Texting reminders for business operations are a necessity for modern organizations who are looking to reach their audience quickly and efficiently.
Have you ever received an appointment reminder via email or phone call, and left the message there, meaning to return it but then forgot about it until it was too late? This is a common scenario and if you own an appointment-based service or run a healthcare business, you’ve likely experienced no-shows or latecomers from the business end. This is why more and more organizations are starting to incorporate texting reminders for business events and appointments. Confirm all your appointments with quick “yes” or “no” replies and automate it to work for you.
Why are Texting Reminders the Perfect Strategy?
On average, the SMS open rate is at least 70% higher than email, and this is across the board. This is one of the many reasons why you need to consider using an SMS service for appointment reminders. Read on for more information about why this may be the perfect strategy for your business.
Better Time Management for Appointment Scheduling with Reminders Sent via Text!
When used well, almost any type of business can benefit from using SMS text reminders for a variety of purposes. Dental appointments, eye appointments, wellness activities, and beauty appointments are just a few examples of where they can come in extremely handy. Not only that, but “no” responses can help you gauge who is going to be a no-show, thus accommodating other clients rather than keeping them waiting.
We all get “ghosted” from time to time; however, there is a way to reach people more directly than via email, social media, or even a live phone call: SMS.
Banks, restaurants, hospitals, dental offices, optometry offices, schools, religious institutions, transportation, and many other industries are texting reminders for business purpose.
Texting Reminders for Business Special Offers and Events
Beyond appointments, reminders can be useful for all types of businesses, giving other types of clients and consumers the extra push they might need to reach out and take advantage of special offers, events, and so on.
When you’re proactive about reminding clients about not only appointments but also special events or even other unexpected problems that may come up that could affect business, this leaves you time to focus on the event or issue at hand. In other words, you won’t spend countless hours answering the phone and answering the same questions over and over again.
Best Practices for SMS Reminders
When you’re sending out reminders of any sort, there are a few rules that should be followed. (If you’re in doubt, just consider the types of messages that you’d like to receive.)
Make it personal and concise
First things first, make things as personal as possible. Lead with the client’s name and be as specific with your details as possible. With SendHub’s MergeWiz, you can merge the name field into the SMS very easily. It’s also important to be concise and not just because of segmenting, but also because an appointment reminder isn’t much of a reminder if people have to read and read to get to the point. Sort of like how Twitter forces us to be succinct, it’s the perfect opportunity to practice simple, compelling messages that focus on one core action or message.
Keep it simple
Ensure that you include the relevant information details in the text – the basics. Keep it simple and be sure to clarify the finer details. For example, if you work in a dental office, tell them the date and time as well as the clinician’s name they will be meeting. Be sure that you are always texting from the number that clients will have saved to their contacts, so they know who you are.
Direct people to your website by sharing more details in a link
Offer a link for people to respond to your call to action or the appointment but be sure to make this very accessible in order to accommodate those who don’t have data or as much Internet accessibility. If you have more information to share, put it on your web page that you can send out via SMS.
If you send a link from your website, you can use your own internal tools to view link clicks and other analytics. Directing people to your website should always be one of your goals and this helps you do both!
Timing is everything
Next, make sure you get your timing right. For appointments you’ll need to send the first reminder a few days ahead, giving them enough time to cancel but not so much time that they think: “I’ll come back to it” and then forget. Sending an early reminder, a couple of days ahead of time, then a follow-up about 24-hours ahead is usually appropriate for any industry. You can automate your appointment reminders with SendHub’s API or you can manually schedule those messages.
Target your marketing with appropriate language
The phrasing that you use in your SMS reminders will differ depending on your purpose, industry, and context. But in general, there are a few things that you should bear in mind when it comes to best practice tactics. Be wary of the specific goal of your patients. If they’re coming in for something serious, a compassionate (rather than demanding or overly-robotic) tone is essential.
Consider the demographics
You’ll also want to have a complete understanding of your demographic as you create an SMS message or template. More people aged 18-29 use text messaging, so if you are sure they are in that age group, it’s likely you’ll reach them using lighter, less formal language.
SMS Texting Reminder for Business Templates
Now that we’ve gone through the basic framework of the messages, considering tone, purpose, and intent, the following are some examples of effective text messaging templates to use as follow-ups or reminders. Use SendHub’s MergeWiz to send some text reminders such as these:
- Hello (first name)! This is a friendly reminder from (company name) that you have an appointment with (professional) on (date). Please phone us at (phone number) if you are unable to make your appointment.
- We’re looking forward to seeing you on (appointment date). Does this time still work for you? If not, please call us asap at (phone number).
- Hi! This is a friendly reminder about your appointment with (professional) on (date). Please be sure to mark it on your calendar, and if you can’t make it, call us right away at (phone number). We are looking forward to seeing you on (date)!
- Hello (name of recipient). It’s been a while since your last appointment, and you’re due for another (x). Please call us at (number) to make an appointment as soon as possible. Your health matters!
- Thinking of scheduling another appointment with us? We’re offering 20% off all services on (date). Why not take advantage of this special offer? Call us at (phone number) if you’re interested. We’d love to see you again!
- Feeling like you need a new look? Join us on any day between (dates and times) for an eye appointment and get 15% off the frames of your choosing.
Other ideas for reminders include events, linking seasonal or event information with an appointment reminder or follow-up, offering discounts on special event days or holidays, or including emojis if you’re marketing to a younger audience.
Learn More About SMS for Business
Want to find out more about how SMS messaging can help you run your business more efficiently, save time and money? Sign up for a demo today!