Think texting is just for youngsters to lol and meme? Think again.
According to our 2020 Global Messaging Engagement Report, texting is the second most popular communication channel (behind email). However, email's popularity is also its Achilles’ heel—more emails than ever are flooding consumer inboxes, and they're struggling to sift through all of it.
You (and hopefully your contact) don't want to miss an appointment, but with so much going on it's easy to forget.
Unfortunately, whether you're a SaaS sales agent or a local barber, no-shows can hurt your business—badly.
Average no-show rates hover between 10% to 15%, but some industries (like healthcare) see average no-show rates as high as 27%. Research estimates that businesses with over $120K in annual revenue lose more than $26K every year in missed appointments. That's a lot of cash!
Luckily, there's a solution: appointment reminder texts.
Text message open rates are around 98%, so when you send your client a reminder text, you can rest easy knowing it didn't get ignored. Plus, customers cancel less than 5% of all scheduled appointments after receiving a text reminder.
Let those stats sink in.
Sending appointment reminder text messages is easy. Below, we'll show you everything you need to know to start sending SMS reminders and stop experiencing no-shows.
What is an appointment reminder text?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a step back and define what is an appointment reminder text.
Appointment reminder texts are SMS messages you send your contacts to remind them about an upcoming appointment. These could be as simple as:
"Hi there—just reminding you about your massage appointment at 3:30pm this afternoon."
Or as complex as:
"Hi, Julie. Just reminding you about your scheduled car detailing at 2:00pm tomorrow. Use the link here if you need to reschedule: http://bit.ly/reschedule."
Regardless, your text messaging has one purpose—and that's to remind your recipient about an upcoming appointment. Don't get lost in the weeds trying to up-sell or cross-sell. The main objective is to get them to show up on time or to reschedule in advance, so you have time to refill your calendar.
So, what's the best way to write these messages? We're glad you asked.
Below, we'll highlight the most important elements of reminder texts and how to write them effectively.
How do you write an appointment reminder text message?
There's a right way and wrong way to send SMS appointment reminders. Get it right, and you'll get the vast majority of your clients to appointments on time. Get it wrong, and you'll waste money on texts that don't lead to conversions.
Here are a few best practices for writing appointment reminder texts:
- Automate appointment reminders: Automate and schedule your friendly reminders in advance to take one less thing off your daily to-do list. Automation can simplify your workflows, save time, and even make it faster and easier for your clients.
- Make it short: While SMS messages can be up to 160 characters, that doesn't mean you should use all of them. If you can communicate your appointment reminder with fewer characters, do it.
- Keep on-topic: Don't distract your customer with any non-relevant nonsense. Stay on-topic! Remind them about the appointment time and any other details (Zoom link, address, phone number for rescheduling, etc.)—that's it.
- Stay on-brand: Transactional messages don't have to be boring—have fun, be clever, and let your brand's voice shine through.
- Enable two-way communication: Send your appointment reminder texts from a number that recipients can respond to. Don't make your recipient visit your website or contact customer support via email to continue the conversation.
Make sense? Don't worry—we have tons of appointment reminder text examples and samples below to give you actionable templates of effective reminders in action.
7+ appointment reminder text examples
1. Appointment confirmation text
"Hi [name]. We're confirming your appointment with Dr. Lewandowski for Wed., 3/31, at 9:30am. Use the link if you need to reschedule: https://bit.ly/link123"
2. Upcoming appointment friendly reminder
"Hi [name]. This is CarDealz reminding you about your scheduled oil change for tomorrow (4/7) at 1pm. Call/text us if you need to reschedule. See you then!"
3. Your appointment has started
"Hi [name]. Just reminding you that the workshop you registered for started. Join from your computer or phone at https://bit.ly/link123. See you in the Q&A!"
4. Feedback request
"Hi [name]. We hope you enjoyed your eye exam with Dr. Jamie. We'd love to get your feedback. Fill out this survey to tell us how it went: https://bit.ly/link123"
5. Schedule another appointment
"Hi [name]. We hope your bike is running good as new. We recommend tunings every 8 weeks—go ahead and schedule your next appointment: https://bit.ly/link123"
6. Missed appointment follow-up
"Hi [name]. We missed you at your dental check-up today. Please give us a call so we can help reschedule your appointment. 555-555-5555
7. Reschedule appointment
"Hi [name]. We received your request to reschedule your appointment. Use this link to reschedule: https://bit.ly/link123. Give us a call if you have questions!"
How do you send appointment text reminders?
Sending appointment reminder messages is quick and easy with the right software. Twilio Studio and Twilio APIs give you the flexibility to send automated confirmations, reminders, rescheduling texts, and more with a drag-and-drop editor or with programming integrations.
Watch the video below to learn how to use our visual editor, Twilio Studio, to build appointment reminders in minutes.
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Want to build appointment reminders programmatically into your web application? Choose from any of the languages and frameworks below to get the source code in your language to build an appointment reminders app:
Thinking beyond text reminders
While SMS messages are a great, reliable way to remind customers about upcoming appointments, they're not the only channel at your disposal. Consider these other methods:
- Enable email appointment reminders: Learn how to send and write appointment confirmation emails in our SendGrid blog post.
- Use phone call reminders: Use Twilio's Text-to-Speech to convey reminders in 26 languages. You can also add an interface voice response (IVR) menu to enable customers to confirm and change appointments within the call.
- Experiment with MMS: Send branded appointment reminders with pictures and calendar invites using MMS.
See how Twilio customers built appointment reminders into their apps
- Handy increased customer engagement by 50% with Twilio-Powered Leads Management (see story)
- Arkansas Children's Hospital saved $250K with over-the-phone appointment reminders (see story)
- Yelp keeps restaurants full and diners happy using two-way SMS powered by Twilio (see story)
- YouCanBook.me helps achieve fewer missed appointments for small businesses with SMS (see story)
- The doctor will see you now: How SMS helps Philips Patient Management deliver a new waiting room experience (see story)
How do you send HIPAA-compliant SMS text messages?
Healthcare SMS and text messaging can be complicated. Since the information contained in these messages can be protected health information (PHI), you'll need to comply with strict requirements outlined in HIPAA.
If you want to send HIPAA-compliant SMS text messages, follow the best practices outlined in SMS & HIPAA: How to handle texting at a medical practice. It'll walk you through everything you need to know and do to safely and securely send text messages from your medical practice.
Last year, Twilio became HIPAA-eligible across SMS, voice, and video. This means healthcare industry leaders in the US can now leverage our leading customer engagement platform to build custom communication solutions at scale.
To make that happen, we're able to sign Business Associate Addendums (BAAs) for our key products Programmable SMS, Programmable Voice, and Programmable Video to enable HIPAA compliance across these offerings.
Start sending appointment reminder texts
Ready to get started? Learn how you can set up SMS for your business and get started sending texts in under 5 minutes.
Or, sign up for a free Twilio account (no credit card required) to start sending automated appointment reminder texts.