Top Tips!

Each week we’ll bring you new Top Tips to help you get the most from your ParentMail account!

Make sure you come back every Friday to see our latest tips!

Parents Evening Manager (Week 5)

1. Getting parents registered

Your parents will need to have registered with ParentMail before they can book their appointment slots, so before you set up your parents evening make sure you let parents know how to register in advance. We have a template letter which we’d recommend you send to parents so that they know how and why to register!

2. Manual bookings for those not registered

Once your evening has gone live, within Documents to Print > PEM you will find a ‘Students without verified contacts’ document which will show you a list of students whose parents are not registered who therefore cannot book appointments online. You will need to contact these parents so that you can manually book in their appointments for them.

3. Set up your evening in advance 

When creating your parents’ evening, we advise setting the booking window to open in the future (rather than straight away!) so that you can do some spot checks, for example ensuring you have the correct teachers assigned to the right classes. Doing this will also allow you to block out slots as unavailable if you would like to put in breaks for teachers, before parents book them up!

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Communications (Week 4)

1.Send per family and Send to primary contacts only – what’s the difference?

The ‘Send per family’ option on emails will only stop duplicate emails going to parents with multiple children selected for the email. To send to one contact, for example mum but not dad, you will need to use the ‘Send to primary contacts only’ option.

2. Attachments 

If you are sending an attachment, we would recommend you save the file as a PDF rather than as a Word document. Due to formatting of Word documents, these can often be very large files and therefore will be over the 10 Mb limit. By changing the file to a PDF it means it will be smaller in memory size and means your parents are unable to edit the document. To do this, simply click Save As on your file and select PDF.

3. Read receipts through the mobile App

Encourage the use of the App with parents so that when you check the recipients of an email you get the read receipts showing the date/time the parent opened the message on the app – if parents simply check their emails, you will not be able to see this information.

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Forms (Week 3)

1. Save your forms as templates!

If you’ve created a form, make sure you save it as a template before you send it, just in case you want to use it again in the future. Once the form has been sent, you won’t be able to save it, so make it a rule: Save as template, then send!

2. Where are my reports?

You’ll find your forms reports within the Forms tab, under Actions, with 3 reports available on 3 separate pages:

  • All responses submitted for this form
  • List of people yet to respond
  • Statistics related to responses for this form

3. What does maximum replies mean?

When sending your form, the maximum replies setting refers to the total amount of replies to the form, not the amount of replies per student. Each student can only have one response. You may use this setting if you are sending a form for a first come first served basis, where you may, for example, send a form to your entire year group but only the first 50 who reply will get the space on the trip.

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Parent Uptake (Week 2)

1. Have a ParentMail evening

If you’re hoping to get more parents signed up to ParentMail, why not hold an evening where you show parents the benefits of having their own ParentMail account and how to register? Once registered, you can advise them how to download the App too and answer any questions they might have. You can use our promotional materials and if you think of anything further that could help, simply contact us here at ParentMail and we’ll do our best to help…

2. Are you using the launch checklist?

Our launch checklist has been created to help new schools in the first few weeks – however, if you’re still struggling to get parents registered, simply download our launch checklist and see which of the steps you’d like to try!

3. Set ParentMail as homework

Some schools hold class or year group competitions,  to see who can have the most parents register in a time frame! In assembly, you can show your students how registration works and then ask them to go home and get mum and dad set up! They can even help parents download the App for extra bonus points! Once you get your students involved, you’ll soon see your parent registration shoot up!

4. Check your data! 

If parents share an email address or mobile number, they won’t both be able to register, so make sure all your parents have unique information on your ParentMail account so that they can get set up with no problems!

*Extra Tip! * The parent help site

Don’t forget the parent help site is updated regularly with our most common FAQ’s from parents, so if your parents need help, simply send them this link: https://www.parentmail.co.uk/help/parenthelp/#

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Payments (Week 1)

1. Due Dates and Purchase Windows

If you create an item in payments with only a ‘Due Date’, the item will be available immediately in the shop, but will become unavailable as soon as the due date is reached.

If you wants parents to be able to pay after the due date has passed, you’ll need to enable a ‘Purchase Window’. This setting gives you total control over when the item appears, and in turn disappears from the shop for all users.

You can also use the Purchase Window to close down an item that has been created in error, simply set the window to close a minute or two ahead of the current time and save the item. A few minutes later, the item will not be available to purchase any longer.

Please note, while the Due Date and Purchase Window will expire the item once the end date passes, any parent that has made a Part Payment for the item will still be able to access their order to complete their purchase.

2. Setting up a test child 

We recommend that you set yourself up a test child so that when creating new payment items you can send a test to yourself first and make sure you’re happy with all the settings! If you need helping adding a student, simply click here and follow the instructions on your help site. Don’t forget to connect your test child to your account – you’ll then have access to a parent account as well as your staff account.

Once you’ve created your test child, you will also be able to log into the App and see how the Payment Item appears – this may be useful if your parents have any questions as you will be able to see exactly what they see!

3. Encourage parents to save their card details for instant payments

We’ve added the functionality for parents to save their card details, so that when they make a payment they simply press a button (and don’t have to enter all those numbers every time!) This makes it the quickest way for your parents to pay for something – and means cheaper transaction costs than PayPal or PayCash for your school!

Fun Fact: We’ve tested how quickly you can make a payment with a stored card, and it’s less than 10 seconds!!!

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