Consistently sending appointment reminder emails is critical for immediately reducing no-shows and increasing your revenues starting tomorrow. Your customers find your business and services extremely valuable, but life sometimes causes them to miss appointments. Over 90% of no-shows can be avoided if you send a friendly reminder. A quick reminder is simple to write and easy to send with automated appointment reminder software.
Subject: ACME: Appointment reminder
You have an appointment with ACME tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Please call 123-123-1234 if you need to reschedule.
Our address is 1234 Main Street, Cincinnati, OH 45201.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
You may want to use both text and email reminders. Text reminders have a higher open rate (people read 98% of their text messages). However, emails allow you to include significantly more information. Your clients may prefer one form of communication over another. You may also consider sending both email and SMS messages to your clients. If you send both, you should keep the text message short (your business name, date and time of the appointment, and the method for canceling), while your email can include additional instructions for your clients.
Be concise. You want to make sure to state critical information up front. This includes:
Include links. Emails make it easy for you to add additional instructions for your clients, such as:
1. Links to intake forms. This can be especially helpful for new patients and clients.
2. Links to detailed directions to your office.
Use formatting. Make each paragraph short and easy to read. Bullets and lists can make it easier to read. Limit your use of all caps and bolding, but selectively using these formatting tools can make your email easier to read. Most people will only skim your email, so you need to ensure that the most critical information is easy to read and see.
Make sure it is mobile-friendly. Over 70% of people read their emails on their cell phones. Ensure that your email is easy to read on the smaller screen size. Send yourself a test reminder and read it on your phone to make sure that it is easy to read and that the most important information is obvious at first glance.
Automate your reminders. Appointment reminders are crucial in reducing no-shows. However, they can be time-consuming and costly to do manually. Using automated reminders will significantly free up your time. When urgent items come up or staff get sick, appointment reminders are dropped. Using automated appointment reminder software, such as Reminderly, is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure that your reminders always get sent.
Include lots of pictures. Images take up a significant amount of room, making it harder for your clients to see essential information. On mobile devices, these images can be large and cause the email to load slowly. Eye-catching graphics are important for sales and marketing emails. But for appointment reminder emails, you need to get them the critical information fast.
Send too many messages. Your clients appreciate appointment reminders. However, too many notifications become an annoyance. When that happens, your clients will ask you to stop sending reminders, significantly increasing the likelihood that they will miss an appointment in the future. There is no magic number, as it depends on your client base, but most companies send 1-2 reminders for each appointment.
Send personal information. Although you want your emails to be friendly and informative, be careful about the content that you include. Emails may not be encrypted, and emails may be shared by family members or administrative assistants. It's best to err on the side of caution and limit the personal information that you include.
Include multiple fonts, font sizes, and font colors. Using multiple fonts, font sizes, and font colors can make your email harder to read. In some cases, unique fonts won't show up on your clients' computers or phones. Your email should be easy to read and understand at a glance.
Business name. Make sure to include your company name in the email subject line and the first sentence of your email. If people are scanning your reminder email, it should be immediately apparent who sent the email.
Date and time of the appointment. Their appointment time should be in the first sentence of your email. Some companies send out reminders the day before, while others send them out a week before. Make sure your customers immediately know when their appointment is so that they don't inadvertently ignore the email.
Instructions for canceling appointments. Make it easy for your clients to contact you if they need to reschedule. Let them know if you prefer a phone call or a response to the reminder email. If you have a cancellation policy, make sure your reminder email includes the highlights (e.g., how many business days in advance they need to cancel, the penalty for a missed appointment).
Address. You can include detailed directions and transportation options. You may also want to recommend parking options.
Pre-appointment instructions. Detailed pre-appointment instructions can also be beneficial to include in your reminder email. Often limited space prevents these instructions from being included in text messages, but they are easy to include as a follow-up in an email.
Appointment confirmation email. Some companies prefer to ask their clients to confirm their appointment. Your reminder message can include simple instructions for your clients to respond with a “Yes” to confirm.
Customer name. To make the email a little more personal, you can include your client’s name. However, for highly sensitive appointments, you may want to leave out your client’s name.
Appointment cost. You may want to include the price of the appointment or a reminder that copays are due at the time of service.
Provider name. If you have several providers in your office, you may want to include which provider your client is meeting with. This can be especially helpful if your clients see multiple providers in your office.
Businesses that can benefit from appointment reminders: Healthcare practices, mental health practices, construction and home repair, salons and spas, educational institutions, law firms, accounting firms...the list goes on.
Industries that shouldn't use appointment reminders: …uh, none!