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How to Send Appointment Reminder Text Messages

Do you want to save yourself thousands of dollars a year and boost customer satisfaction? Use our guide to learn how to send text reminders to customers.

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Missed appointments are not just a nuisance––they’re a drag on your bottom line. They cost the US healthcare system $150B each year. And the issue of no-shows isn’t unique to the healthcare industry. 

Let’s say you run a hair salon and have eight no-shows a week: if your average revenue per customer is $46, that’s $288 per week. That translates to $1,152 a month, which ends up costing $14,688 per year.

Luckily, the use of text reminders continues to reduce the number of people missing appointments. It’s not just businesses’ profits that benefit either.

Our 2022 text message marketing report found that 61% of consumers want to be able to text a business, with over 50% prioritizing reminders and appointments as a reason to be in touch via text message.

While it’s unlikely you’ll prevent every single cancellation, over 37% of no shows in the healthcare industry and 62% of no shows in the salon industry say they forgot about their appointments.

With 98% open rates, text trumps phone and email reminders by a wide margin. When you couple this with customers’ preference for text reminders, it’s not a difficult decision. 

Here’s how to send text reminders to customers, and what you need to include. 

What is a Text Appointment Reminder?

An appointment reminder text is an SMS message that is sent on behalf of a business or organization to remind a customer or other constituent about an upcoming appointment.

This includes appointment reminder texts for doctors, beauty salons, vehicle services, dentists, and more. The primary goal of a text message appointment reminder is to remind an individual about an upcoming appointment with your business or organization.

Because of this narrow focus, most text reminders are brief and contain the day and time of the appointment or a link to more information about the appointment.   

How to Use a Text Reminder Service for Appointments

Businesses looking to send appointment reminders via text or SMS messaging will need to use a text reminder service like SimpleTexting. 

There are two ways to send text reminders: automatically using SimpleTexting’s Zapier integration or by using the SMS inbox to schedule them. We’ll walk you through both options.

Both methods require you to have a SimpleTexting account. You can start your 14-day free trial and get 50 outgoing text messages, unlimited incoming messages, full access to all our powerful features, and dedicated support 7 days per week. 

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We’re confident you’ll love how easy it is to send texts with SimpleTexting. That’s why we let you try it free for two weeks. No credit card required.
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Most importantly, you can use your trial account to test out the process.

How to Send Automatic Text Appointment Reminders

One of the easiest ways for a business to remind customers about an upcoming appointment is to send automatic text appointment reminders via SMS. 

If you want to send out automatic text reminders, you’ll need to set up the SimpleTexting and Zapier integration.

If you’re unfamiliar with Zapier, it’s an online automation tool that connects your favorite software apps. They offer a free plan that includes 100 tasks per month–which equals 100 appointment reminder texts. 

Integrating SimpleTexting and Zapier can be done in a couple of clicks. Here are instructions on how to do it.

Below we provide instructions for Google Calendar and Acuity Scheduling. With over 2,000 apps available, chances are you can connect whatever appointment or scheduling software you use to SimpleTexting through Zapier.

If you use a custom-built scheduling software or don’t see your platform listed on Zapier, check out our SMS API–if you don’t know what an API is, read this beginner’s guide to using an API for SMS.

Google Calendar and SimpleTexting

It’s easy to automatically send text message reminders for appointments you schedule in Google Calendar using SimpleTexting and Zapier. This two-minute video explains the process. (If you prefer written instructions, then check out this article.) 

Acuity Scheduling and SimpleTexting

1. In Zapier you’ll choose the following fields for your Zap

screenshot of actuity scheduling simpletexting reminders

2. You’ll need to sign in to your Acuity account. Under Customize Appointment Start, you’ll select the time before unit, the appointment type, the calendar, and the number of days or hours before.

In the below example, we set up a consultation appointment reminder that goes out one day before the appointment’s start date and time.

screenshot customize appointment start for text reminders

3. Next, you’ll log in to your SimpleTexting account. Underneath customize SMS, select the phone number field, and then write your message. You can even personalize your automated text reminders using fields from Acuity.

screenshot how to customize sms for appointment reminders

Now all you need to do is turn the Zap on.

Send Out Appointment Reminders From the SMS Inbox

Another option is to send out appointment reminders from SimpleTexting’s SMS inbox. Here’s how to make this process as seamless as possible.

  1. Log in to your SimpleTexting account and select Inbox from the left-hand panel of your dashboard
inbox button screenshot
  1. Select the blue “new conversation” option beside the search bar
search bar screenshot of simpletexting dashboard
  1. Then select the bookmark symbol and add a template. Templates enable you to create a standard text message reminder.

    Their superpower is saving you from having to type up the same message again and again.
simpletexting message screenshot
  1. Now type up your template message.
sms screenshot example in simpletexting
  1. Your message is ready to send! You can send it right away or schedule the text for later.

    To schedule a message for later, all you need to do is select the clock icon beside Send SMS once you’ve typed up your text and added a phone number.
send sms screenshot
  1. You can see your scheduled message in your inbox. If someone cancels or reschedules their appointment, you can either delete the message or change the time it’s scheduled to send.
screenshot of an appointment reminder example

💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Want to schedule a message to send regularly on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis? Check out our recurring campaigns feature!

What Happens If Someone Replies to an Appointment Reminder Text?

All replies to your SMS reminders go straight to your SimpleTexting inbox. For example, if you send an appointment reminder and someone asks if they can reschedule, you can respond with a text message proposing a new date and time. This quick video walks you through the ins-and-outs of the inbox.

What Should Your Appointment Reminder Text Message Include? 

Now you know how to set up an appointment reminder, it’s time to craft your message. 

Every appointment reminder text should include the following:

  • The time and date of the appointment
  • The location of the appointment
  • How to cancel or reschedule the appointment (usually through text or phone)
  • Who the text message has been sent by

How you position this text is up to you and will depend on the formality of your business. A hair salon will write a text differently to a lawyer’s office and vice versa.

Use the following tips to make your text message more engaging.

5 Tips for an Effective Appointment Reminder Text Message

  1. Open the text with your customer’s name
    SMS business texting apps allow you to use custom fields to address your recipient’s by name.
  2. Keep your text message short and sweet
    We all lead busy lives – your customers should be able to get all of their info from a quick skim read of your text message.
  3. Remind customers to cancel their appointment if they’re unavailable
    Let your customers know that a no-show is a slot somebody else could have taken. As we’ve mentioned, no-shows are detrimental to a business, so minimizing them should be a priority.

    ‘Hi Lauren! Just a reminder of your upcoming manicure at 12PM, July 10. If you can no longer make your appointment, please reply to let us know. See you then! Swanky Salons’
  4. Include a clear call to action
    Instead of calling to confirm, enable customers to reply ‘Y’ or ‘N’ to confirm their appointment ahead of their arrival.
  5. Send your text message at the right time
    There is always a chance your recipient will need to cancel their appointment. Send your reminder with enough time to allow you to fill their slot, but also close enough to their appointment that they’ll remember it!

    We’ve found the sweet spot is 36-24 hours before the appointment.

Questions About Our Text Reminder App?

If you have questions about sending text reminders to customers, our team of experts would love to answer them. We’re available 7 days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is a copywriter at SimpleTexting where he focuses on customer education and hopes to show you every way possible that SimpleTexting can transform the way you communicate with your audience.

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