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The Only 3 Text Message Appointment Reminder Templates You Need

Appointment reminder templates

  1. "This is ACME reminding you of your appointment on 1/1 at 1:00 PM. Please reply to cancel."
  2. "ACME: Your appointment is on 1/1 at 1:00 PM. Please reply Y to confirm or N to cancel. Our address is 1234 Main Street."
  3. "Your ACME appt. is on 1/1 at 1:00 PM. Please remember to bring your intake forms. For questions or to cancel, call 123-123-1234."

Required components of text reminders

Business name. Include the name of your business so your clients quickly know who is reaching out. Although Reminderly will always send your reminders from the same number, caller ID doesn't work on cell phones unless your customers save your phone number. It doesn't have to be the full name of your company. If your company name is long, it's best to shorten or abbreviate it because of the limited space available in text messages. For sensitive appointments, it's best to use initials for the business or provider name. That way if someone besides the cell phone owner sees the message, it won't reveal any private information (e.g., abbreviate Apple Counseling Center to ACC).

Appointment date and time. Be clear about when the appointment is. You can include a specific time (e.g., "9:00 AM)," a more general time (e.g., "please stop by tomorrow morning before noon"), or a time window (e.g., "Your service technician will arrive between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM)."

Information on rescheduling or canceling. Clearly communicate how your customers can reschedule or cancel their appointments. Include a phone number for them to call or tell them that they can reply to the SMS text message. Some companies like to make it as easy as possible for people to cancel, in which case they include, "Please reply to this message to cancel." Other companies prefer to discourage cancellations and so require that the client call: "To reschedule, please call 123-123-1234."

Optional components that you may want to include

Appointment confirmation request. You can ask clients to confirm their appointment. This additional confirmation ensures that your client has seen the message and plans to come. However, I generally don't recommend this requirement. If someone doesn't respond, they still may have seen the message and plan to come. The reminder still did its job of preventing a no-show. I must confess that even though I'm in the business, I sometimes forget to confirm. However, the reminders always help me remember to reschedule in advance if I can't make it.

Address. Including your address can help remind your customers where they are going and prevent confusion. This is especially helpful if you have multiple locations or your customers don't come to your office frequently. Android and iPhones will automatically turn addresses into clickable links that bring up Google Maps.

Phone number. A phone number can make it easier for clients to call if they have questions. Android and iPhones will automatically turn phone numbers into clickable links that will auto-dial you. This makes it extremely easy for your customers to get in touch with you.

Pre-appointment instructions. Many appointments require some pre-appointment preparation. This could be to arrive 15 minutes early, fill out intake forms, or avoid eating or drinking beforehand. Your appointment reminder messages can include these instructions, and they can vary based on the appointment type. If there are a lot of instructions, you can have a link to a page on your website or an online Google Doc.

Cancelation policy. Many businesses have strict cancellation policies. Some companies require 24 hours' notice, while others require 48 hours. Your customers may not remember your specific policy, so reminding them increases the likelihood that they will cancel or reschedule before your deadline.

Client name. You can include your customer’s name to personalize the message. In Reminderly, you can add customer name as an additional field that is pulled into each reminder message. One note of caution: some customer names are long, which can limit the space for other information in your message.

Additional languages. Depending on your customer population, you may want to include multiple languages in your text message. Some companies find it easiest to repeat the message in multiple languages for everyone. Others will specify which language they want to use for each patient.

Additional considerations

Message length. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. We recommend you send all appointment reminders in 1-2 text messages because most people will only skim long messages, making them completely ineffective. It is best to use concise language and standard abbreviations to keep appointment reminder notifications within this limit.

Links. Including links to additional information can be a great way to communicate that info without making the text message too long. Also, using a website page or a Google Doc can allow you to take advantage of formatting options(bolding, outlining, etc.) that aren't available in text messages. Android and iPhone will automatically turn URLs into clickable links, making it extremely easy for your clients to view the additional information. Links count toward your character limit, so it's essential to keep them short. You can use "URL shorteners" to shorten the link. However, don't use public URL shorteners such as bit.ly because most cell phone companies' spam filters will stop these from being delivered. Instead, use a private URL shortener like the one included in Reminderly.

Privacy. It is essential to keep your customers' privacy in mind when sending appointment reminders. Most phones allow you to have text messages show even when the phone is locked. These can create significant privacy concerns when sending sensitive messages. If your appointment is of a sensitive nature, you may want to limit the information included in your message. You may also need to get your customers' consent before sending any text messages to them.

Why automated appointment reminder texts are a must

Make more money. Automated text reminders are the easiest way to decrease your no-show rate, thereby increasing your revenues. Although some missed appointments are inevitable (e.g., last-minute illnesses such as COVID or personal emergencies), automated reminders could eliminate 95%+ of no-shows. A quick reminder can have a massive impact on your annual revenues with little to no effort. With an appointment reminder system like Reminderly, you can automate the process and start sending out appointment reminders in less than 5 minutes. You will begin to see your revenues increase in less than 48 hours.

People screen their phone calls, not their text messages. In the age of robocalls and fake insurance offers, most people screen their calls. More than 80% of adults send calls to voicemail if they don't recognize the phone number, and 20% of adults don't check their voicemail. Because people read 98% of their text messages, text messages have become the most effective way of reminding patients of their appointments.

Focus your time elsewhere. Automating your appointment reminder notifications will free up your and your staff's time to focus on other critical activities. Before using Reminderly, our clients were spending many hours each day making reminder calls, but most of these calls were being sent directly to voicemail. Reminderly can easily automate your appointment reminders by integrating with many of the most popular forms of appointment scheduling software, from Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar to Excel spreadsheets and beyond. Please contact us if you have questions about how our various integration options will work with your existing calendar and workflows.

Missed appointments negatively affect your clients. When your clients miss their scheduled appointment, they lose out on the services they need. We have many clients that book so far in advance that when a customer misses their appointment, they have to reschedule weeks or months out. This inevitably causes customers to be frustrated, miss out on critical services, and possibly take their business elsewhere. Sending reminders is not a bother to your clients. Quite the opposite: your customers want a friendly reminder of their upcoming appointment.

Industries that can benefit from appointment reminder software

Appointment reminders are critical for all industries. Whether you are a small business, a large enterprise, or a governmental agency, we can help.

Healthcare. From doctors' offices to surgery centers to mental health clinics to chiropractic offices, patients must remember when they have their appointment, where they are supposed to be, and what preparation they need to complete. Forgetting any of these can lead to long delays in care.

Household services. From home contractors to plumbers to electricians, household service providers need appointment reminders. Because of long travel times, showing up at a customer's house who isn't there can be an enormous waste of time and revenue.

Legal services. The high cost of legal services makes it critical that clients make their appointments on time. Whether sending reminders for new client meetings or ongoing case reviews, appointment reminders ensure that clients get to their meetings.

Tax services. Accounting firms have many client meetings, and with short deadlines, reducing missed appointments is critical. Although the highest volume of appointments happens before April 15th, there is a need for year-round SMS reminders. Our accounting firm clients have found that they also need Reminderly to send mass texts to their clients for upcoming deadlines, reminders, and follow-ups.

Sales team. Sales teams frequently book calls days or weeks out, and new clients often forget these meetings. Having the flexibility to remind new clients days before their meeting and again hours beforehand will drastically increase sales volume.

Financial services. Financial advisors have many unique appointment reminder needs, from specific reporting requirements to managing multiple calendars in a single office. Automated appointment reminders ensure that your clients get to their appointment and get the support they need. We work with many financial services companies to meet their specific needs.

Salons and spas. Salons and spas have high volume and usually don't have a dedicated staff member to make individual reminder calls. Automating the reminder process will immediately increase revenues without burdening your staff with additional responsibilities.  

Gyms. Many gyms work with Reminderly because we can meet all of their communication needs. Our flexible reminders work great for reminders to temporary groups, like fitness classes. At the same time, our group text messaging service helps you motivate your clients and promote your new events.

Government agencies. Many local and state agencies use Reminderly because of our ability to deliver flexible and customized solutions. If our out-of-the-box solution doesn't meet your needs, let us know so we can create a customized solution for you.

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