Planning a campaign
When planning a campaign, consider who your target audience is. Are your recipients people who have signed up for a specific text message program, or have they just generally consented to contacted by text? It's tempting to cast as wide a net as possible, but it's easy to fall into spamming behavior. People will appreciate texts that are the most relevant to them.
What will you be using text messages for? Two common scenarios for public health are appointment reminders and general announcements. Specify a clear goal for your text campaign.
Example could be "remind client of their upcoming appointment", or "inform parents of eighth graders of new vaccine requirements", or "advertise our health fair". In the next section, we'll cover how to write messages.
When will you be sending out your messages? You can manually send them, or schedule a time in the future.
Also think about what action people will take after receiving the text. If you are including a phone number people can call for more information, make sure you're sending the message during business hours. Likewise, if you're planning on replying to responses individually, you'll want to make sure someone is available to do that.
It's a good idea to send multiple reminders, especially for appointments and events. You'll need to find a balance between helpful and annoying. Consider how many reminders you want to send, and at what intervals.
When we spoke to clients at KCHD about reminders for upcoming vaccinations, most of them said they would like 2-4 reminders, starting a month out.