Send a notification to your client's mobile device about an upcoming appointment.
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Send one automated SMS text message reminder per appointment to keep your appointments top-of-mind for your clients and cut your no-show rate.
Note: Please ensure you've provided notice and obtained all legally required consent before enabling text message notifications.
Text message notifications are available in the Growing and Powerhouse plans.
Before you begin
Clients can opt out of all Acuity text message reminders by replying STOP to a text message reminder.
If clients respond to a text message, they'll get an automated reply telling them that the messages are from an automated service and suggesting they contact you by other means.
Text message rates and fees
There are no additional fees for sending text notifications. Phone carriers’ text messaging rates may apply to message recipients.
Tip: We recommend that you explain these potential costs to your clients.
Start sending text message reminders
To set up text message appointment reminders:
- In Acuity, click Client SMS.
- Switch the Enable SMS reminders toggle to on. The first time you select this option, you'll be prompted to verify your phone number and personal or business information.
- Use the Send for field to choose which appointment types should trigger this text message reminder.
- Use the Send reminder drop-down menu to choose how far in advance your appointment reminders are sent. You can choose times ranging from 15 minutes to 14 days before the appointment.
- Use the Date & Time format drop-down menu to choose a format for your text messages.
- Use the toggles in the Show section to choose which details to include in your reminder text message.
- If you’ve toggled on Phone number, use the Phone number section to add your country and phone number.
- Optional: To add customized information in the Custom message field, enter text in the Custom message field. To use tags to pull in details about the client and their appointment, click the insert button to the right of the character count.
- Use the preview pane to review your text message reminders.
Note: Acuity uses Twilio to send text messages. All messages must comply with Twilio's content requirements.
Tip: Text messages are sent from an automatically assigned phone number, not your number. Consider adding your business name and phone number to your messages to prevent confusion.
Verify your phone number and information
When setting up text message reminders for the first time, Acuity will prompt you to verify your phone number and provide information about your business.
Verification helps fight spam. It’s required whether you’re sending text message reminders to clients or creating text message notifications for yourself and your staff.
While verification is required, Acuity won't send SMS reminders from your phone number. Instead, text messages are sent from an automatically assigned phone numbers. The phone number you use to verify isn't shown to clients and doesn't need to be a business number.
The business information you provide helps us categorize your messages appropriately within our partnered telecommunication systems.
How to verify yourself
When the pop-up appears:
- Follow the prompts to enter information about your business and text message needs.
- You may be asked several questions about where you expect to send text messages, how your business is set up, and where it operates.
- You may be asked if you have an Employer Identification Number and, if so, what it is. If you don't have an EIN, you can still set up text message reminders. If you do have an EIN, the business name you enter while setting up text message reminders needs to match the business name associated with your EIN. Don't enter your Social Security number in place of an EIN.
- Use the drop-down menu to choose your country, enter your phone number, and click Send verification code.
- Enter the code you receive via text message, then click Submit.
- Enter your name and address in the fields provided, then click Save.
Tip: If you don't receive your verification code, restart your phone and try again.
Stop sending text message reminders
To stop sending text message reminders:
- In Acuity, click Client SMS.
- Switch the Enable SMS reminders toggle to off.
Use templates to customize your reminders
Create multiple text message templates to send unique text message reminders for different appointment types.
Text message template customization is available on the Growing and Powerhouse plans.
To create multiple templates:
- Create a first text message reminder using the steps above.
- Click Add template.
- Choose the appointment types you want to use the new template for, then click Select.
- Use the fields to set up your template, as you did for your first text message reminder.
- After you're done, flip the Enable SMS reminders toggle to On. This sets your template to active, and it will start sending.
After creating your new template, you can add or remove appointment types using the Send for field. Each appointment type can only trigger one template. When you assign an appointment type to a template, it's removed from any other template it's already on.
Tip: Text message reminders only send if your template has at least one appointment type assigned and the Enable SMS reminders toggle to On. The left menu shows where appointment types are assigned and which templates are active.
Have clients opt in to text messages
By default, Acuity sends the automatic text message reminder for each appointment to the phone number listed in the appointment details. You can change this setting to prompt your clients to opt in or out of receiving text messages.
Clients opt in by checking a box during booking. If you’re booking on their behalf through the Calendar panel or editing an existing appointment, you can verify that they’ve given permission for text message reminders by checking a box in the appointment details.
Clients opt in or out of text message reminders for every appointment separately. There isn't a way for clients to opt in or out of text message reminders for all their appointments at the same time.
If the text message you’re sending attempts to promote a product, convince someone to buy something, or advocate for a social cause, you must enable opt-in.
To enable opt-in for text messages:
- In Acuity, click Client SMS.
- Switch the Require SMS opt-in from clients toggle to on.
Note: After you enable opt-in, Acuity only sends text message reminders for appointments that are marked as opted in. Appointments that were booked before you enabled opt-in aren’t marked as opted in. To mark them as opted in, edit the appointment details to confirm that the clients have given permission for text message reminders.
How clients opt in
When clients book online, they can check I would like to receive an SMS reminder before my appointment.
How to opt clients in
When you book appointments for clients in Acuity, check the box for I’ve received permission from this client to opt them in to receive an SMS reminder message before their appointment to opt them into text messages. Leaving the box unchecked for a new appointment disables text message reminders for that appointment.
How to change the status of an existing appointment
To change the opt-in status of existing appointments:
- In Acuity, click Calendar, then click the appointment to open the appointment details.
- Click Edit, then check or uncheck the box for I’ve received permission from this client to opt them in to receive an SMS reminder message before their appointment.
- Click Confirm changes.
Your text message reminder can include up to 300 characters if you use only plain text. The 300-character limit includes any fields you toggle on for the message, such as your business name and the appointment type name. Special characters, such as acute accent marks, count as more than one character. You can use tags to include information about your appointment or client. When calculating the character limit, Acuity counts the content a tag pulls into your message, not the characters in the tag itself.
Keep in mind:
- If you use special characters or tags and exceed the character limit, your message will be cut off.
Your text message might be split into two sections depending on the number of characters. However, most devices display split messages as a single message.
Send text reminders about one appointment to multiple people
To send a text message reminder for an appointment to multiple people, edit the appointment details to include multiple phone numbers separated by commas.
Send text notifications outside the United States
Text notifications are automatically formatted to work in the United States and Canada. To send text messages to phone numbers outside the United States and Canada, you may need to add a country code to a client's phone number.
If you selected a time zone in Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, clients can enter their phone numbers without adding a country code. Enter a zero, then enter the rest of the number, like 0417827142.
Otherwise, for phone numbers outside the United States and Canada, enter +, then the country code, then the rest of the number, like +97312345678.
Verify clients received text messages
To view the messages sent for an appointment, click the appointment to open appointment details, then click View all changes & notifications sent. The changelog shows all sent email and text messages for the appointment. To learn more about the changelog, visit Tracking appointment changes in Acuity.