam. There are very strict rules around Spam depending on your country of origin. It’s your responsibility to determine whether any additional laws or regulations, including international laws, apply to you or the emails you send through ampEducator. Keep in mind that, in addition to email Spam laws, some countries may have data protection or security laws that could impact your email marketing. If your business is based outside the United States or Canada, or you have an international contact base, you’ll need to determine what additional laws you’re subject to before sending through ampEducator. As a general rule of thumb, Prospects who are older than 2 years with no contact or response should be removed from your regular email marketing.
6. ampEducator anti-Spam Requirements
ampEducator provides servers located in the United States and Canada and our email platform is governed by CAN-SPAM, the U.S. law that regulates commercial and marketing emails and/or CASL, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law. Here is a general overview of ampEducator Inc. anti-spam requirements for email:
- You must have permission to email / SMS the recipient(s).
- An unsubscribe link must be in every email campaign you send - ampEducator provides this link built-in for you if you use our Group Email.
- You must include your contact information in every promotional email you send, including a physical mailing address or P.O. Box where you can receive mail.
- You may not falsify your contact information or subject line.
- Emails you send through ampEducator must comply with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, even if your business is outside the United States.
7. Junk Mail, Spam Filters & SafeSender Lists
Most major email clients will flag emails with the option to add to “whitelist” or “safe sender lists”. It is important to be aware of this and to instruct Staff and Students to add notifications@PURL.ampEducatormail.com as a contact or “safe” to their email recipient list. If a Student is complaining they are not getting emails from your Staff, this is the first thing you should instruct them to check. These Spam filters exist to try and catch Spam email which is a good thing. There is a wide range of criteria that can impact the Spam triggers that will block or filter your email. Emails are scanned as they pass various filters and are scored against these criteria sets. If the score exceeds a certain threshold, the email is flagged as Spam and winds up in your Junk Mail Folder. Every filter functions differently and an email could pass through Spam Filter A but not B. Depending on what type of Email Provider you select in ampEducator, this can impact things as well.
The criteria for Spam constantly changes, partly by what individuals mark as Spam or “Junk” buttons in their inbox. The various filter providers don’t publish details regarding filtering practices, but by using best known practices with your emails, you can cut down on your email getting flagged as Spam:
- Use merge tags to personalize the email where possible.
- Ask recipients to add the sent email to their address book.
- Avoid sloppy HTML code, extra tags, or code pulled in from Microsoft Word (We recommend working with a designer if you are unsure about this or simply using text only and images in your emails).
- Filters flag emails based on specific content or images, but there is no exact list of what to avoid, in general you should:
- Be clear and balanced in the wording used.
- Make sure your subscribers have opted-in.
- Be consistent with your content, design and branding.
8. Testing Your Emails
Any spam checker will look at your email content and subject lines to ensure your legitimate messages won’t be flagged as spam messages. The test results you receive are designed to give you the best spam score and to enable you to tweak content, subject lines, and other components of an email marketing campaign. While ampEducator doesn’t provide email spam checking there are a number of online services that do such as Litmus.com (paid) and/or Mail-Tester.com (free).
9. How does Email work with ampEducator?
In order to route/track email communications (such as pending, sent, open, received, clicked, viewed, bounced, etc.) ampEducator provides all users (Prospects, Students, Staff & Instructors) in ampEducator with what we term as internal “Software Email” accounts.
These Software Emails are auto assigned to their profile based on the user first and last name (after removing any special characters or spaces) and selected subdomain or personalized URL (PURL). The PURL is the subdomain name you have assigned to your ampEudcator login page.
For example, if your login page is https://collegename.ampeducator.com and you email a Prospect or Student in ampEducator (without setting up your existing email) they will receive the email from you as follows using your assigned Software Email address:
You can edit the “user.name@” for Staff and Students (if required) in the Staff or Student Profile.
Any user (with the exception of students) can send an email from the Home > Email section or within the Prospect or Student Email section and it will work using the built in software email.
Q: Why do Students have a software email assigned to them?
A: Students have an internal Software Email in order to help route emails to them as well as Staff and Instructors. Students don’t see this email, and cannot use it, as it is for internal use only.
If you prefer to send out emails to Prospects and Students from ampEdcuator using your own domain email address ie. email@example.com instead of the Software Email assigned to you - you can configure this by selecting an Email provider other than “None” (See Selecting an Email Provider).
Once configured with an Email Provider, the Prospect or Student receives your email, and the “From” email will appear as your name and profile email firstname.lastname@example.org when you send from ampEducator. The most commonly used Email Provider method is SMTP if you wish to send emails out using your own email address.
However, in all cases when you send out an email from ampEducator and the Prospect or Student clicks Reply the “Reply-to” email will be set to your Software Email so that ampEducator can route and track the email back to the Prospect or Student Profile. The only exception to this is if you use Google Google Workspace (See Email Provider Selecting Gmail).
The Reply from the Prospect of Student will also be redirected at the same time to email@example.com so that you will know that the student responded without having to check in ampEducator. This redirected Email reply will come to your inbox from the student assigned Software Email. This is purposely done so that if you wish to Reply to the Prospect or Student in your email Client outside of ampEducator (rather than logging in and responding) the email will redirect the email back to the Student Profile > Communications > Email for tracking and at the same time redirect the email to the Prospect or Student Email as well.
It is recommended that all new email be sent from within ampEducator as new emails sent outside of ampEducator (using an email client like Outlook) can’t be tracked (with the exception of Google Workspace - See Email Provider Selecting Gmail).
Q: How do I track emails being sent directly to me from students outside of ampEdcuator?
A: You can set up a unique forwarding email address in your email client to capture any incoming emails from Prospects or Students. (See Below - Redirecting Email)
10. Redirecting Email
If you would like to track incoming email from Prospects or Students sent directly to your email you can set up a redirect email that will send all emails to ampEducator and it will only keep the emails that match up to a Prospect and Student profile email (ampEducator will ignore and not capture any other business or personal emails that are redirected). This forwarding email is unique to each user and is found under User Account > Email and includes a ‘+fwd” tag:
Forward Email Example: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions for setting up the forwarding email for popular Email clients (Outlook, Gmail*, iCloud, Yahoo) can be found under User Account > Email as well.
11. Tracking Email Status
The status of each email can be found at the bottom of any email you send. Simply open the Email and scroll to the bottom:
12. Setting up your Email Provider in ampEducator
*IMPORTANT*: Changing this setting and hitting “Save” will remove the current email configuration for all Users. Do not change this setting unless you are sure or email email@example.com for assistance.
There are 4 types of email providers supported in ampEducator. The settings for this are found under Institution Configuration > General > Email and include None, ampEducator, Gmail (Google Workspace), and SMTP. If you are using a Free Gmail account or you are not using Google Workspace (Formerly GSuite) use the SMTP option.
1. Select “None” as Email Provider.
This uses the default assigned Software Email provided by ampEducator to send and receive emails within the application. There is no need for Users to configure anything to send and receive email in ampEducator.
Example of Email tracking using “None” to Prospect or Student:
- Go to Prospect or Student Profile > Communications > Email > New Email, Create and Send.
- ampEducator will send the email to Profile Email of the Prospect or Student ie. “firstname.lastname@example.org”
- Prospect or Student will receive email from the Staff assigned software email “staff.name@PURL.ampEducatormail.com”.
- Prospect or Student Responds to Email. Email response is tracked in the Staff User account under Home > Emails and under the Prospect or Student Profile > Email.
- An Email of the Prospect or Student reply is also sent to Staff Email (in Staff Profile) to notify them that Prospect or Student responded in whatever email client they normally use. This email uses the student Software Email so that if staff respond to the notification from ampEducator in their email client outside of ampEducator, the reply to this notification will be tracked back to the student, ie. ampEducator will then re-route the email back to the Student Profile email “email@example.com”.
2. Select “ampEducator” as Email Provider.
- Enter your domain and hit Save. Domain DNS records will be generated for you. Copy the generated records to the DNS record in your Domain Manager as shown.
- This can take up to 72 Hours to propagate but in most cases should update locally within 1 hour. You can check your Domain Propagation process using free sites such as https://www.whatsmydns.net/
- Once verified, the Status will change from “Pending” to “Verified” and ampEducator will be able to send emails on behalf of users from your domain.
- Each user must verify their email and can optionally configure a forwarder to receive emails in ampEducator. This is done by going to each User Account > Email.
- All email communications will originate from the domain ensuring reliable delivery.
3. Select “Gmail (Google Workspace)” as Email Provider.
- In order to use this option with ampEducator you must have a Google Workspace account and configure the ampEducator Google Gmail API. Otherwise you can use the SMTP provider option below and then you will need to have each User login to ampEdcuator and select Gmail as provider under User Account > Email.
- Google API must be configured in order to use this option. (See User Account Google Gmail API).
- ampEducator will use the Gmail API to send and receive emails on behalf of the user.
- Each user must verify their email to be used with the service.
- All email communications will originate from the domain ensuring reliable delivery.
Email Provider 4. Select “SMTP” as Email Provider.
- ampEducator will use your SMTP server in order to send emails on behalf of the User (Staff).
- Each user can optionally configure a forwarder to receive emails in ampEducator. Instructions for this can be found under User Account > Email.
- Email for each user originates from their own email ensuring reliable delivery.
- Each user must configure their own SMTP server in order to send from their email. This is done under User Account > Emails:
- Go to the pulldown menu User Account (top right under User Name) > Email.
- Click the pulldown ‘Config Email Using’
- For ease of setup, ampEducator has predefined SMTP mail server settings for major email providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook) all you need to do is select one of these and enter your email and password. If your email provider is not one of these you will need to use ‘Manual’ and enter your SMTP settings from your email provider.
- If you notice an authentication error please ensure that you are using the correct username and password for your email account. *Google Gmail requires users to authenticate ampEducator by completing the following additional steps before entering gmail address and password:
- Enable Less Secure Apps. Gmail users may need to enable less secure apps by logging into their Gmail account and then visiting the following URL https://myaccount.google.com/lesssecureapps
- Display Unlock Captcha. Visit the following URL and allow access to your Gmail account from ampEducator: https://accounts.google.com/DisplayUnlockCaptcha
13. Email Notifications
Any email sent by ampEducator automatically or from Group (Bulk) will come from notifications@PURL.ampeducatormail.com. You can also customize the footer of these emails in the Institution Configuration > General > Email.
There are various types of notifications that ampEducator will send out for you, these are outlined below.
- Instructor Course Notifications. These are set at the Course or Course Template level and include:
- On Course Active
- On Course Cancelled
- On Course Completed
- On Instructor Added
- On Instructor Removed
- On Student Completed
- On Student Enrolled
- On Student Incomplete
- Student Course Notifications. These are set at the Course or Course Template level and include:
- On Completed
- On Enrolled
- On Grade Change
- On Incomplete
- On Withdrawn
- Daily Agenda. Any User can receive email notification each morning of events assigned to them by enabling this feature under User Account > Details > Daily Agenda.
- New Prospect Added. ampEducator can notify Staff Users that a new Prospect has been added manually or via any integrated web forms (UnBounce, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) The various settings are found under:
- Institution Config > Prospects > Recruiter
- Institution Config > Prospects > Round Robin
- Institution Config > Prospects > Webform
New Form Submitted. ampEducator has Forms which when submitted online an email can be sent to Staff Users. This setting is specific to each Form found within the Home > Forms section.
Student Portal Edit. If you wish to be notified that a Student has made an update to their information via the Student Portal you can enable this option under Institution Config > Students > Portal > Send Edit Notification.
Custom Notifications. If there is something that you require or wish to be notified about when specific events occur with your data, custom email notifications can be done via Custom Reports in ampEducator.
14. Google OAuth 2.0 “Single Sign On”
ampEducator can also be configured to use Google OAuth 2.0 credentials with your Google Gmail Account (ie. use your Gmail to login to ampEducator) by clicking the Sign in With Google button on the login page once configured:
Please Note: Admin level access to Google Workspace for Business is required.
Create a new Google Project (https://console.developers.google.com).
Under the project fill out the OAuth consent screen using the values below.
Application Type Internal
Application Name ampEducator
Authorized Domains ampeducator.com
Application Homepage link https://yourPURL.ampeducator.com
Note: If using .CA for your account replace .COM with .CA
Application Terms of Service link http://www.ampeducator.com/terms.php
Note: If using .CA for your account replace .COM with .CA
Click on Create Credentials and choose OAuth Client ID.
Choose Web Application and fill out the form using the values below.
Authorized redirect URIs https://demo.ampeducator.com/web/public/authenticate/google
Enter the Client ID and Client Secret displayed into the Institution Configuration.
15. Google Gmail Workspace API
ampEducator can be configured to use Google Gmail API to track emails. Only emails related to Prospects and Students will be tracked. All other business or personal emails will be ignored and not brought into your ampEducator account for privacy reasons.
Please Note: Admin level access to Google Workspace for Business is required.
Verify your ampEducator URL prefix
Go to the search console at https://search.google.com/search-console.
Under URL Prefix Under Institution Config > General > Google API > Gmail API instructions find your URL Prefix and copy and paste into this section:
Select HTML Tag and copy the meta tag into Domain Verification Tag text area in ampEducator.
Save the configuration in ampEducator and return to Google Search Console and click on VERIFY. If successful Google Search Console will show Ownership Verified.
Click GO TO PROPERTY
Create Service Account
If this is your first time using the Google Cloud Platform you will need to Select your Country and Agree to the Terms of Service.
Create NEW PROJECT
Project Name: ampeducator gmail push
Click Credentials and Create Credentials
Select Service Account Key
Select New Service Account
Add Service Account Name: ampEducator gmail push
Select A Role Project > Owner
Key Type JSON
Click on Create. This will generate the file which needs to be uploaded to ampEducator
Locate the file and keep in a secure place it will be used in the last step in the setup
Enable Domain Wide Delegation
From the project page click on Manage Service Accounts
Under Actions > Click Edit
Click Show Domain Wide Delegation.
Check Enable Domain Wide Delegation and
Enter Product Name for Consent Screen: ampEducator gmail push
Click on Save.
Click View Client ID
Copy the Client ID from this page, you will need it for Step 5
Client ID - Example: 102917110400523714332
From the project page click on Enable Apis and Services.
Search for the Gmail API and Cloud Pub/Sub API and ENABLE.
Enable API Access
Go to the Google admin console (https://admin.google.com)
Go to Security / Advanced Settings / Manage Api Client Access
Client Name Enter the ClientID from above
Add Domain Verification
Go to the Google admin console (https://console.developers.google.com)
Go to Credentials / Domain Verification
URL Prefix Enter your URL Prefix from Step 1
Upload JSON file to ampEducator
Return to ampEducator configuration and Upload JSON file from Step 2 and Click SAVE
16. Sending / Receiving Email
Once you have configured your email account with ampEducator you will be able to access the ampEducator email client under Home > Emails to send and receive emails. As well, each Prospect or Student Profile has an Email tab that allows you to send and track email messages specifically for that Profile.
Note: ampEducator has 2 email fields, the Primary and Secondary email in the Prospect or Student Profile as some individuals may have more than 1 email contact. If you wish to “Auto CC Secondary Email” each time you send an email from ampEducator you can so this by enabling the option under Institution Config > Students > Defaults > Auto CC Secondary Email.
Sent email messages can only be tracked if they are sent from ampEducator and not from external email clients, however all emails received normally will have the original email sent contained with them if you do send email outside of ampEducator. The incoming email inbox is scraped and will be compared to the Primary or Secondary email in the Prospect or Student Profile and tracked if a match is found with the Email tab of the Prospect or Student Profile.
Using Home > Emails > Inbox List:
By default, emails are sorted by Date. However, you can sort emails by From / To, Subject and Associate.
Use the Inbox, Draft, Sent, Trash and Folder buttons to navigate.
Click on the email subject to view or edit the email.
Emails with attachments will have a icon.
Outgoing emails which have been seen will display OPENED along with a date and time.
Add Email with Home > Emails > New Email or
Create a new email by clicking on New Email or by replying or forwarding an existing email.
You can associate an email with a prospect or student. When associating an email enter the first couple of letters from their name and select them from the list which will appear.
To Email and Subject are required fields.
You can click on any attachment to download it.
You can click on the X beside any attachment you would like to remove.
In addition to the standard formatting button the editor has several special buttons:
Insert an Image by clicking on the icon. Once an image is inserted click on the image to resize and position.
Insert a Link by clicking on the icon. You can also select text and click on the link icon to create a link from that text.
Insert a Table by clicking on the icon.
Upload an Attachment by clicking on theicon and selecting the file from your computer.
Attach an Existing Document from the document repository by clicking on the icon and selecting the document from the list. If the email is associated with a prospect or student their documents will be available to attach.
Use a Template by clicking on the and selecting a template. Note that this is only available for prospects and students. You must select a prospect or student before the templates will work.
Edit HTML by clicking on the icon.
Click on Send to send the email. The email will be sent immediately.
Click on Save to save the current email for future editing. Saved emails can be found in the Drafts folder.
Select the emails you would like to move and choose Move Selected from the More Actions... menu.
Select the folder you would like to move the emails to and click on Move Emails.
You can also move emails out of folders by selecting None. This will put the emails back to where they were originally (Inbox, Drafts or Sent).
You cannot move emails when they are in the trash.
Trashing & Deleting Emails
Deleting an email is a two-step process. You must move the email to the Trash folder from which you can remove permanently.
To move emails to the trash, select them from the list and choose Trash Selected from the More Actions... menu.
To permanently remove emails click on the Trash folder, select the emails you want to remove and then choose Delete Selected from the More Actions... menu. This will permanently remove the emails.
You can Un-trash emails by selecting them and then choosing Un-trash Selected from the More Actions... menu.
Note that trashing or deleting emails which are associated with prospects or students will not remove the emails from their profile.
For emails which have been received or sent clicking on them will bring up the email viewer.
Click on < and > to navigate through the email list.
Click on Reply to reply to the current email.
Click on Forward to forward the current email.
If the email is not in the trash click on the to trash the email.
If the email is already in the trash click on Delete to permanently remove the email.
If the email is associated with a prospect or student there will be a PROSPECT or STUDENT label beside their name. Clicking on their name will open up their profile.
If there are any attachments listed you can click on them to download them.
You can use email folders to organize and manage your emails:
Click on the Folders tab to bring up the folder list.
Click on New Folder to add a new folder.
Click on the icon to edit an existing folder.
Click on the icon to delete an existing folder. When deleting a folder you can move the enclosed emails into another folder or back to their original folder (Inbox, Drafts, Sent).
17. Sending SMS
Please Note: Before you can send SMS, you must choose an SMS Gateway. See Setup – SMS Gateway.
Each Prospect or Student Profile has an SMS tab that tracks sent and received text messages to the Mobile number in the Prospect or Student Profile. You must also have selected a valid mobile country code in the Profile for the SMS to be able to send.
To send an SMS click “New SMS” under Home > SMS, or within the SMS Tab in any Prospect or Student. A modal window will appear with instructions to follow, limited to 160 characters per text with any additional characters being treated as multiple messages. At any time, a Prospect or Student can text “STOP” to Opt-Out of receiving SMS and test “START” to Opt-In and this is tracked under Profile >
Other > Emailing List for Prospects and Students (assuming the SMS Gateway supports this – check with your provider).
18. Receiving SMS
If the Prospect or Student responds to your Outgoing SMS you will receive an email notification as well as the SMS response will be added to the Prospect or Student Profile under SMS Tab in ampEducator. The settings defined in SMS setup will determine who receives the email notification of the SMS response. If CC Email is selected a copy of any incoming text will be emailed to the student's recruiter / advisor. A Fallback Email occurs when no match is found for an incoming SMS a copy will be sent to the email entered in this field.
19. Bulk Email & SMS
Sending Bulk Email and/or SMS is done by first creating a Group of either Prospects or Students and then sending an Email/SMS to the Group. Before you can do this, you must setup Bulk Email and SMS Gateway. If you have already done this – See Sending Bulk Email/SMS in ampEducator below.
20. Setup – Bulk Email
To configure Bulk Email, go to Institution Config > General > Bulk Email Tab
If enabled you can use the ampEducator bulk email servers otherwise if you require to use a different SMTP email server you can configure that option. When using the ampEducator bulk email servers your account will determine how many emails you can send per month – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure or to confirm your email limits. When users reply their email will be sent to the Reply To name and email account you enter. All emails use a tracking image to determine when/if they have been viewed. Please note that we can only track bounced emails when using the ampEducator bulk email servers.
21. Setup – SMS Gateway
ampEducator does not provide an SMS Gateway setup by default, in order to send Individual or Bulk SMS you must choose an SMS Gateway from the available list under Institution Config > General > SMS and create an account with that provider. After you create your account, you can then enter your SMS Gateway account credentials to begin sending SMS in ampEducator.
ampEducator currently offers Twilio as a SMS Gateway option and Ring Central – if you prefer to use another SMS Gateway, contact us to add your preferred vendor to the available SMS Gateway list via email@example.com.
Please Note: Twilio offers a free trial with no credit card required to test your ampEducator setup. However, you can only send SMS to verified numbers in trial mode.
- Go to Twilo.com and Sign up https://www.twilio.com/try-twilio
- Create a Project called: ‘ampEducator’
- Buy a Phone Number to use with ampEducator – this will be the number your Prospects / Students will receive SMS from.
- Copy the Account SID, Token and Phone Number from your Twilio Project to ampEducator.
- Click Save.
- Create New App
- App Name Set to 'ampEducator'.
- Organization Set to your institution.
- Description Any description.
- Application Type Private
- Platform Type Server-only (No UI)
- Permissions Read Messages, SMS, Webhook Subscriptions
- Once created click on the application and copy Client ID, Client Secret, Phone Number, Extension and Password to ampEducator.
Once you have setup your Bulk Email and SMS Gateway and before you start sending out communication to Prospects or Students it is a good idea to review Home > Templates. Templates allow you to design pre-formatted content and these can be selected and generate email and SMS (email can also include attachments with the Template). Templates support HTML, tables, images, links and merge fields that allow you to personalize each message sent using the recipient information stored within the ampEducator database. While ampEducator doesn’t provide Templates we can help you to design them for a fee. Building your own Templates is not difficult and we encourage you to do this, but it is important to understand that poorly designed email marketing can trigger Spam Filters and your recipient may never see it – See Spam Laws & Filters.
23. Sending Bulk Email/SMS
ampEducator allows you to send bulk Email and SMS (including using pre-designed Templates with optional Merge fields) using the Home > Groups feature. Groups can be used for many purposes but once you have created a Group of Prospects or Students you can open that Group and scroll down, create and track Bulk Email and SMS messages sent to the Group Members.
There are 2 ways of adding Prospect(s) and Student(s) “Members” to Groups:
Add Individual Group Members: From Home > Groups, click on the Name of the Group and go to Members > Add Member.
Add Multiple Group Members: From the Prospect or Student List, Filter (Example: All Active Prospects, Interested in Program ABC), then Select All > More Actions > Add to Group. Select the Existing Group or Add New Group.
Home > Group List
You can sort groups by Group Name, Description or number of Members.
You can filter group by Group Type and Location.
Click on Add Group to create a new group.
Click on to edit an existing group. You can also click on the group name.
Click on to duplicate a group.
Click on to delete a group.
Group Type, Group Name and Location Access are required.
Use Read Only Access and Read / Update Access to select which roles have access to the group.
Click on the Add Group button and your group should appear in the list.
This is a list of all members belonging to this group.
You can sort by ID, Name, Email, Phone or Status.
You can filter the list by Status.
If you are authorized, clicking on the ID or Name will bring up that member's profile.
Click on to remove a member from the group.
Click on Add Member to add a new member. Enter at least 3 characters from the member's name and select them from the list. Click on the Add Member button to add them to the group.
Click on to export the group member list as a PDF or CSV file.
Group Email List
You can send group emails to all group members by using the email tool.
Emails are sorted by date in descending order and no filters are available.
Emails can have various stati.
PENDING Email is still in draft and has not been sent.
SENDING Email are currently being sent.
CANCELLED Sending was cancelled by the user.
COMPLETED Emails were successfully sent.
ERROR There was an error sending the emails.
The emails columns include:
Sent The number of emails sent / total number to be sent.
Sent % The number of emails sent as a percentage of the total number to be sent.
Viewed The number of distinct views (i.e. multiple viewings by same person counts as 1).
Viewed % The number of distinct views as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.
Clicks If your email contains a link this will count the number of times the link has been clicked.
Unsub The number of members which have chosen to unsubscribe from receiving group emails.
Click on to edit an email. You can also click on the subject.
Click on to view a previously sent email.
Click on to view a details report on which users viewed, clicked or unsubscribed from the email.
Click on to download the send log for a previously sent email.
Click on to cancel an email which is currently being sent.
Click on to delete an email which has not been sent yet.
You can't delete an email once it has been sent.
Click on Create New Email to add a new email.
The Reply To Email determines where emails will go when a member hits reply. You can choose from the defaults or enter a custom email.
You can use the toolbar to format and edit your email.
Use to add merge fields which will be replaced by the member's information when the email is sent.
Use to upload an attachment.
Use to attach a document from the document repository.
Use to select a pre-defined email Template.
Click on Preview to send a preview of the email to your email account.
Click on Send to start the job which will send the email to all members in the group.
A copy of the email will be put into the email section of each member.
Group SMS List
You can send group SMS to all group members by using the SMS tool.
SMS are sorted by date in descending order and no filters are available.
SMS can have various stati.
PENDING SMS is still in draft and has not been sent.
SENDING SMS are currently being sent.
COMPLETED Emails were successfully sent.
ERROR There was an error sending the emails.
The SMS columns include:
Message – The SMS Message Text sent
Date – The Date the SMS was sent
Status – The current Status of the SMS
Delivered - The number of SMS delivered / total number to be delivered.
Delivered % The number of SMS delivered as a percentage of the total number to be delivered.
Click on to edit an SMS.
Click on to Send SMS
Click on to view a previously sent SMS Details, Statistics and Send Log.
You can't delete a SMS once it has been sent.
Click on New SMS to add a new SMS.
Use to add merge fields which will be replaced by the member's information when the SMS is sent.
Use to use a pre-defined template. All HTML formatting will be stripped from templates.
Send Preview Enter a mobile number and click to preview the message.
For links only include the link text (i.e. http://...)
Messages longer than 160 characters may be counted as multiple messages.
Click on Save to save the SMS and return to the SMS List.
A copy of the SMS will be put into the SMS section of each member.
24. Response to Bulk Email
As mentioned above in Setup of Bulk Email, when users reply their email will be sent to the Reply To name and email account you enter. All emails use a tracking image to determine when/if they have been viewed. Please note that we can only track bounced emails when using the ampEducator bulk email servers.
25. Response to Bulk SMS
Just like individual SMS sent, if the Prospect or Student responds to your Outgoing Bulk SMS you will receive an email notification as well as the SMS response will be added to the Prospect or Student Profile under SMS Tab in ampEducator based on the settings – See Setup SMS.
ampEducator provides the ability to post Announcements (with optional email notification) to a combination or Roles and Locations. There are 2 types of Announcements in ampEducator (1) general Announcements and (2) Course Announcements. These are internal messages to Staff and/or Students appearing on the Staff Home Page and Student Portal Home Page depending on which Roles are selected to apply to the Announcement being made. The general Announcements tool can be found under Home > Announcements and the Course Announcements can be made in each Course (with several options – see Using Announcements). The main difference between general and Course Announcements is that Course Announcements can contain attachments. When uploading an attachment with a Course Announcement, the attachments are automatically added and linked to the Course Documents. When sending an Announcement, there is an option to email notification of the Announcement – if this is enabled and a Course Announcement is made with attachments, it is important to note that the attachments will not be emailed to the Students, they will need to login and download them from Course Documents.
Using Announcements (Home > Announcements):
You can sort announcements by Announcement Date or Display Until date.
You can filter announcements by Location and Audience
Pinned announcements will have a icon under the pinned column.
Click on to view the announcement.
Click on the title or to edit the announcement.
Click on to delete the announcement. Once deleted announcements can't be retrieved.
You can view statistics and the send log for an announcement but only announcements with notifications will have this option.
For announcements with email notification the stati can be:
COMPLETED - Notification emails have been sent.
ERROR - There was a problem sending the notifications - see notification stats.
PENDING - Sending has not started yet.
SENDING - Notification emails are being sent.
If the email notification option wasn't select the status will display NO.
For announcements with email notification you will see a percentage number after the status indicating the amount of notifications sent.
Add / Edit Announcement
All fields are required.
Announcements will be shown until their display date.
Pinned announcements will always be displayed.
Only selected audience roles in the selected locations will see the announcement.
Only selected audience status will see the announcement.
When adding you have the option to send out an email notification. The email notification contains the announcement and is sent to the audience roles in the locations you've selected.
You can't send an email notification if you don't have the bulk email server configured – See Setup for Bulk Email in ampEducator.
You can’t send attachments with General Announcements.
Course Announcements are similar in functionality to Announcements, with the following exceptions:
Email notifications will only go to currently enrolled students.
Attachments will not be sent with the notification email.
If you require any assistance setting up or using Email or SMS please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.